Spread Betting on Horse Racing Explained

I did briefly touch on spread betting on horses in a previous article, so as promised, I am going to elaborate on it in this article.

I have noticed that spread betting is becoming a more popular way for punters to bet on horse racing, as if it’s done correctly it can enable you to really rack up large amounts of cash in a relatively short amount of time.

As with all gambling however, the risks are still there. If you’re new to horse racing or a bit of a novice punter, you should be aware that spread betting on horse racing is a little complex, and due to the nature of how it is structured, although you can win big it can also cause you to lose a drastic amount of money if you are not careful.

This makes it absolutely essential that you must be sure that you clearly understand the methods of spread betting on horse racing.

Spread Betting On Horses Is Growing In Popularity

Spread betting is a concept that is traditionally more popular with sports that have the potential for big winning margins, so American football, rugby, cricket and darts immediately spring to mind.

Its also used by people who want to bet on the financial markets and so they bet on whether a stock will rise, fall and by how much.

I’m not actually convinced by spread betting on horses myslef, as I find that the risk is just too high, yet many people successfully achieve great results with it. For many, it’s a more intriguing and enjoyable way to take calculated risks but everyone has to be aware that the risks are also pretty high, and this is what dissuades many people from trying it.

How Do You Go About Spread Betting On Horses?

The first type of spread betting on horse racing is based on what is known as the favourite’s index. Each favourite is awarded a certain amount of points. A hot favourite (for example at a price of 6/5) would likely get the maximum amount of points (which is 25), whereas a 9/1 favourite in the Grand National would only attract say eight points for the index.

Of course, what the bookies are doing here is protecting themselves, as the payout at 9/1 is going to be appreciably more that the 6/5, hence the reduction in the number of points.

So with the allocation of points, a spread is created and essentially what punters will do is buy if they feel the horse will win, or sell if they think it won’t.

A real twist from traditional betting is that you can bet on the jockeys. The way jockey betting works is pretty much the exact same way as the favourite’s index, with the only difference being that you are betting against a quote of how great a race (or more than one) a jockey will have.

Predicting Winning Distances Will Pocket Cash Too

Similarly, the winning distance index is played in essentially the same way but with a slight difference, as points are awarded based how much you think a horse will win by. These are broken down into short head, head, neck, half a length, ¾ length, a length and then multiple lengths (two, five, ten etc).

Typically the going of a racecourse affects what the spread and points allocation will be for distance betting, and this is where the bookies can really earn their corn. Poor judgment of how the conditions are going to affect a race could cost the bookies thousands, so they have to get it right.

In my opinion, spread betting on horses involves too much work. That is not to say that I am lazy, quite the contrary, but there are multiple factors and several key things that have to be considered properly even before you consider looking at what to back.

I do prefer a more simplistic approach and perhaps this is why I have done well, as I have kept it simple.

I’m also a firm believed in effective money management, and unlike traditional betting, or even betting on the Tote, you do not know how much you stand to lose with spread betting, until the race is over and then its possibly too late. That to me is a major drawback.

There are punters who do very, very well at this form of betting but call me old fashioned, I just prefer the more traditional approach, and certainly for all beginners out there, I advise that you do the same.

Source by Cliff Thurston

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