Online versions of Roulette

European Roulette

European roulette uses a single-zero wheel. The numbers 0 to 36 are arranged around the wheel on numbered compartments. Each number is coloured. Zero is green and the other numbers are either red or black. American roulette uses a wheel with two zeros – zero and double zero. The ball is spun in the opposite direction to that of the wheel. As the ball loses momentum it slows down and eventually drops into one of the numbered slots.


American roulette

American roulette uses a wheel with two zeros. The numbers are arranged so that consecutive numbers are on opposite sides of the wheel. For example, number 1 is opposite number 2. On one side of the layout, there is a double line between the outside bets and the numbers. This double line denotes where street and double street bets should be placed.

Systems for horse race sportsbetting

Looking through the small ads of publications will often turn up a number of advertisements for betting systems. There are lots of different systems and they often guarantee excellent returns.

Do they work? The sellers of such systems will tell you they do. Friends will boast that they have invented the ultimate system that never fails. Throughout the years many systems have been invented, some more successful than others.

Ignore all claims that are made about a system. To test how effective it is try it out yourself on a dummy run. Don’t bet any money. Make a note of results over a period of time and apply the system to those results. If it gives good returns, try it  out with small stakes. Continue to monitor results. If it starts failing, give
up on it and try something else.

Developing your own systems for selecting horses
Try to develop your own systems for selecting horses to bet on. You will need to take account of all the influencing factors mentioned. Some are more important than others but all play a part. One method is to award points for each factor. Most importance should be placed on the speed of a horse, with points added for factors that have a positive influence and points deducted for those that have a negative influence.


Doubling up on the favourite
Some systems involve no assessment of the runners. A popular system is doubling up on the favourite. Here, a bet is placed on the favourite in the first race. If that loses, the stake is doubled and placed on the favourite in the second race. This continues until there is a winner and the gambler stops betting.

This system falls down in several ways. The capital required to make it work can be huge. It may be some time before a favourite wins (they lose around 60 per cent of their races). If the favourite is a very low price (below 6/5) you will not recoup your outlay. There is always the danger that a horse could be withdrawn. This could bring the price of the favourite below the level that you need to break even. The potential rewards are also low.

•    First race £10 bet stake = £10.90. Total loss £10.90.
•    Second race £20 bet stake = £21.80. Total loss £32.70,
•    Third race £40 bet stake = £43.60. Total loss £76.30.
•    Fourth race £80 bet stake = £87.20. Total outlay £163.50.

In the fourth race the favourite wins at 1/2. Returns = £120. Total loss = £43.50.
If the favourite had won at 2/1, returns = £240. Total winnings = £76.50.

However, there is no guarantee that the favourite would win by the fourth race. If your stake becomes too high, a bookmaker may refuse your bet. You may also run out of capital before a favourite wins.

During the last few minutes before a race, prices can change drastically. Instead of there being just one favourite, a situation can arise where there are joint or even co-favourites. Where you just back the favourite without specifying the name of the horse, your winnings will be greatly reduced if the race is won by a joint or co-favourite. In a situation where there are co-favourites of four, your winnings would only amount to one-quarter of what you had expected. Since the prices of the favourites are low, you are unlikely to recoup your outlay.

Some people apply the system to second favourites because their prices are higher. The problem here is that second favourites win even fewer races than favourites, so the capital needed is greater.

With this system, you are also making no assessment of the runners. By properly considering the chances of each horse, you may discover that another horse is more likely to win the race.


Betting on horses that have travelled a long distance to race
The logic of this is that a trainer wouldn’t travel several hundred miles if the horse didn’t stand a good chance of winning. The problem with this system is that there may be an equally good horse in the race that has only travelled a short distance. Horses do travel all over the world. British horses are taken to America and France. However, this doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed to win.


Betting on horses that have an advantage on the draw
With a lot of British racecourses, the draw can have an effect on the race. Horses starting in certain positions in the stalls have an advantage over others. By combining your assessment of horses with this knowledge, it is possible to select several horses that have a good chance of winning. Instead of backing the horses to win, bets of combination tricasts are placed.

A tricast is predicting which horses will finish first, second and third in the correct order. For a small outlay, the returns are potentially huge.

A particularly good time of the year to play this bet is in the summer months when the ground has dried out and the form is starting to show through. At this time of year it is much easier  to assess the horses. You do not have to worry quite so much about the going and you have lots of previous races on which to make your Judgement.

In the 1980’s bookmakers started to lose a lot of money through this system. Many were also offering huge bonuses of around 20 per cent on correct tricasts, which increased their losses. They are now extremely cautious about accepting bets on combination tricasts, particularly where the stakes are large. In order to get your bet accepted, you may need to spread it around several bookmakers.

