PDA

View Full Version : Horse bettors.....Betting Strategy


gabe
08-28-2017, 10:21 AM
Betting strategy...

What is the best wagering strategy when it comes to horse racing? Would like to hear how to optimize profits. Some say never bet place or show, some say only bet verticals, some say exactas. In todays horse racing world what is the best approach to betting horses.

Magister Ludi
08-28-2017, 12:45 PM
Optimally bet all overlays.

JJMartin
08-28-2017, 01:17 PM
Always bet on the winner.

zerosky
08-28-2017, 02:30 PM
Provided you show a long term profit then it's got to be some form of Kelly.

FlintAtTheFetlock
08-28-2017, 03:51 PM
I am trying to refine my betting strategy being a pick 4, pick 5, rainbow 6 player. Yesterday got up to SPA I got skunked first 5 races, ripped up P4/P5 tix, and then switched to Progressive Place/Show betting on value plays 15-1 to 7-1 shots. Rattled off 4 straight ended up ahead a couple hundred. Was doing either $10/$30 or $20/$30 PS. Also had one $20 WP that helped.

Now I am thinking I should pick my horses in P4/P5, target the one I left off for budgetary reasons each leg, and put enough to Place and/or Show on that horse to cover the P4/P5, and hopefully more. Then regroup and try again on the late P4.

Thoughts?

CincyHorseplayer
08-28-2017, 04:12 PM
Nothing makes you feel as stupid when you are ripping up exotics tickets and your horse wins at 5-1 or better. You can split hairs on lower odds and not get hurt but when your win % is static and the average mutuel is good. There is nothing grounding you like that. This is my experience over the years. I bet 2/3rds of what I play to win. The other third I swing for the fences. Sometimes I think I am great. Other days I think I am a moron! It happens. Bet your skill but swing for the fences anywhere you think you got it.

JohnGalt1
08-28-2017, 04:26 PM
I let the race determine my betting strategy.

If I like one horse at 2-1or my top two horses are 7-2 or less I don't bet to win, but may use in pick 3's and 4's.

If the horse I like is 5-2 or greater I bet to win and double to place.

If I like 2 horses I will bet equal to win on each or 60% on top choice and 40% on second choice. I may or may not play an exacta with them.

If I like 3 to win up to about half the field, I may use in multi race wagers. If more than half the field I would use all if I play multi race wagers.

If the field is 8 or more and I have a handle on the race I may play tris or supers.

Let your handicapping, field size, odds, and your bank roll determine your bets.

My betting strategy on some cards is to pass all the races.

betovernetcapper
08-29-2017, 02:47 PM
I handicap the night before. It's a habit I developed in the olden days when the only way to get a form was to stand in line at 8pm & wait for the DRF guy to bring the papers. I still think my handicapping is better when I can do it at whatever the proper pace is & not grappling for some obscure trainer stat 15 min to post.
After the day's scratches I take a piece of notebook paprt & organize it as follows. I leave about 2 inches blank & then using a ruler make 5 columns. They are A horses that I think have a 2-1 or less chance of winning.
B those I think have a 5-2 to 7-2 chance
C those I think have a 4-1 to 10 chance
D rare horse that I think has something I find interesting. If a D horse is going off at huge odds, I'll put a few buck on it or if it's the last leg of a pic 3/4/5/6 series, & I'm alive, I want to cover that horse.
SH In this column I list the bridesmaid types or sucker horses that probably won't win, but have a strong chance of running 2nd. This is my goto column for exactas.
In the 2 inch section I left blank, I list the betting options for this race. At any course of the day, I can glance at the paper & see what my options are. If I'm playing the DD & one of the combinations is say $12, I ignore it as a DD, but use it with my other picks in the following race if there is a Pic3. If I think a horse is a mortal lock, I circle that number in red. If a horse is the morning line favorite or strong co favorite, I put a tiny asterisks next to it's number to remind me to bet a little more on this horse if I'm using it in a blind pool. I don't wan to win the bet & lose money.
The paper serves as a map an helps keep me grounded.
Now if I predicated the map on a strong early speed bias, & the 1st two winners come from dead last, screw it. The model has changed for some reason & I'm not going to throw a lot of money at the tote board in an attempt to get even or get it right. I'll handicap tomorrow or read a book or go to a movie. :)

Fred Mertz
08-29-2017, 04:52 PM
I bet 3 horse exactas at Elllis Park on Saturday. I lost $22.

Then I winged it on Sunday and won $57.

I don't have a system as a recreational player, but I enjoy the track about 25 times a year.

gabe
02-12-2018, 09:18 PM
It's more important to be a good bettor than a good handicapper.

CincyHorseplayer
02-12-2018, 10:19 PM
It's more important to be a good bettor than a good handicapper.

I don't think much of the handicapping information is used properly. It is assumed but I think there are terrible handicappers out there who have years in the game. Even since my last post in this thread I have become a better player on the betting side. Always been a good handicapper!

GMB@BP
02-12-2018, 11:42 PM
It's more important to be a good bettor than a good handicapper.

Cant completely agree, lets just say to be really good you need to be good at both, maybe even a shade towards the ticket making aspect.

VigorsTheGrey
02-13-2018, 03:16 AM
Optimally bet all overlays.

Agree, but doesn't this approach require the use of "Bots" both on the handicapping side and on the last seconds wagering end...how else could the wagers be optimized if the final odds are not yet known...

PS...glad to hear from you...please post more:cool:

lamboguy
02-13-2018, 08:44 AM
my first advice would be to stay away from all forms of exotic wager's that have higher takeout than w-p-s. i would do my w-p-s betting in Canadien tracks and NYRA because they pay to the dime while the other's get you for crazy breakage.

try to watch the races on the television screen and get a feel for the track to see if there is any bias to it. stay away with horses that look like they are going to be up against the bias.

if you can't break the race down to 4 or less contenders, don't play it. if you do have the race figured to those 4 or less try betting only the one that is the highest priced.

if you are going to bet big money, make sure you bet it early and not late. if you are betting the last flash you can only hurt your price. to go one step further i would say stay away from betting big money period. try to hold your bets down to $50 or less per pool. bet even smaller in place and show pools. but NYRA gives you a good shake because they have bigger win pools and you can put some type of a dent into them without getting hurt to badly on the price if you think you have an edge to your bet.

Robert Fischer
02-13-2018, 01:32 PM
capping vs. wagering?

1st your capping and race selection should be enough to 'hold it's own'.

$50 bankroll , $2 win bets = you should be able to hold your own for a while.
With the ticket simplified, Race selection quickly rears it's head in this experiment. If you play every race you see, you may reach the finish line in a day. If you really try, and only play races where your best angle has a nice edge, you may last a month. Who knows you may grow your bank and not have to worry about tickets as you are now a full-time win bettor.

with tickets the following comes to mind:
betsize vs hit% vs bankrollsize = It's easy to lose track of this relationship in an exotic bet.

