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Old 09-08-2023, 07:42 PM   #1
Running Amok
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Bet to Win and Place, or just to Win?

Yesterday (9/7) in the last race at Kentucky Downs, I had two longshots I liked and bet them both to win. The 4 and the 12 were my longshot plays at odds of 37-1 and 67-1,respectively.

I also used both of them in my exactas with the horse I figured to be the key in hitting the board (and likely involved in the exacta), the 1 horse.

The exacta came in 1 - 4. I used the 1 as my key with 3 horses (4,10,12) in a $2 key box, and also had a $2 3-horse box (1,4,12). So it was a nice hit and I was pretty happy. But it would have paid a lot better if the 4 horse won and my win bet would have made it an amazing day.

But after the race I was I was looking at my wagers and asked myself why I never bet to place? I shun show betting but maybe betting to place needs to be considered because the 4 horse paid $22.38 to place and I only bet her to win.

So I just wanted to ask if anyone here bets to win AND place and what your thoughts are on if it's worth making place bets.
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Old 09-08-2023, 08:30 PM   #2
BELMONT 6-6-09
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This topic has been discussed in the past and the bottom line win only wagering will out perform win/place wagering over the long term based on numerous studies.

As a matter of fact the higher you go in odds the least profitable the win/place wagering becomes.
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Old 09-08-2023, 09:44 PM   #3
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Yes, more and more I think it is generally best to go for the larger score. Either track it through a database or your records. Do what your records show is best.
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Old 09-08-2023, 10:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice.

I'm rather new to this forum and I was unaware this topic had been brought up in the past, although I should have searched before I posted this thread.

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Originally Posted by ranchwest View Post
Yes, more and more I think it is generally best to go for the larger score. Either track it through a database or your records. Do what your records show is best.
I'm sure this has also been discussed but I'll ask anyway. May I know what y'all recommend for tracking bets and record keeping?
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Old 09-09-2023, 12:07 AM   #5
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I think the exacta(s) as a place bet is probably better overall but I try to let the race decide it.A good example would be today's last race at Del Mar....I liked the 3 Cholly and the only other opinion I had on the race was that it looked like everyone else had a shot.In a situation like that I sometimes just go win/place and leave it at that.
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Old 09-09-2023, 09:44 AM   #6
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One of my cardinal rules is if I like a longshot, within reason if the horse runs well make sure I cash at least something. Usually I do this with exactas, but there is a limit to how many I can use. So I will typically bet WPS on my longshots to cover myself. Even if they don't win but run well, I am rewarded for my opinion if they hit the board.


As far as record keeping, what ADW do you bet through? I use Twinspires, they have some decent reporting on my bets, not robust enough for me though but I am not willing to setup my own system just for tracking bets. I do have a big database of horse grades and trip notes for NYRA races, I use an Excel like tool called Smartsheet which is a pretty awesome tool.

Last edited by SBD400; 09-09-2023 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 09-09-2023, 10:02 AM   #7
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There are times a place bet makes sense, but betting longshots or even moderately priced horses to place is not one of them. Numerous studies and my own records show that. If you have a live long shot and want to extract some value in case he doesnít win, look at the exacta pool.
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Old 09-09-2023, 10:40 AM   #8
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While using the exacta is the best way to extract the most money out of the place bet,it is also not the most effective in many cases. When you have a 30-1 run second and you get nothing,see how you feel after the race. I have known professional players who have either bet a straight place bet or used a weighted wheel to guarantee a profit. A few of these players were good enough to like the long shot in the 2nd slot more than the win slot. I donít know if it still holds true,but at one time big long shots placed twice as much as they won.
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Old 09-09-2023, 11:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classhandicapper View Post
There are times a place bet makes sense, but betting longshots or even moderately priced horses to place is not one of them. Numerous studies and my own records show that. If you have a live long shot and want to extract some value in case he doesnít win, look at the exacta pool.
Would love to know the logic behind this.
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Old 09-09-2023, 12:04 PM   #10
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The win place bet is a matter of reinforcement as consistently backing up a horse at odds greater then even money never produces a profit in the long term. When you bet a horse to win and then make a place bet as "insurance", you are not insuring anything! You are betting in an effort not to lose.

