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Safebet Jimmer
13 Dec 09 16:46
Date Joined: 09 Nov 02
| Topic/replies: 149 | Blogger: Safebet Jimmer's blog
This is a serious question and I dont mean to offend anyone if you are a bookie.

When you go to the races, the bookies line up in rows with their backs to the track, right? The bookies closest to the track presumably have the worst (and therefore cheapest) plots as they cant see all the other bookies. Therefore their odds have to be better than the other bookies for them to make some money. (Right so far?)

However, presumably, they STILL make a profit????

The last couple of times Ive been to a meeting, ALL the bookies were busy all afternoon.

So, if I booked a pitch at a race course and set up my stand at the front (paid the course fees etc), even though I know very little about horse racing, couldnt I just offer better odds than the other bookies (albeit on just a few horses per race) and still make a profit?

Surely, (as with all the bookies) all Im doing is duplicating the other bookies odds and then reacting accordingly (by either raising or lowering them)?
Pause Switch to Standard View Becoming a bookie at a racecourse
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Report xis a ruof December 13, 2009 4:57 PM GMT
it's really that simple, and as luck would have it there are several Bookies looking to sell their pitches. Where do you fancy buying?
Report lee h2 December 13, 2009 4:58 PM GMT
yes good idea,

Off you go and report back in 6 months, let us know how you go on!!
Report Safebet Jimmer December 13, 2009 4:58 PM GMT
Are you serious?

(I'm guessing it's not, I just don't understand why)
Report xis a ruof December 13, 2009 5:00 PM GMT
If it was that easy sure wouldnt everyone be doing it.
Report Safebet Jimmer December 13, 2009 5:02 PM GMT
................I'm guessing it is NOT that easy.

I just don't understand the reason why, hence posting this question?
Report zipper December 13, 2009 5:04 PM GMT
Safebet Jimmer .... You would get slaughtered . zipper .
Report Richard LL December 13, 2009 5:08 PM GMT
well you've made no assesment of your total overheads, and don't seem to be giving much credit to your likely competitors.
Report Richard LL December 13, 2009 5:09 PM GMT
do you not think their skill and experience could leave you and your simple strategy vulnerable?
Report Safebet Jimmer December 13, 2009 5:11 PM GMT
I realise this zipper (and if I right, you are a bookie aren't you?)

So why would I get slaughtered?

The last time I was at the races I went to Bath. I watched the bookie at the front (nearest the track) simply duplicate one of the bookies at the back. He basically got a young lad to run backwards and forwards.

Then every now and then, he would increase one or two of the odds and wait for the money to come in. Then after taking a few quid, reduce the odds accordingly.

I appreciate there is more to it than what I am making out, I just don't understand why?
Report zipper December 13, 2009 5:21 PM GMT
Safebet Jimmer .. 3 things a top line bookie has to have . to top the market .
One A very sound knowledge of the form & be 90% correct about the chances of the horse winning & he's prices he is offering
Two .. Ii's very helpful if you know the none triers.
Three... It will also alter your tissue when you know the triers..... the rest is pure maths.... Good Luck.
Report Safebet Jimmer December 13, 2009 5:24 PM GMT
Ok, thanks.

So, do all bookie's know about every horse in every race at their meet, or do they hope to make their money on a few races and try and minimise their losses on the others?
Report claretbob December 13, 2009 5:28 PM GMT
try being a bookie on here if you cant do it here you wont be able to at the track and it will save you on all the overheads ie the pitch
Report Safebet Jimmer December 13, 2009 5:36 PM GMT

this leads me nicely to my next question;

why would you want to be a bokie at a racecourse when you could sit in your own home doing it?

There must be some reason why they travel around the country doing that?
Report claretbob December 13, 2009 5:46 PM GMT
maybe they have done it before exchanges were around but to me it makes more sense 2 be a layer on here there is always plenty of money on here 2 make a living if you are any good at it
Report Safebet Jimmer December 13, 2009 5:49 PM GMT
i think i read somewhere that in most horse races, the fav, 2nd fav and possibly 3rd fav are very simular odds to the track, but after that the prices drift quite a bit.

This would mean the bookie's at the track have better profit margins if a non-fav won.

Could this be the attraction?
Report claretbob December 13, 2009 6:05 PM GMT
it could be but i wouldnt do it like them i wouldnt lay every horse in every race i would concentrate on the shorter price horses on each race and look for any negatives why they can be beaten ie distance of race , the going , competition there are favourites in races all the time that i cant for the life of me understand why they are favourites and they do get beaten!dont bet if you cant find the negatives on the shorter price horses but they will come along if you put the study in and be patient
Report The Investor December 13, 2009 6:20 PM GMT
Safebet Jimmer 13 Dec 18:49
i think i read somewhere that in most horse races, the fav, 2nd fav and possibly 3rd fav are very simular odds to the track, but after that the prices drift quite a bit.

This would mean the bookie's at the track have better profit margins if a non-fav won.

Could this be the attraction?

The difference in price is applicable to (almost) all longshots in any sport or market. traditional bookies tend to offer bad odds and they know people will bet anyway, as they like the prospect of winning 100, 200 or 3000 times their money regardless of the actual probabilities involved.
Report blackpood December 13, 2009 6:50 PM GMT
Very, very poor bait imo :(
Report birch2 December 13, 2009 6:55 PM GMT

Look at your costs to set up and your taxation, then look at your costs on here
Report Safebet Jimmer December 13, 2009 7:03 PM GMT
exactly, so rent a plot at the race course?
Report birch2 December 13, 2009 7:10 PM GMT
u looked at your required licence and its conditions?
Report Safebet Jimmer December 13, 2009 7:25 PM GMT
I'm unsure what your point is?

I'm guessing a licence would cost a quite a few more pounds than my internet connection.