Different things have different importance = Knowing what kind of opinions to single or key. Knowing when to use ALL/Most vs being selective. Stuff like that.

ultracapper
02-13-2018, 02:05 PM
my first advice would be to stay away from all forms of exotic wager's that have higher takeout than w-p-s. i would do my w-p-s betting in Canadien tracks and NYRA because they pay to the dime while the other's get you for crazy breakage.

try to watch the races on the television screen and get a feel for the track to see if there is any bias to it. stay away with horses that look like they are going to be up against the bias.

if you can't break the race down to 4 or less contenders, don't play it. if you do have the race figured to those 4 or less try betting only the one that is the highest priced.

if you are going to bet big money, make sure you bet it early and not late. if you are betting the last flash you can only hurt your price. to go one step further i would say stay away from betting big money period. try to hold your bets down to $50 or less per pool. bet even smaller in place and show pools. but NYRA gives you a good shake because they have bigger win pools and you can put some type of a dent into them without getting hurt to badly on the price if you think you have an edge to your bet.

Split it into 2 or 3 bets. Have your last bet down before 5MTP. Let the value seekers place their bets after you which will allow your selection to "float" up to where it belongs.

In SoCal where I bet, this is mostly important if you're betting on a horse that is roughly 10/1 or higher. I bet the shorter priced horses on the same schedule, but the float isn't nearly as dramatic, and sometimes the price will "fix", or even drop further. But definitely, on the longer priced horses, feed the pool early and in increments.

atlasaxis
02-13-2018, 03:33 PM
My key horse has to be a price, 8-1 or more at post. First play is a win bet on it. Second play is the exacta, that selection over all. Third play is a saver play, my top four over my key selection for the exacta just in case my key comes in second. My fourth play is the trifecta, my selection over my top four, over all. Fifth play is for the dime super, my selection over the top four, over all, over all again.

Franco Santiago
02-13-2018, 07:00 PM
My key horse has to be a price, 8-1 or more at post. First play is a win bet on it. Second play is the exacta, that selection over all. Third play is a saver play, my top four over my key selection for the exacta just in case my key comes in second. My fourth play is the trifecta, my selection over my top four, over all. Fifth play is for the dime super, my selection over the top four, over all, over all again.

If you have data to support an answer, is this strategy successful for you in the long run? Are all of the bets, including the saver exactas profitable for you? Or do you find that one piece of the pie is good, for example, maybe the trifectas?

A person that I know says his win bets are profitable as long as he is making saver exactas. But his saver exactas take away all of his profit. So, he has tried win betting only. Then, because he has fear of losing the money because he doesn't have his savers in play, he handicaps more conservatively and then does not bet longer priced horses, which are the ones that gave him the win bet profit in the first place. Quite a conundrum, right?

oughtoh
02-13-2018, 07:18 PM
If you have data to support an answer, is this strategy successful for you in the long run? Are all of the bets, including the saver exactas profitable for you? Or do you find that one piece of the pie is good, for example, maybe the trifectas?

A person that I know says his win bets are profitable as long as he is making saver exactas. But his saver exactas take away all of his profit. So, he has tried win betting only. Then, because he has fear of losing the money because he doesn't have his savers in play, he handicaps more conservatively and then does not bet longer priced horses, which are the ones that gave hf playing to win.im the win bet profit in the first place. Quite a conundrum, right?

I didn't know you knew me. lol I think alot of what you said, at least in my case, is having a big enough bankroll. It sounds like he is doing what I do alot, playing afraid to loss money instead of playing to win.

Franco Santiago
02-14-2018, 08:07 PM
I didn't know you knew me. lol I think alot of what you said, at least in my case, is having a big enough bankroll. It sounds like he is doing what I do alot, playing afraid to loss money instead of playing to win.

I agree that "fear of regret" or fear of losing money is the cause of a lot bad decisions and losses. But I don't think it is - at least in totality - solved by having a big bankroll.

I think that fear is caused by a deep-rooted internal belief system that what a person is doing isn't correct or is at least in some manner deficient. Because if a person truly had conviction and belief that what he was doing was correct, then the fear would disappear.

In general, this fear is ego driven. The person fears loss because if he loses, he/she fears he/she will lose acceptance, love, or identity, especially identity. We do almost everything we do as a matter of conforming to our identity. We wear jerseys of our sports teams as a matter of conforming to our identity that we are fans of a particular team. We profess hatred or love for politicians based on how they conform (or not) to our values, which are part of our egoic identy. And people make "saver" bets so they aren't losers as a matter of maintaining their identity.

So, to experience a breakthrough and not "need" to place these saver bets, one has to change his/her beliefs. Then and only then will a person be able to bet with unshakeable confidence on horses - long or short - and have a chance of profitabilty.

I know many will consider this psycho-babble, and that's ok with me. What you think of me is none of my business anyway, but I think this thread brings to light what is more of a mental issue than a strategy issue. And like Yogi Berra said, "half of the game is 90% mental" (or something like that).

Dave Schwartz
02-15-2018, 12:07 AM
The conventional POV is (as Master Ludi said) is to just bet the overlays. As Master Zero said, the correct answer must be some form of Kelly.

While both of these statements are true, they are fraught with problems.


In order to know who the overlays are, two things must be know about the horses being considered:

1) The probabilities
2) The odds


Since we have neither one, by very definition, there can be no true known overlays.

The formula for Kelly is, simply put,:

ADVANTAGE / ODDS

Again, we have neither of those.

When I say, "WE" have neither, I mean those of us with "normal" resources. (I include myself within that group.)

Given a large enough and properly defined database, along with an remarkable analysis engine, reasonably good estimates can be made of both probabilities and odds.

The "Whales" have such resources.

Does that mean everything is hopeless?
No. But it does mean that we must take a direction that does not find us colliding with the whales in every race and still find those "overlays" that Masters Zero and Ludi correctly spoke of.


My Approach
My take on this is that there are 3 things necessary to win at the races. I am certainly not saying that this is the only way to do it. (That would be both arrogant and presumptuous.)

Neither am I saying that there is nobody among "us little people" making probabilities and properly estimating odds to such a degree that profitability is possible.

What I am saying is that I am simply not smart enough, educated enough, or resource-laden enough, to compete with the whales.

Note: My belief is that if I attempt to "do what the whales are doing," that will put me in direct competition with them, a battle I will most surely lose.

I would include in that endeavor any effort that attempts to use a large database to estimate probabilities on horses with some type of weighting scheme.



So, here is my approach.
(I've posted most of this on PA in the past, BTW.)
1. Pick good contenders.
2. Determine "value" among those contenders.
3. Determine if the race itself has value.


1. Pick good contenders.
Actually, this means "Pick good non-contenders."

Since most people who pick contenders believe the answer is to be found in total winners, this differs greatly from what most people do.

