Recently we've been talking about how important it is to look at wagering strategies instead of handicapping strategies. The general idea here is that you make your money at the greyhound races by out-thinking the patrons rather than by trying to out-think the greyhounds! I've had a couple of people ask me about
Wagering is the skill we all need to improve. And there are some structural elements to wagering on greyhound races that you should be intimately familiar with. Because the deck is stacked against you, and you need to be really really good to turn the odds in your favor.
For example, let's look at takeout. What's takeout? Every time you place a bet on a greyhound race, the track and the government take a percentage of that wager to cover their costs and taxes, respectively. The amount they take out is huge. I mean, really huge. At most tracks, the takeout on anything other than win/place/show betting approaches or even exceeds
I was handicapping the races at Bluffs Run the other day, and the number one rule of racing was on my mind: It's not about picking greyhounds... It's about wagering on them!
I've tried to explain this concept to people for over twenty years. If you want to make money playing greyhound races, stop wasting your time on trying to get better at rating the dogs. Instead, learn how to wager on the races. I've watched people spend hours and hours--really days, months and years--trying to find
A few days ago I wrote a Blog about improving my ROI by not playing on my top selection when my pick is the same dog as the crowd favorite. I received an email from P.G. in Milwaukee, asking, "Just read your article about not betting your top pick when he / she is the favorite. My question is, What about your 2nd and 3rd pick in this regard? ... Just wondering what the profit would be. Loved the article cause I'm always looking for "Value" in my wagering."
That's a great question, so I hit the computer to find out the answer.
Is this you? Handicap a race. Find your key. Bet on her.
If it is, you can do a lot better!
First, you need to understand a background study. Suppose you bet exactly the same way as the crowd. Your key is the crowd favorite. Your worst dog is the longest shot on the board. What happens when you rank the dogs by crowd odds, and then make a win bet on each?
Do you make the exact same style of wager every time you hit the teller's window? Are you stuck on a three-dog box?
Now here is a decision that you make every single time you are looking at playing a trifecta part-wheel wager. You've done all that handicapping and you've got them all ranked. There's your key at the top! You stick that key in your part-wheel and fill in second-place with one or two or three other greyhounds. But then you smack into the wall when you start thinking about third place.
There is probably a better way of doing it! Over the years, I've studied many different handicapping factors, and many ideas about wagering. The interesting idea that has come from all that is, you can't handicap every race the same. There is a better way!
You went to all that trouble of handicapping the races, and now you have a "top pick" ready to roll. What do you do with it? Do you throw it into a three-dog box with your next two greyhounds? Do you key it on top with an interesting mix of contenders? What do you do now?
My first step is to categorize the race I'm playing. I separate all races into one of three categories, depending on the strength of my best dog.
When you are confronted with all of the information on a greyhound program page, it would be nice to know which bits of information are useful, and which are not so much. I pecked around on the keyboard for a little while and dug out these numbers for you. While these are for a single track (Orange Park), I think you'll find that they apply about equally to all greyhound tracks in general.
For each factor, I show you how often the greyhound with the best performance for that factor wins, and also how much profit or loss you would have if you made a flat win bet on that dog. (That's ROI for "Return On Investment"...