Profitable Horse Racing Betting-Bookmakers Or Betting Exchanges! Which Should You Use?

This is a question I have been asked many times and there is a
simple 1 word answer:

*** BOTH ***

Yes, you should be using Bookmakers AND Betting Exchanges to
maximise your returns…


This may surprise some of you. Maybe you have heard the claims of
the major betting exchanges that they offer ‘better odds’ than
traditional bookmakers and figures like up to 20% better odds are
often advertised. This may of convinced you to only bet on the
betting exchanges…

Its certainly true that there are many occasions when the betting
exchanges do offer improved odds as claimed but equally there are
many times when bookmakers offer better odds too. We must also
remember that betting exchanges rely on commission payments from
all your winning bets to make their money. This is usually in the
region of 2 – 5% depending upon your betting activity but for the
majority of users it is closer to 5% than 2%. This commission is
effectively lowering the odds you are getting on the exchanges.

What you will quickly notice if you spend a little time looking at
a horse racing market on a betting exchange and on a traditional
bookie is that at the business end of the market (favourites and
leading contenders) the odds are very similar and you will often
find a number of bookies offering better prices than the exchanges
at various times of the day. Alternatively, when you look at the
rags (outsiders) of the race, you will often see much higher prices
offered on the exchanges than the bookies are offering. It’s not
unusual to see 100/1 (101.0) or more offered on exchanges when the
top bookie price is 50/1 (51.0).

–>The Effect of the Rags (Outsiders) on the Odds

The reason for this is that the Betting Exchange odds on these rank
outsiders are much closer to the ‘true’ price for the selection,
with the bookmakers not prepared to go out so high thereby
protecting and increasing their profits with a much higher
‘overround’ than occurs on the exchanges. Remember, bookmakers
effectively make money by balancing their books in such a way that
in theory they should always make money regardless of which horse
wins. This is not strictly true in all cases but for the purpose of
this article assume it to be the case. As you already know, the
betting exchanges make profits from commission payments and
therefore do not rely on overrounds which allows the exchange odds
to be a true representation of each horses real chance of winning.
This results in betting exchange overrounds very close to 100% near
the start of each race.

–>The Favourites and Leading Contenders

At the business end of the markets in and around the favourites, I
guarantee that on any given day as well as finding better prices on
the exchanges for many horses, you will also find some horses that
are offered at better prices with the bookies.

This is where the majority of people concentrate their betting
activity, and therefore they simply must take the best price that
is available to increase their profits.


If you are in the game of backing high priced outsiders, then you
may well find using just betting exchanges like BetFair is the
most profitable way for you to bet. If however, like the majority
of punters, you concentrate your activity on the business end of
the market, you are almost certainly throwing profits away if you
only use bookies or betting exchanges alone.

There is no logic in taking 10/1 (11.0) with a bookie for a
particular horse if the same horse is available to back on the
exchanges at 12/1 (13.0). Remember to take into account betting
exchange commission!

Equally, there is no logic in taking 6/1 (7.0) on an exchange for
a horse that is available at 7/1 (8.0) with a bookmaker.

By doing either of the above you are throwing potential profits
down the drain. This may be all that makes the difference between
you winning or losing long term.

–>How to find the Best Odds On Offer

You might well be thinking that it must be too much hassle to hunt
around looking for the best odds available, but you couldn’t be
further from the truth. There are a number of excellent Odds
Comparison Sites that are free to use and will automatically and
clearly show you the odds being offered for each selection on the
major bookmakers and betting exchanges. A single click on the
appropriate odds for your selection usually takes you straight to
a bit slip so that you can place the bet in seconds…

–>An Important Word of Warning!

Simply by finding the best price being offered for a horse with
the bookmakers does NOT mean you will automatically profit from
your betting. Of course, getting the best price is crucial to
increasing your profits BUT if the horse you have selected is not
‘Good Value’ then it will still be a poor bet.

Let me clarify. If you select a horse to back and find that one
bookie is offering 10/1 when all others are offering 9/1, this is
still NOT a good bet if the true price of the horse should be 11/1.

How to find the horses whose price is offering value is really
key to professional profitable betting.

If you are struggling to find a way to find value horses, feel
free to contact me via my website and I will let you know of the
systems I use to consistently find value and profit from my
horse racing betting.


I personally have accounts with all of the major UK bookmakers as
well as with 2 betting exchanges. I place all of my bets using an
odds comparison site with whichever bookie or exchange is
offering me the best returns at the time of the bet. This I feel
is one of the main reasons why I regularly profit from my betting

I strongly recommend that all of you that bet seriously do the
same. I think you will be surprised how much difference it makes
to your bottom line!

Well that’s it for this article. I hope you find it helpful in your
quest to profit from betting.