Effect of the draw at British and Irish racecourses

Ascot: no significant advantage
Ayr: six furlongs in large field – middle numbers; seven furlongs and over – low numbers
Bath: sprints – low numbers
Beverley: five-furlong course – high numbers
Brighton: sprints – low numbers
Carlisle: high numbers; however, low numbers are favoured when going is soft
Catterick: low numbers
Chepstow: straight course – high numbers; round course – low numbers
Chester: round course seven and a half furlongs – low numbers
Curragh: high numbers
Doncaster: round course – no advantage; straight course – low numbers
Dundalk: no advantage
Edinburgh: seven furlongs and one-mile races – high numbers
Epsom: up to eight and a half furlongs – low numbers
Fairyhouse: no advantage
Folkestone: straight six-furlong course – low numbers
Galway: high numbers
Goodwood: sprint races – high numbers
Gowran Park: no advantage
Great Yarmouth: straight course – high numbers; round course -low numbers
Hamilton Park: straight course – middle to high numbers:
Haydock Park: six furlongs to one mile – low numbers: if going soft on straight course – high numbers
Kempton Park: round course – high numbers
Kilarney: no advantage
Laytown: no advantage
Leicester: straight course up to one mile – middle to high numbers (even more so on soft ground)
Leopardstown: slight advantage to low numbers
Ungfield Park: straight course – high numbers if going is heavy, otherwise low numbers
Newbury: no advantage
Newcastle: no advantage
Newmarket: no advantage
Nottingham: straight course – high numbers; round course – low numbers
Pontefract: sprints – low numbers
Redcar: sprints – high numbers
Ripon: straight course – low numbers; round course – high numbers
Salisbury: if going is soft – low numbers
Sandown Park: five-furlong course – high numbers when going is soft
Thirsk: straight course – high numbers; round course – low numbers
Warwick: races up to eight furlongs – high numbers (more marked when going is soft)
Windsor: sprints – high numbers; on soft ground – low numbers Wolverhampton: no advantage
York: soft ground – low numbers; over seven furlongs – low numbers



Look for horses that offer good value prices. Finding 10/1 winners will give you bigger profits than odds-on horses.

Gathering information on Horses for Sportsbetting

A lot of information is given by the race cards printed in newspapers or programmes. The format varies depending on the publication. To save space many abbreviations are used.

Example race card

2.00 Winner’s Stakes £3,752 (4 run)
1(2) 2/1-132 Liberty Dawn          J Jones 5114 J Smith  
                   (14) (B, CD)
2(3)     Bronze Cannon               F Evans 41010 D Bolton
3(1}     111 Lucky Luc (28)         S Moon 41010 S Heard
4(4)     Suzie’s Boy                    G Chip 5 11 4 K Bearman
Betting: 2 Lucky Luc, 4 Liberty Dawn, 10 Bronze Cannon, Suzie’s Boy.
2.00     – time of the race
Winner’s Stakes     – name of the race
£3752     – prize money to the winning owner
(4 run)     – number of runners
1     – race card number
(2)     – draw – position in starting stalls
01-132     – the horse’s form in its last six races
1 = 1 st, 2 = 2nd, 3 = 3rd, 0 = unplaced, d = disqualified
A dash (-) is a break of one season. An oblique (I) indicates two or more seasons’ break. The figure on the right is the latest race. In national hunt racing the following abbreviations are also used: U = unseated rider; F = fell; B = brought down; P = pulled up; R = refused.
Liberty Dawn     – the name of the horse
(14)     – number of days since it last ran
(B, CD)     – meanings of abbreviations follow:
B = horse was wearing blinkers, headgear that restricts lateral vision
V = visor, blinkers that minimize awareness of activity on either side H = a hood
E = eyeshield
B* = blinkers worn for the first time
BF = beaten favourite last time out
C = winner over the course
D = winner over the distance
CD     – course and distance winner
J Jones     – name of trainer
Betting     – rough guide to what the betting is likely to be
5 11 4     – a 5-year-old horse, carrying 11 stone 4
J Smith     – name of the jockey


Learn about horse racing
Become knowledgeable about horse racing. Read as many publications as possible. Ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the subject. Keep up to date with the latest news by reading a good-quality racing newspaper. The more information you have, the better able you are to assess a horse’s chance of winning.
Keep your own records on the horses you are interested in. Use a diary to record events as they happen. You may notice something that others have missed.


Studying all these factors takes an enormous amount of time. If you lack the time to do it yourself there are other people who have already done all the hard work. They are the tipsters employed by the newspapers. They select the likely prospects that they think will win. There are also telephone and internet tipping services that charge for information.

However you don’t always know what system they’re using to assess the horses and how good that system is. They may have missed an important factor that you may have noticed. The newspapers boast when their tipsters get it right but keep quiet when they don’t – after all, they are in the business of selling newspapers. Over the course of the year tipsters are bound to get it wrong too.


Record predictors
The record for predicting the most winners in one day is held by Charles Lamb, racing correspondent for the Balttmoroe News American. In 1974 he picked out 10 winners at a meeting held at Delaware Park. Bob Butcher of the Daily Mirror correctly forecast seven winners for a meeting at Wolverhampton. So, too, did Fred Shawcross at a York meeting in 1988. 

Factors you cannot asses in Horse racing

Because horse racing is unpredictable, things can and do go wrong. All the studying in the world cannot guard against them.


Horses can have off-days too
Horses can be unpredictable. Even the most well-behaved horses can have off-days. If they don’t want to cooperate with a jockey they will:

•    dig their heels in and refuse to run
•    not go into the starting stall
•    refuse to jump fences
•    attempt to throw the jockey.

