Lay Betting On Horses
Lay betting involves choosing a horse (or horses) which you believe will lose a race, and then offering odds on a betting exchange to bettors who wish to back it to win. You become the bookmaker.
Once new bettors fully understand the concept – and, let’s face it, it is an odd one – they often rush into laying horses. It sounds easy – pick a sure-fire loser, lay it, and just sit back and wait for the inevitable payout. You only need to pick a loser, and with 7+ other horses all trying to win, how hard can it be?
That is the theory. But the downside of laying is that the returns are small in relation to the risk.
Say you lay a horse for £5 at 11.0 (10/1). You are risking £50 to win £5. That is because your winnings are the other bettor’s stake, i.e. £5. And your losses are the other bettor’s winnings at 11.0 (10/1), i.e. £50.
To make a profit from laying, you need to have a system or strategy that has a very high hit rate, or at least minimises losses. From the example above, you can see that at odds of 11.0 (10/1) you would need to win 11 times out of 12 to make a profit.
If you are laying horses then it is vital to have a proper staking plan. Your betting bank needs to be able to withstand a long run of winning horses (i.e. losing bets). So it is best to set stakes low initially, so it will not affect your judgement should be there a losing run.
Then, when your system has proved itself to be successful, you can increase your stakes.