Betting Information

best betting odds

Best betting odds for horse racing

There are many approaches that Australian punters take to achieve the best betting odds. A popular recent approach is the use of odds comparison tools where various odds are displayed for each horse in the race from a selection of bookmakers. Before engaging with an odds comparison tool, punters should understand the costs and effort involved in achieving a price differential through these means and should also contemplate if an opportunity for improving on the odds that they would otherwise achieve through the new advanced betting types offered by Australian bookmakers, actually exists at all.

Betting Types

The good news for punters is that Australian bookmakers have introduced a range of betting odds products for Australian horse races that take a lot of time and effort out of searching for the best price and trying to guess whether the various state TABs will finish at a higher price than the current fixed odds being offered. These betting products also provide insurance against any potential downside that exists with Fixed Odds products, the betting type used by odds comparison tools, while allowing the punter to capture any benefit from upwards price movements. A list of betting types available through Australian Bookmakers are outlined below. The alternative that punters have instead of using these price types is to set up their own lab at home with multiple screens analysing pricing trends across multiple bookmakers to get the best odds. The betting types detailed here save a lot of the punters time to get the same outcome or close to it and in some cases, an even better price.

Betting for the Win

Fixed Odds

The simplest and most readily used betting odds type where a price is displayed for each horse in a race. If the punter clicks the price for a horse and bets before it changes, that price is guarenteed to the punter if the horse wins.

Advantages Disadvantages
Punters taking fixed odds protect themselves against downward price movements after they have placed their bet. Punters do not get the advantage of upward price movements after they have placed their bets.


Best Tote or SP

Best Tote is the highest odds amongst the three main totalizator providers in Australia. Totalizator or Tote prices differ in their nature to Fixed Odds in that they are never locked in until the race starts. A punter taking a Tote price will rarely receive the odds shown when the bet is placed. Although the Tote prices can no longer be influenced after the barriers open for the start of the race, there are typically a significant amount of bets placed in the last minute before they jump and therefore prices for a horse can be seen changing mid race as computer algorithms complete the final calculations to arrive at the Tote prices for each horse in the race.

SP or Start Price is the official price offered by bookmakers for a horse at the start of a race. The Best Tote or SP odds are therefore providing the best of four prices available in the market.

Advantages Disadvantages

Punters receive any upward swings in price for the horse they backed.

Punters receive a significant advantage compared to punters that take a Tote price with one of the three totalizator agencies. The spread between the highest and lowest Tote price and the SP odds for a winning horse is often quite sizable highlighting the value in this betting type.

Horses that continue to be popular after the bet is placed drive the odds lower than that which attracted the punter in the first place. As 30-40% of the market place their bet in the last five minutes before a race, this can result in signficantly lower prices for horses that are deemed to have a better chance of winning than their early price quotes.



Top Fluc

Fixed Odds prices fluctuate from the time that they are first posted until the barriers open at the start of the race. The Australian Pricing Network (APN) provide the key fluctations for each horse racing on a race program. The highest fluctuating price is known as the Top Fluc price.


Advantages Disadvantages

Punters can take advantage of the higher prices that horses may blow out to after they have placed a bet.

Reduces any effort from the punter to try and achieve the highest price.

APN prices are not necessarily the highest odds available from Australian bookmakers. They are more of a guide for the bookmakers to indicate where the market opens and changes over time. Bookmakers may offer better prices than the APN price if they plan to take a particular horse on or alternatively offer lower prices if they feel the horse is over its true price, the odds that represent its actual chances of winning the race.




Best of the Best (BOB)

This price is, as titled, the best price of all the prices available. Usually it is only available on Saturday metropolitan race meetings up to 35 minutes before the race. This price is the highest price amongst the three main Australian Totes and the Top Fluc price. Bookmaker's usually limit bet sizes for this price type to $250.


Advantages Disadvantages

Gives punters odds that are likely to be in the top 5% of prices available across all Australian bookmakers for a particular horse without having to commit any effort towards searching across all Fixed Odds markets.

Provides punters with insurance on prices coming in or blowing out after the bet is placed via the Top Fluc component of the bet type.

Requires punters to invest outside of 35 minutes before the race. As 50-60% of the market bets within the final 35 minutes before a race, punters are potentially missing out on market movements which can provide a valuable indication of a horse's chance of winning the race.




Betting for the Place

Fixed Odds

This betting type is identical to Fixed Odds for the win however the price is paid if the horse finishes a place. For fields of eight horses or more this includes the first three horses. Where there is between five and seven runners in a race there is no third dividend paid for a place. If there are less than five horses in the field, then the place dividend is not offered by Australian bookmakers.

Top Tote

Offers the highest price offered between the three main Australian totes.

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