To be able to do that, punters need to know about the markets they are betting into, their respective market percentages and, the different bet type options provided by the wagering operators.Below we look at each of these aspects
Pari-mutuel, often referred to as the ‘Tote’, betting is where all bets of the same type go into a pool.
Final dividends being calculated by dividing the pool by the number of winning bets, so the final dividend is not known until betting has closed on the race.
Fixed Price is where you place a bet with a wagering operator (bookie) at a certain price offered which remains valid regardless of any subsequent betting fluctuations about the runner.
Betting Exchanges, such as Betfair, are where punters bet against each other rather than through a wagering provider or tote.
This allows punters to act as the bookie (setting a price) or, punter (betting the price offered).
The market percentage for pari-mutuel betting is approximately 118% i.e., before final dividends are calculated and paid out, the tote operator will take 18% of the pool – regardless of size of the field or pool.
With Fixed price betting offered by bookies, the market percentage is a little more complex.
When a bookmaker posts a price about a runner, there’s a percentage assigned to that price which is calculated by dividing each horse’s decimal odds, into 100.
For example, a runner at a $4 price theoretically has a 25% of winning the race, whilst a runner at $20, has a 5% chance of winning.
A bookies market percentage is the total of the percentages for each runner in a field.
Bookies will generally open a market percentage around the 130% mark and remain at this level while early bets will see some runners shorten, and others lengthen in price.
As race time nears jump though, and better prices are offered by bookies to tempt punters into the event by offering better prices, the market percentage will reduce to approximately 115% - a rate which provides good value for punters.
At this market percentage, a punter would know their getting value for their bet. Alternatively, if you think a runner to be over the odds at any time, a punter may wish to ignore the market percentage all together, and secure the price they deem to be value, immediately.
In the above examples the market percentage is effectively the profit margin for the tote operator or the wagering provider.
As Betting Exchanges are peer-to-peer and there’s no tote or bookie involved as such, the market percentage is extremely low – which maximises value for punters.
WIN – The most straight forward bet type, simply select the runner you think will win the race
PLACE – If your selected runner finishes within the placings (1st, 2nd or 3rd), you will receive the place dividend. If a field has less than eight runners, no place dividend will be paid for the horse that finished third. Punters are generally notified of this via “NTD” (No Third Dividend) notifications. In races with four or less entrants, no place betting is available.
EACH-WAY – Is where a punter splits there bet and has some on the Win and some on the Place dividends. If your horse is successful, you’ll be paid both the win and place dividend as per your bet. If your horse runs 2nd or 3rd, you’ll receive the place dividend portion of your bet only.
The below Bet Types are often referred to as “Exotics”. They require multiple horses within a race to win or place and depending on results, can often return high dividends.
QUINELLA – Select the horses you think will run 1st and 2nd in a race, in any order.
EXACTA – Like a Quinella but you must select the runners you think will run 1st and 2nd, in order
DUET – Is a bet type that require punters to correctly select two of the three placegetters. Your selections can finish 1st and 2nd, 1st or 3rd, or 2nd and 3rd. A different dividend will be paid per combination.
TRIFECTA – Selecting runners who finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in a race, will see you land a Trifecta.
FIRST FOUR – Is just that. Select the runners who finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in a race and more often than not; you’ll be able to expect a healthy dividend.
Each of the above Bet Types can also include options of “Boxing”, “Standout” and/or “Flexi-Betting”, which enables punters to either add more runners to their selections or, help reduce their outlay.
BOXING – Boxing your selections allows them to run in any order.
For example, if you have Horse A, Horse B and Horse C in a Trifecta, they can finish in the following order; Horse C, Horse B and Horse A or any other combination because the Trifecta was boxed.
As there are several possible combinations in Boxing horses, the cost of the bet is higher.
STANDOUT – Means you can select one horse in the Exotic bet types, to run a certain position, generally first.
An example would be in First Four where a punter might think Horse A and Horse B will run first and second. So, to reduce the cost of bet, the punter might want to Standout Horse A and Horse B for first and second and have Horse C, Horse D and Horse E to run third and fourth.
Standing a runner out, as it minimises the possible winning combinations, helps in reducing the cost of the bet.
FLEXI-BETTING – Allows punters to nominate the total amount they wish to spend on a bet. You can include as many horses as you wish in your bet and if successful, you will collect a percentage of the full dividend, relevant to the amount of your bet.
For example, normally to Box four horses in a trifecta costs $24 (as there are twenty-four possible combinations) however; if a punter Boxes the same four runners in a Flexi-Bet but only wants to spend half of that amount ($12) – should any of those four horses run the trifecta, the punter would be returned 50% of the dividend – as he or she only wish to outlay half of the full cost of boxing four runners.
DOUBLES – A Double requires punters to pick the winners of two nominated race at a meeting. A Running Double requires punters to pick the winner of two consecutive races at a meeting. The winning dividend is dependent on the prices of the winning horses.
TREBLE – to be successful in a Treble, a punter needs to pick the winner in each of the three nominated races at a meeting – generally the final three races on the card.
QUADRELLA – Referred to as the “Quaddie”, it requires punters to pick the winner of four nominated races at a meeting – generally the last four races on the program.
Punters can pick one or several runners in each race – or leg, of the Quadrella. The more horses in your Quadrella, the more winning combinations possible, so the higher the cost of the bet or, you can choose your total outlay via a Flexi-Bet and get a percentage of the final dividend.
Most Corporate Bookmakers offer all the above Bet Types, plus a few more which we detail below. Not all Bookmakers provide each of the below Bet Types, and some of them may only be available on certain events, so always best to check with your wagering provider beforehand.
BEST TOTE - This is where the Bookie will pay you the highest dividend of the three pari-mutuel totes available in Australia (NSW Tab, VIC Tab and, Tattsbet)
MID TOTE – This Bet Type guarantees a payout equal to the middle Tote dividend of the three pari-mutuels
TOP FLUC – Top Fluc is offered within 30 minutes of the start of the race and guarantees a punter that, regardless of subsequent market moves on his selected runner, they’ll be paid out at the highest betting fluctuation of that runner according to the Official Price fluctuations.
For example, if a punter backs a runner at Top Fluc and it firms in betting from $6 into $4.60, $6 will be the dividend.
As there can often be a lot of activity in the market during in the final 30 minutes before jump, Top-Fluc can be a beneficial Bet-Type for punters to utilise.