Lay (Dutch) the Place Market

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How to make a profit if one or 2 of your Layed horses are placed

Lay the Betfair Horse Racing Place market.
When we think of laying in the Betfair horse racing Place market, a big fear may be that we have up to 4 chances of having to make a payout instead of only one in the win market.
If horses we lay finish first, 2nd, 3rd (or 4th in handicaps with 16 or more runners), we will have several payouts if more than one of the horses we have layed gets placed.

If we stake correctly, we can lose only if we have layed ALL placed horses.
If we lay our book to a high enough percentage, we can still show a profit if 1, 2 or 3 horses are placed that we have layed.

The maths of trading the Place market are no different to the maths of trading in the Win market
As we lay more runners, our liabilities decrease, AND :-

  • If we lay to more than a 100% book, we will win if only one of the horses that we lay is placed.
  • If we lay to more than a 200% book, we will win if 2 of the horses that we lay are placed.
  • If we lay to more than a 300% book in a 16+ runner handicap, we will win if 3 of the horses that we lay are placed.
  • Example. If we lay several horses to more than a 200% book, we will only lose if we lay ALL 3 placed horses.
    That is the maths of the Place market when we stake for an equal payout on all our lays..
    So, Laying in the Place market, isn’t quite as dangerous as it might seem.

Below, is an example of laying an 8 runner race for small stakes, starting by laying the least fancied horses first.
The maximum liability on any single horse is -£16.97.
The odds shown are the Lay odds that were available.
The profits shown would be bigger and the liabilities smaller if you were able to get matched at shorter odds by offering to lay at lower prices.

You can see from this example that once we have layed to a book percentage of over 100%, we only have liabilities if we have layed 2 of the horses that are placed, or all 3 placed horses.
Once we lay to a book of over 100%, if only one of the horses that we have layed is placed, we have profit, and if none of the horses that we have layed are placed, all our lays are successful and we clean up with a “Skinner”.
This principle applies to all races in the Betfair Horse Racing Place market when we lay to an equal liability on all runners.

Below, is a 2nd example of laying an 8 runner race for small stakes, starting by laying the most fancied horses first.
Read this table from the bottom upwards.
Again, the odds shown are the Lay odds that were available.
The profits shown would be bigger and the liabilities smaller if you were able to get matched at shorter odds by offering to lay at lower prices.

The maximum liability on any single horse is -£13.20..
You can see from this example that once we have layed to a book percentage of over 200%, we only have liabilities if we have layed all 3 of the horses that are placed.
If only one or 2 of the horses that we have layed is placed, we have profit, and if none of the horses that we have layed are placed, all our lays are successful and we clean up with a “Skinner”.
This principle applies to all races in the Betfair Horse Racing Place market when we lay to an equal liability on all runners.

If you have a selection method that strongly favours just a few runners, you may be a able to lay all the other runners and show a profit if just ONE of your favoured runners (that you have NOT layed) is placed, but 2 runners that you HAVE layed are placed.
If 2 of your favoured runners (NOT layed) are placed and just 1 of the runners you HAVE layed is placed, you will have good profit.
If all 3 of your favoured runners are placed, (none of the runners you have layed are placed), all your lays are successful and you clean up with a “Skinner”.

That is a big advantage of the Place market.
If you were to use your selection method and lay in the Win market all the runners that your selection method does not select, you would need to lay and NOT hit the winner in order to profit from your lays.
In the place market, you can afford to lay plenty of horses.
Even if you hit the winner and second placed horse (pus the 3rd placed in handicaps with 16+ runners), you can still show a profit provided you have not layed just ONE of the placed horses.
Unless you lay all the placed horses, you can make a profit provided you stake correctly, and lay enough runners.

In the example above, we could use a simple strategy of laying the most fancied runners.
If only one or 2 of the horses that we lay makes the frame, we have profit.
If we are unlucky and lay all 3 placed horses we have liabilities.
If none of the most fancied horses that we have layed are placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd, all our lays are successful – We win the total £££ our all our lays – in this example that would be £41.60.

Also, a big advantage of laying in the Place market is that trading margins are maintained even after commission deductions..

  • If your Lays get matched at the bet price, you will often have guaranteed winnings if you can Lay a full book.
    If your Bets get matched at the lay price, you will often have guaranteed winnings if you can Bet a full book..

In the Win market, book percentages are very close to 100%, but in the Place market, book percentages of over 305% (Lay) and under 295% (Bet) are not uncommon, especially well before the starting time of the race.
The Lay book percentage in this example is 297.23%.
The Bet book percentage 307.54%.

Lay up to 25 runners and keep track of your market position with an Excel spreadsheet.

In the Betfair Win Only market, we can set the Betfair screen to show our profit or loss, and display “What If” to show potential profit or loss before we place a bet or lay.

In the Betfair Place market, that doesn’t happen – Betfair cannot do it.
As you bet and lay in the Betfair Place Only market, your Betfair screen only displays the liabilities for individual runners.
That is because there are too many possible combinations of different profit and loss £££ amounts if we bet and lay several runners at different odds without balancing our stakes for equal liabilites on each runner whatever the result.

For example, in a 4 runner race paying on 2 places, there are 6 possible combinations of 2 with 4 runners :-
AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, CD.
It is impossible for Betfair to display the liabilities on those 6 different combinations.
A 16 runner handicap paying out on 4 placed horses would require Betfair to display 1820 different combinations – an impossible task.
In a 25 runner handicap, there are 12650 possible combinations for payout on 4 places..

However, there is a solution.
If we stake to equalize our trade for an equal profit or loss on all runners, we can show our market position on a spreadsheet for 1, 2, 3, or 4 placed runners for a race with any number of runners.

The spreadsheet described below shows the stakes required to lay up to 25 runners for an equal liability on each individual runner whatever the outcome of the race.

  • As we lay runners, the spreadsheet shows our market position for ALL runners with payout on 1, 2, 3 or 4 placed horses.
  • Liabilities decrease as we add more lays
  • The individual % is shown for each runner and Total Book %
  • Once we have layed to a book percentage of over 100%, a profit is shown if only one layed selection is placed.
  • Lay to a book percentage of over 200% and we only have liabilities if we lay all 3 placed horses.
  • Lay to a book percentage of over 300% and we only have liabilities if we lay all 4 placed horses.
  • Lay £££ amounts are totalled to show winnings if none of our selections are placed.

To sum up :-

  • If you only hit one placed horse, you can make a profit if your total book percentage is bigger than 100%..
  • You will profit even if 2 of your horses are placed if you lay to a book % of over 200%.
  • You will profit even if 3 of your horses are placed if you lay to a book % of over 300%.
  • If you don’t lay any of the placed horses, all your lays are successful – you have a “Skinner” and clean up with a profit equal to the total £££ of your lays.