There are as many ways of betting as there are of getting to Rome.

In this second part of my article I will discuss with you possible .Ways of betting with $100, $250 and $500 per week.

Maybe the first thing to say here is that we have many situations where the same thing is repeated over and over again. How many times have you picked up a magazine or paper and thought to yourself that there is nothing new to be gained there?

So I have set about trying to stick to some fairly obvious, yet perhaps not very much considered, ways of outlaying your money.

The most obvious way of all has to be a straight win bet, followed by two win bets, three win bets, etc. Then maybe a straight place bet, and an eachway bet.

After that, things get a little more complicated and we leave the amateurs behind. We have all seen the amateurs on Melbourne Cup days, wrestling with a trifecta ticket and trying to work out how much a box will cost.

They are appalled when they realise how quickly the costs escalate for the seven horses they think will win the Cup that year. "What?" they exclaim. "One hundred and five dollars for a fifty cent bet?" They just don't get it.

But still, they can get lucky, and I wondered if we might be better tackling them on other days, on the easiest ground, where they are at their most vulnerable.

Why are they (the amateurs) at their most vulnerable with the simple win bet? Because they think that they have this part of things under control, and they play follow the leader.

Let's put it this way. Everyone in town told them that Intergaze had a big chance of toppling the other four chances in the Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill. I admit that on my Stable phone service I mentioned that he had a show, but at maybe 8/1 or so.

Did you see what happened there? Three favourites, Might And Power, Dane Ripper and Intergaze opened at the same odds on the NSW TAB: $3.50 each, odds of 5/2.

Crazy, yet true. Gold Guru, the ultimate winner, was more than 1.5 points away. Here was an opportunity to bet your choice, save on the next best two, and still win well, IF you thought that, regardless of what sort of race Intergaze ran, he would still be pushing it to win as a 5/2 chance.

There are many ways of betting, and we cannot cover them all here, so let's have a strong look at the idea of restricting our bets to win only and look to the long term.

I also need to say that this is not necessarily MY way, but it is a way that could provide a secure basis for all your betting.

How many bets should you have per day? I have always wondered why any one selection should be ignored, or backed, on the strength of the time in the day at which it is set to race.

My own view is that between three and seven races per day (over perhaps three States) is about right, fining down final bets according to prices available oncourse or at the TAB.

As someone who has to make selections early, I am aware of the difficulties faced by those who have to make their bets ahead of time. The pre-post market is close to useless in this regard.

A classic example from recent times is the previously unbeaten Melbourne mare Noirsir, who was listed at 7/2, 4/1, etc. in the papers, not tipped to win, then opened short and was paying $2.10 at the death.

Clearly, there is advantage in setting a price limit. Perhaps, if you bet in large amounts, you could ask your bookmaker to cancel any bet where the horse is at less than 3/1 throughout proceedings. I think that such a request would be reasonable if you are a $100 (or more) bettor.

After all, you are turning over at least $5000 per year with him, and 100 of you would mean half-a million overall for the bookie's bag. If you are a $500 per week bettor, 25 of you would mean $650,000 for the bookie.

A, say, 3/1 limit would mean that you are trying to average one winner in almost four bets at 3/1. Some of these "3/1 limit" horses would win at 5/1 or so, building up the returns. The minimum acceptable bet is 3/1; there will be many, probably most, at more than those odds.

Let's say the restriction is 3/1, be it TAB or bookmaker. Now let's also say that you are betting on between five and eight horses over a weekend (two days of racing). You do your homework, and allocate your bets according to your own choice.

You may have super specials, specials and basic bets like I have, or all the same (level stakes), or a variety of other ways. If your weekly outlay is $100, or $250, or $500, you allocate the bets according to your own financial choice.

Then you wait for the prices, or if you have a bookie you don't have to bother. I am well aware that some people cannot wait for this and I will get to you soon. Where there is no 3/1 available, or whatever you have set your limit at, then that horse runs without you. The money goes back into the bank because the value is not there.

I am also aware that value is not represented simply by a nominal price, but not many of us can pick more than one in three or four, so any at less than 2/1 would be suicide. And as we have agreed, the chances of guessing what the odds will be prior to the event are minimal.

Now, what about if you cannot wait for the last few minutes, or even the final hour, before your selection runs, and you cannot use a bookmaker?

You can, in the long term, still win well, provided you realise that there will be frustrations and the job will be a lot harder. For example, you will get winners that pay $1.80 when you reckoned they would be about 5/2, and placed horses that you would not, or may not, have backed if you'd been able to wait, because of the prices offered.

There will be occasions when your horse romps home at 10/1 after being in the pre-post at 4/1, and there is great joy. It will be roundabouts and swings for you, with less chance of controlling the situation.

Is there any logic in putting a lot on one or two horses? It's another way. One of those 4/1 pre-posters who end up paying tens will set you up for the next several bets.

If you are a $500 per weekend bettor, you may choose to have one bet on the richest race of the weekend, dividing it between your first TWO choices. I know a very good judge of horses who bets in the following way:

He allocates $500 per week to the race he regards as the most bettable. He has $200 on the best chance, $200 on the second-best chance, $40 on the quinella and about $50 on the trifecta, spread AB-field at a regular cost of about $26, and AB/ABCDE for $24, standing out his two selections with the three he regards as capable of running third.

He therefore includes both his selections in the standout places, meaning that should one of his two win, he collects the win bet, plus, if two of the other four place, he gets the trifecta.

If he manages to score one-two, he will get the win, the quinella, and at least one trifecta return, which could be quite handsome if none of the other three lobs into third place; and he gets the dividend twice if one of them does get third.

In the Ranvet, he backed Gold Guru and Might And Power, reasoning that Dane Ripper wasn't as good in Sydney and Intergaze was under the odds everywhere (he wanted tens or better). He took those four in his standout, plus the unlucky Delinquent.

I understand he got 5/1 for the win from the bookie ($1200), $284 ($7.10 x 40) for the quinella and $113.30 for the trifecta once, missing Vitrinite, who ran third.

So he ended up with almost $1600 for his $500. His attitude is that this is the equivalent of getting 9/4 about his bet for the day and it provides him with two free days' betting. He will need to miss out with both selections next week and the week after to give that money back.

I suggest that if he can do it with $500, you could do it with $250 or $100. His betting method isn't quite the same as a simple series of win bets but it's easy and logical.

Ultimately it's all up to the punter, but there's much to be said for simplicity, and for taking the money from the amateurs.

Click here to read Part 1.

By The Optimist