How to win gambling on greyhoounds with no risk

Betting on the greyhounds should be a two stage process; Determining the probability of a greyhound winning a race and then determining the optimal outlay, if any at all. We discuss the latter which is seldom considered by punters.

Winning at Gambling on Greyhounds

A punter’s expected return from gambling should be zero or less.

For example, the expected return from betting heads at even money on 100,000 coin flips is zero. Without an ‘edge’, the punter cannot raise the expected return above zero. The edge constitutes a greater amount of information that other betting participants have overlooked (insider information is also an ‘edge’ in stock markets and gambling, but obviously this is illegal). In many cases, such as the flip of a coin, the edge does not exist deeming any betting participation as futile.

In greyhound racing, an edge might be gained from analysing the form guide at length (handicapping) or even employing a professional tipping service.

If a punter believes a greyhound is paying overs (a price greater than their estimated price the greyhound should be running at), the punter should then calculate what percentage of their bankroll should be gambled on the runner. This is largely overlooked by most racetrack followers. It is what we refer to as the Risk Management process or Stage 2 of the betting process.

A system developed by John Kelly over 50 years ago is possibly the most popular calculation used by professional gamblers to determine the optimal outlay based on the estimated probability of winning and prices available. Whilst the original Kelly paper detailing how the formula was derived will be too difficult for most readers to understand, the end formula is quite simply:

p = probability of winning

q = 1-p

d = decimal odds available (eg $4.50)

We more info provide an example excel spreadsheet below and recommend readers experiment with inputs to get a feel for the model.

The main caveat with the system, and any modelling system, is that the data input (the edge) needs to be reasonably accurate. Garbage in, Garbage Out!

For more optimal results, the system would likely work better if two parties manage it, one providing the probabilities of winning and the other (the Risk Manager) entering the data inputs and executing the bet. This is because the formula can produce outlay amounts that may not be intuitive, especially should your bankroll grow and the outlays for each bet become much bigger.

It will also produce many “no bet” recommendations (i.e. don’t bet on the race as there is no edge) when the betting odds on offer do not exceed the minimum required. When this occurs, punters can lack the discipline required and either ignore the recommendation or revise their probability inputs so that a bet can be made.

In this instance, if you estimate the probability of a greyhound winning is 35%, then your probability of it LOSING is automatically 65%. If the odds to lay the favorite is greater than $1.54 (1/probability), you determine how much to outlay using the Kelly Formula and hit it!

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