Rich Ulrich <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > On Thu, 4 Apr 2013 05:04:48 -0700 (PDT), > email@example.com wrote: > >>The only way of winning on horses, long-term, is if your odds are more accurate than the bookies, and the bookie is being too generous with a particular horse. ><snip> > > I would modify that, just a little. Heavy betting on one horse will > reduce that horse's payout. That's why the stories on "fixed" > races will have heavy betting just before the close of betting. > > A good bookie will set his initial odds to take into account > the expected betting. > > Even if you can't beat the bookie, it might be enough to > profit if you can beat the other bettors. Or, even if you can > beat the bookie, you *still* have to beat the other bettors. > >
My friend bets at a track, no bookies involved. The track takes out about 20% of each purse before paying out the bettors. So, you break even if your average payout is 1.25:1. Studies (no reference) have shown that if you plot fraction of horses that win vs. the odds they pay the favorites are overbet while the longshots are underbet. I don't have a reference because my friend was told that by a man who writes books on handicapping.
BTW, neither tracks nor bookies have to compute or estimate any odds. After allowing for their take, the payoff is simply determined by the total number of dollars bet on the race to the total number bet on the winning horse. The one exception (at least in California) is that a horse must pay at least $2.05.
The Racing Form gives the "morning odds" on every horse in every race. The morning odds reflect one (good) handicappers estimate of what the odds will be at race time. After betting starts the odds on the Tote board reflect the betting pool. If big bets are placed just before the race starts the ultimate payout might not be what you see on the Tote board when you placed your bet. You get the final payout when the windows close, not what the payout was when you placed your bet.