Matched Betting Extra Places (Part 4): A Strategy Discussion
18 Jul 2020
Updated: 9 May 2023
If you haven’t already we recommend reading the following three articles before starting this one:
(This part of our guide covers what Extra Place Offers are, each-way betting (backing and laying) and how we make money Matched Betting Extra Place Offers).GO TO EXTRA PLACES PART 1
(This part of our guide explains about the Extra Place Catcher which is an essential tool required for profiting from Extra Place Offers. A full example of doing an Extra Place Offer using the Catcher is then provided).GO TO EXTRA PLACES PART 2
(In this part of our guide we provide ten useful tips for those interested in starting Matched Betting Extra Places).
Finally, in this article, which is Part 4 of our guide, we discuss different strategies for tackling Extra Place Offers and provide a full list of useful tools and resources available to our Platinum and Diamond Members.UPGRADE TO PLATINUM TO ACCESS ALL THE EXTRA PLACE TOOLS
Horse Racing Extra Place Strategies
In Part 2 of our Matched Betting Extra Place Offer guide we talked in detail about the multi-horse strategy where we gave an example walk-through of betting on multiple horses in the same race.
The foundation of this strategy is based on us each-way betting on as many different horses in the same race as we can, but with each bet being done at a different bookmaker that is offering an extra place on the race.
This is one main strategy for betting on Extra Place Offers and tends to work well. We often tend to end up only focusing on a few specific races on the Extra Place Catcher when using this as a main strategy because if we are checking too many other races we may end up missing horses odds come in on a race we've already started focusing on.
An alternative strategy to the multi-horse strategy is the horse-value strategy.
The foundation of this strategy is based on us each-way betting on any horse we come across in any race that is offering us good value. Sometimes we will end up with bets on multiple horses in a race other times we'll just have one horse in a race.
The focus of this strategy is more of an across-race approach concentrated on individual horses. When there is a horse we see that offers us good value we bet on it - it's that simple.
With this strategy, we will tend to end up constantly switching between races on the Extra Place Catcher looking for any opportunity to take advantage of.
Which is the best strategy to use?
A combination of both strategies could actually be the best strategy to us.
This is because on some days you will easily get multiple horses in one race and on other days it's easier to get one or two horses across lots of different races. For example, on Saturdays and during big horse racing festivals, the multi-horse strategy might win out as the odds tend to be better at such times. In comparison, on a general weekday, the horse-value strategy might win out instead.
Being flexible with your strategy is the key.
Covering the field - another Extra Place strategy?
Covering the field is basically the perfect version of the multi-horse strategy. If (and it's a big if!) we manage to cover the field in a race it means we have successfully placed each-way bets on EVERY horse in the race and therefore guaranteed that one will finish in the extra place and make us a profit.
- This strategy only gives you a guaranteed profit though if your total Qualifying Loss for all horses in the race is smaller than the lowest Potential Profit you could make on a horse.
- If your total Qualifying Loss for all horses in the race is equal to what the lowest Potential Profit is that you could make on a horse, then this strategy (when done correctly) would then give you a risk-free opportunity at potential profit.
- It will give you a potential profit with a Qualifying Loss, if your total Qualifying Loss for all horses in the race is just a bit greater (e.g. £2) than what your lowest Potential Profit is on a horse (but still lower than the next highest Potential Profit on a horse).
Achieving any of these 3 goals in reality is extremely difficult and it is a rare occurrence that there is ever an opportunity for us to cover the entire field for a guaranteed profit in a race.
Of course, it can and does happen and when it does you need to get on it quick! Especially if there a horses with very high Potential Profits running in the race.
Horse Racing Extra Place Approaches: Qualifying Loss vs Value Betting (with Implied Odds)
In Part 2 of our Matched Betting Extra Place Offer guide when we used the multi-horse strategy we also explained using an approach with this strategy where we focused on getting the smallest Qualifying Loss per horse and/or setting a maximum total Qualifying Loss per race that was acceptable for us.
