As a professional punter, I often get asked “What is Value and how do you make a living from backing horses?”
It’s not as complex as people first think. I’m sure you’ve heard of the tossing a coin scenario? Well if you haven’t here it is!
Over a 100 tosses of a coin, the laws of probability suggest that it is a 50/50 chance that it will land on either heads or tails. In a fair world the odds for this would be even money about either. A 50% chance of something happening is translated into odds as follows:
100/50% = 2.00 (in decimals) or 1/1
So a bookmaker would know this percentage and price his book up as 10/11 about either. Why? To make his profit in the long run. 10/11 is a £1.91 return for a £1 stake. Over the long term when the probability rings true and it is a 50/50 chance, from your 100 bets, the bookie will only give you back £95.50 (£1.91 * 50). That gives him a profit of £4.50!
I would happily bet 11/10 about an even money chance all day as I will in the long run make a 5% ROI. If my even money chance wins 50 times from a hundred bets and I’m backing to 11/10 then my returns will be £105 to £1 stakes (11/10=£2.10 returns * 50=£105).
It’s very complex how you work out probabilities though. I use a combination of trends, statistics and form reading. With those three combinations I go about pricing up my own book and then whatever is bigger in price in the morning markets becomes a bet.
In my next article I will show you how I price up a book (I call it a tissue) and what you need to do to find that “Value”.
Value At The Races