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Horse Racing Odds - The Relationship Between Odds And Strike Rate

Horse Racing Odds v Strike Rate - Introduction

In horse racing, as in many sports, many people like to have a guess as to which horses will win the race. Bookmakers offer "odds" which are simply the probability that any particular horse will win the race. Odds can be expressed either as a fraction e.g. 9/4 or a decimal e.g. 85.40.

It can be very helpful to compare the odds - or the probability of a particular horse winning a race - with the strike rate you might achieve on races of that type. You might be able to guess more winners when the odds are lower, than when the odds are bigger - this should be no surprise since at lower odds the probability of the horse winning the race is higher. This is really simply down to a bit of simple maths!!

Lets Take A Simple Example

Suppose you have a strike rate of 33% i.e. you are able to guess correctly one winner every 3 races. This means say if your stake is 10.00 per race then you spend 30.00 at the bookies for your three races. However one of the bets will be a winner

Question: Do you make a profit?

The answer of course is that it depends on the odds you get from the bookie for the horse that wins

Basically:

  • If the odds were 2/1 you would break even
  • If the odds are less than 2/1 you make a loss
  • If the odds are more than 2/1 you make a profit

Lets look at it the other way round

Suppose we were going to back every favourite that was 2/1

Question: What would our strike rate need to be in order for us to make a profit?

Well we already know that a strike rate of 33% means we break even so our strike rate has to be more than 33% - so maybe 35% would be ok

Get the idea?

The important thing to consider is what strike rate you need to make a profit at different SP's. This is purely a mathematical calculation

Below I have listed the Strike Rates you need at different SP's in order to make a profit

Odds v Strike Rate Profit Table

The Table gives the Strike Rate you would need to achieve at various odds to return a profit of 1.00 after a series of 10 1.00 bets. Remember this is just a hypothetical situation - I am not advocating you throw all your money away on gambling

The following Table assumes:

  • Stakes of 1.00
  • Series of 10 bets
  • Overall Profit target is 1.00

ODDSSTRIKE RATEODDSSTRIKE RATEODDSSTRIKE RATE
1/591.6711/1052.386/141.33
2/990.006/550.0013/214.67
1/488.005/448.897/113.75
2/785.5611/846.3215/212.94
3/1084.626/444.008/112.22
1/382.5013/841.909/111.00
4/1180.677/440.0010/110.00
2/578.5715/838.2611/19.17
4/976.152/136.6712/18.46
1/273.339/433.8514/17.33
8/1571.745/231.4316/16.47
4/770.0011/429.3318/15.79
8/1368.103/127.5020/15.24
4/666.0010/325.3825/14.23
8/1163.687/224.4440/12.68
4/561.114/122.0050/12.16
5/660.009/220.0066/11.64
10/1157.625/118.33100/11.09
1/155.0011/216.92200/100.55

If you know what your Strike is - some people may guess the winner 20-25% of the time - then its easy to see the odds that you need in order to return a paper profit over a series of 10 bets
For example if your strike rate is normally 20% then you should only bet at 9/2 or more
Or to look at it the other way round if you are offered odds of 2/1 then you need a strike rate of at least 36.67% to return a profit overall

The above information is provided as a mathematical example only, and is designed to illustrate the relationship between odds and strike rate. On this site we do not recommend you place any bets or get involved in any form of gambling. If you do decide to place any bets, please remember gambling is very risky - do not spend more than you can safely afford to lose

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