A lot of punting is about learning lessons. It’s a long – perhaps a lifelong – journey.
Thankfully, punters who’ve gone before us have already learned plenty of the lessons that we need. And some were good enough to put them down on paper!
A lot of the articles I write are about improving selection strategy and bank management to set you on the path to punting success. Here are five book titles I can recommend to get your teeth into… or they might be a great present for the punter in your family!
I wrote a small series of articles about the power of the Kelly Criterion and how a disciplined punter with a selection strategy can benefit from it. This book is about its beginnings and how the two founders, Claude Shannon & John Kelly, developed the money management strategy in 1956.
They took the Kelly Criterion to Las Vegas, and it worked. They realised that there was even more money to be made in the stock market.
The Kelly system was unbelievably successful, and Shannon became a prosperous investor, even topping Warren Buffett’s rate of return.
Fortune’s Formula traces how the Kelly formula sparked controversy, given it made fortunes at racecourses, casinos, and trading desks. Shannon believed it was possible for a smart investor to beat the market ― and this book will convince you that he was right!
These are a little tricky to find, however both ‘Winning’ and ‘The Winning Way’ by Don Scott are well worth getting your hands on. Yes, the terminology is outdated in the books. However, it does outline the systematic approach to form study and rating horses from different classes, generating your own markets and backing runners to obtain value.
Both of these books were a huge success and made Scott a legend in Australian punting ranks. Even today they still act as a bible for punters, and are a great addition to your punting library.
There are plenty of racing biographies that cover trainers, jockeys and horses, but this one is about a punter.
In the gambling world, Harry Findlay has earned legendary status. He’s been broke dozens of times, has won over $20 million in total and has spent just as much. He will not change, either.
An amazing read from a real character. Gambling has taken him all around the world, enjoying five-star travel and gourmet indulgence at the world’s biggest sporting events.
In his much-awaited book, Harry recounts the tales behind his million dollar sports bets that will make ordinary punters’ minds boggle. It is a remarkable life story of ups and downs.
These two books cover the behavioural patterns of horses in the parade and how we can use their good or bad behaviour to aid our betting.
While you may not necessarily agree with the amount of weight that has been put on each behavioural pattern, it does make for interesting reading.
Once you have done all form and have narrowed down the main chances, a horse that is doing everything right in the parade and looks ready to race is the last step.
Written in a slightly humorous and lighter way, these books can add another string to your bow of form study.
Last, but certainly not least, is from the ‘Market Wizards’ series. This book interviews some of the worlds most successful stock market traders and explores how their calculated decision making made them successful. A lot of the content is very relatable to punting and/or Betfair trading.
This book delivers plenty of inspirational stories, including how some traders managed to pull themselves back from the brink of failure. One of the focuses of the book is about taking a long-term view to being successful in the trading environment and to never give up. That is most certainly something that we can all adhere to.
So there you have it, five titles that should not only provide an entertaining read, but also improve your punting and mindset!