You may know in advance that a horse has a reputation for being difficult, so it’s best to avoid betting on it. Save your money for the runners you are certain of.


Other horses
It is common for horses to bring down others at jumps. A horse may be the best jumper in the world but if another horse gets in its way, it can easily fall. Loose horses can cause all sorts of problems. They can box in your selection, bump into it or run across its path, all of which can cause a horse to lose a race.


Weights can and do occasionally fall off in the course of a race. Jockeys also sometimes forget to weigh in after a race. Either of these situations results in disqualification.


False starts
A false start can ruin a horse’s chance of winning – he may have run half of the race before being recalled. However, safeguards have been put in place to prevent a repeat performance of the 1993 British Grand National fiasco when several horses completed the course after a false start.


Other factors
Jockeys do occasionally take the wrong course. Horses can also escape from the jockey before the race. This can result in their being withdrawn from the race, particularly if they have used up a lot of energy running all over the course. Although you wlll have your stake refunded (unless, you’ve bet ante-post) if that horse is your selection, It can mean your hard work has been wasted, Alternatively, if your horse is still running, it can mean that adjustments to the bettmg make your bet unprofitable (if, for example, you have bet each way).

Although these incidents happen infrequently, you should bear them in mind as possibilities. It’s tempting to stake a lot of money on a horse when you think it can’t fail to win. By keeping your stakes to a reasonable level on each race, you will minimize your losses when these events do occur.

Factors you can assess in Horseracing – Part 2

Experience of the runners
Races in which the horses have never run before are notoriously difficult to pick the winners. The problem with betting on them is that you have no previous form on which to base your assessment. This is where the pedigree of the horse needs to be studied. You can glean the horse’s potential by studying the racing records of its parents, the dam and sire. A much clearer indication can be achieved by going back several generations. They may also have produced other offspring that have already run that gives you more information on which to base your selection. The trainer, jockey and owner will also play a role in your selection.

A horse’s experience can be particularly important over jumps. An inexperienced horse that has only recently been trained to jump is more likely to fall than one with more experience.

Flat races where the horses must start in stalls can cause problems. Experienced horses are more used to the stalls and less likely to be nervous. A nervous horse can easily injure itself and or the jockey in the stalls or simply refuse to race once it has been let out. You will also know of experienced horses that are nervous in the stalls.
Although an older horse has more experience, it may also be less fit than its rivals. You will need to decide at what stage the age of a horse becomes a negative factor. This is not always easy as some horses do have exceptional records even at an old age. Red Rum was 12 years old when he won his third Grand National. In 1980 Sonny Somers won two steeplechases at the age of 18. The record for the oldest horse ever to win a race is held by Marksman, a horse that won a flat race at Ashford in 1826 aged 28 years old.


Condition of the ground (‘the going’)
The condition of the ground on the racecourse is called the going. Before the start of racing the clerk of the course will inspect the condition of the ground and declare the going. The going is classified from the fastest to the slowest conditions as follows:

•    hard
•    firm
•    good to firm
•    good
•    good to soft
•    soft/yielding
•    heavy.

Since the courses do not drain evenly there may be patches of ground where the going differs from the rest of the course. For example, you may see the going quoted as good (good to firm patches)’. In order to get more consistent ground some tracks are watered. On all-weather tracks where the racing surface is made of fibre-sand, the going is fairly consistent and is quoted as standard.

The condition of the ground may affect how well a horse runs. For example, some run well on heavy ground, while others run poorly. You will have to ask yourself if the ground suits your selection. A horse may have won its last race on hard ground but if its next race is on heavy ground, you will need to assess what impact this change will have. By going back through the records you can see how well a horse performed on particular ground. If you attend a race meeting, you will be able to inspect the ground yourself and draw your own conclusions about how it will affect the horses.

A good time for betting can be towards the end of the flat season when the ground has usually dried out. This removes one of the unknown factors. Also by this stage the performance of the horses is known. This is traditionally a time of year when bookmakers start losing money.

Weather conditions
Always take note of the weather forecast. If it is expected to rain, bear in mind that the going may change. Ground that started out as good can easily become heavy after a huge downpour. Some horses fare better than others depending on weather conditions. Hot weather has a more adverse effect on bigger horses than it does on small ones.


The course
In the United States, the racetracks are of less importance, as they are mostly the same oval-shaped dirt tracks. In Great Britain, where the courses are all different, this can have an effect on how well a horse runs. Some courses have left-hand bends and others right. Some are flat. Others have slight inclines and some steep hills.

You will need to consider how the racecourse is going to affect a horse. The horse you select may have a preference for right-hand turns; therefore, you will need to assess the impact of a course with left-hand turns. A horse may run well on a flat course, but how is a hill going to affect his performance?

Starting stalls are used in flat racing to ensure that each horse starts at precisely the same time. The draw is the position in which the horse starts in the stalls – not to be confused with its race card number. At a lot of racecourses there are advantages to starting in certain positions in the stalls.


