Place betting for long-term profit in horse racing

April 4, 2019 | By More

Place betting is a popular way of securing long-term profitability in horse racing.

The odds are far less but the chances of finishing in the first three are greater.

With the right planning, the punter can make significant profits over a long period of time.

Place betting is not only for the ladies

Betting for a place once had a stigma attached.

The place punter was that little old lady who invests 50 cents each time on the “odds-on” favourite, for a place!

The thrill of winning, even for a small profit, is enough for her to enjoy a day on the punt.

Nowadays, astute punters turn to place betting for the increased certainty around profiting on each investment.

For a place bet, in a race with 8 or more runners, the horse needs only to finish in the first to 3 to collect a dividend.

This is called “hitting the board” because the horse’s number is put up amongst the first three finishers on the results board.

When betting on horses for the place, the odds are considerably smaller, often less than a quarter of the win dividend.

But don’t forget, even if the horse is beaten into second or third placing, you will still make a profit on your investment.

There is also plenty of opportunity to make serious money in place betting.

Only last weekend for example, the Villagebet lucky longshot selection, Red Alto, started at the long odds of $81 for the win.

It finished third, paying $17.70 in pari-mutuel betting.

Imagine the excitement if you’d backed a winner at odds of $17.70.

Even though it was a place bet, the enjoyment standing in the payout queue is equally as great!

If you see value in a place bet, there’s nothing stopping you from giving it a go.

Remember, interest rates on cash deposits in the bank are only around 4%.

How are the odds calculated in place betting?

In the old days before the advent of digital odds, the punter would walk up to the bookmaker in the ring and get 25% odds for the place.

If the horse is showing odds of 8-1, the bookie would offer place odds of 2-1.

Later, it was even cut to 1/5 the win bet odds.

Although a considerable cut in potential winnings, it still wasn’t a bad offer for an 8-1 shot to “hit the board”.

This was the original “Fixed Odds” bet.

With Fixed Odds, the odds that you get when placing the bet are your odds until the race is over.

It doesn’t change, even if there are later fluctuations in betting.

Nowadays, most of the bets are done electronically.

Pari-mutuel betting (tote betting) on the place, does not consider the win bet odds.

The tote betting system combines all the bets for the place into a place pool that is separate from the win bets.

In tote betting, the place dividend is calculated as such.

Divide the total investment (minus the rake for that bet type) by the amount of money invested on the selection (after rounding down).

More simply, it’s sharing the pool among all winning bets.

Fixed Odds place betting

With most corporate bookmakers, you can also take a Fixed Odds bet for the place.

In fixed odds, the bookmaker calculates the odds for each horse at any given moment, based on the probabilities of it winning.

The net outcome of the total book for the race is always in their favour.

That is, the sum of the probabilities quoted for all possible outcomes is in excess of 100%.

Fixed Odds is a way to secure the odds if there is value at the time.

Otherwise, any pre-race fluctuations will affect the starting odds.

Place betting for profit

Place betting is a sensible way to bet if you don’t mind the small dividends.

Often it’s better to bet on a horse for the place, then to bet on a more favoured runner for win only.

It also allows the punter to gamble on a horse at much longer odds.

There may not be sufficient confidence in the horse winning.

However, there is evidence that the horse will put up a good showing and sneak into a place.

Betting on a 40-1 horse for a place is better than backing the favourite to win at $2.

It’s a matter of awareness.

To be mindful that there are many more ways to skin a cat when playing the horses for profit.

Remember, your selections in place betting can also be used to bet the trifecta. You can make them standout selections or roving bankers. Trifecta betting is a way to take place betting to the next level.

Bookmaker bonuses are like place betting

Recent bonuses offered by bookmakers are, in some ways, like place betting.

For example, the online betting company BetEasy often has the following betting bonus.

If your horse is beaten into 2nd or 3rd place, you still receive up to $50 in bonus bets.

The amount of the bonus bet depends on the initial investment.

This is a great way to mimic place betting because you get a return on investment even if the horse runs a place.

It’s like having insurance on your win bets.

As they say, thinking about the different ways you can bet to make a profit is a great way to “raise your game“.

Aim for small and consistent profits

We should aim to make consistent profits over the long term instead of focusing on large windfalls.

I recommend to try one or two days of focusing on betting for the place and not the win.

Don’t use red money in this experiment, just spread your bets throughout the day and track your success.

If you can see the potential for real profits over the long term, then dip your toes in the water and invest.

Let us know how you go on our punter’s forum and any pitfalls you encountered.

All the best and good punting!

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Mayor of Thoroughbred Village

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