Obtaining better prices about your selections

The following is a Ratings2Win Educational Article

Obtaining better prices about your selections may be more important to your success as a punter than the actual horses you back. Having known this myself for many years I have decided to share with you the dramatic effect this could have on your own betting activities.

Most of you would know that there are a myriad of betting products to choose from in the marketplace today. They include totes, fixed odds, starting price, top fluctuation and just to add to the mix hybrids of those already mentioned. In addition we have the betting exchanges.

Before revealing the results of some recent analysis I thought I would share with you some statistical evidence of just how varied different betting locations can be in terms of overall competitiveness.

Most of you would be aware that betting odds are simply a reflection of a horses perceived probability of success for an upcoming race. These probabilities (a horses percentage chance of winning) are then converted to a dividend / odds. For example if a horse is priced by the market at $2.00 then it has in theory a 50 % chance of winning and a 50% chance of losing. Added together these percentages for all horses in a race make up the markets percentage overall.

Bookmakers then set their prices so that the overall percentage of the market is above 100% thereby giving them a theoretical advantage over the punter. What you may not know is just how much the markets percentage overall varies from region to region. Below is a table of the typical percentages for both opening and top fluctuation markets across different states in Australia for metropolitan racing.

Open % Top fluctuation %























Clearly you can see that NSW metropolitan racing offers the most competitive betting arena and that top fluctuation betting should be avoided in other states save for VIC. NSW or Sydney metropolitan racing’s betting market structure is one of the key drivers as to why I concentrate on betting into that market more than any other. Overall it has the biggest bookmakers and punters as its key players.

Recent Analysis

Earlier in this article I referred to the myriad of betting products that are available to punters today and the dramatic effect this could have on your own betting activities. In short I analysed a block of my win bets and those recommended to SRA clients (since inception of the SRA) against some of the betting products available. The results of that analysis can be seen in the table below.

Units of profit


NSW tote



Top fluctuation



Best of Top Fluctuation and best tote









See the massive benefits that can be gained from simply obtaining better prices about your selections. Even betting at top fluctuation the increase over and above the NSW tote was a huge 317%. Of course if you are a regular attendee at the track (Sydney Metro) you can do a lot better than top fluctuation however most of us prefer to bet from home or simply place our bets with a corporate before the days races.

Our recommendation is that you make a conscious effort to obtaining better prices about your selections and in doing so think about how you intend to achieve this. One simple way is to ensure that you have multiple betting accounts.