Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014

Lay Betting & Maria Staking Plan

Why picking a loser is not as easy as it sounds!

Thanks to the arrival and now the establishment of the betting exchanges as here to stay, our betting options have been blown wide open.

You remember the good old days don’t you? Yes, you could have a cigarette in your local bookies, as you’d desparately try to find those elusive winners in your daily scraps with the enemy. Somehow, though, these winners always seemed to disappear when you arrived!

Meanwhile, the bookie is cleaning up – he’s keeping your stake money and doesn’t have to pay out the winnings. As Phil Tufnell would say – “Happy Days”

BUT now you can act as the bookie!

YES IT’S TRUE – you’ve never seen a poor bookie – well replicate what he does!

Bookies are what’s termed “ layers” – they offer prices on various outcomes and only pay out if that outcome occurs.

Let’s look at an 18 runner race and we’ll see why everything’s tipped in their favour. We have a favourite at 11/8 in a competitive 18 runner handicap.

Immediately the bookmaker has cut the price of the horse most likely to win – thereby cutting the amount of money he will have to shell out in winnings if, as the price indicates, the favourite wins.

What else does the bookmaker have in his favour? Well, he has 17 runners running for him! Think about it, the bookmaker will be keen for the favourite to get beaten because he will have to pay out (his liability – see later) if this favourite wins.

Result – The 11/8 favourite comes 2nd – a result for the bookie – one of the 17 horses running for him has beaten the favourite – and even better the winner was priced at 25/1! Not many punters would have chosen this horse at those odds. The bookmaker keep the favourite backers’ stakes and minimises his payouts (his liability) because an outsider has won.


Enter the betting exchanges, and, in particular, Betfair (Dont have a Betfair Account? Please use the code 4PM3KGQQA - See the Open A New Betfair Account Article for more information.
To learn more about winning on Betfair, you can download the Free Betfair Guide.

The arrival of Betfair rocked the gambling world because now we could actually BACK HORSES TO LOSE (another way of saying laying!)

The bookmaker has an advantage over us,though, because of what’s termed the overround. He can comfortably accept bets on all horses in all races because he has skewed the odds to insure a built in profit for himself. (BUT we can be selective in the horses we chose to lay – more on that in future articles)


Look at the % figure in the race above – it’s 115%. What does this mean? Well, theoretically the bookmaker has factored in a profit margin of 15% on all his runners. (If you were to translate the odds into percentages for this race, they will add up to 115%. If the odds for this race ,when added together, dip below 100%, you could back all horses in the race and still profit ( I’ll be covering dutching in later articles)

In this race Gothenburg is probably expected to win, and is priced accordingly. Payouts will be reduced if the horse wins.

So, if you returned to the good old days at the bookies, then the only ways for you to profit from the 215 Ayr would be to

1 – back the short priced favourite to win – this would necessitate a bigger stake to make winnings worthwhile

2) – you could back the second and 3rd favourites against the favourite if you fancied their chances ( odds of 7/2 and 4/1 allow us to back to level stakes and still profit if one of these 2 horses wins – more on dutching in future articles)

3) – you could take a chance on one of the outsiders and hope the market leaders have a bad day



The first thing to notice on Betfair is that the odds are expressed as decimals rather than traditional fractional odds of,say 4/5 for the favourite.

There are 2 columns here. As this article is about laying, we will focus on the pink column. The pink column is the odds offered to lay the named horses ( ie back them to lose OR to put a positive spin on it, have the other 7 HORSES RUNNING FOR US!)


If you want to consider laying as a weapon in your betting armoury, then there are  3 key areas that need consideration, and they are ODDS, LIABILITY, AND STAKING/MONEY MANAGEMENT


You must consider the price of a horse if you are looking to oppose that horse. This is a KEY factor to your betting success. Remember our bookie example earlier on regarding the 11/8 favourite in the 18 runner handicap? The bookmaker was quite happy to lay that horse – why? Well, firstly the horse had 17 opponents.

Secondly, the horse was so short priced that if it won, the payouts would not have hurt the bookmaker too much (remember the winnings the bookie pays out are his LIABILITIES)

So the key factor here is the shorter the odds the less we have to pay out if the horse wins. AND HERE IS OUR COUNTDOWN CONUNDRUM!