An alternative method to using the Qualifying Loss Approach is to use the Implied Odds on the Extra Place Catcher with what is referred to as the Value Betting Approach.
Both the Qualifying Loss Approach and the Value Betting Approach can be used with any of the Extra Place Strategies discussed above.
There are different opinions as to which approach works the best and makes the most profit over the long-term. Therefore, although the Value Betting Approach is slightly more complicated to get your head round then just looking for small Qualifying Losses - it is worth learning about.
The Extra Place Offer Value Betting Approach
To explain the value betting strategy we first need to understand implied odds.
What do the implied odds on the Extra Place Catcher mean?
The implied odds listed on the Extra Place Catcher are a kind of proxy measure for the number of times a horse would need to finish in the extra place in order for us to break even.
If a horse has implied odds of 23 we need it to come in the extra-place just once in 23 times (or just 4.35% of the time) in order for us to break even.
If a horse has implied odds of 6.0 we need it to come in the extra-place once in 6 times (or 16.66% of the time) in order for us to break even.
Horses with higher implied odds therefore always offer the better value for us.
(If it helps you can also look at it like this. You are given the opportunity to win £100 if you can hit the bullseye on a dart board. You have the choice between getting 6 chances to win or 23 chances to win - which would you choose? The 23 chances of course! As you just need to hit the bullseye once in 23 times in order to win - rather in just 6).
In this example from the Extra Place Catcher the horse Ravens Tower has the highest Implied Odds (23.69) and would be of interest for us to do our each-way bet on.
Using the Implied Odds alone though doesn’t necessarily give us the whole story when it comes to value though, as we also need to consider the number of runners in the race and how likely our horse is to come in the extra place in that race.
How can we work out how likely our horse is to finish in the extra place in the race?
We can estimate this by considering the number of runners in the race.
(We already discussed this Part 3 of our guide in tip number 5 when we explained races with fewer runners give us a better chance of getting a horse in the extra-place).
If there are 12 runners in a race this would mean our horse has roughly a 1 in 12 chance (or 8.33% chance) of finishing the race in the extra place position.
If your horse is a low odds favourite then it might be more likely to finish 1st or 2nd for instance instead of in this 4th place we want. On the flip side if your selection is very high odds then it might be more likely to finish towards last place in the race. From this we can see that we can get better than the 1 in 12 chance if we choose a selection somewhere in the middle in terms of odds (one we think is more likely to get 4th place).
If there are 24 runners in a race this would mean our horse has roughly a 1 in 24 chance (or 4.16% chance) of finishing the race in the extra place position.
Once we know how likely our horse is to finish in the extra place in a race we can then use the horses implied odds to decide if it offers good value each-bet for us.
Deciding if a horse has good value
If the chance our horse has of finishing in an extra place is greater than how often we need it to come in the extra-place in order to break even then we have a good value horse to bet on.
If we use the horse Ravens Tower which has implied odds of 23.69 (meaning we need it to come in the extra-place 1 in 23.69 times, or 4.22% of the time in order for us to break even), then we consider two different race options – we can see when this horse would be a good value bet for us to do and also when it wouldn’t be.
Ravens Tower in a race with 12 runners:
In this race Ravens Tower is expected to come in the place 8.33% of the time (or 1 in 12 times).
This is more often than how often we need it to come in the extra-place in order to break even (1 in 23.69 times or 4.22% of the time).
8.33% is greater than 4.22%
Ravens Tower would therefore be a good value horse to bet on in this race.
Ravens Tower in a race with 24 runners:
In this race Ravens Tower is expected to come in the place 4.16% of the time (or 1 in 24 times).
This is less often than how often we need it to come in the extra-place in order to break even (1 in 23.69 times or 4.22% of the time).
4.16% is less than 4.22%
Ravens Tower would therefore NOT be a good value horse to bet on in this particular race.
Using the Value Betting Approach for Extra Places
With this approach, instead of worrying about Qualifying Losses we instead tend to focus only on doing each-way bets on horses that offer good value.
