by Dave French

February 27, 2012

A question I'm often asked is should I be a backer or a layer?

The fact is it doesn't make much difference because in any bet you are actually backing one outcome and laying the other.

IE If you lay a horse you are actually betting all the others and just need one of them to win.

I don't want to go to far off track here but in the old days before betting exchanges. People would bet against a bad favourite by dutching the other contenders. Probably not the whole field but those that held a chance.

So I say backing and laying are just the same the only difference being the way we think about the profitability of our selections.

You see the big danger with laying is that a lot of punters think there method is more profitable than it is.

As an example let's say we lay 10 selections at 8.0 and one of them wins their race.

We have won 9 points (I'll ignore commission for this example) and we have paid out 7 points.

So we make 2 points profit on 10 bets. Now a lot of people new too laying think they have made a 20% return on investment (ROI) with these bets.

Thinking they have layed out 10 points and made a profit of 2 = 20%.

But in fact they need to look at how much they have risked, which is 10 time 7 points (the liability on each bet).

So the ROI calculation is actually 2 points profit for 70 risked which is actually 2.8% ROI.

There are other considerations when deciding whether to be a backer or a layer. Like strike rates and losing and winning runs and how you cope with them.

But the point I want to make today is that it's easy to think that a laying method is more profitable and a better use of your bank than a backing method.

But in reality it often isn't. As long as you understand the true ROI of your bets then you can make an informed decision.

Today's Selections Sponsored by Betting Insiders Club

Speed Steed 1pt win (4.15 Plumpton) 11`2 with Stan James

Interesting that Richard Johnson takes the ride for the first time for a yard that when this happens can be a good sign.

Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TGH Trading Ltd or it's employees.

About the author 

Dave French

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