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Horse Racing Strategy default

TAB is the home to big smart bets


Ever wonder where serious professional punters with very large betting turnovers go to punt? Bookmakers? Betting exchanges? The answer is TABs. I caught up with a popular broker in the wagering industry who works with some of Australia's biggest betting professionals and received some valuable insights into where and how the very large bets in Australia actually get placed.

smart betting system

It sounds a little counter intuitive that the smartest money in Australia is invested in parimutuel totalizators. Surely that means they drive the odds lower which impacts their ability to finish on top. How do they ensure that they get the right price for their bets?

The more questions I asked, the more I learned that the game that they play is much bigger than just doing the form and having a bet on your top picks. The form is just one part of a much bigger betting system that reaps guaranteed returns. The other part of the system involves precise knowledge on exactly how the parimutuel system works, so that they can place the right bets at the right time to maximise profits. The process starts with form analysis using complex algorithms to calculate each horse's chance of winning, producing their own market with odds that represent each runner's chance of winning the race. They feed this information into their own parimutuel simulators, which also takes into account:

  • The size of the bet to place;
  • Time before the race that the bet should be placed to determine its influence on the market;
  • The size of the parimutuel pool at various times pre-race to help estimate the final size of the pool; and
  • The current price of each horse in the TAB market.

Benefiting from Influence of Big Bets on TAB

Social punters are probably getting dizzy from the level of sophistication involved here. Rather than becoming a victim of shorter prices from big bets on the TAB, these smart punters are using the parimutuel model to their advantage. By modeling the wagering system and calculating which bets to place at a specific time pre-race, they are achieving maximum return from their bets. We discussed the influence that shortening odds have on the psyche of punters as they are swayed to bet on horses with shortening prices close to race time in a recent article. Australia's smartest punters have modeled this impact and are using it to their advantage every day of the week.

Simple Betting Example

This thinking is a little on the deep side but if you take a simple scenario you can see how it might work. After modeling the influence of a big bet on the market at a certain time, you place a bet at a particular time before they jump. Say five minutes before the race. The large bet sends the odds for the horse lower which influences more punters to follow the money and back it, leading to other horses in the race blowing out. A well timed second larger bet, say seconds before they jump, on horses that have blown out as a consequence of the initial bet, allows the smart punter to get a good price for their fancied runners as their is no time left for other punters to follow the market lead.

TAB bonus for the Big Bets

If you have this sort of information and system at your finger tips, you are now in a powerful position. The five TABs that operate across Australia and New Zealand make very healthy margins from their Tote pools, as high as 15%. The more money wagered in the Tote pools the more money the TABs make, regardless of the outcome from the race. They are looking for volume, and smart punters like these can provide it to them. As such, they are prepared to negotiate large rebates to incentivise these blokes to bet with them. With five TAB agencies operating across Australia and New Zealand, there's enough interest to achieve a significant second income for the smart punter.

Mike Steward

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