Some horses are distracted by other horses and do not run well. Blinkers are an aid that allow a horse to see only in front of it; the other runners are excluded from its field of vision. If a horse is wearing blinkers for the first time, it is possible for there to be a marked improvement in its running.


Condition of the horse
In the course of racing and training horses may get injured. Nowadays, veterinary care is of the highest quality with excellent treatment available. The effect of an injury on a horse’s future performance can be negligible. However, some horses may have recurrent injury problems that can make their performance unreliable. Keeping up to date with all the news will highlight any horses that are not entirely fit. Be wary of horses that are running after a long absence as they may have been injured or ill. They may have previously had good form but the impact of an injury or illness will need to be assessed.

Pregnancy (in foal) can be a big advantage to a horse. This is due to an increase in red blood cells, which allows more oxygen to be carried to the muscles and increases their efficiency, meaning a horse can run much faster.


The owner
The owner of a horse can also be included in your assessment, Some owners have particularly good reputations for spotting and buying good quality horses with the potential to win races, Your knowledge about owners can also help with the selection of horses on their first outings. If a particular owner has a good record of winners, a horse on its first outing entered in a race by him may have a better chance of winning than novices of other owners.


The trainer
All trainers are different. They employ a variety of methods for training horses – some are better than others. Some trainers also have good reputations for bringing out the very best in a horse. You will need to keep up to date with the latest news to discover which trainers are producing winners. Another important factor is a change of trainer. A better trainer may improve the performance of a horse.


The jockey
Avoid unproven jockeys. Over shorter distances the jockey is less crucial. With longer distances, experienced jockeys will generally fare better as tactics play a part in the outcome. They will be better at pacing a race and keeping out of trouble. Stick to experienced jockeys over the jumps. An inexperienced jockey is more likely to fall off or pull up.

Keep up to date with jockey changes. A jockey may become ill or injured resulting in a horse having a different rider. The replacement may be better or worse so you will need to review your selection.


Number of runners
If you are making place or each-way bets keep up to date with the number of runners. A bet may not be worthwhile if you only get 1/5 odds instead of 1/4. A rule 4 deduction can also impact your bet.

Factors you can assess in Horseracing – Part 1

For all racehorses it is possible to trace back their pedigrees for hundreds of years. A good pedigree is an indication of a potentially good horse but not always. Horses are carefully bred to bring out characteristics that make good runners. Horses with good racing records are sent to stud in order to try to bring out those characteristics in future generations. However, due to the nature of genetics, the breeding of these characteristics is not always an exact science. A dam and sire with good racing records do not always produce fast offspring. Often the characteristics that make a good runner can skip generations.

One characteristic that has been shown to have a positive affect on the performance of horses is a large heart. Although this characteristic may be present in the sire it may not show up in his immediate offspring, only to reappear in later generations.

This can mean that a horse that may have had a poor racing record can sire fast offspring. This makes the study of pedigree an inexact method of finding winners. It tends to be used as a tool for finding winners where the horses have not run before.


Previous performance of the runners
Due to the unpredictability of breeding, a great deal of importance is placed on the previous performance of horses. Once the horse has actually run, you have a clearer indication of its potential. You will have information available about how the horses have performed in previous races. This is called form. Different racing publications publish this information in different formats. To cut down on space, abbreviations are used and each publication will give a key explaining them. As a general rule, the more detailed the information, the more you have to pay for it. You will therefore need to decide for yourself how important you feel the information is. The sorts of detail that are given are the results of previous races, the jockey, trainer, weight carried and a guide to the betting. When the horse has not run in many races in the current season, its performance for the previous season will be given.

Try to watch as many races as possible. The written data do not always show why a horse performed poorly. The jockey may have been at fault. He may have waited too long before pushing a horse. A horse may sprint quickly at the end of the race but if the jockey left it too late to push or was boxed in by other horses, it may still lose. A better jockey next time out may compensate.

Some horses may have an easy win, with the jockeys not having to use the Whip or, alternatIvely, easing down near the finish. Other horses may win but under pressure from the jockey. A poorer jockey next tIme out may mean it loses. A horse could fall at a difficult fence. If the fences are easier in its next race the horse may not be so unfortunate. A horse may lose a race over the jumps because it is brought down by a loose horse or slips on wet ground. With better running conditions, it may win its next race. With sprinting races, a horse may get off to a bad start. The next race may be better.

At the beginning of the season you will not have a lot of information on which to base your selection. As the season progresses, you will have a much better indication of how the horses are performing. Towards the end of the season, you will have many more consistent data on which to base your decisions. For this reason, you should bet cautiously at the begmmng of the season and gradually increase stakes as the season progresses and you are more confident of your selections.


Speed of the horse
The speed that a horse can run is by far the clearest indication of how likely a horse is to win. No matter how good the jockey, the trainer or the condition of the ground, if a horse is not fast it is unlikely to win. Assessing the speed is not a simple matter. Factors like the amount of weight carried and the going all affect a horse’s speed.

Timeform offer the most comprehensive records of the speed of horses. They produce a daily newspaper and separate books giving details of flat racing and national hunt statistics. For anyone seriously assessing a horse’s chances of winning, this information is invaluable. You can, of course, accumulate the information yourself if you are prepared to commit the time it takes to gather data.


