The Each Way Betting Conundrum

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The Each Way Betting Conundrum

Postby BettorValue » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:30 am

I have been pondering this question over and over again in my mind for the past few weeks, done a lot of research and read countless views on the subject: is it better to back each way or to win? That was the question I sought to answer and I think I have definitely clarified in my own mind when it's appropriate to back each way and when it's best to go for the win.

From my research, in races of 8 runners there is about a 7% advantage to punters to back each way at shorter odds, this advantage diminishes as the odds increase, but at the odds I back at, where the bookie is most vulnerable in handicaps (9/2 - 14/1) there is a punter advantage in 8 runner races to go e/w so I am sticking with that.

In races of 5-7 runners the bookie advantage on e/w bets is significant and in these races I can see that to go for the win is the most appropriate bet.

In races of 9-15 runners there is no advantage to the punter to back e/w at all. The bookie again comes out on top in the percentages in these races.

BUT, in 16+ runner handicaps the bookie is again disadvantaged by each way betting and the percentages are firmly in favour of the punter once again. Again it's at the lower odds spectrum where the punter advantage is greatest, diminishing as the odds increase.

I think a blanket, "go for the win" bet only is disadvantageous to the punter, it should very much be race / runners dependant.

So in a nutshell, in 8 runner races, where there are 3 places on offer, and provided the odds of the selection are between 2/1 and 14/1 there is an advantage to be had by going each way for the punter.

In 5-7 runner races there is no advantage to the punter by going each way, and a win bet should be the only option here.

In 16+ runner races, where there are 4 places on offer (handicaps), the punter has a distinct advantage at odds from 3/1 to 14/1 to go each way. Prices above this are still advantageous, but diminish as the odds increase.

When I first started tipping on the board I use to use e/w a lot. And then I dropped it and went predominantly for the win - this was a mistake looking at the research I have done. What I should have done is based it on the race / runners and determined the advantage of win vs e/w on a race per race basis. I also took a hit with the tips for a long while there, 2nds and 3rds were dropping points - when if I had of gone e/w in most of those races I would have saved a point, and even made a small profit.

The argument for "blanket" win betting only, can be made I think, but having looked at this indepth over the last week my own conclusion is that it disadvantages the punter long term to take this approach.

A classic example of this was recently when I tipped up Asuncion at 12/1 e/w in a race at Musselburgh. Chief also put the same selection up, but to win. It looked like he might just do it and take the race, but was run down on the run in to get 2nd place. Chief lost a point, equating to £10 for going for the win, but I saved a point, and made £7 profit on top for hitting the frame.

It doesn't sound like a big gain, but if you are betting at around those prices or shorter, and you get turned over, in my mind it's better to get something rather than nothing... and it was that race that made me think about researching each way betting further to see if there is in fact an advantage to punters by betting this way... in 8 runner races, where there are 3 places on offer it is advantageous to the punter to go e/w, and in 16+ handicaps where there are 4 places on offer, there is also an advantage to punters to go e/w - however, the advantage does diminish as the odds increase. The biggest advantage to punters is at the lower end of the odds spectrum.

Interested to hear anyone else's thoughts on this?
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Re: The Each Way Betting Conundrum

Postby Brian » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:26 pm

Very interesting this BV. I too have been flicking between the two in my betting and it sounds stupid but I hadn't considered a non blanket approach! Win only is preferred by me atm as if your stakes are low enough I think you will see a bigger profit relative to stakes over time.

In my head I think the bookie must generally benefit in some way from you building in some safety into your bet... but possibly not always I guess e.g. Each-Way Steal!

At the very big prices, like well above 14/1 as you say, you can give away a hell of a lot of profit by going each way. These big prices land a lot more often than you'd think as we know.

When I first saw that Andy Holding went each way on such short prices I thought it was insane but now I'm beginning to understand why he does this. You and him know a lot more about the horses than me so I reckon I will try this conditional approach out from now on.

I would like to see how you worked out the percentage advantages though... not that I'm doubting your findings! :D
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Re: The Each Way Betting Conundrum

Postby BettorValue » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:51 pm

I didn't work out the percentages mate, I used the betting tables in a book called the 'Solidus' by Davey Towey and also a more updated book called 'Secrets Of Successful Betting' by Michael Adams, both said the same thing and the tables were almost identical.

