A couple of months ago I suggested that each way betting was not as profitable as win betting. This was particularly true if you had bet the total amount of your each way outlay for a win only.

While I still maintain that opinion, I agree that your selections are likely to run into a place more often than a win and so an argument can be made for each way betting that it will produce more frequent collects.

With this in mind, I put forward the following idea for helping you increase the amount of your collects from each way betting, or to at least reduce your losses.

Be warned, though, that while this approach will increase your dollar profit, it will seriously erode your POT.

I’ll start with an example of a simple, basic bet of \$1 each way. Let’s assume that the horse wins and pays \$1.80 and \$1.10. You would have outlaid \$2 and collected \$2.90 giving you a profit of 90 cents.

Now a profit of any amount is a good profit. But, what if the horse had only run into second or third place? After outlaying \$2, a collect of only \$1.10 would have meant that you suffered a loss of 90 cents. The only way you could have avoided the loss and broken even in this case would have been to have bet \$1 to win and \$10 for a place.

Doing this would have meant a total outlay of \$11 for a collect of \$11. While there would have been no profit here, at least there would have been no loss.

The worst case scenario is where your horse runs fourth – sorry, but you’ve just thrown away your outlay – in this case, \$11. We all know that punting is an ongoing ‘swings and roundabouts’ affair with frequent ups and downs and the aim of the game is to have more ups than downs or at least, to have bigger ups than downs.

If you don’t feel comfortable outlaying that amount on each race, I will make a few suggestions that may help you come to a decision on how to bet each way on a regular basis. Starting with the lowest outlay of \$1 each way, if your horse wins, whatever your outlay was, you’re in profit.

If your horse only runs second or third using the above dividend of \$1.10, then you lose 90 cents or 45 per cent of your outlay.

Betting \$1 to win and \$2 a place would have seen a return of \$2.20 for an outlay of \$3 giving a loss of 80 cents or just under 27 per cent of your outlay. Betting \$1 to win and \$5 a place would have seen a return of \$5.50 for an outlay of \$6 giving a loss of 50 cents or just over eight per cent of your outlay.

Can you see where this approach is leading us? The higher your outlay for the place, the lower your loss will be – provided of course your horse is placed.

Never bet for a place in a race where there are less than eight runners. In this event, there will be no third dividend and you can bet your boots that your horse will run third more often than not.

Other than your horse failing to run into a place, there is one other highly frustrating way to lose money when betting \$1 and \$10 and that is if your selection dead heats for second or third and the dividend is only \$1.

This doesn’t happen often but it’s one of those annoying little things that life on the punt throws up from time to time. Just be happy when your horse romps home occasionally and pays \$4 and \$2.50 giving you a collect of \$29, a profit of \$18 and a POT of 163 per cent.

Okay, so that doesn’t happen often either but it is a very pleasant surprise when it does.

Checking back over my own records since the start of the racing season on August 1, 2007 up to Saturday May 24, there would have been a total of 243 bets.

Of these, there were 124 wins and an additional 48 were places. \$1 each way would have seen a total profit of \$192.50 or just under 40 per cent POT. \$1 and \$10 would have produced a profit of \$392.30 for a POT of just over 14.5 per cent.

As you can see, while the profit has increased by over double, the POT has dropped by almost two thirds.

I hope these examples have given you something to chew over and have helped you make a decision on each way betting.

Good luck.

By Mr Money

PRACTICAL PUNTING – AUGUST 2008