Harness racing
The United States Trotting Association keeps records of the fastest race a horse wins each year. Abbreviations are used to cut down on space. With harness racing, the comparison of the runners is made much easier as most races are run over a mile.

Example: p,3,Q1:58.1 ($100,000)
p – the horse gait p = pace, no letter = trot
3 – age of the horse, here it was a 3 year old
Q – the type of race. Q = qualifying race, T = time trial, no letter = during a race
1 :58.1 – the time taken to run one mile, in this case one minute and 58.1 seconds
the length of the track – f = 5/8 mile, s = 7/8 mile, h = 1/2 mile, no letter = 1 mile
($100,000) – the amount of money won by the horse in its career


The race
You don’t have to bet on every race. Save your money for the races that offer the best prospects. It takes time to assess all the runners so concentrate on a few races each day. Certain races can be dismissed as it too difficult to predict the outcome. It is better to select races where you have a clear indication of a horse’s performance. Avoid selling races, claiming races, maiden handicaps, apprentice races and amateur races. With the higher class races you will have a lot more information on which to base your decision. Clips of the horses’ previous races run will be shown by the racing media and a lot more information will be written over these horses in horse racing publications.


Distance of the race
Most horses have an optimum distance over which they perform well. Some are excellent sprinters while others have stamina to cope with longer distances. If a horse is entered for a distance that it has never run before, its previous performance can provide some indication as to how well it will fare. Has the horse run shorter distances and won easily? Or has it run longer distances but lacked stamina and faded at the end? If you watch lots of racing you will notice these factors.

Change of class
The grade of race may have an effect on its outcome. If a horse performs particularly well in, for example, a Class 2 race, it may be entered for a Class 1 race. Since Class 1 races attract the best horses, it will be up against much stronger opposition than in its previous race. Avoid betting on horses that have moved up a class. Wait for them to prove themselves in their new class. It is also possible for horses to drop down a grade so a horse that has previously run in a Class 1 race may compete in a Class 2 race. The horse may have performed badly in the Class 1 race but the change of class may lead to a huge improvement. The form guides in newspapers give details of which horses are running in different classes.

General Sports betting Tips

When betting over the internet, make sure you leave enough time for a bet to be processed. With the internet you need to take account of traffic and the time delay for processmg information from one computer to another. Although your computer may show that you placed a bet before the off time of a race due to the time it takes for the information to leave your computer, reach your internet service provider and then to reach the bookmaker’s internet service provider and then the bookmaker’s computer, your bet may be to late. The time the bet left your computer is not what counts, it is the time at which the bookmaker’s computer received your bet.
This time delay may also mean that you miss out on the odds that you want. Odds can rapidly change, especially before the off of a race and you need to be quick to place your bet at the desired odds. If you are not fast enough to place your bet, you will miss some odds.


Getting started with a betting exchange
If using a betting exchange is new to you, start out with small stakes until you get used to the concept. Don’t forget that lay bets are the opposite proposition to back bets. With back bets you lose just your stake if your horse loses but with lay bets you payout the winnings if the horse wins. Take particular care with laying bets as you can easily lose high multiples of stakes, particularly if you start laying all the horses in a race. Although you are acting like a bookmaker, you haven’t got. the bookmakers 17 per cent guaranteed profit built into the prices. Online bookmakers do go bust leaving the bettors unpaid so keep only the minimum that you need to bet in the internet account and clear out any winnings as soon as possible. If your exchange does go bust, then your losses will be minimized.

Hedging a bet is making an additional bet to guarantee a profit. Because a betting exchange allows you back and lay, you are able to take advantage of price changes and ensure you make a profit regardless of the outcome of the race. Suppose you have bet on a horse to win £100 at 20.0 and its price drops down to 8.0. If you then lay £250 at 8.0, you will make a profit of £150 (less commission) regardless of whether the horse wins or looses.

If the horse wins, your back bet, £100 at 20.0, wins, giving a return of £2000. The stake is £100 so the profit is £1900. Your lay bet £250 at 8.0 loses and you lose £1750.

Your net profit on the two bets is 1900 -1750 = £150.

If the horse loses, your lay bet £250 at 8.0 wins, giving a return of £250. Your back bet, £100 at 20.0 loses, so you lose your stake of £100. Your net profit on the two bets is £250 – £100 = £150.

You could also hedge just a portion of your bet, for example, you initially back £100 at 20.0, the price drops and you lay just £100 at 8.0. If the horse wins, your win bet £100 at 20 wins, giving a return of £2000. The stake is £100 so the profit is £1900. Your lay bet £100 at 8.0 loses and you lose £700. Your net profit on the two bets is 1900 – 700 = £1200.

If the horse loses, your win bet £100 at 20.0 loses and you lose your stake of £100. Your lay bet, £100 at 8.0, wins and you win £100. Your net profit on the two bets is zero.

In this situation, you win £1200 if the horse wins and you lose nothing if it loses.