Most recreational bettors wager win/place to feel less of a sting when their horse runs second. At odds below 3/2 a place only bet can be a choice as the payouts are not significantly different from the win price. This is not for me, however, this technique has been used by some very selective players to gain a percentage advantage and a measure of safety.

The longer losing runs associated with the win only bet does test the fortitude of most players and that is the reason for the hedging. This is a fact!
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Old 09-09-2023, 12:18 PM   #11
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It is an interesting subject to me. Typically the exacta price usually falls fairly close to a parlay of the win price of the winner to the place price of the placer.
So let's say we bet a 20-1 win place and he runs second to the favorite and he pays $13.00 to place or he runs second to another long shot and pays $17.60 to place. So lets say the favorite pays $5.20 to win. So our exact pays about $65.00. So how are we going to weight our exacta plays. Say instead of $10 win place we play $10 to win and a $4 exacta with our top choice over our longshot, a $3 exact with our 2nd choice, a $2 with our 3rd choice and a $1 exacta with our 4th choice. Now here is the thing. If the horse wins, not only do we get a nice win mutual, but we get back another $65 with the favorite coming 2nd and more if someone else come 2nd. That is like a bonus if your are using the exacta instead of a place bet. Now lets say our top 4 horses are going to win 75% of the time. Well that means that 25% of the time someone else will beat our horse (when he comes 2nd and we get back zippo.

So lets say when our longshot comes 2nd the winner will be
top choice 30%
2nd choice 20%
3rd choice 14%
4th choice 11%

Lets say the final odds on our 4 top choices our

8/5
3-1
4-1
6-1

So when our longshot comes 2nd there is a
30% chance of getting back $130
20% chance of getting back $168 ($8.00*14.00)
14% chance of getting back $150 ($10 * 15.00)
11% chance of getting back $112 ($14 * 16.00)

So our expected return on our exacta play is when the horse runs 2nd is

$130*.3 +168*.2+150*.14+.11*112

or 39+33.60+21+12.32 or $105.92.

The expected return on the place bet when the horse comes 2nd is maybe
$75 (average place payoff of $15 maybe).

But how do you factor in when the horse wins. Lets assume at 20-1 our longshot will win 5% of the time. Lets assume he will come 2nd 13% (longhots will come 2nd more often than double the times they win). So the horse has an 18% chance of coming 1st or 2nd. So great we hit that higher expectation exacta play 13% of the time for an expected return on our $10 bet of about $13.78. We hit the place bet 18 % of the time at an average payoff of $75 for an expected payoff of $13.40. Slightly worse, but not a huge difference (maybe almost 3% is significant but all my numbers are estimates-maybe you can't hit 75% winners with 4 horses)

Thus I am currently sort of a fan of playing horse to win/place unless there is a good reason not to (form cloud, breaker in harness, horse I fear might get locked in in harness, heavy chalk in race that will likely destroy payoff, win type for whatever reason....) and then focusing your exacta play on the other horses you like. The win/place bet has you covered if your horse wins and thus you can be more narrow in the exactas. So if your longshot wins you are golden, if he wins with one of your keys, you do awesome, if he comes 2nd to one of your keys you do very well or awesome depending on how you size the bets and if he comes 2nd to anyone else you do okay. In other words use the place bet so you can be more aggressive in the other exotics. So maybe your too risk averse in the straight pool by betting place, but you will make up for it with your exotic play (exactas, trifectas etc). Fwiw I bet equal amounts win/place. You just don't want to be sitting there tearing up all your tickets when your 20-1 shot pays $17.60 to place. It is just not necessary imo.

Also if the typical exacta pays the win price * the place price (traditionally it typically did, not sure if it still does in the age of CAW) not sure why the backwheel (even if weighted) should be advantageous.

When I bet 2 horses in a race I am getting to the point where I want to skip the place bet. Even if they are both longshots, if just 1 comes 2nd and the other is out for every $8 you bet you get back 17.60 or just $13.00 That is barely over even money or far worse (if dealing with lower price horses even worse). With these the exacta key with the key contenders over your horses probably makes more sense to me. So if you bet $10 to win on both and $10 in exactas with say your top 4 horses(4-3-2-1 as weighted above) for your $40 you at least are going to bet back on average $140 (based off the numbers I posted above). Obviously if they run 1-2 you want to have a win place bet on both but a small exacta box makes a lot more sense to cover that possibility.