The shorter the horse is priced –the greater the chance the horse has of winning, and the greater likelihood we, as layers, will have to pay out!

Betfair 3

Let’s say we have decided to lay Gothenburg. We have looked at the race. It is a 6 furlong maiden race. (maidens are horses who have not won yet!) Gothenburg has 2 horses Nawaaf and Quest for success installed as 2nd and 3rd favourites – these could be likely challengers. Further there are 2 debutants in the field (horses who are making their debuts and theoretically could be the proverbial dark horses ( if they’ve never run before on a race course, one of them might surprise and run like roadrunner – toot toot!))


On the right side of the screen is the backers stake – this is the amount of money we will WIN if Gothenburg loses.

Compare this to traditional backing. Let’s use £100 backer’s stake to back Gothenburg

Betfair 4

So if Gothenburg wins, we will win £153.12 for our backers stake of £100.


If we laid Gothenburg, if Gothenburg wins we will lose what? Yes, £81 for our £100 backer’s stake.

In an ideal world we would be, as layers, looking for horses priced below, say, odds of 3.5 – why? Well I hope you’ve guessed  - to keep our potential liabilities low !.

I bet the thought has already crossed your mind about laying outsiders – come on, own up now!
Let’s take another view of this race. The prices indicate that this looks like a 3 horse race between Gothenburg, Nawaaf, and Quest for Success.
If this is the case, why not lay Another decree? Here’s why!

Let’s stick to our Backer’s Stake of £100 to remain consistent.

Betfair 5

If Another Decree loses we win the figure in Green. (£95.70  which equates to our backer’s stake of £100 less Betfair Commission)

If Another Decree decides to WIN this race, we face a liability payout of £2100.

How is this calculated? We laid Another Decree at odds of 22 for £100. Simply take 1 from the odds of 22 and multiply by the stake.

Now, the odds for Another Decree do indicate that the horse is more likely to lose than to win, but can you really expose a potential £2100 payout if the horse, by some miracle , wins? You really do have a high likelihood of this lay being a good one for you, but a concerted campaign of laying horses at odds of 20 or above will, one day ,come to bite you on the backside.Below is a real life example, again from Ayr, to remind you that outsiders do win!

Betfair 6

A 50/1 winner – quick, what’s the phone number for the Samaritans – I just laid it!

Can you see now how important liability control is?
So what have we learned so far?

The ideal laying strategy will look to target short priced horses, mostly favourites, who may have a chance of losing a particular race based upon our “building up of the evidence”.

In my example above, remember I mentioned Gothenburg as a possible lay – why? Well, I mentioned the fact this was a maiden race ( and none of the horses had won before); I mentioned the fact that the 2nd and 3rd favourites was quite short in price which is indicative that they cannot really be dismissed from our calculations. Further, there are 2 debutants who literally could be the dark horses. I personally would factor in the race distance. 6 furlongs (and shorter sprint distances) are rife for mistakes. If Gothenburg were to be slowly into stride when the race starts, the horse has a diminishing distance with which to redress the balance.

Is there any evidence to dissuade us from laying Gothenburg? Well, the horse has come 2nd in its last 2 races. This indicates to me that the potential is there for the horse to win sooner rather than later. Add to this the Jockey and trainer combination of Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning and I would be reluctant to get involved in this race ( I’ll be talking in full about how we can distinguish which short priced horses to lay and which short priced horses to back in future articles – YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO MISS THESE!)


All is not lost though. I will contradict myself a little here and say we do not have to chose short priced horses to lay all the time ONLY IF WE HAVE ADAPTED OUR STAKING PLANS TO ACCOMMODATE THE POTENTIAL LARGER LOST LIABILITES ON BIGGER PRICED HORSES.

Remember the bigger the price of a horse, the greater likelihood that horse will lose (great for us) BUT the bigger our payout will be if the horse WINS ITS RACE – and they do!(bad for our bank manager!)

Again we face this liability control issue. We should get a better strike rate if we focus on bigger priced horses which is great, BUT we have to prepare for the odd big payout should our bigger priced lay have the temerity to win its race.