Time lags
It is possible to take advantage of time lags as it takes time for the prices from the race course to have an effect on the exchange prices. One of the best times to take advantage of price changes is while other races are running. On a Saturday, for example, there may be a race off at 3.30 and another at 3.35, while the 3.30 race is running, most people who have bet on the earlier race will be watching it, and will not be concentrating on what is happening to the prices on the 3.35 race. By comparing bookmakers’ prices to exchange prices, there may be an opportunity to anticipate price moves and to make your bets while most of the other bettors are otherwise occupied.

There are sites on the intemet that provide odds comparison services, they show you the prices across a range of bookmakers and exchanges allowing you to spot the firm offering the best price.


Sports betting
It is possible to bet on almost any sport on the internet via bookmakers, betting exchanges and spread betting firms. The basic principles of betting are similar to horse racing. Bookmakers offer sports betting at fixed odds. Betting exchanges allow the bettors to decide their own odds. Spread betting firms make predictions about sporting events and the customers bet on how correct those predictions are. Due to the value offered Asian handicaps and in-running betting on the exchanges are popular methods of betting on sports.


Asian handicaps
As the name suggests Asian handicaps originated in Asia. They were originally a way for friends to bet with one another on the outcome of a football match. With a football match, there are three possible outcomes – win, lose or draw. For most individuals calculating three-way odds is complex. To simplify matters each team was given odds of evens and a handicap to theoretically equalize their chance of winning. A team is given a half- one-goal or more handicap. The handicap can be a positive or a negative figure. Where a fraction of a goal is used as a handicap, a draw is eliminated. The handicap is added to the final score to give the result on which the bet is settled. If, after taking the handicap into consideration, there is a draw, the stakes are refunded.

Manchester Utd -0.5 odds = 2.1
Liverpool +0.5 odds = 1.9

If you bet on Liverpool to win, the handicap is added to Liverpool’s final score. If the match is a draw at 1:1, taking into account the handicap, the result is Manchester 1, Liverpool 1.5. This means a win for Liverpool. Your bet wins and is paid at odds of 1.9. A £1 bet would return £1.90.

If you bet on Manchester Utd to win and the final score was 2:2, the handicap would be added to Manchester’s score. The result would be Manchester Utd 1.5, Liverpool 2. Your bet would lose.

In some Asian handicap markets there may be two handicaps given for a team. In this case the stake is divided between the two handicaps.

Manchester Utd 0 and -0.5 odds = 2.1

Liverpool 0 and +0.5 odds = 1.9

Final score Manchester 1, Liverpool 1

£10 win Liverpool.

£5 is placed on the handicap of 0 and £5 on the handicap of +0.5.

For the handicap of zero the result is Manchester 1, Liverpool 1. This is a draw. The £5 stake is refunded.

For the handicap of +0.5, the result is Manchester 1, Liverpool 1.5. Liverpool wins.

The bet is settled at odds of 1.9. 1.9 x 5 = 6.9

Total returns = 5 + 6.9 = £11.90


In-running betting
In-running betting is placing a bet on an event once it has started. For example, betting on the result of a football match after the kick-off. In-running betting can often provide value bets. For example, suppose you want to bet on the underdog in a football match, If you wait until the match has kicked off you can often get a better price than before. This is because the favourite will be highly backed and to balance their books the bookmakers will lengthen the price on the other team.

How Bets are matched at a Betting Exchanges

A bet is not actually made until it is matched. If someone backs a horse £100 at 5.00 and someone is willing to lay those odds then the bet is matched. A bet may be matched by one or more people. For example, someone may match £60 worth of the bet and another person £40. Once bets are matched they cannot be cancelled.
The bets are held in a queue and are dealt with in the order in which they arrive at the site’s server. The queue works on a first come first-served basis, so it pays to place bets early in order to get a match. Any bets that are not matched by the start of the race will be void and the stakes refunded. The better the odds that you offer, the more likely you are to get a match.

Partial matching

Suppose you want to stake £10 on Dobbin at odds of 10.5. On the betting screen, you would enter odds of 10.5 and your stake of £10. £2 of your bet would be matched and the remaining £8 would be unmatched. On the lay side of the odds, 10.5 £8 would appear, with the current best price of 11 £266 moving one place to the right. Once your 10.5 £8 stake has been matched it will disappear from the odds screen.

The odds for Dobbin are refreshed in the table:

9.8       10           Dobbin                10.5       11       11.5
£54      £497                                  £8         £266    £200


If someone decides to lay these odds, that is bet £8 at 10, your bet would be matched and the betting screen will now be as

9.8       10           Dobbin                11       11.5       13.5
£54      £497                                 £266    £200       £8

On your personal account screen it would show that your £10 bet at odds of 10.5 has been matched. Now that your bet has been matched it can no longer be cancelled. 

Ordering odds

If the odds that you want are not currently available you can place an order for them. Your bet may be fully matched, partially matched or unmatched. If your order is matched then the bet is made. If your order is not matched by the time of the off then your bet is void. There is a limit to the odds than can be ordered. Odds lower than 1.01 are not allowed odds over 1000 not allowed.