The goal is to be able to say, "When I say a horse is a non-contender, he doesn't win even close to what the public thinks."

More specifically, my goal is to pick non-contenders that will consistently lose about 35-60% of the money wagered by their backers.

(Contenders are those left in after the N/Cs are removed.)


2. Determine "value" among those contenders.
How does one do that if they are not making probabilities?

Well, the answer is that I am making probabilities, albeit not very good ones. LOL

My plan of attack - and it is relatively easy to duplicate (WHAT?) - is to assign relative probabilities to all of the horses in the race and then penalize the N/Cs 90% of their probabilities.

The impact is such that a 2/1 favorite who has been deemed a "non-contender" might be assigned a ridiculously low probability, like 4%, or something else that is insanely low.

Doesn't really matter. Once I have determined who the contenders are, my goal is primarily to determine who the best bets among them are.

Please note that at no time do I find an ODDS LINE to have value. I always make a probability that will total to 100% for the field.


About that "WHAT?"
I emphasize that word because most people would say that making a probability is not EASY. It is precisely easy.

It only becomes difficult if you need an ACCURATE probability.

So, what good is an inaccurate probability?

Remember, all we need is something that produces RELATIVELY GOOD probabilities BETWEEN OUR CONTENDERS.


More #2: Value of Contenders
The purpose of the probabilities is to use them in conjunction with SOME PROJECTION OF FINAL ODDS to determine which of the contenders are THEORETICAL GOOD BETS.

Those "good bets" are marked as HORSE TO PLAY.

Note: Final Odds Projection is actually not very difficult. (WHAT?)

Seriously, it isn't. What I do is use several factors weighted together, but you don't have to. Just take the odds at 0, 1 or 2 minutes to post as your estimate. (For this purpose, the best of those would be the first flash of "0" minutes to post, but it really won't matter much.)

I suppose that last sentence could use its own "what?" but this post is already way long. LOL



3. Determine if the race itself has value.
This is where the rubber meets the road, boys and girls, and the answer lies in a relatively simple multi-step formula. (I'm sure that I could make it look all mathematical and s**t but instead I will teach the principles and the steps.

The Principle
1a. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we are going to bet, the less money we should bet in the race.

1b. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we are NOT going to bet, the MORE money we should bet in the race.

2a. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we call "contenders," the less money we should bet in the race.

2b. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we call "NON-CONTENDERS," the MORE money we should bet in the race.

(The important principles 1b and 2b.)

Steps
1. Determine percent of pool NOT BET. ("PctNotBet")
2. Determine percent of pool NOT CONTENDER. ("PctNotCont")

RaceBet= $100 x PctNotBet x PctNotCont

Two Examples
Example 1
You are betting 40% of the pool, and your contenders make up 70% of the pool.

PctNotBet=60%
PctNotCont=30%

$100 x 60% x 30% = $18.

Example 2
You are betting 30% of the pool, and your contenders make up 48% of the pool.

PctNotBet=70%
PctNotCont=52%

$100 x 70% x 52% = $36


My experience has been that the higher the RaceBetAmt the more profitable the race is. Conversely, the smaller the RaceBetAmt amount, the lower the profit.

There is a tipping point at which the races produce a loss.

In my own handicapping, I have found that the tipping point to be $30. Wagers below $30 lose money, and the lower the bet size goes, the more the lose.


SUMMARY
What happens is that you wind up betting more money on the races where you've eliminated the greatest part of the pool.

The hardest part of this entire process is step #1 (picking good non-contenders). The other two steps are really pretty easy.


Perhaps this will provide you with some ideas.


Best Regards,
Dave Schwartz

Whosonfirst
02-15-2018, 08:13 AM
The conventional POV is (as Master Ludi said) is to just bet the overlays. As Master Zero said, the correct answer must be some form of Kelly.

While both of these statements are true, they are fraught with problems.


In order to know who the overlays are, two things must be know about the horses being considered:

1) The probabilities
2) The odds


Since we have neither one, by very definition, there can be no true known overlays.

The formula for Kelly is, simply put,:

ADVANTAGE / ODDS

Again, we have neither of those.

When I say, "WE" have neither, I mean those of us with "normal" resources. (I include myself within that group.)

Given a large enough and properly defined database, along with an remarkable analysis engine, reasonably good estimates can be made of both probabilities and odds.

The "Whales" have such resources.

Does that mean everything is hopeless?
No. But it does mean that we must take a direction that does not find us colliding with the whales in every race and still find those "overlays" that Masters Zero and Ludi correctly spoke of.


My Approach
My take on this is that there are 3 things necessary to win at the races. I am certainly not saying that this is the only way to do it. (That would be both arrogant and presumptuous.)

Neither am I saying that there is nobody among "us little people" making probabilities and properly estimating odds to such a degree that profitability is possible.

What I am saying is that I am simply not smart enough, educated enough, or resource-laden enough, to compete with the whales.

Note: My belief is that if I attempt to "do what the whales are doing," that will put me in direct competition with them, a battle I will most surely lose.

I would include in that endeavor any effort that attempts to use a large database to estimate probabilities on horses with some type of weighting scheme.



So, here is my approach.
(I've posted most of this on PA in the past, BTW.)
1. Pick good contenders.
2. Determine "value" among those contenders.
3. Determine if the race itself has value.


1. Pick good contenders.
Actually, this means "Pick good non-contenders."

Since most people who pick contenders believe the answer is to be found in total winners, this differs greatly from what most people do.

The goal is to be able to say, "When I say a horse is a non-contender, he doesn't win even close to what the public thinks."

More specifically, my goal is to pick non-contenders that will consistently lose about 35-60% of the money wagered by their backers.

(Contenders are those left in after the N/Cs are removed.)


2. Determine "value" among those contenders.
How does one do that if they are not making probabilities?

Well, the answer is that I am making probabilities, albeit not very good ones. LOL

My plan of attack - and it is relatively easy to duplicate (WHAT?) - is to assign relative probabilities to all of the horses in the race and then penalize the N/Cs 90% of their probabilities.

The impact is such that a 2/1 favorite who has been deemed a "non-contender" might be assigned a ridiculously low probability, like 4%, or something else that is insanely low.

Doesn't really matter. Once I have determined who the contenders are, my goal is primarily to determine who the best bets among them are.

Please note that at no time do I find an ODDS LINE to have value. I always make a probability that will total to 100% for the field.


About that "WHAT?"
I emphasize that word because most people would say that making a probability is not EASY. It is precisely easy.

It only becomes difficult if you need an ACCURATE probability.

So, what good is an inaccurate probability?

Remember, all we need is something that produces RELATIVELY GOOD probabilities BETWEEN OUR CONTENDERS.


More #2: Value of Contenders
The purpose of the probabilities is to use them in conjunction with SOME PROJECTION OF FINAL ODDS to determine which of the contenders are THEORETICAL GOOD BETS.

