It isn’t really difficult to find winners in horse racing just like it isn’t difficult to buy shares in stocks that rise. The reason why people don’t make money buying shares or why most of them don’t is because of dealer spreads, slippage and not following the fundamentals of trading. Transaction costs are the death knell of people that trade on shares as well as having insufficient information. The transaction costs in horse racing are given to us in the form of the bookmakers overround. When all of the odds of the all of the competitors are added together then the figure should be 100%.
The fact that it isn’t means that the difference between what the real figure should be and what the bookmakers give you is their potential profit margin! It isn’t difficult to find a winner in a horse race……a novice with no knowledge of horse racing could find the likely winner simply by looking at who the favourite was. The bookmakers allow you to bet on whatever horse you want with one exception……you have to take the odds that they present to you.
I often discuss betting on my poker blog quite a lot and whether you are betting in horse racing or poker, betting skill is still the same. To beat the bookmakers then you need an edge and that comes from either them being wrong about the odds or you having inside knowledge. Unfortunately for us the betting firms are not often wrong.
Most of the industry follows the leaders who have the best odds compilers and the best contacts. So when they make their first show then the rest of the betting firms quickly base their tissue around that. So you are in effect taking on an industry that has the collective wisdom that encompasses the finest betting minds in the country and the best contacts.
There is simply no room for error but there is a way to get the better of bookmakers and it is to bet against the mug money. Quite often the betting firms will price up a race knowing that certain odds are wrong but are willing to allow that to happen because they know that the mugs will steam into much shorter odds than they should about a well hyped horse.
So the answer to the question of “can you beat the bookies” is that essentially you cannot. This is simply because you cannot possibly stop them from taking money from mugs and so essentially you cannot defeat their strategy by stopping them from making money. What your goal is in betting is to divert some of their profits from the mugs across to you and that is how you beat them. Essentially you are fighting for a percentage of the mug money and the mug money travels from the mugs to the bookmakers and then rapidly to shrewd punters.
Carl Sampson is a professional poker player who plays online at www.888poker.com