If, for example, odds of 4.5 are offered for a horse to win and you want odds of at least 5.0 and want to stake £100, then you place an order for odds of 5.0 and offer a stake of £100. If another person is willing to lay at these odds, that is bet that the horse will lose, then your bet is matched. Your bet can be matched up to your maximum stake of £100. Your bet will be made if someone is prepared to stake £500 that the horse will lose. That is enough to payout your winnings. What may happen is that your bet is matched with several people’s lay bets. For example, one lay bet of £10, one lay bet of £20 and one lay bet of £50. If by the off these are the only three matches then you will have a bet of £80 at odds of 5.0. The additional £20 will be void. If the horse wins, you will receive £420, where £400 is your winnings and £20 is void. Commission will be calculated on the net winnings of £320. At 5 per cent, the commission will be £16. You will therefore receive £404.

If you offer odds to other betters you will need to make your odds competitive in order to get a match.

To stop ridiculous odds being offered like 1000/1 when the current odds are 5/1, an order can usually only be placed within a certain increment of the current best price. You will need to consult the exchange rules for the increments.

You could bet £2 at odds of 10.5 and place an order for £8 at odds of 10.5. Your £8 bet would only be valid if someone else is willing to match it.


9.8       10       10.5       Dobbin          11       11.5       13.5
£54      £497    £2                             £266    £200       £8
If you took this option the 10.5 odds would dissapear from the highlighted column to be replaced by the odds of 10. On the lay side, your odds of 10.5 with £8 underneath would appear in the highlighted column where it will remain until somone matches it, that is, decides they want to stake £8 at a price of 10.5 that the horse will loose.
9.8       10            Dobbin          10.5    11       11.5       13.5
£54      £497                            £8       £266    £200       £8
Best odds
If you place a bet at the odds of 6.0 and odds of 6.5 are available then your bet will be matched at these odds as they are better then 6.0. They will not be matched with odds of 5.5 as these are worse odds.

Back all and lay all

The betting screen also gives you the opportunity to back all the runners.  This is backing the entire field to win, that is all the horses that are running. Lay all is laying the entire field, that is all the horses to lose.


Official result

All winning bets are settled according to the official result at the time of the "weigh-in". This means that if, for example, a horse is later disqualified due to a positive drug test, the result at the "weigh-in" still counts.



If a horse is a non-runner, all unmatched and matched bets on the horse are void. If the race is a walkover (there is only one runner) all bets are void on that race. If a horse is withdrawn from a race once a market has been formed then depending on the price of the withdrawn horse, the prices on the remaining horses may be lowered. You are advised to check the betting exchange’s rules.

The amount that the price is reduced by is a percentage and called the reduction factor. It is based on the rule 4 system that bookmakers use. Prior to betting on a race, each horse is given a reduction factor based on the exchange’s estimates of each horse’s chance of winning. Unmatched bets to lay will be cancelled.

In the win market, reductions are made on the whole odds. With a matched bet at odds of 6.00 and a horse with a reduction factor of 20 per cent, your odds will be reduced by 20 per cent and become odds of 4.80.

In a place market, the reduction factor is made to the win portion of the odds. With a reduction factor of 25 per cent, the win portion of the odds will be reduced 25 per cent, odds of 8 would become 6.25.

For a price of 8, the win portion is the price minus the stake 8-1=7
8 – 1.75 = 6.25


Dead heat
In the event of a dead heat, the odds are divided by the number of declared winners for the market. Suppose two horses dead heat for first place and you have backed one of the winners at a price of 5. You will be paid out at a price of 2.5.

Betting Exchanges

Betting exchanges were introduced in 2000. Initially, concerns were raised about their affecting the integrity of racing due to them allowing bets on losing horses. These concerns have now been addressed with safeguards in place to monitor irregular patterns of betting. Due to the competitive prices offered, they have now become a popular way of betting.

A betting exchange acts as an agent to allow individuals to place bets with one another, charging a commission for its services. Suppose you wanted to have a bet with your friend on the favourite on the first race at Ascot. You think the horse will win and your friend thinks the horse will lose. You agree to each stake £50 and whoever wins takes the money staked. If your horse wins, you win the £100 and if your horse loses your friend wins the £100. In this situation, you have made a bet at ‘evens’ that your horse will win and your friend has made a bet at ‘evens’ that the horse will lose.

A betting exchange makes it possible for you to make bets like this except with strangers. They provide the facilities to make the betting possible and charge a commission for their services. They provide a website that allows you to come into contact with other people who want to bet and the means to transfer money from one person to another. Both you and the other bettors remain anonymous to each other. The betting exchange will keep details of the bets you have placed so that any foul play, such as people trying to manipulate the markets, can be investigated.

Unlike a bookmaker, the betting exchange does not decide the prices of the horses, instead the individuals making bets do. In the example just given, each person had agreed to odds of evens. However, they could have decided to bet at different odds. Suppose your friend wanted to bet but was only willing to stake £25 and you were willing to bet £50. You would then be betting at odds of 1/2 that your horse would win and your friend would be betting at odds of 2/1 that the horse would lose. If the horse wins you will win £75 less commission. If the horse loses your friend will win £75 less commission. If you were placing the bet with a betting exchange you would basically indicate that you wanted to make a bet of 1/2 on the horse and therefore needed someone to make the opposite bet of 2/1. As soon as someone agrees to match your bet, it is made. 

