IT’S the dream of any budding punter and also the question most asked – how do I become a professional punter?
There will be people saying that it’s impossible to win betting on horse racing and that only 1 percent of punters can make a long term profit, but that’s simply not true and it’s not as daunting as it sounds.
Recreational punters make up the majority of the betting sector and there are winners and losers among them, but if you’re serious about making a living off betting on horse races than our five-step plan should help you along your way.
The horse racing industry can be a fickle beast at the best of times and picking consistent winners is tough, but the beauty of betting on horse racing is that you don’t need to consistently pick winners to make a profit.
There are more and more professional punters entering the horse racing market because of all the information and bookmakers that are available on the internet. The days of heading to the track to mark down workout times are over – all the info you need is at your fingertips.
The bookmakers professional punters use
The following bookmakers are all used by professional punters. They are the best Australia has to offer and they cater to all betting levels.
Your starting bankroll/balance
Your starting account balance isn’t the most important aspect of becoming a professional punter, but it’s an integral aspect to remaining disciplined.
Discipline is a key aspect in making a long-term profit for betting on horse racing, so punters will want to start their careers with a healthy account balance/bankroll.
The balance needs to be sufficient enough to withstand multiple losing streaks and punters need to make sure they aren’t betting more than the standard percentage of their balance.
Most pro punters bet 1% of their balance per bet and between 2-5% on the picks they believe are strong plays.
This ensures that no matter how poor you’re travelling, you still have a solid backing balance to work your way back into the positive numbers.
The common advised starting balance is around $100,000 which results in a $100 bet per play, but there have been many successful pro punters that have started with smaller bankrolls and have been smart about their money management.
Money management is a leading factor as to why more recreational punters don’t make a long term profit.
Sticking to your staking plan is key to making money when betting on horse racing and going away from this can be dangerous.
It is tempting to start chasing your losses, but unless you’re using the Chase Theory, then this is a bad idea.
It’s a long haul and you don’t need to return a profit every day. Keeping sound with your money management couldn’t be anymore important and punters should know that some days will be better than others.
A lot of professionals advise punters to maximise their staking plan when they’re in form, but we firmly believe that sticking to your set staking plan will ensure profits.
A staking plan is a simple strategy where punters predetermine how much they’re going to spend on any given race. Staking plans can often involve more than one runner in a race.
There’s nothing wrong with betting on a horse paying $3 and another runner paying $6. If either of them wins then you make a profit. Most professional punters take advantage of these situations when they arise.
Getting the right odds
It’s key to look at the race fields before the market opens to frame your own market.
This will give you a guide to what you think the horses should be paying and what you’re prepared to accept when the bookmakers release their odds.
If you think a horse should be paying $2.80 and the odds released show $1.60, then you are taking odds much less than what you framed the market to be.
Punters need to decide how much value there is betting on a horse which is under the odds. The horse still might win, but if you consistently take shorter odds than you have framed then it will be a struggle to turn a profit.
There is no rhyme or reason when it comes to what odds you should take. Some punters have success betting on odds-on favourites and some have success betting on double-figure chances. It’s all personal preference when it comes to assessing value.
“It’s not value if it loses” – a common saying from recreational punters and it’s not an overly smart thing to say. Value in horse racing can be as little as backing a horse at $4.80 instead of $4.70.
If you consistently back horses at $10 then you don’t need to win as often as a punter that takes $1.60 shots. It’s all relative so don’t look at your win/loss sheet as the determining factor to success, it’s all about the profit/loss margin.
Keep your emotions in check
We’ve all seen the movies where gamblers at casinos get on a winning roll and let their emotions get the better of them, but that simply can’t happen in this profession.
Being a professional punter isn’t necessarily about celebrating the wins and feeling disheartened about the losses, it’s about keeping a steady head and moving onto your next bet.
Sticking to the staking plan will help keep your emotions in check and avoid going on tilt. Taking the emotion out can make betting less exciting, but making money is more important to the professionals so stay calm and stick to the plan.
Stick to what you know best
Some punters only place fixed odds win bets, some only bet for the place. There is no set strategy when it comes to different types of wagers.
Professional punters typically stick with win, place and each way bets, but during the major carnival when the pools are big, it can be wise to invest in other exotic bets.
Quinella, trifecta, first four and quaddie bets are common for all levels of punters and even the pro’s get stuck into the afternoon midweek and Saturday quaddie.
It’s all about assessing the risk and the possible return. If the quaddie pool isn’t very big then the professionals won’t target that bet type, but during the Melbourne spring carnival the betting pools are massive and that’s the best time to strike.