Those "good bets" are marked as HORSE TO PLAY.

Note: Final Odds Projection is actually not very difficult. (WHAT?)

Seriously, it isn't. What I do is use several factors weighted together, but you don't have to. Just take the odds at 0, 1 or 2 minutes to post as your estimate. (For this purpose, the best of those would be the first flash of "0" minutes to post, but it really won't matter much.)

I suppose that last sentence could use its own "what?" but this post is already way long. LOL



3. Determine if the race itself has value.
This is where the rubber meets the road, boys and girls, and the answer lies in a relatively simple multi-step formula. (I'm sure that I could make it look all mathematical and s**t but instead I will teach the principles and the steps.

The Principle
1a. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we are going to bet, the less money we should bet in the race.

1b. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we are NOT going to bet, the MORE money we should bet in the race.

2a. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we call "contenders," the less money we should bet in the race.

2b. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we call "NON-CONTENDERS," the MORE money we should bet in the race.

(The important principles 1b and 2b.)

Steps
1. Determine percent of pool NOT BET. ("PctNotBet")
2. Determine percent of pool NOT CONTENDER. ("PctNotCont")

RaceBet= $100 x PctNotBet x PctNotCont

Two Examples
Example 1
You are betting 40% of the pool, and your contenders make up 70% of the pool.

PctNotBet=60%
PctNotCont=30%

$100 x 60% x 30% = $18.

Example 2
You are betting 30% of the pool, and your contenders make up 48% of the pool.

PctNotBet=70%
PctNotCont=52%

$100 x 70% x 52% = $36


My experience has been that the higher the RaceBetAmt the more profitable the race is. Conversely, the smaller the RaceBetAmt amount, the lower the profit.

There is a tipping point at which the races produce a loss.

In my own handicapping, I have found that the tipping point to be $30. Wagers below $30 lose money, and the lower the bet size goes, the more the lose.


SUMMARY
What happens is that you wind up betting more money on the races where you've eliminated the greatest part of the pool.

The hardest part of this entire process is step #1 (picking good non-contenders). The other two steps are really pretty easy.


Perhaps this will provide you with some ideas.


Best Regards,
Dave Schwartz

OVERLAY'S method in creating a good odds line and overlays is as good a method as I've seen. It takes some work manually but like everything else is worth the added effort.

biggestal99
02-15-2018, 08:25 AM
Only applicable to jersey residentsóbet on the exchange.

Better prices.

No breakage.

Low commission.

Why pay more to bet at lower odds?

Allan

ultracapper
02-15-2018, 01:23 PM
I agree that "fear of regret" or fear of losing money is the cause of a lot bad decisions and losses. But I don't think it is - at least in totality - solved by having a big bankroll.

I think that fear is caused by a deep-rooted internal belief system that what a person is doing isn't correct or is at least in some manner deficient. Because if a person truly had conviction and belief that what he was doing was correct, then the fear would disappear.

In general, this fear is ego driven. The person fears loss because if he loses, he/she fears he/she will lose acceptance, love, or identity, especially identity. We do almost everything we do as a matter of conforming to our identity. We wear jerseys of our sports teams as a matter of conforming to our identity that we are fans of a particular team. We profess hatred or love for politicians based on how they conform (or not) to our values, which are part of our egoic identy. And people make "saver" bets so they aren't losers as a matter of maintaining their identity.

So, to experience a breakthrough and not "need" to place these saver bets, one has to change his/her beliefs. Then and only then will a person be able to bet with unshakeable confidence on horses - long or short - and have a chance of profitabilty.

I know many will consider this psycho-babble, and that's ok with me. What you think of me is none of my business anyway, but I think this thread brings to light what is more of a mental issue than a strategy issue. And like Yogi Berra said, "half of the game is 90% mental" (or something like that).

Far from it. Great post.

ultracapper
02-15-2018, 01:28 PM
The conventional POV is (as Master Ludi said) is to just bet the overlays. As Master Zero said, the correct answer must be some form of Kelly.

While both of these statements are true, they are fraught with problems.


In order to know who the overlays are, two things must be know about the horses being considered:

1) The probabilities
2) The odds


Since we have neither one, by very definition, there can be no true known overlays.

The formula for Kelly is, simply put,:

ADVANTAGE / ODDS

Again, we have neither of those.

When I say, "WE" have neither, I mean those of us with "normal" resources. (I include myself within that group.)

Given a large enough and properly defined database, along with an remarkable analysis engine, reasonably good estimates can be made of both probabilities and odds.

The "Whales" have such resources.

Does that mean everything is hopeless?
No. But it does mean that we must take a direction that does not find us colliding with the whales in every race and still find those "overlays" that Masters Zero and Ludi correctly spoke of.


My Approach
My take on this is that there are 3 things necessary to win at the races. I am certainly not saying that this is the only way to do it. (That would be both arrogant and presumptuous.)

Neither am I saying that there is nobody among "us little people" making probabilities and properly estimating odds to such a degree that profitability is possible.

What I am saying is that I am simply not smart enough, educated enough, or resource-laden enough, to compete with the whales.

Note: My belief is that if I attempt to "do what the whales are doing," that will put me in direct competition with them, a battle I will most surely lose.

I would include in that endeavor any effort that attempts to use a large database to estimate probabilities on horses with some type of weighting scheme.



So, here is my approach.
(I've posted most of this on PA in the past, BTW.)
1. Pick good contenders.
2. Determine "value" among those contenders.
3. Determine if the race itself has value.


1. Pick good contenders.
Actually, this means "Pick good non-contenders."

Since most people who pick contenders believe the answer is to be found in total winners, this differs greatly from what most people do.

The goal is to be able to say, "When I say a horse is a non-contender, he doesn't win even close to what the public thinks."

More specifically, my goal is to pick non-contenders that will consistently lose about 35-60% of the money wagered by their backers.

(Contenders are those left in after the N/Cs are removed.)


2. Determine "value" among those contenders.
How does one do that if they are not making probabilities?

Well, the answer is that I am making probabilities, albeit not very good ones. LOL

My plan of attack - and it is relatively easy to duplicate (WHAT?) - is to assign relative probabilities to all of the horses in the race and then penalize the N/Cs 90% of their probabilities.

The impact is such that a 2/1 favorite who has been deemed a "non-contender" might be assigned a ridiculously low probability, like 4%, or something else that is insanely low.

Doesn't really matter. Once I have determined who the contenders are, my goal is primarily to determine who the best bets among them are.

Please note that at no time do I find an ODDS LINE to have value. I always make a probability that will total to 100% for the field.


About that "WHAT?"
I emphasize that word because most people would say that making a probability is not EASY. It is precisely easy.

It only becomes difficult if you need an ACCURATE probability.

So, what good is an inaccurate probability?

Remember, all we need is something that produces RELATIVELY GOOD probabilities BETWEEN OUR CONTENDERS.