This arrangement gives greater flexibility than betting with a bookmaker. With a bookmaker, you can only bet on horses to win. With a betting exchange you can also bet that a horse will lose. With a traditional bookmaker, a horse may have a price of, for example, 4/1 and you can bet that the horse will win at 4/1. The bookmaker is effectively backing the horse to lose at 1/4. With a betting exchange, you also have the opportunity to take the place of the bookmaker and bet that the horse will lose at 1/4.

Minimum stakes vary but are around £1 to £2. Unlike with a bookmaker there is no maximum bet. As long as you can find someone to match your bet, you can stake as much as you wish.

Commission is charged at around 1 to 5 per cent. Different exchanges calculate the commission in different ways. Some charge commission on all bets placed (stakes) and others charge commission on net winnings. Some exchanges reduce the commissin for loyal customers so that the more you bet the less the commission charged. Currently bets are tax free, however this may change m the future as governments introduce new legislation.

Types of Bet

Bookmakers offer a wide variety of bets. Some of the most common are as follows.


Win single
This is one bet on the winner of a race.


Each way single
Two bets, one bet for the selection to win and the other for it to be placed. The place bet is settled as a fraction of the win odds. The number of places and the fraction of odds vary depending on how many runners there are and the type of race as shown below.

Number of     Type of race       Number of     Fraction of
runners                                 places           win odds
16 or more     handicap           4                 1/4
12 to 15         handicap           3                 1/4
8 to 15           not applicable    3                 1/5
5 to 7             not applicable    2                 1/4
4 or less         not applicable    1 (win only)   both bets win

A win double is one bet on two runners to win two different races. If the first selection wins, the returns are put onto the second selection.
An each-way double is two separate bets of a win double and a place double on two runners in two different races. The win bet is the same as a win double. For the place part of the bet if the first selection is placed the returns become the stake for the second selection to be placed.


This is one bet on three selections in three different races. If the first selection wins, the returns are put on to the second selection and if the second selection wins the returns are put onto the third selection.


A bet on any number of selections, in different races where the winnings on the first horse go onto the second and then onto the third and then onto the fourth and so on. It is one bet win and two bets each way. Obviously, the returns can be quite large, depending on the prices of the winning selections. It is therefore worth checking that your winnings would not exceed the bookmaker’s maximum payout.


Straight forecast
Nominating which selections will finish first and second in the correct order.


Reversed forecast
Nominating two selections to finish first and second in either order. It is two bets.


Combination/full cover forecast
Selecting any number of runners in one race to finish first and second in either order. To calculate how may bets there are, Simply multiply the number of selections by one number fewer.

For example:

  three selections is 3 X 2 = six bets
  four selections is 4 X 3 = 12 bets
  five selections is 5 X 4 = 20 bets.


Selecting three runners in the same race to finish first, second and third in the correct order.


Three selections in three different races, comprising three doubles and one treble. It is four bets win and eight bets each way.


Four selections in four different races, comprising six doubles, four trebles and one fourfold. It is 11 bets win and 22 bets each way.


Super yankee/Canadian
Five selections in five different races, comprising 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five fourfolds and one fivefold. It is 26 bets win and 52 bets each way.


Six selections in six different races comprising 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfolds, six fivefolds and one sixfold. It is 57 bets win and 114 bets each way.


Super heinz
Seven selections in seven different races, comprising 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 fourfolds, 21 fivefolds, seven sixfolds and one sevenfold. It is 120 bets win and 240 bets each way.


Eight selections in eight different races, comprising 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 fourfolds, 56 fivefolds, 28 sixfolds, eight seven folds and one eightfold. It is 247 bets win and 494 bets each way.


Three selections in three different races, comprising three singles, three doubles and one treble. There are seven bets win and 14 bets each way.


Lucky 15
Four selections in four different races, comprising four singles, six doubles, four trebles and one fourfold. It is 15 bets win and 30 bets each way. If there are four winners, a 10 per cent bonus is paid, usually at starting price. If there is only one winner, double the starting pnce odds are paid. These bonuses and consolations apply only to the win part of the bet. So if an each-way lucky 15 has just one placed horse, double the odds is not paid on the placed selection. Similarly, if one selection wins and one is a non-runner, the consolation is not paid.


Lucky 31
Five selections in five different races, comprising five singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five fourfolds and one fivefold. It is 31 bets win and 62 bets each way.

The bonuses paid vary with different bookmakers. Some pay a bonus on four winners and five winners, others pay a bonus on only five winners. It is certainly worth shopping around to find the best offers. A consolation of double the starting price odds is paid for one winner.


Lucky 63
Six selections in six different races, comprising six singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfolds, six fivefolds and one sixfold. It is 63 bets win and 126 bets each way.

Bonuses vary with different bookmakers. A 10 per cent bonus is usually paid for five winners. For six winners, the bonus is likely to be between 15 and 25 per cent. A consolation of double starting price odds is paid for one winner.