## Pages

### How the Bookmaker stitches you up

. . . . and how to fight back.
If you want to make a long term profit at horse racing you need to understand some simple but fundamental principles about "probability" and the way bookmakers compile their odds.
There is a way to overcome the disadvantage you have against bookmakers, which I'll explain in a moment. First, 'though, let's look at the weapons of the 'enemy'.
The bookies are in business to make a profit every week. Not necessarily on every race but, over the long term, they know that if they lose money on one event they will quickly get it back and make their profit on the following races. How do they know that? Simply because the "playing field" slopes in their favour - directly towards your goal.
If you were playing soccer against the bookmaker then you would be kicking uphill all the time - and there's no half time when you get the chance to change ends!
Here's what I mean. Imagine a three horse race. A bookmaker's odds for the three horses may be expressed something like this:

Favourite = 1.8
2nd Favourite = 3.3
Outsider = 4.5

(This is using European digital odds format)
We can express these odds as percentages of the total 'book' by dividing them into 100. So:

Favourite = 100/1.8 = 55.55%
2nd Favourite = 100/3.3 = 30.30%
Outsider = 100/4.5 = 22.22%

If we add up all these percentages then the total comes to 108.07%.
Of course, if the bookmaker's odds represented the REAL chances of the horses winning (which of course can never be accurately known in advance) then the total probabilities should add up to 100%.
In other words, that extra 8.07% is all in the bookie's favour and, if all the races were like this, then he would make a consistent 8% profit over the long term.
In this example the 8% (called the bookmaker's over-round) is quite low. In reality you'll find over-rounds of 12% or more very often.
If your entire strategy is based on "picking winners" then you can pick winners until the cows come home but if you keep betting on fancied horses with level stakes you will eventually lose because the odds are against you. You will always win LESS than the bet is "worth" in real terms.
Is there an answer for the professional gambler?
Well there are TWO possible ways to fight back against this disadvantage:
The first is to try to find "Value" bets. That is to say you look consistently for individual horses that have a better real chance of winning than the bookmaker's odds suggest. This, however, is difficult. Bookmakers know their game very well and trying to find individual chinks in their armour takes some dedication.
There are many theories about how to identify "value". Finding a method that works more often than not is well worth the effort. For the value hunter I highly recommend the Value Horse Method.
Three years of consistent testing of this method has shown it to produce for the punter the same kind of profits that the bookmaker would normally enjoy.
The second weapon to fight back against the bookie is to use a dynamic staking plan that will recover any losses and boost the value of winning bets. To calculate such a plan on paper would be quite difficult as there are so many factors to take into account.
Simple ideas such as doubling up after losing bets are a sure fire road to ruin and should never be resorted to. The Safebet Plan software is a cheap, simple to use, and effective tool, proven to reverse the edge that bookmakers enjoy. So long as your selection method is half decent then Safebet Plan will certainly boost your returns and turn short losing runs back into profits.