More #2: Value of Contenders
The purpose of the probabilities is to use them in conjunction with SOME PROJECTION OF FINAL ODDS to determine which of the contenders are THEORETICAL GOOD BETS.

Those "good bets" are marked as HORSE TO PLAY.

Note: Final Odds Projection is actually not very difficult. (WHAT?)

Seriously, it isn't. What I do is use several factors weighted together, but you don't have to. Just take the odds at 0, 1 or 2 minutes to post as your estimate. (For this purpose, the best of those would be the first flash of "0" minutes to post, but it really won't matter much.)

I suppose that last sentence could use its own "what?" but this post is already way long. LOL



3. Determine if the race itself has value.
This is where the rubber meets the road, boys and girls, and the answer lies in a relatively simple multi-step formula. (I'm sure that I could make it look all mathematical and s**t but instead I will teach the principles and the steps.

The Principle
1a. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we are going to bet, the less money we should bet in the race.

1b. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we are NOT going to bet, the MORE money we should bet in the race.

2a. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we call "contenders," the less money we should bet in the race.

2b. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we call "NON-CONTENDERS," the MORE money we should bet in the race.

(The important principles 1b and 2b.)

Steps
1. Determine percent of pool NOT BET. ("PctNotBet")
2. Determine percent of pool NOT CONTENDER. ("PctNotCont")

RaceBet= $100 x PctNotBet x PctNotCont

Two Examples
Example 1
You are betting 40% of the pool, and your contenders make up 70% of the pool.

PctNotBet=60%
PctNotCont=30%

$100 x 60% x 30% = $18.

Example 2
You are betting 30% of the pool, and your contenders make up 48% of the pool.

PctNotBet=70%
PctNotCont=52%

$100 x 70% x 52% = $36


My experience has been that the higher the RaceBetAmt the more profitable the race is. Conversely, the smaller the RaceBetAmt amount, the lower the profit.

There is a tipping point at which the races produce a loss.

In my own handicapping, I have found that the tipping point to be $30. Wagers below $30 lose money, and the lower the bet size goes, the more the lose.


SUMMARY
What happens is that you wind up betting more money on the races where you've eliminated the greatest part of the pool.

The hardest part of this entire process is step #1 (picking good non-contenders). The other two steps are really pretty easy.


Perhaps this will provide you with some ideas.


Best Regards,
Dave Schwartz

I feel, from talking to horse players on a regular basis for the past 3 decades, that this is one of the biggest hurdles many players face. They instinctively equate an odds line to a probability line. They are absolutely, 100%, two different things. $s bet on any particular horse makes absolutely zero impact on the horse's probability of winning. It seems to be a very difficult concept for many players to grasp.

Dave Schwartz
02-15-2018, 01:47 PM
OVERLAY'S method in creating a good odds line and overlays is as good a method as I've seen. It takes some work manually but like everything else is worth the added effort.

I am glad that works for you.

Personally, I've never met an "overlay" (i.e. make a line and bet into the tote odds) player who was profitable with any significant number of plays.

Neither have I met a "Kelly player" who was profitable.

summersquall
02-15-2018, 01:51 PM
They instinctively equate an odds line to a probability line. They are absolutely, 100%, two different things. Why yes, yes they are. My wagering is plagued by this ongoing confusion. Thank you for pointing out on of the most salient facts of the parimutuel game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xYXUeSmb-Y

ultracapper
02-15-2018, 03:10 PM
You're welcome.

Whosonfirst
02-15-2018, 03:20 PM
I am glad that works for you.

Personally, I've never met an "overlay" (i.e. make a line and bet into the tote odds) player who was profitable with any significant number of plays.

Neither have I met a "Kelly player" who was profitable.
Dave, I was referring to Overlay who was or is possibly still an advertiser on PA. Sorry if I stepped on your toes. Probably shouldn't have quoted your text when saying that. My apologies.

Dave Schwartz
02-15-2018, 04:27 PM
Dave, I was referring to Overlay who was or is possibly still an advertiser on PA. Sorry if I stepped on your toes. Probably shouldn't have quoted your text when saying that. My apologies.

Oh, I understood that. Tim Maas is a fine man and an intelligent handicapper.

Please, no apology necessary. You didn't step on my toes. We just disagree.

I am simply saying that while the whole "make-a-line-and-bet-into-it" approach is so logical (and comfortable), it just never seems to work.

Same with Kelly.


Dave

Franco Santiago
02-17-2018, 07:50 PM
I am simply saying that while the whole "make-a-line-and-bet-into-it" approach is so logical (and comfortable), it just never seems to work.

Same with Kelly.
Dave

Concur, Mr. Schwartz.

As we know, Kelly is a mathematical function. If you absolutely know the probabilities and the return on investment, it works, just assuredly as the Titanic sinking once it was holed.

Therefore, the only conclusion we can draw is that, in horse race handicapping, the probabilities of winning are actually lower than the handicapper estimates.

And the truth is, the public is a much better handicapper than the great majority of individuals. So when an individual says the probability of winning is 25% and he/she thinks she has an overlay at 5 or 6-1 (and begins to salivate like Pavlov's dog), well, the fact of matter is that the probability of that horse winning is really probably closer to 15 or 20%, creating an underlay. And thus, when this is repeated over and over again, Kelly "seems not to work". But it ain't Kelly that ain't workin'...it's the handicapping that is deficient.

(Disclaimer - Dave knew all this, but didn't wanna say it. LOL)

Dave Schwartz
02-17-2018, 08:32 PM
Concur, Mr. Schwartz.

As we know, Kelly is a mathematical function. If you absolutely know the probabilities and the return on investment, it works, just assuredly as the Titanic sinking once it was holed.

Therefore, the only conclusion we can draw is that, in horse race handicapping, the probabilities of winning are actually lower than the handicapper estimates.

And the truth is, the public is a much better handicapper than the great majority of individuals. So when an individual says the probability of winning is 25% and he/she thinks she has an overlay at 5 or 6-1 (and begins to salivate like Pavlov's dog), well, the fact of matter is that the probability of that horse winning is really probably closer to 15 or 20%, creating an underlay. And thus, when this is repeated over and over again, Kelly "seems not to work". But it ain't Kelly that ain't workin'...it's the handicapping that is deficient.

(Disclaimer - Dave knew all this, but didn't wanna say it. LOL)

Franco,

Actually, I did say it in an earlier post that was VERY LONG. :)

For the most part, I agree with you.

The only statement I disagree with is in bold. (And I know you meant it somewhat metaphorically.)

The issue isn't that WE overestimate probabilities. The issue is that we overestimate sometimes, underestimate other times, and cannot tell the difference.

Many players make a line on a horse - say 3/1 - and (logically) think that if they double that to 6/1 they just HAVE TO be profitable.

Adding a margin of error will not overcome weak handicapping!

