It is common knowledge these days that if making money betting on horse racing, you will at some point encounter difficulty with either your stakes being restricted or your bookmaker account being closed.
There is hope that this may change in the future with the discussions surrounding a minimum bet law, which are certainly gaining traction in 2018.
Yet until such a time as bookies either agree or are compelled to lay all punters a decent bet, one of the most popular places to bet without issue are the betting exchanges.
So, to help you understand more on how to maximise this, I have put together this updated guide featuring 6 tips for following racing tipsters on betting exchanges…
1) UNDERSTAND WHEN MONEY HITS THE RACING EXCHANGE MARKETS
As an exchange-only racing punter, it’s important to understand that the vast majority of money only starts to flow into most racing markets approximately 10 to 15 minutes before the off.
(I say most as there are some obvious exceptions such as at Cheltenham or other big race meetings, which will see larger sums traded earlier)
To showcase this, compare the amount of money traded on Betfair for each of these 5 races that took place on a pretty standard Monday afternoon’s racing.
I simply noted down the amount of money traded at 3 time points: 21 minutes, 11 minutes and 1 minute before the off for each of the 5 races, which you can see below:
Without exception, the most trading took place in the 11 minutes before each race started.
Take the 4.30pm race as one example – at 4.19pm, there was £60,925 traded yet come 4.29pm, this had jumped to £495,057.
Within 10 minutes an extra £434,132 had been traded – 87% of the entire market!
The knock-on effect of this is two-fold.
Firstly, it’s an understanding that most of the trading takes place during this time and when your exchange bet is most likely to be matched.
Secondly, it’s the knowledge that prior to the final 10 minutes, it is harder to get your racing bet accepted, especially if it’s based on advice coming from a popular tipster.
2) CONSIDER BETFAIR SP TIPSTERS
One of the simplest angles to make a profit on the exchanges is by following tipsters that make a profit at Betfair SP (after commission of course!).
They offer the easiest, most simple approach as once a tip comes in – you simply place the bet, stick in your stake at Betfair and walk away.
Although the number of profitable Betfair SP tipsters is growing, it’s a fairly small pool to choose from currently.
One profitable Betfair SP tipster I rate highly is the free ‘place laying’ tipster providing their advice for free to SBC members currently. The tipster is called ‘The Accountant’.
Simply put, he recommends you lay their horses NOT to finish in the place money in any given race. That is not to finish in the first 2, 3 or 4 of a race depending on the number of runners.
Over the course of more than 800 lays and risking no more than 3% of your betting bank on any advised price lay, this tipster has grown a bank of £1000 to in excess of £2,500.
This is after 5% Betfair commission has been deducted from each profitable lay.
Providing one simple angle for those of you after a simple exchange tipster for you to follow.
3) DON’T BET IF THE VALUE HAS GONE
One of the most fundamentally important points to consider when betting is that of obtaining value.
All successful punting is based on the concept of value betting and the idea that the odds for any particular bet are priced in your favour.
Therefore, the odds you take on a bet really matter.
If you can get 5/1 on a horse that should be 4/1, then you have a strong value bet.
Yet if the same tipped up horse at 4/1 is only available at 3/1 – the opposite applies.
If you constantly are taking too short a price on a horse, you will lose money.
Which is why it’s important to ONLY bet if the value is still there.
Many good tipsters recognise this and put up minimum value odds to make you aware of where the value cut-off point actually lies. They recognise that a tip might see market support and if it does, you know where to draw the line.
If restricted to exchange betting, look out for this and stick to the minimum value thresholds – they are there for a reason and they will guide you as to the prices to take.
And whatever you do – never place a bet if the value has gone.
4) RECOGNISE YOU WILL WIN SOME, LOSE SOME
Mindful of the need to take a value price, if exchange betting you must accept that sometimes you will miss out on a bet if the odds are too low.
Yet on the flipside, you might also get BETTER odds on other bets when the odds drift.
Whilst on occasions, you might miss out on a winning bet because you can’t get the right odds, on other occasions you will enjoy a bigger payout through this strategy.
If and when this happens, remember the logic behind it all and try to be as phlegmatic as possible.
All gamblers HATE missing out on winning bets, especially if they feel they should have been on it, yet they very rarely remember the times they missed out on a bet that lost.
My suggestion here is to consider keeping a record of each occasion you miss out on a bet (both winners and losers) or get a greater value price than you might have originally. Through this, you can track the ups and downs and see at a glance exactly how you have fared overall.
5) DON’T WORRY ABOUT DRIFTERS
Flowing on from this last point – don’t also get too bogged down by the idea that a ‘drifter’ (a horse whose odds get bigger as the race draws nearer) is no longer worth backing.
Racing pundits like to bang on about horses being weak or friendless in a market, yet the reality is they have no idea if this market move is significant or not. They are often just filling airtime.
If market support was so telling – everyone would simply lump on a horse at the first sign of it being backed in. Market support is no guarantee a horse is a ‘good thing’.
Unless there is clear evidence a horse has something wrong with it before a race, don’t be unperturbed by backing a ‘drifting’ bet.
Look at it instead as a chance to get better value. If you can get 10/1 about a tip advised as value at 6/1 earlier in the day – take it!
After all, unless the horse in question has a major problem – if a tipster you trust said that 6/1 is a value price, then 10/1 will represent a massive increase.
6) CAN’T GET MATCHED STRAIGHT AWAY? PUT IN A REQUEST
If you can’t get on a bet earlier in the day at a value price, you might also like to consider putting in a request to get matched on the exchanges later on that day.
There are two ways you can do this – requesting a price pre-race and also in-play.
Pre-race betting is easy – you set the odds you want to take and put the request into the market to hopefully be matched. If come the start of the race it isn’t matched, the bet is cancelled.
Putting a bet in the in-play market is different as it ensures the bet will also remain available throughout the race as it takes place.
When doing this, it’s important to be aware that you will ALWAYS be matched in-play on any bet that loses the race BUT there is no guarantee you will be matched on a winner.
Therefore, you do have to approach in-play betting with caution and it is best when used in conjunction with watching a race live and an understanding of racing in general.
You also might only want to leave a bet to be matched in-play, when the odds pre-race are very close to those you wish to take OR perhaps risking only half stakes.
Equally if you have a good knowledge of racing, you might want to make judgements based on the competitiveness of each race, the merits of each horse (does it prefer setting the pace or being a backmarker) and the distance run.
MORE HELP EXCHANGE ONLY BETTING
I do hope over the course of this article, I have helped provide some answers to questions you might have about betting on the exchanges.
Here at the Smart Betting Club we have a burgeoning members section devoted to exchange-only betting.
Within this exchange section you can read our detailed reviews and analysis of a handful of profitable betting exchange-friendly tipsters.
Ideal for those of you either unable to bet with bookmakers or simply looking to bet on the exchanges as much as possible.
So, if you are you looking for a solution to help you turn a profit using the betting exchanges (or indeed the Asian football betting markets), you might like to consider a Smart Betting Club membership.