In this race at Uttoxeter (16th July 2020, 14:15) there were actually just 12 runners which would have made Ravens Tower a good value horse to bet on even though the horse had a 'relatively' large Qualifying Loss of £1.77. If there had been 4 more horses similar to Ravens Tower would good value with the value-betting approach we would bet on them too.
Bet on similar value horses in the race like this though and our total Qualifying Loss will soon start to add up.
How can we decide then when to keep going on these good value horses when our Qualifying Losses start to creep up so much?
This brings us to the question of which approach is best for us to use?
The Qualifying Loss Approach vs the Value Betting Approach
If we consider the horse Ravens Tower again and if we'd been using a strict Qualifying Loss of £1 or less per horse, we would never have bet on the horse.
If we'd used a value betting approach though then we would have bet on the horse without a second thought - regardless of what it's Qualifying Loss was.
Which approach is best to use?
The Value Betting Approach - but only if you fully understand how to do it, are happy to use it and have the Matched Betting bankroll to cope with the (often) larger Qualifying Losses.
(Perhaps to make a point on this the horse Ravens Tower actually ended up coming in 4th, which was the extra-place. If we'd used the Value Betting approach, we would have walked away with £40.23 in profit).
Experienced members Matched Betting Extra Place Offers with the Value Betting Approach tend to state they use 10% of their total stake amount as a guideline for their Qualifying Loss per horse, but there are also many who don't even worry about what the Qualifying Loss is at all - they just focus on value.
Beginners are recommended to stick to the Qualifying Loss approach first until you are very confident with what you are doing with Extra Place Offers, then start to switch to the Value Betting Approach.
The Value Betting Approach ++
Once you've mastered the standard Value Betting Approach you can also start to consider factoring in other elements that can affect the value of a horse.
In Part 3 we discussed in tip number 3 how it can be worthwhile filtering out strong favourites and/or extreme outsiders on a race because they are thought to be much less likely to finish in the extra place.
If we look at Ravens Tower's race (Uttoxeter 16th July, 14:15) which had 12 runners in, two horses in the race had odds of over 60.0 and would have been considered as extreme outsiders.
Arguably when we say Raven Towers has a 1 in 12 (or 8.33%) chance of coming in the extra-place in the race this calculation is technically based on the assumption that all the horses in the race were equally likely to finish in the extra-place.
An outsider with odds of 60.0+ though is technically not 'equally likely' to come in the extra place as a horse like Ravens Tower is with odds of 17.0.
This means our calculation that Ravens Tower will come in the extra-place 8.33% of the time is actually a little bit conservative. In reality is may actually be nearer to 10-12% of the time (if not more).
Therefore if we also consider filtering out extreme outsiders and strong favourites within the existing Value Betting approach it technically helps us choose horses that are even better value than we were selecting before.
However - never forget that sometimes even extreme outsiders can hit the extra place. If you do see a very high odds horse that is excellent value and you have the liability and bankroll to bet on it without impacting other Matched Betting offers you're doing - then personally, we'd all be jumping on that horse as well.
Full List of Extra Place Resources
If you’re already a Platinum or Diamond Member with us and haven’t tried your hand at profiting from Extra Places yet then as well as reading this 4-part blog guide, you can also refer to the following list of tools and resources:
- Guide on Useful Horse Racing Terminology
- Extra Place Offers and Each Way Bets, Full Guide
- Extra Place Catcher (horse racing odds matching software)
- Extra Place Catcher Tutorial
- Each Way Calculator (a matched betting calculator for each-way bets. This is useful if a bookmaker changes the terms of an Extra Place Offer at short notice)
- Extra Places Minimum Runners overview
- Shared Liability Guide (useful read for understanding what happens with your liability when placing multiple lay bets on different horses in the same read)
- Extra Place Value Betting Guide (an Extra Place Strategy option discussed in the forum)
- Laying Each-way Bets After Applying and Odds Boosts (a guide on how to use odds boosts to reduce Qualifying Losses on each-way bets)
- Rule 4 Deductions Guide (deals with non-runners and odds changing mid-way through placing your bets)
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