I actually had a coaching client years ago who said that he'd be better off playing against his own picks, so I told him to try it. He reported back a week later that his results improved. (Still lost money but not as badly.)


In my opinion, the single thing that prevents most players from winning is that they do not actually have a simple core handicapping approach.

Most players view each race as a unique problem to be solved.

It is much easier to be competitive (in terms of bankroll growth/deterioration) if you find commonalities between races and develop a "core method."

Viewing each race - and each horse in a race - as a unique puzzle to be put together leaves you with reinventing your approach in every race.

What I am saying is that when "puzzle players" develop a consistent core method, it is like providing them with a picture of the box showing the edges and corners. It gives them a logical place to begin.


Dave

Lemon Drop Husker
02-17-2018, 08:45 PM
A lot of losing.

Franco Santiago
02-17-2018, 10:05 PM
Franco,

In my opinion, the single thing that prevents most players from winning is that they do not actually have a simple core handicapping approach.

Dave

Interesting. I happen to think it goes much deeper than that, but certainly not having a strategy would be a core problem. I think most players do have an approach, but it's not one that can win because they view the races the same as 98% of the their competition and expect to find an edge because they think their analysis is better.

But, truth be told, I have no idea what other people are REALLY doing...I live in my own handicapping bubble in my home-office. For all I know, people are throwing darts. And to be honest, I don't care one way or another. What I do know is that in order for me to win, fields have to be competitive and my opponents have to (collectively) make mistakes. I don't think they make many in the win pool, but in multi-race bets where there are many combinations, there's no question that certain low odds horses get significantly overbet.

Dave Schwartz
02-17-2018, 11:09 PM
Interesting. I happen to think it goes much deeper than that, but certainly not having a strategy would be a core problem. I think most players do have an approach, but it's not one that can win because they view the races the same as 98% of the their competition and expect to find an edge because they think their analysis is better.

But, truth be told, I have no idea what other people are REALLY doing...I live in my own handicapping bubble in my home-office. For all I know, people are throwing darts. And to be honest, I don't care one way or another. What I do know is that in order for me to win, fields have to be competitive and my opponents have to (collectively) make mistakes. I don't think they make many in the win pool, but in multi-race bets where there are many combinations, there's no question that certain low odds horses get significantly overbet.


:ThmbUp::ThmbUp:

Fantastic post there.

JJMartin
02-17-2018, 11:09 PM
The public win % is only better than any individual's win % when every single race is bet on by both parties and a comparison is made. The public actually sucks at handicapping in the general sense. Why? Because it is comprised of the entire spectrum of bettors from the top skilled players to degenerate gamblers who bet on everything. If only the top skilled players were allowed in the win pool for example, then the favorite would win at a much higher rate than it currently does. The lower skilled players' contribution is the only reason there can really be any "edge" if you happen to be a better than average player.

I have seen races where the "public" made a certain horse the favorite that only had 2 or 3 previous races in it's lifetime history. The rest of the field had 6+. The horse lost. Upon closer observation it was apparent that the reason that that horse was made the fav is because Mr. Top Jock was on board. Do you consider this a good betting selection method?
"Well maybe all the other horses in the field looked terrible so that was the only choice." WRONG. You have the choice to pass the race altogether.
Bet only when you are confident (knowing if your confidence is based on a solid foundation is key or else you only have false confidence).
Knowing when to pass is just as important as whatever your selection criteria consists of. Personally, I pass every race where all the horses have a bris speed rating under 80 for example. There are many more reasons to pass. Do not underestimate the contribution that appropriately passing races makes to your total roi.

As far as making a so-called accurate odds line. You have a better chance at winning the national lottery than accomplishing such a task. Anyone who could pull that off would have themselves an ATM machine. The difference between winning and losing (long term win-only flat betting) is never a simple matter. My advice: Study running style, closing ability, itm% in the stretch & finish. Develop your own uncommon factors if you can. Try to find reasons why your horse may lose instead of why it should win. Look through your past records. If a particular selection lost but it finished in the top 3 and the post time odds were higher (meaning 4th fav or worse), find the reason why you bet it and investigate other races with similar qualities for a pattern. Don't be afraid to pass. There are thousands more races to be run.

CincyHorseplayer
02-17-2018, 11:19 PM
Franco,

Actually, I did say it in an earlier post that was VERY LONG. :)

For the most part, I agree with you.

The only statement I disagree with is in bold. (And I know you meant it somewhat metaphorically.)

The issue isn't that WE overestimate probabilities. The issue is that we overestimate sometimes, underestimate other times, and cannot tell the difference.

Many players make a line on a horse - say 3/1 - and (logically) think that if they double that to 6/1 they just HAVE TO be profitable.

Adding a margin of error will not overcome weak handicapping!

I actually had a coaching client years ago who said that he'd be better off playing against his own picks, so I told him to try it. He reported back a week later that his results improved. (Still lost money but not as badly.)


In my opinion, the single thing that prevents most players from winning is that they do not actually have a simple core handicapping approach.

Most players view each race as a unique problem to be solved.

It is much easier to be competitive (in terms of bankroll growth/deterioration) if you find commonalities between races and develop a "core method."

Viewing each race - and each horse in a race - as a unique puzzle to be put together leaves you with reinventing your approach in every race.

What I am saying is that when "puzzle players" develop a consistent core method, it is like providing them with a picture of the box showing the edges and corners. It gives them a logical place to begin.


Dave


It is much easier to be competitive (in terms of bankroll growth/deterioration) if you find commonalities between races and develop a "core method."

Good stuff Dave and I have realized it over the years. There might be slight variance between the types or surface of races but I pretty much bet the same things repeatedly. And only that if the entirety of the bet will produce 6-1 or better. Or no play. I don't bet at your race volume but still play about 50% of the races on any card. I've grown cold on in race "true odds" whatever that means and the overlay/goosechase concept. Bet in a manner of X expectation or don't bet at all. That is true odds.

thaskalos
02-18-2018, 05:06 PM
It's more important to be a good bettor than a good handicapper.

You can't be a good bettor without being a good handicapper. Sound wagering decisions are based on sound handicapping opinions. When a horseplayer says that his wagering is fuzzy and haphazard...he is admitting that his handicapping opinions are fuzzy and haphazard. You can't have one without the other.

thaskalos
02-18-2018, 06:25 PM
A person that I know says his win bets are profitable as long as he is making saver exactas. But his saver exactas take away all of his profit. So, he has tried win betting only. Then, because he has fear of losing the money because he doesn't have his savers in play, he handicaps more conservatively and then does not bet longer priced horses, which are the ones that gave him the win bet profit in the first place. Quite a conundrum, right?

Very astute observation, :ThmbUp:, which also shows why "paper-betting" is a poor preparation technique for REAL betting. There is an emotional turmoil associated with "real betting" which paper-betting can never prepare us for.

