July 20, 2017

People who bet on the result of sporting fixtures can be fairly clearly divided into two separate categories, those who bet occasionally and those who bet regularly.

Nevertheless, punters all bet with the same object in view —to WIN!

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The Occasional Punter

The person who has an occasional investment on a horse or a greyhound usually does so for reasons other than that they, personally, believe the horse or greyhound they have backed will win.

Their betting is more often associated with a day or night outing, more for the entertainment, than the actual betting, or an odd investment on a big event such as the Melbourne Cup, or again, a single bet based on the advice of a friend.

Very few people have the time to make a careful study of all the factors involved in a race which would enable them to select with a sufficient degree of accuracy the most likely winner.

Consequently they tend to follow some pattern of selection provided by either newspaper selection polls, radio and television broadcasters assessments, often a particular jockey or just follow the favourites.

Each of these methods of selection has equal merit as it is a natural assumption that the people providing this information are experts in their chosen profession as sports writers and commentators.

In terms of actual numbers of people betting , more do so with the TAB than with an online bookmaker. TAB's are readily available in pubs throughout the land and in agencies located in towns and suburbs within Australian cities.

With T.A.B. betting — puntersas opposed to betting with an online bookmaker where the investor places his bet by telling the bookmaker the name of the runner on which he is placing his bet — all names are reduced to numbers.

Many regular investors follow numbers, either as single investments for a win or a place, by combining two or a series of numbers on the Daily Double, and with greyhound events follow box numbers closely.

There is a fair degree of logic in following numbers, due to the consistency in the method used to allocate the numbers. It is also much easier to note how often a particular number wins or is placed and so bet on these numbers with the knowledge they will receive regular winning dividends when these numbers are successful.

It would not be possible to predict when any particular number will win, there is nevertheless a degree of consistency in how often over a given period of time each number does win.

This pattern of consistency, for a variety of reasons, varies considerably with each type of racing, i.e. Horseracing, Trotting or Greyhound racing and again there is considerable variation from track to track and State to State.


Approximately 65% of all money bet through the T.A.B. is on horseracing events which is more than three times the amount on either of the other two sports and yet there is an entirely different ration of attendances at the meetings. The average attendance at a Metropolitan horserace meeting would be 16,000 representing 40% at a trotting meeting 13,000 representing 32% and at a greyhound meeting 11,000 representing 28%. There are two completely diverse reasons for this. The first is the greater coverage given by newspapers and radio stations to horseracing events, with T.A.B. branches open for the whole period the meeting is in progress. The general population has a greater knowledge of the sport, a closer affinity with the individual horses and jockeys and traditionally there is a greater degree of glamour attached to many of the major events held throughout the racing year. The other reason is that successful investments on horseracing events tend to pay higher dividends than on trotting and greyhound events, with the greater chance of receiving a big dividend for a small outlay. It is not unusual for a win dividend on a horseracing event to be $10, $20, or even $30 for a single 25c investment whereas with trotting events $10 would be a big dividend and with greyhound racing $5 would be a high dividend for the same 25c unit of investment. The reason for the higher dividend is of course due to the different number of starters in races, with consequently less chance of winning and the Pool available for dividend divided between a lower percentage of the total investment units in the Pool. There can be up to 24 starters in a horserace, with trotting the number of starters is limited to either 10 or 12, and with greyhound races' the maximum number of starters permitted is 8. As with any form of gambling, where there are varying percentages of chances involved, the less the chance of winning the higher the commensurable amount to be won if you are successful. This has a great bearing on the popularity of the different types of investments made on the individual sports. Without taking into consideration form shown on past performances, it is fairly obvious that where there are say 20 horses in a race and an investor is betting for a place, he has 3 chances in 20 of collecting, in a greyhound race where there can only be 8 starters, he has 3 chances in 8 of collecting and consequently can expect much smaller dividends when successful. Much the same thing applies with Quinella betting which is very popular with greyhound and trotting enthusiasts. In a horseracing event with 20 starters engaged there are 190 possible combinations, whereas in a greyhound race with only 8 starters there can only be 28 possible combinations.