The principle is sound - I will see if I can scan them in and email them to you, might prove a useful resource.

Both authors are strongly against a blanket approach, preferring to assess it on a race by race basis.

This is also confirmed in another book I read last year by Ron Loftus called 'Finding An Edge' where he also reinforced the view that the punter has a distinct advantage e/w in the races I mentioned, and definitely more so at the lower end of the odds spectrum.

I was unsure about which way to go, in what races, but this has highlighted to me what I think is a good course of action for e/w bets. But it's only my personal preference as such, not looking to impose this on anyone at all, just thought it would be useful to share on the board.

The higher the odds, the less advantageous e/w betting is to the punter, which is why Andy Holding probably does go e/w on 7/2 shots, there is a distinct percentage of profit to be gained from the bookie at this odds range in 8 runner races, and also 16+ runner handicaps where there are 4 places on offer.
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Re: The Each Way Betting Conundrum

Postby Ron E » Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:28 pm

So far this month I have made £146 profit if I had not have used each way betting it would have stood at only £100

I think the same could have applied the previous month? I would like to see figures so I can work out the benefits of betting each way particuarly since I began the premier tipping in August. 2015

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Re: The Each Way Betting Conundrum

Postby BettorValue » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:46 pm

I agree with you absolutely Ron, that's why I switched back to e/w more now, I think a point saved when one hits the frame is well worth it and the figures add up for me, as they do for you. The advantage for punters, specifically more so in 8 runner races, and 16+ handicaps makes it worthwhile I think.

I saw some great tips on the board over the last couple of weeks that hit the frame, but were win only, and a point lost. To me, personally, I think an e/w bet is the way to go - and would even dare to do it an all bets regardless of race size, as you have proven their is an advantage to be had.

The tables I used to calculate the race size (# of runners), and odds ranges where the punter had a distinct advantage e/w just reinforced in my own mind that e/w is the way to go at the odds ranges I do well at. That's not to say there are times where I won't adjust that myself, it makes sense to I think.

I will scan the tables in and send them through to Brian at some point to take a look, might be a useful guide to show which races are more suited to e/w where the punter has a distinct advantage, and which ones are more suited to the win only. I think flexibility is a great thing for punters, and it's just useful to know when the odds are just that much more in your favour when going e/w.

But like you, I think e/w is the way to go personally - I would rather conserve a point and get a small return if the horse gets beat, rather than lose a point on a selection that was good enough to be considered to win, but only managed to come 2nd or 3rd at decent odds mate.

Very much a personal preference thing, just thought I would start a thread to get some views on the subject and really appreciate your input.
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Re: The Each Way Betting Conundrum

Postby BettorValue » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:54 pm

Ron, what would be useful is if you looked at the races sizes and computed the return if you went e/w in 8 runner races only and win only in 0-7 and 9-15 runner races. That would be a good indication if theory of less advantage to punters going e/w in those size races actually pans out in reality? Is that possible mate? Be a great excercise and something I would find particularly of interest if you can manage it. Even if you did it over a sample of say 12 weeks just to give an indication?
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Re: The Each Way Betting Conundrum

Postby BettorValue » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:01 pm

I think the other thing to remember as well is that the advantage to punters, specifically in 8 runner and 16+ runner races is more so at the lower end of the odds spectrum.

We actually gain a bigger advantage by seeking value in our bets, which reduces the bookmaker margin considerably as well - this puts the bets we make in a slightly different bracket, because if you can back a horse at say 16/1 that comes in to 10/1 and you do it each way, you are effectively backing at a considerable discount in your favour anyway - the bookie advantage has already been stripped if the bet pans out, so again, in theory, the advantage of doing this e/w in all races works in our favour as punters, strengthening the argument that e/w betting is more profitable over time due to the value nature of the bets.

Of course value is 'subjective', what is value to one person, may be a donkey bet to another, so it is again punter dependant, on getting the right result enough times to keep the advantage firmly in your favour. And Ron, I gotta say.... you have this down to a fine art so it makes absolute sense to back e/w across the board, regardless of the race size :). The odds are definitely in your favour, win or lose!!!! :).
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