If you have ever placed a horse racing bet then there is a good chance the age-old dilemma of to whether to bet win only or each way will have reared its head.
After all, there can be nothing worse than putting £50 down on a horse to win at 20/1, only to see it pipped in a photo finish for second place.
Yet if you backed the same horse at 20/1 each way and it duly obliged, chances are you might be wishing you went in for the kill and backed it to win.
Without a time machine, it’s impossible to know the right way to bet all the time, but today I have some stats to showcase some of the ways to judge whether to bet win only or each-way. In doing so, I can hopefully help shed some light on which way to tackle this perennial betting hot-potato.
72% Better Profits Betting Win Only
To tackle this problem, I am going to use some example analysis as taken from our recently released Tipster Profit Report. This not only included league tables ranking 54 of the top tipsters we proof, but it also contained a detailed look at one particular racing tipster ‘PJA Racing’ and their bets on the Flat.
The majority of bets from this tipster over the 5 1/2 years they have been running have been advised each way, which makes sense when you consider the average odds of each tip was around 9/1.
However, our analysis showed that if you had backed all of their tips ‘win only’ then over the 4515 bets they had advised, your profits would have risen by 72%!
This represented a further 150 points profit as the graph below shows with the red line the win only return and the blue line the advised return (mostly each way).
One More Crucial Point To Consider
This might look a done deal when you consider the 72% increase, but there is one further thing to consider – the potential losing runs or ‘drawdowns’ as we call them from win only betting.
A ‘drawdown’ is the biggest drop in the total profit from peak to trough and if backing win only, it increases as your strike-rate for success will be a lot lower than if backing each-way (as you don’t get a return if your horse finishes in the places).
In this first chart below you can see the largest drawdowns from advised staking (mostly each way). It has two peaks which indicate a worst drawdown of -55 points, with the next worst -49 points. Aside from that the worst drawdowns appear to be around 20 to 30 points.
This gets interesting when we then compare this with the next chart, where the drawdowns for win only betting over the same period are a lot larger.
In this instance the worst was -84.4 points with next -78.4 points showcasing how the potential for longer losing runs are that much greater when backing win only!
Handling The Ups & Downs Of Betting
You might well ask…Why does all of this analysis on drawdowns matter?
Well it’s a good question and it relates to two things. Firstly the size betting bank you need to use as to absorb the drawdowns from win only, this needs to be larger.
Secondly and perhaps of the upmost importance is how easy you find it to cope with longer losing runs. Instead of losing -55 points during the worst run, this can become as large as -85 points with plenty of those 20/1 win only bets being pipped in a photo finish I spoke of at the top. Cue lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth!
How you handle these extra drawdowns and losing runs mentally can make a big difference to your betting, as in my experience as Editor of the Smart Betting Club, I have found that it to be one of the biggest barriers to betting success for many punters.
Betting is easy when winning, which thankfully with the right tipster is most of the time (if you are realistic and patient when needed) but when losing, it’s important to know how to handle it.
What To Choose…Win or Each-Way?
To go back to my original question, the answer on whether to back each-way or to win actually probably does rely on your preferences.
- Are you happy to take more of a risk, make more profit but endure longer losing runs? In this instance backing win only is the right choice..
- Or perhaps you prefer to be more cautious, make a bit less profit but keep losing runs shorter? Each-Way betting could be the way to go.
Of course, this analysis only focuses in on one tipster and others may derive different results, but it should showcase the best way to approach this key question on a case-by-case basis.
Want More Analysis Like This?
If you enjoyed this analysis you can find a lot more detail on our PJA Racing findings in the November 2013 Tipster Profit Report, which is available now to all Smart Betting Club subscribers.
The article also includes our findings on the best odds range to follow this particular service on, which again can make a huge difference to your profits.