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Winning Bets in Greyhound Racing
In the modern world of greyhound racing, players have been forced to play exotic bets to get a reasonable return on their most important investments. When you compare the $100,000+ win pools of Thoroughbred racing to the anemic greyhound racing pools under $1,000 and the reason becomes clear. To extract any value in the sport of greyhound racing, you need to play exotic pools.
I play horses and puppies. I practice the two sports in completely different ways. What works in horse racing won’t work in greyhound racing. This requires two completely different skills. When people ask me which one I prefer, my answer is always horse racing. It only makes sense if you think about it. When I play the horses, I simply look for likely winners and then see if playing that horse to win will be profitable for me. In greyhound racing, I have to find a winner and then rate 7 other contenders to race with my key winner. I also need to analyze how many combinations I can play to give myself a chance of winning while keeping those combinations small enough for my bet to be profitable. I’ve always liked a good challenge, but if I had the option, I’d rather play a Greyhound to win. With the prospect of improving the payout pools to play in, hopefully in the near future, I decided to visit this possibility and discuss the things involved in being profitable with this form of gambling.
The first step is obviously disabling. In my opinion, I would be doing you a disservice by trying to summarize how to handicap greyhounds in this short article. That’s why I created an online Greyhound University to teach. It takes training, time and effort to become good at handicapping. It’s definitely not something I can teach in this short article. But I can give you some tips and how to apply them to play winning pools.
Speed, class, early speed and form are the fundamentals of greyhound handicapping. These are the basics. Beyond that is an opportunity. This would be the race setup you are analyzing. None of these factors mean much if a greyhound is in a race that has conditions that will give him a long chance of winning. There is a lot of information online that you can google and read for free on the subject of speed, class, early speed and fitness. Using this information, you will develop your handicapping method.
Once you have a method, you need to determine its accuracy. In today’s world of online data, it’s much easier than ever to gather results and see how your choices are performing. You have to play on paper and compile results and statistics to know how good you are at picking winners. Most handicappers find that they do better in some races than others. Some players specialize in Maiden races, or road races, etc. Know what your strengths are and what your average winning percentage is.
Once you have a method of handicapping, your role as a player becomes simple. You want to wager your selections profitably. Below is a fictional example of how this could be accomplished
Let’s say you’ve determined that you can pick the winner in Maiden sprint races about 40% of the time. You also know that your second choice is winning about 25% of the time. You could even go further if you have the records to back it up and say your 3rd pick wins 15% of the time. To play Maiden Races for profit, all you need to do is make bets that will return a profit in the long run. Remember that it is never a question of whether you win or lose a specific race. It’s about playing a volume of races and winning more with the tickets cashed in than you originally bet. This is why record keeping is so important.
In the example above, it will be assumed that your top 3 picks are 1, 2, and 8. A paper with their winning percentages would look like this
1 – 40%
2 – 25%
8 – 15%
What does this mean translated into odds? You will need to know this to make good decisions.
40% winners means the true odds of the dog winning are 1 in 2.5 or 1.5/1 against. 1.5/1 in the catch-all board odds is expressed as 3/2.
If you don’t have a good understanding of odds versus win percentage, here’s a chart to help you out.
Odds of Winning – Win%
1/10 – 90.91
1/5 – 83.33
2/5 – 71.42
1/2 – 66.67
3/5 – 62.50
4/5 – 55.56
1/1 – 50.00
6/5 – 45.45
7/5 – 41.67
3/2 – 40.00
8/5 – 38.46
9/5 – 35.71
2/1 – 33.33
5/2 – 28.57
3/1 – 25.00
7/2 – 22.22
4/1 – 20.00
9/2 – 18.19
5/1 – 16.67
6/1 – 14.29
01/07 – 12:50 p.m.
8/1 – 11.11
9/1 – 10.00
10/1 – 9.09
11/1 – 8.33
12/1 – 7.69
15/1 – 6.25
20/1 – 4.76
25/1 – 3.85
30/1 – 3.23
50/1 – 1.96
99/1 – 1.00
Don’t let math, decimals and percentages scare you off. With a little time you will become very familiar with it. I like to use simple examples to help people get started. Once you grasp the easy ones, it helps you understand them all. We are all generally more comfortable with dozens. This is the basis on which the dollar is built and we are generally more comfortable with it.
If a dog has a 10% chance of winning, then they have a 1 in 10 chance. If you divide 100 by 10, you get 10. So there are 10 blocks and our dog has ONE. So 10% is a 1 in 10 chance of winning.
Now odds are represented by ODDS AGAINST. So if a dog has a 1 in 10 chance of winning, the odds AGAINST him are 9 to 1. This is usually represented by 9/1 or the odds you usually see on a scoreboard.
To be profitable, if you know a dog’s odds of winning, all you have to do is get the win pool to pay you MORE than those odds! It’s quite simple really.
Let’s go back to our example
1 – 40% odds 3/2
2 – 25% odds 3/1
8 – 15% odds 6/1
We would therefore handicap the race and be ready to play well before the start time. It’s as simple as comparing the odds the crowd gives you versus the odds of winning greyhounds.
Let’s say there is 1 minute left to bet 1 dog has odds of 1/5 on the scoreboard. The payout pool gives you far less than that dog’s actual winning odds. You need to get MORE to show a profit at the end of the week, month and year. Remember that the odds table is fair odds. You need to get MORE than that in return.
Your second dog has a 25% chance of winning thanks to your records. This is odds of 3/1. Looking at the scoreboard, you see dog 2 is 6/1. It’s a double layer! The crowd is ready to pay you double the actual odds of winning that greyhound. So the best bet in this race is to bet that 2 wins, even though there is a 40% chance that 1 actually wins the race.
This means that 75% of the time you WILL LOSE the race. But remember… winning or losing a race is not the issue. Making money is the problem. Let’s look at the 2 dogs we bet above hypothetically.
According to your own research, this dog should win about 25% of the time. This means he WILL LOSE 75% of the time. But let’s look at a series of 12 races. This means that 12 times this month we have bet a 3/1 dog with odds of 6/1.
Bet $2 12 times for a total of $24 in bets.
The dog wins 3 times (25%) with odds of 6/1
You collect $14 each time. 3 X 14 = $42
And that’s how you waste 75% of the time and still make money
Betting to win is part art and part math. But it’s much less complicated than building a complicated exotic bet. If you can hone your skills on the “art” part of the process, the math part does the work on its own.
Now get to work playing to win in Greyhound Track WIN Pools!
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