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How to understand different betting techniques in horse racing

Arguably more so than in any other sport, horse racing fans are always trying to go to great lengths to make a profit and develop strategies to beat the bookies.

Hundreds of betting strategies have been created over the years to help punters find the perfect strategy for horse racing, and while there is no single way to achieve the perfect bet, there are some useful betting techniques that can help to increase profits long-term.

horse racingThese are three of the most common betting techniques used in horse racing, and that will probably be used for this weekends horse tips.

Value betting

Value betting is a general betting technique that isn’t exclusively used in horse racing, but it is an important method for maximising your profits over time. With this technique, you look to see if a selection has been under-priced or has a better chance of winning than the bookmaker has stated it has. For example, if you have a horse that you would like to back and it has been given odds of 3/1 but based on your research, you believe it has higher odds of winning, then you may have spotted a great value bet.

Laying the favourite

Laying the favourite means betting against the favourite to win. It’s a strategy that, on paper, appears to go against the basic principles of gambling but if it’s done properly, it can actually yield great results. The stats suggest that just one-third of favourites actually win the race, so on average, favourites are actually more likely to lose than they are likely to win. In a betting exchange, a horse is only considered the favourite based on the amount of money backing it, not necessarily because it has the best chance of winning the race. Therefore, if you do your research and discover another contender that you think has a greater chance of winning, backing that and laying the favourite could be the more profitable option.


Dutching is a really popular betting technique that ensures when you bet on a number of horses, you’ll make the same amount of money regardless of which of the horses wins. This technique is one for the mathematically-apt, and we recommend you use a dutching calculator, but it can be useful is you have a certain amount you want to stake, and you want to back more than just one selection. First, you need to decide how much you want to bet and then determine how you can split the stake so that you guarantee a profit whatever the outcome of the race. For example, if you see two selections with odds of 9/1 and 4/1, and you want to bet £15, the temptation would be to split your wager in half. However, by using the Dutching strategy, you can work out how much you’d need to stake on each bet separately in order to cover both outcomes and ensure the same profit whatever the result of the race. In the above example, the implied probability of the 9/1 odds is 10% while for 4/1 it is 20%, so a stake of £5 and £10 respectively will yield £35 for both odds.