Racing odds are offered by both online bookmakers and bookies at the races so depending on whether you are betting from home or onsite, the odds you select may be different. Generally, online odds are a much better way to bet as you can research the best odds before you place any bets.
The odds are determined by the bookmakers who base their numbers on the race’s favourite horse, the amount of bets placed on each horse and their independent evaluation on each horse’s chances of winning the race. Consequently, the odds on a race can change during the day as more people place bets on one specific horse and the bookmakers wants more money placed on other horses to balance out their books.
A horse’s previous race form and the performances of all the runners in the key lead-up races are a great indication as to how each horse will perform. Also, the trends and statistics of the race’s previous winners will be analysed. For example, if all the previous winners were male, the odds of all the mares competing in the race will be extremely high as their chances of winning will be low.
In Australia, Canada and Europe, decimal odds are used and are a reflection of the payout on a successful bet and also factor in the return of the stake. For example, if one was to look at the Melbourne Cup racing odds, the racehorse Efficient may be priced at 6.50 to win the race. This means that for every $1 the punter wagers, he will receive $6.50 in return. So if he was to wager $200 on Efficient winning, his payout would be ($200 x 6.50) = $1300. This includes his original $200 wagered so the bonus amount is $1100.
Odds are often described as either long or short. If the horse has long odds, the payout is normally quite large however it is unlikely that the horse will win the race e.g. 50/1. If a horse has short odds, they would be classed as one of the favourites and have a greater chance of winning, therefore the bookmakers will shorten the odds as it is most likely that more people will bet on this particular horse and therefore there will be less of a payout e.g. 2/1.
Lastly a tip for all novices, it is better to place bets on the favourite horse earlier on and later for the remaining horses. The odds for the favourite will get shorter the closer to the game/race, making the payout smaller. The opposite will happen for the other horses; the odds will get longer and as result, the payout will increase.
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