How Horse Racing Became an Instant Play Affair

| November 19, 2017

Horse racing is a popular sport for wagering

The horse racing industry is currently in a state of change. As technology evolves and proliferates, the way in which punters are anteing up is changing. When horse racing first took off in Australia back in the 1790s, betting wasn’t far behind. According to University of Sydney history Professor Emeritus Richard Waterhouse, a man with a stand first appeared in 1882. First depicted in images from Flemington racecourse in 1882, the mystery man can be seen with a betting stand and a bag to indicate he dealt in cash. Following this, Totalizator Agency Board (TAB) betting started to emerge in New Zealand in 1947. By the sixties, this system had crossed over to Australia and, in 1961, Victoria opened its first TAB agencies and off-course racing bets became a reality in Australia. In the UK, the industry has followed a similar timeline. In 1928, the Racecourse Betting Act was passed, allowing totes to set up shop at race venues. From that, 1961 gave rise to the British betting shop and in 2000, online bookies joined the action.

Making Moves in the Moment

Punters use their astute form analysis skills to bet on horse racing

In the early days of racing betting, pre-race wagers were standard. Whether it was singles or multiples, win bets or each-way options, the odds offered we focused on the outcome before the off. When online betting sites joined the mix, things started to change. One of the biggest differences is that you can now bet as the action is unfolding, just like you can with a game such as blackjack. Thanks to books such as Beat the Dealerby Edward O. Thorp, we now know when it’s best to split a hand. Using this knowledge, you can adjust your strategy during a hand to increase your potential returns. Indeed, according to the rules of blackjack, you can split your hand whenever you are dealt two starting cards of the same value. The reason for investing more in a hand at this point is because the dealer is weak and you have a chance to capitalise on that. This ability to capitalise on a favourable dynamic is something that’s now possible in the racing world thanks to in-play bets. By making an in-play bet, you have the power to refine your picks based on current information. For example, if you’re speculating on the Grand National sponsored by Randox Health, you can now wait to see how many horses clear the tricky first fence before you make a pick.

In practice, this recent innovation has made it easier for bettors to build on any pre-race tips from our racing forums and improve on them as the race develops. Similarly, just as in-play betting has brought an element of instant action to the racing world, early cashouts have also given you a way to make moves in the heat of the moment.

Improve Your Returns with Modern Betting Techniques

New systems are available in the horse racing world to withdraw your bet

Beyond splitting, surrendering is another blackjack moves horseracing punters can now mimic. Put simply, the surrender option allows you to end the hand before the dealer’s cards are revealed and receive half of your stake back. This option is used when you have a weak starting and the dealer’s up card is strong. This system is now available to horseracing world thanks to cashout options. Instead of letting an accumulator bet ride until the final race, you can end it early if you feel the pressure is getting too much. For example, let’s say you’d picked a potential winner in five races and you’d already won three. At this point, you’ve already picked up a decent return on your investment, but racing conditions at the Emirates-sponsored Melbourne Cup have turned and they don’t seem to suit your horse. In the old days, you’d have no choice but to cross your fingers and hope that it doesn’t lose and cost you the entire bet. Today, however, you’d be able to cash out in the same way you’d surrender in blackjack. By exercising this option, the bookmaker will offer you a price to end the bet and that’s the end of your wager.

The benefits of this system are huge if you’re an astute better. Just as the blackjack player can see they’re in a weak position, racing fans can tell if a slight change in racing conditions will affect their runners. Noticing this shift in power during an accumulator can allow you to cash out early, take at least some profit and move on to the next bet which is something you couldn’t previously do.

Of course, there are plenty of additional ways in which the advent of online betting has helped punters improve their returns, but these are the most significant. By making racing betting a more instant affair, those with a keen insight into the action can use their knowledge of breeding, form and everything else in between to better effect. This, in turn, should lead to better results.

Category: Betting, Special interest, Tipping

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