CincyHorseplayer
02-18-2018, 10:00 PM
You can't be a good bettor without being a good handicapper. Sound wagering decisions are based on sound handicapping opinions. When a horseplayer says that his wagering is fuzzy and haphazard...he is admitting that his handicapping opinions are fuzzy and haphazard. You can't have one without the other.

This is completely false and I am the poster boy! I had a 2 unit win 1 unit place and double key exacta thing going last year and was going decent without a pulse. I reread Crist's Exotic Betting and got greedy. Been better ever since. Mainly just trying to think how to make money at X clip per single race. The hit % fluctuation varies but the per play expectation is exactly 7.76-1 this winter. I was a churn and burner last year. More race more bets=better yield. I still play a lot of races just a smarter bettor. I am the good handicapper/stupid bettor guy. Normal results are yielding better for me. Being freshly engaged and with 2 new twin grandchildren I haven't played much but been doing well when I do! Hope you are too Thask!

thaskalos
02-18-2018, 10:13 PM
This is completely false and I am the poster boy! I had a 2 unit win 1 unit place and double key exacta thing going last year and was going decent without a pulse. I reread Crist's Exotic Betting and got greedy. Been better ever since. Mainly just trying to think how to make money at X clip per single race. The hit % fluctuation varies but the per play expectation is exactly 7.76-1 this winter. I was a churn and burner last year. More race more bets=better yield. I still play a lot of races just a smarter bettor. I am the good handicapper/stupid bettor guy. Normal results are yielding better for me. Being freshly engaged and with 2 new twin grandchildren I haven't played much but been doing well when I do! Hope you are too Thask!

Yes...it's possible to be the "good handicapper/stupid bettor guy". You could be a handicapping GENIUS...and still go broke by doing stupid things like overbetting your bankroll...or betting every race. But, for the life of me...I can't see how someone could be the "good bettor/stupid handicapper" guy. That's why I raise an eyebrow whenever I hear someone say that "It's more important to be a good bettor than a good handicapper". Unless, that is...someone else is doing the handicapping for us.

CincyHorseplayer
02-18-2018, 10:18 PM
Yes...it's possible to be the "good handicapper/stupid bettor guy". You could be a handicapping GENIUS...and still go broke by doing stupid things like overbetting your bankroll...or betting every race. But, for the life of me...I can't see how someone could be the "good bettor/stupid handicapper" guy.

Totally agree with that. It isn't possible at all. The big thing in between the lines I took from Crist's book is that having a pretty right on assessment of the races in general=make money at it without having to be perfect. Saratoga was a big learning lesson for me. I wasn't fooled much but wasn't crushing. Made it where it counted.

PIC6SIX
02-19-2018, 12:29 AM
I find your post most interesting and valid in my opinion. Admittedly ashamed to say I fall into the defunct betting category that you have highlighted in your post. My question is how do I stop repeating these same faulty betting strategies that I impose upon myself. Can you suggest various constraints I should impose? Thanks in advance for your help.











a

GMB@BP
02-19-2018, 08:12 AM
Yes...it's possible to be the "good handicapper/stupid bettor guy". You could be a handicapping GENIUS...and still go broke by doing stupid things like overbetting your bankroll...or betting every race. But, for the life of me...I can't see how someone could be the "good bettor/stupid handicapper" guy. That's why I raise an eyebrow whenever I hear someone say that "It's more important to be a good bettor than a good handicapper". Unless, that is...someone else is doing the handicapping for us.

I normally agree with a lot of your thoughts but this one I have to diverge.

I actually think its very easy to be "that" guy.

The only way to consistently win is to find edge/advantage and then make bets that capitalize on that.

For me, see I aint so smart, so I keep it simple and only bet to win and I only make a handful of bets per week.

But if I was really good I would be able to make bets based on my superior predictions of races, which I truly believe I can do. I am right way more than I am wrong.

But these guys that are really good, they see that edge and can craft bets that take advantage. They may not even love the race(s) the bet, but they see something, a weak favorite, a very strong favorite, a chaos type race, etc etc and they put together tickets that advantage of that edge.

I believe Steve Crists book was brilliant, but I think when I see the bets laid out by some of these professionals, it was a little simplistic.

CincyHorseplayer
02-19-2018, 12:55 PM
I find your post most interesting and valid in my opinion. Admittedly ashamed to say I fall into the defunct betting category that you have highlighted in your post. My question is how do I stop repeating these same faulty betting strategies that I impose upon myself. Can you suggest various constraints I should impose? Thanks in advance for your help.











a

Not sure if you are talking to me or Thask. But even payouts. Start with checking exacta and double payouts. Whatever you bet amount is if you can't squeeze out 6-1 or better from 4-6 outcomes don't bet at all. I like 2 outcome races and play it that way even when I shouldn't but that's crush potential. But following these payouts gives you an indication of what races are worth going tri/super or P3-4-5. Or which ones to pass. I have become less win centric even though with statistical analysis my win mutual has risen by $3 from roughly 9.4 that was routine from 2001 to 2012 or so. I attribute that to greed. I want to make better than a day's wage working on every bet I make. That's what I shoot for. And doing it this way you hit twice a day without having to be perfect(single outcome win bet) it makes the day's races seem meaningful. You know the races from a general standpoint and you get paid for it. And this mode keeps you out of races that you have no expectation out of. Passing is important. I feel completely philosophically sound not playing races that offer anything. 5/2 shots winning in 3-1 overall return races who cares?! That's every day! I'm getting about 7.5-1 return on bets and I still feel mediocre! Be greedy or don't get involved!

pandy
02-19-2018, 01:01 PM
Maloney talks about this type of wagering in his Betting With An Edge book. He shows how to attack a race while also protecting his investment, rather than just betting to win, or playing one or two exactas.

pandy
02-19-2018, 01:04 PM
Franco,

Actually, I did say it in an earlier post that was VERY LONG. :)

For the most part, I agree with you.

The only statement I disagree with is in bold. (And I know you meant it somewhat metaphorically.)

The issue isn't that WE overestimate probabilities. The issue is that we overestimate sometimes, underestimate other times, and cannot tell the difference.

Many players make a line on a horse - say 3/1 - and (logically) think that if they double that to 6/1 they just HAVE TO be profitable.

Adding a margin of error will not overcome weak handicapping!

I actually had a coaching client years ago who said that he'd be better off playing against his own picks, so I told him to try it. He reported back a week later that his results improved. (Still lost money but not as badly.)


In my opinion, the single thing that prevents most players from winning is that they do not actually have a simple core handicapping approach.

Most players view each race as a unique problem to be solved.

It is much easier to be competitive (in terms of bankroll growth/deterioration) if you find commonalities between races and develop a "core method."

Viewing each race - and each horse in a race - as a unique puzzle to be put together leaves you with reinventing your approach in every race.

What I am saying is that when "puzzle players" develop a consistent core method, it is like providing them with a picture of the box showing the edges and corners. It gives them a logical place to begin.