Again, let’s go back to Ayr

Betfair 7

Quest for success is priced “BETWEEN” the short priced favourite and the big priced outsiders ( as we have already seen, it would be folly really to lay Another decree and Gothenburg has the profile of a horse that has, to these writer’s eyes, a greater likelihood of winning. ) Can we chose elsewhere? Well, Nawaaf and Quest for success are ideally priced.

If Quest for success wins its race, we still face a payout of £540 for a stake of £100. We have a few options here.


Betfair 8

Instead of using level stakes of £100, why not limit the payout should the worst happen? Here I have limited liability to £100 , with the potential to win £17.80 .


Use the what now?

Let me introduce you to the Maria Staking Plan. It enables you to chose selections up to odds of 11 allowing for greater flexibility in selection choices, yet does that one thing we so desparately need – LIABILITY CONTROL.

Have a read yourself at - it takes a whole new look at staking as far as laying is concerned. I trust you will take what it has to say aboard because Maria turned £3000 into £100000+ in a year ( I want to marry her!) by simply controlling liability and ensuring a strike rate above 80%.Again using our Ayr race, if we were to start with £1000 betting bank, and select Quest for Success , using Marias Staking Plan, we would lay to a certain stake dependent on the price of the horse.I don’t want to duplicate writing here, as everything is fully explained via the forum, but Maria operates what I term a price banded staking plan.

Maria explains

“To summarise, with examples based on a starting bank of £3,000 (if you’re reckless enough to try them, you can scale up or down proportionally to your own bank) …

Prices below 3.5: lay to 1% of bank - backer’s stake £30 (my liability under £75)

Prices from 3.6 to 7.4: lay to 0.6% of bank - backer’s stake £18 (my liability £46.80 - £115.20)

Prices from 7.5 to 11: lay to 0.4% of bank - backer’s stake £12 (my liability £78 - £132)”
Quest for success falls within the second price band so, if using a hypothetical betting bank of £1000, I would lay to a backers stake of 6% of my bank, or £6. This limits liability to £24 ,which as a proportion of £1000, is very small indeed.

Betfair 9

Maria’s Staking Plan is very much for the “investors” amongst you .The key focus is on small gains regularly, utilising what Einstein termed “the eighth wonder of the world” – compounding to really sky rocket profits over a long period of time. Patience and discipline are required in abundance for this “business –like” staking plan.


So what have we learned in this article?
Well, laying should be a serious consideration in your betting activities why? Because if you lay one horse, you have all of the other horses in that race running for you. –A distinct advantage over the backers I’m sure you’ll agree.

Favourites statistically win 30% of their races, meaning they lose 70% of them. Select your favourites ( to oppose) well and you can make a great return on investment.

As I hope you are aware now, laying has at its key our need for liability control.

The article shows you that you can control liabilities in a number of ways

· keep your laying activities focussed on short priced horses – the shorter the better. This ensures if the horse wins, you will pay out a lesser liability. BUT we have that conundrum don’t we, if you remember? Shorter priced horses are more likely to win their races (In future articles here at laytheodds, I’ll be showing you exactly how to pinpoint favourites most likely to lose so stay tuned!)

· Lay the outsiders – outsiders by their very nature are more likely to lose their races BUT if they win (and they do!) you face a potentially crippling liability payout

· Control your liability payout by knowing before the race has run, how much you will lose. Look again at the example where I chose to limit liability to £100 only – if the horse won the race, I would have to pay out £100.

· Chose a long term staking plan like Maria’s which tailors stake to the odds –stakes being sufficiently small relative to betting bank to allow easy absorption of losing lay liability(ie the horse wins its race and we have to pay out)  The clear advantage with this staking plan is our ability to select horses up to 11 in price.

We’ll be covering laying in depth in future articles .including

· How to chose short prices to lay
· Laying in the place only market
· Laying as part of a trading strategy
· Progressive staking laying and much much more…..

The purpose of the article is to act as an introduction into the world of laying and give you an insight into why laying is not as easy as it first sounds. I hope you have found the article of use, and will stick around as we reveal more killer information to make you money though this superb medium.