There are many different ways that long-term winning punters go about their business.Some will have many bets each week and be content with a small profit on turnover. Others bet big on a smaller number of races. Then you have those who specialise in exotics or lay betting.And that’s just to name a few of the different types of punters. But no matter what your approach is, there are three consistent factors that every successful punter applies: (1) Only bet when you’re getting value. If you don’t have what you consider to be a minimum price for your selection to be value than you are betting blind. And the concept of value shouldn’t be based on your gut instinct or the opinion of TV or radio pundits. Instead the minimum or rated price must be the result of rigorous and objective form analysis. Too many losing punters fall in love with a horse and back it regardless of price. That horse may be a great bet at odds of $5.00, but at $3.00 it could be well under it’s true price. But how would you know unless you had quality rated prices? The concept of value comes back to the percentage chance of that horse winning the race and you need to be confident that you’ve done sufficient form study to make an accurate assessment. If your analysis has identified the horse has a 40% chance of winning the race, it’s a good bet at odds of $3.00 or on the other hand is a good lay at $2.00. Having access to quality rated prices and then the discipline to only bet when you’re getting value is a non-negotiable factor in long-term punting success. (2) Make every effort to get the best available odds If you’re only betting with the TAB then you’re costing yourself money almost every time you back a winner. Today’s punter has never had it better with the variety of best tote, best fluctuation and Betfair options available. It’s common sense to say that trying to beat a market percentage of 105-110% has to be easier than the 118% of the TAB’s. But many losing punters are too lazy to have a handful of betting accounts to make sure they’re getting the best odds available. (3) Balance risk versus reward in the way you manage your money Many punters are long-term losers not because they can’t pick a winner, but because they have a very haphazard approach to staking. In percentage terms they bet too much of their bank each race, have too many bets each day and then the size of their bet is determined by whether they are winning or losing on the day. Long-term winning punters are business-like and methodical in their approach. They start each day with a definite plan and won’t waiver from it, regardless of whether they are having the best or worst punting day of their life. On the other hand almost every mug punter ‘wings it’ without any real plan for what they are going to do in the hustle and bustle of an afternoon’s racing. Many follow one of two paths which both lead to increasing the size of their wagers throughout the day: (1) they find themselves in a losing position and start chasing to get back square, or (2) they are in front and decide to go for the big win. Both paths are a fast-track to disappointment, yet are repeated on a regular basis by the same punters who struggle to make good decisions when in punting mode. I’d like to be as certain of getting the quaddie tomorrow as I am in saying this: if you only bet when you’re getting value, make every effort to get the best odds and manage your money well you will definitely be a more successful punter. Good punting
By David Duffield