With exchanges popping up all over the place you can place a wager on just about anything - be it a greyhound, horse or team - to lose. All those useless nags you had bet on at Aintree on Saturday could have turned into wonderfully profitable, useless nags if you were laying them on a betting exchange.
The secret, is to decide upon and select the horses you decide to lay. It's no good continually laying horses at 25s because although they almost always lose, now and again a 25/1 shot goes in, more than likely wiping out any gains you might have made. A 25/1 shot laid to a tenner will see €250 exit your account.
It's much better to lay favourites, preferably at prices of no more than 5/2, confining any pay-out in the event of a win to only two and a half times your stake. Usually about 30% of favourites win so it's fair to assume that if you're laying favourites, around 70% of your wagers will come good. That makes a change.
The groundwork you need to do to pick losers is every bit as important as the research you should do into finding winners. If you propose to lay the favourites at a certain race meeting, your groundwork should be into what happens to favourites at that particular course. Check out the favourites' record. Your research tells you that at Sedgefield, for example, the favourites achieve first place in only 24% of handicap hurdles. In other words, well below the 30% average for favourites across the board.
For example, on the race card you'll see two such races. Your betting strategy should be to lay the favourites of these two races, as long as the odds aren't over 5/2. This is just one strategy but there are many others. Another approach might involve individual jockeys.
With exchange betting there are several factors to consider. First of all, you will have absolute control over the odds, whether backing or laying. You can ask for higher odds if you are looking to back something, or place lower odds taking into account the type of exposure you are willing to accept, if laying bets.
If you would like be a successful gambler, it is worth considering a strategy combining backing and laying as a way of guaranteeing profits. You can secure profits by backing something at one price and laying it at another
What if you put €100 on Montifault at the original 50/1? If it romps home first at Aintree your original bet will return €5,100. But you've also put on a bet for it to win €200 at 16s too which will lose you €3,200 if Montifault triumphs. Don't let it worry you. Your overall profit will be €1,900 which is still enough to take the missus on holiday.
However, if Montifault throws his jockey out of the saddle at Beecher's Brook what are you left with? You lose the €100 from the wager you made when the horse was 50s but as you've also bet Montifault to finish first at €200 you're still up by €100 overall. Not quite enough for a five-star holiday, perhaps, but you can watch the race knowing you'll be in profit.
Art Aronson is a tenured bottom-line professional sports handicapper. He is the best ROI handicapper in the business. He is not your typical handicapper.