I wrote last week what striking a bet really meant and how the Bookie is effectively selling us the probability of a horse winning. When you buy something, for example a car, you want to know that you’re getting value for money. One garage has your dream car for £15,000 but down the road another garage has the exact same car for £13,500 you would obviously buy it from the second garage. It is exactly the same when striking a bet. We need to get the best odds as possible as we would get the best price possible for the car!

Learning about creating something called a tissue can be a very difficult thing to do but these tissues are a way of determining if we are getting value about our bets. When you look at the Racing Post in the morning and you see the SP forecast betting at the bottom of the card, this is basically an experts “tissue” and his opinion on how the market should be priced up.

Understanding a tissue though requires an understanding of how odds translate into percentages. It’s not as difficult as you may think and we’ll run through an example now.

Let’s take the price of 6/4. This equates to a 40% chance of the horse winning the race. We calculate the 40% by always dividing the left number of the fraction by the right hand number and then adding one. So 6 divided by 4 = 1.50 plus 1 = 2.5. We then divide 100 by the 2.50 and this gives us 40%.

A very simple way to construct your own tissue is to trust the experts and do an average of the betting forecasts SP’s. You can go over to the Racing Post, At The Races, Sporting Life and Timeform and you’ll be able to find the forecasts. What you need to do is to find the average of each forecast about the horse you fancy. For example you fancy the favourite in a race and four forecasts from the above websites have odds as follows:

13/8, 6/4, 6/4 and 11/8. We now convert these into percentages like in the example above and you’ll see the figures below:

13/8 = 38.10%

6/4 = 40%

6/4 = 40%

11/8 = 42.11%

We add them all together and then divide them by 4 to find our average which would be 40.05%. We can be sure now that our horse has a 40% chance of winning its race.

Back to our understanding of striking a bet from last week, we now have 40% about our selection so of course we want to find some value. We go over to the markets and find a bookie offering 13/8 about our fancy. You can now strike your bet as you’ve just “bought” your horses chance of winning the race for less than you have worked out it should be!!

We believe it’s 40% but we can strike our bet at 38.10%. That’s finding value. If we can find a horse that we believe has a higher chance of winning than the market suggests then we are betting to value and will therefore make a profit on the long run.

This of course is all taken care of with Value At The Races and I find all the value I can every day for you.

I’ll be back next week with an article on some of my highs and lows in my punting profession and how I cope with them.

Ed

Value At The Races

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