Dave


I know for me, if I'm not doing well, it's often because I'm not playing to my strengths. And, yeah, looking at each race as a puzzle may not be the best approach. I do better when I look for certain types of horses in certain types of races.

thaskalos
02-19-2018, 01:14 PM
I normally agree with a lot of your thoughts but this one I have to diverge.

I actually think its very easy to be "that" guy.

The only way to consistently win is to find edge/advantage and then make bets that capitalize on that.

For me, see I aint so smart, so I keep it simple and only bet to win and I only make a handful of bets per week.

But if I was really good I would be able to make bets based on my superior predictions of races, which I truly believe I can do. I am right way more than I am wrong.

But these guys that are really good, they see that edge and can craft bets that take advantage. They may not even love the race(s) the bet, but they see something, a weak favorite, a very strong favorite, a chaos type race, etc etc and they put together tickets that advantage of that edge.

I believe Steve Crists book was brilliant, but I think when I see the bets laid out by some of these professionals, it was a little simplistic.

Yes...but can this be done without possessing an above-average set of handicapping skills? Can I reliably spot the "weak favorites" if I am not a strong handicapper?

This game is tough...and getting tougher. To stay afloat, the horseplayer must possess BOTH...adequate handicapping skills AND adequate betting skills. BOTH sets of skills are vital...and it's folly to believe that one set is "more important" than the other...IMO. In an ultra-competitive gambling endeavor such as this...there is no money left on the table for the player with glaring weaknesses in his game.

Of course...admitting that he is a weak handicapper is a major blow to the ego of the "veteran player"...so, he attributes his wagering losses to his haphazard betting. "I am a very good handicapper...but I just need a little help structuring my wagers"...he says. It's comforting when we deceive ourselves...

AndyC
02-19-2018, 03:26 PM
Yes...but can this be done without possessing an above-average set of handicapping skills? Can I reliably spot the "weak favorites" if I am not a strong handicapper?

This game is tough...and getting tougher. To stay afloat, the horseplayer must possess BOTH...adequate handicapping skills AND adequate betting skills. BOTH sets of skills are vital...and it's folly to believe that one set is "more important" than the other...IMO. In an ultra-competitive gambling endeavor such as this...there is no money left on the table for the player with glaring weaknesses in his game.

Of course...admitting that he is a weak handicapper is a major blow to the ego of the "veteran player"...so, he attributes his wagering losses to his haphazard betting. "I am a very good handicapper...but I just need a little help structuring my wagers"...he says. It's comforting when we deceive ourselves...

I get that being both a good handicapper and bettor is ideal. However, given a choice between the two I would definitely choose to be a good bettor. Being a good handicapper requires the skill of analyzing data and information. There is no shortage of good handicappers. Being a good bettor has an extra factor that doesn't come into play in handicapping, emotions. I think there could be a very long thread just on stupid emotional bets people have made. Many people have a betting strategy built around their emotional responses to just missing with their top selections.

With a skill as a good bettor I can easily find horses to bet by finding and listening to good handicappers. The reverse is much harder to do.

CincyHorseplayer
02-19-2018, 03:47 PM
I think it just comes down to when you win, how much?

We know that there is enough randomness, chalk, and junk that wins races and we aren't going to have them all figured out. Any handicapping factor can be learned in the information age. Putting together in your mind a coherent picture of good is an entirely different thing. That is the skill that is the missing link. For me personally betting in accord with x return can make up for some handicapping flaws but I have the race read right. And betting into tenuous type races by handicapping logic is a gamble we all take. We know the race is wide open but the returns can be big if we have it right. Knowing a loss is a loss anyway the betting logic is justified by say a 9-1 return on 6 outcomes. It's like a batting average and OBP in baseball. The best hitters aren't likely to ever hit .400. But they don't have to. Their SLG % when they make hits drives their OPS but so does taking walks(cashing tickets). Coming directly face to face with the SLG% per race or no bet is huge when there are so many decisions to make on any race day. I personally have been a .280/.440 hitter since I kept betting records 17 years ago. But have only been making the type of money consistently recently. And all I did was use the approach to take what is there and maximize it. The revolution was not overcoming the ego of handicapping. But the ego of thinking I could hit everything. That "I am a good handicapper I am going to hit most of my p3-4 and exactas at such a high rate profit is inevitable". Teeing off on certain races or sequences is all there is. They aren't going to be plenty. Making that distinction instead of the wholesale philosophy has been huge for me. And it takes some pressure off needing to be the perfect handicapper. The older I get I find simplicity after the fact of making things such a big mentally well organized mess is the revolution.

CincyHorseplayer
02-19-2018, 03:55 PM
It's conversations like this since I have been on here in 2008 that have made me a better player. This is indeed the good stuff that really cannot be written about. Writing there is no give and take.

Frankie D
04-14-2018, 11:49 AM
The Principle
1a. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we are going to bet, the less money we should bet in the race.

1b. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we are NOT going to bet, the MORE money we should bet in the race.

2a. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we call "contenders," the less money we should bet in the race.

2b. The greater the percentage of pool represented by the horses we call "NON-CONTENDERS," the MORE money we should bet in the race.

(The important principles 1b and 2b.)

Steps
1. Determine percent of pool NOT BET. ("PctNotBet")
2. Determine percent of pool NOT CONTENDER. ("PctNotCont")

RaceBet= $100 x PctNotBet x PctNotCont

Two Examples
Example 1
You are betting 40% of the pool, and your contenders make up 70% of the pool.

PctNotBet=60%
PctNotCont=30%

$100 x 60% x 30% = $18.

Example 2
You are betting 30% of the pool, and your contenders make up 48% of the pool.

PctNotBet=70%
PctNotCont=52%

$100 x 70% x 52% = $36


My experience has been that the higher the RaceBetAmt the more profitable the race is. Conversely, the smaller the RaceBetAmt amount, the lower the profit.

There is a tipping point at which the races produce a loss.

In my own handicapping, I have found that the tipping point to be $30. Wagers below $30 lose money, and the lower the bet size goes, the more the lose.


SUMMARY
What happens is that you wind up betting more money on the races where you've eliminated the greatest part of the pool.

The hardest part of this entire process is step #1 (picking good non-contenders). The other two steps are really pretty easy.


Perhaps this will provide you with some ideas.


Best Regards,
Dave Schwartz

Very interesting.

But what is going to be the best way to do the math for percentage of the pool with the tote flashing '0'? Got anything besides just totaling the number and dividing, or am I missing something easier on the last minute 'fly'?

Also, your 'tipping point' below which successful play becomes increasingly impossible - what is the logic or reason that this happens and why does it happen decreasing below the $30 mark in your example?

...and you say this point is in application of YOUR handicapping, would you expect variation for others?

...and is there anything that explains the different 'tipping points' significance between players?

Thanks in advance, Dave. This is gold for me and I appreciate you and the whole forum.