Which makes it even more profitable to sit at home infront a computer screen.

So why become a bookie at the course?
Report birch2 December 13, 2009 7:32 PM GMT
My point is - its not for you - but I gather you already know that

I think its nigh impossible for a 'newcomer' to succeed at the track or even, in an off course environment
Report kenilworth December 13, 2009 8:41 PM GMT
The thing that beats you has hardly been mentioned. The expenses, even at a gaff track like Bath they would be around £300 a day, and on an ongoing basis, very hard to overcome. GL.
Report Beat The OverRound December 14, 2009 5:00 AM GMT
Nobody has really explained the two questions fully really.

1/ Why not just setup a pitch?
You need to be licenced, that licence is not cheap.
You need a lot of capital,not just what's in your bag.
There is an escrow account or holding account that the regulators make you fund and that needs to be significant.
It's insurance that you'll payout the punters.
You need to be of impeccable character and pass a police check.
So if you got into a fight as a 17 year old drunk and now you're 50, you can forget it, because they won't.
You need to be able to liaise with other bookies, so that they talk to you and swap bets with you.
You can't just rock up and go "hi Fred" and start undercutting his odds, word will spread through the betting ring like wildfire and you'll be banned by the fraternity.
So you'll end up holding a liability you can't get out of.
You also have to have an aptitude for split second mental arithmetic.

2/ Why do bookies bother going to the track, rather than play on Betfair?
Well, they do lay off on Betfair, but you're looking at market percentages of close to 100% plus 5% commission.
They offer 110% to 130% markets.
A common fallacy is that bookies make their money when favourites get beaten.
This is true to some extent, but bookies really amke their money from the odds they offer on outsiders.
That's why you see bookies offer 50/1 and on here the odds are 200/1 or 500/1.
Compare the totes with bookies, often the bookies are much better than the tote on the first few favourites, they are much less on outsiders.
Why try an earn a living when the odds are against you (95 - 100%) when you can easily earn a minimum of 10%. (110%).

3/ It is possible to be a bookie on here, but not in the conventional way.
Mirror the bookies, but know your books will only ever include firmers, so you need to allow for that in the odds you offer.

4/ Bookmakers are like Freemasons, there isn't a secret handshake, but it's usually passed down from generation to generation.
There's more to it than just copying prices, having liquidity and a maths mind. Try finding anything on the net that sufficiently explains the workings of a bookmaker, it's just about zilch.
Software, spreadsheets, mathematical equations are basically zero, just unreal hypotheticals, even software they use is limited to registered bookmakers.
Established bookmakers have established clients who "tell" them where the money is going, getting opening prices right is crucial.
Then you have to deal credit betting and bad debts.
Also you have to employ the bagman, the penciller, runners, etc etc etc.

Bookmaking is a very very tough professional, you need to have nerves of steel.
Report Beat The OverRound December 14, 2009 5:20 AM GMT
I think its nigh impossible for a 'newcomer' to succeed at the track or even, in an off course environment
It isn't impossible, it can be done.
Track - serve an apprenticeship with an established bookmaker.
Get known, run his bets, pencil his books, run his bag.
Get as much knowledge as you can.
You can't do it overnight, I'd say a minimum of 5 years solid would be a good base.

Off course (i.e. here)
I explained in detail in another thread, how I do it.
The first failing of would be bookmakers, is that they think like punters and not like bookmakers.
The second failing is that they think they can make money laying 101% markets, they forget commission, premium charges, and when things go wrong.
One bad problem would easily wipe out a full week's work.
What if the site goes down?
etc etc etc.
The third failing is discipline - without it, you're stuffed.
Could you ride out three weeks on the trot of negative results without flinching?
The fourth failing is understanding how a Betfair market differs from a bookies market and how a bookie makes money, and be able to use that knowledge and apply it to an entirely different type of betting medium.

Confession time, I have had every single one of those failings in my time here.
This is why I consistently lost a lot of money.
Big dollars I have lost here.
It is only in the last couple of years, when I got sick of being depressed about it and took myself by the scruff of the neck, and beat sense into myself that it became clear.
Either I smarten up and learn and trial and test, or close my account.
Luckily, I have been able to form good habits just as I formed bad ones.
The best advice I can give to anyone, is that discipline is a habit, if you don't have it, you will continue to break discipline, as habits form and become subconsciously embedded.
The only way to become habitually disciplined (if you don't already have it) is to retrain yourself.
I took away temptation to become undisciplined and spent months like a robot putting the same stake on the same horses, without listening to races and without looking at results.
This is what worked for me.
Report farraflash December 14, 2009 5:23 AM GMT
Good to see someone aspiring to be a dinosaur.

In oz you start out on the country dogs and as your turnover increases move into the big smoke. That was 30 years ago when people went to the races.
Report Beat The OverRound December 14, 2009 5:46 AM GMT
Betfair can be the best thing that ever happened to you, or the worst thing that ever happened to you.

As I rapidly approach 50, I have this image of sitting in a government funded nursing home overpowered by the smell of urine, eating vitamised mush, thinking "if only I had discipline"

This picture should shock everyone to their senses, as it's a harsh reality and a sad and sorry end to a wasted life.
Report yoyo December 14, 2009 10:06 AM GMT
safebet jimmer, howabout I give GIVE you a pitch for nothing NOTHING.

go make your fortune.
Report birch2 December 14, 2009 12:24 PM GMT

Thanks for a very amusing assessment

I still maintain the 'newcomer' has little chance, as who, in a gambling environment, is going to wait 5 years to 'train' to be a track bookie - it was only possible in times pre 2000

by off course, I actually meant a bookies shop, not here. In one fell swoop the Gambling Act/Commission have made a one man betting shop totally unviable - even for established shops taking up to £1m p.a.
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