My 2 cents on the subject.
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Old 09-09-2023, 12:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BELMONT 6-6-09 View Post
The win place bet is a matter of reinforcement as consistently backing up a horse at odds greater then even money never produces a profit in the long term. When you bet a horse to win and then make a place bet as "insurance", you are not insuring anything! You are betting in an effort not to lose.

Most recreational bettors wager win/place to feel less of a sting when their horse runs second. At odds below 3/2 a place only bet can be a choice as the payouts are not significantly different from the win price. This is not for me, however, this technique has been used by some very selective players to gain a percentage advantage and a measure of safety.

The longer losing runs associated with the win only bet does test the fortitude of most players and that is the reason for the hedging. This is a fact!
The place bet in a win-place betting scenario isn't a "hedge", because you cash both the win and the place bet when your horse wins. A hedge is when you bet opposite from your original wager as a way of somehow "protecting" the original bet. Betting a longshot to win and then using the same horse in the second slot in an exacta is a hedge...because you can't win both bets in the same race.

Finally...we can't say that "consistently backing up a horse at odds greater than even money never produces a profit in the long term"... this always depends on the skill of the individual bettor. The skill of the bettor determines whether or not a bet can be long-term profitable... not the raw wagering stats that we find in books. If we go by the stats in the books...then all the winners in all the odds ranges return less money than they should in the long run, so the entire win-betting enterprise could be called "long-term unprofitable". But the winning horseplayer brings his own skills into the game, and through a mix of knowledge and discipline he " beats the odds"...and turns an unprofitable venture into a profitable one.
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Old 09-09-2023, 12:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by thaskalos View Post
The place bet in a win-place betting scenario isn't a "hedge", because you cash both the win and the place bet when your horse wins. A hedge is when you bet opposite from your original wager as a way of somehow "protecting" the original bet. Betting a longshot to win and then using the same horse in the second slot in an exacta is a hedge...because you can't win both bets in the same race.

Finally...we can't say that "consistently backing up a horse at odds greater than even money never produces a profit in the long term"... this always depends on the skill of the individual bettor. The skill of the bettor determines whether or not a bet can be long-term profitable... not the raw wagering stats that we find in books. If we go by the stats in the books...then all the winners in all the odds ranges return less money than they should in the long run, so the entire win-betting enterprise could be called "long-term unprofitable". But the winning horseplayer brings his own skills into the game, and through a mix of knowledge and discipline he " beats the odds"...and turns an unprofitable venture into a profitable one.
Thanks for the clarification on the hedge concept.

As for the skill of the bettor...yes this plays a part but when we make a win bet we like a horse and he is 10/1. We don't want to want to enter a separate pool like the place pool and receive a payout that is divided a good percentage of the time with the favorite thus reducing the place payout significantly. What, to feel good that i cashed a ticket if my horse lost but finished second.
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Old 09-09-2023, 12:53 PM   #14
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For decades, I bet,

odss - 9/2 or higher, 1 unit win 3 units place

Got that from Mark Crammer and my records show it outperform
betting 4 units win.
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Old 09-09-2023, 12:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BELMONT 6-6-09 View Post
As for the skill of the bettor...yes this plays a part but when we make a win bet we like a horse and he is 10/1. We don't want to want to enter a separate pool like the place pool and receive a payout that is divided a good percentage of the time with the favorite thus reducing the place payout significantly. What, to feel good that i cashed a ticket if my horse lost but finished second.
Yes...to feel good about cashing a ticket when your longshot finishes second in the race. "Feeling good" is important to our psychological makeup...and psychology plays a huge role in gambling. Some people need added enhancements in order to keep them psychologically strong...and this doesn't necessarily make them "long term losers". I know a horseplayer for many years, and he bets only to place...and he wins! I have suggested to him that he might make more money overall if he bet only to win...but he tells me that he sleeps better this way. Sound sleep is also very important in this game...
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