As opposed to trading
Shaker has written a very impressive guide to trading
here. To get the most
from trading you need to be able to identify the early outright prices that will fall
significantly before the event begins. That way, by using the bet exchanges to
lay off players at the lower odds, you can either profit from
'arbing'/'scalping' (backing a player at high odds and then laying off
at lower odds, thus ensuring a small profit whatever the result) or from laying off
a proportion of the initial stake to end up with a much smaller final stake but at very inflated odds. Shaker's guide shows how this can be done.
The outright betting approach
With outright betting, it is not as important to get on the early prices. We
are not looking to profit from the movement of prices during the week, but
rather find odds that are in excess of a given player's real chances of success.
As a result, the outright plays for the PGA and European Tours will generally be
posted on Monday evenings. By this stage there are a good number of books
offering outright odds for these Tours and the major alignment of prices
generally does not occur until the following day. Outright plays for other Tours
will generally be posted later in the week as the books tend to post odds much
later than on the main two Tours and the price adjustments are also much lower.
The importance of each-way betting
As the outright plays posted on this site are not closed out in-running via
the betting exchanges (see Shaker's discussion under 'Why win only?' for the
trading alternative), it is important to increase your chances of success by
using the each-way terms when available. Apart from a very select few golfers,
the probability of a player finishing 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th is significantly
larger than the probability of them finishing 1st. That is why, apart from a few
examples where a player's odds may be very short, virtually all the outright
plays posted on Tour-Tips will be each way ("e.w.").
An each-way bet is a bet that combines (to equal
stakes) a win-only (futures) bet with a place-only bet. The place-only odds are
typically 1/4 the win-only odds, though it does vary from book to book, while
the places offered are typically either four or five. Obviously it is better to
have more places and a bigger fraction for the place-only odds, though I will
always prefer 5 places at 1/5 odds to 4 places at 1/4 odds at the same full
Most books offer the each-way bet as a option,
while it is possible to make your own each-way bet at books like Five Dimes,
Centrebet and Olympic who offer the win-only and place-only odds separately but
not as a bundled each-way option. Simply place half your stake on the player to
win outright and the other half of your stake on the player to be placed. To
avoid confusing staking plans, I do not consider varying the share of the win
and place elements in the total each-way stake.
All the books on
The List will offer outright
odds for PGA Tour events at least and most will offer them for European Tour
events as well. That page also details whether each book offers each-way or just
win-only odds and whether they cover Tours outside the main two men's Tours.
The alternative of place betting
If the chances of a player finishing 1st are less than that of him finishing
2nd or 3rd or 4th or 5th, then, strictly speaking, it makes sense to bet
place-only instead. Why waste half your stake on a player winning the event when you
could have your whole stake on a player finishing in the top-5 (or top-4)?
only counter to this point is that there is a far greater range of each-way odds
available than there are place-only. You may commonly find a player at a best
price of 100/1 with a book that pays 5 places at 1/4 odds (displayed as "1/4
1-2-3-4-5"), but you will struggle to find the same player at 25/1 to be placed.
It is therefore a question of trade-offs ... if I can only get 16/1 on a player
to be placed, then I will advise a bet at 100/1 as 0.5*stake at 25/1 to be
placed is not that much worse than 1*stake at 16/1 and there is still a (small)
chance of the 100/1 win at 0.5*stake.
Of the books on the list, SkyBet (1/4
1-2-3-4-5), Paddy Power (1/5 1-2-3-4-5), Centrebet (1/4 1-2-3-4) and SIA (1/4
1-2-3-4) regularly offer place-only odds. Two other books also offer place-only
odds - Five Dimes (1/5 1-2-3-4-5) and Olympic (1/4 1-2-3-4) - but these don't
offer odds until at least Tuesday each week, so I will have largely posted my
selections before they have posted their odds.
The benefits of outright betting
The primary benefit of outright betting relative to trading is that you only
need to place your stake once. You do not need to tie up funds many times in
excess of your final stake as in trading. It is also simple and the process is
complete in just one wager.
The limitations of outright betting
Trading allows you to create a win-only bet on a player with odds that will
be well in excess of anything that had been on offer as a simple outright bet.
The compromise of simplicity and convenience is lower odds. Also, as outlined
above, the majority of outright plays offered at Tour-Tips will be each-way even
if a player has very little chance of winning the event. That may seem a waste
of half a bet, but the alternative of place-only betting is constrained by the
availability of odds.
Similarly, it may appear to be a waste of two
half-stakes given the standard practice at Tour-Tips to offer three outright
each-way plays per event. The three selections may be placed, but not all three
can win the event. If one of them wins the event, then the half-stakes on the
other two will have lost by default. Again, it is the limited availability of
alternative place-only odds that keeps the majority of outright plays as
each-way and thus keeps this problem alive.
Finally, the outright plays that are posted at
Tour-Tips are not closed out in-running with the use of the betting exchanges.
They either win if the player is at least placed or the full stake is lost. This
is a product of posting outright plays publicly as 'outright plays' - their
profit/loss record is measured solely by how well they perform as outright plays
and not by how well they may have been closed out in-running. With personal
wagers, it is obviously beneficial to cover yourself by using the betting
exchanges if you have an outright play on a player and he is either leading or
is close to the lead. But how much profit to 'lock in' and how much of the wager
to 'let ride' is a personal decision. It is only for recording purposes, and not
as advice, that the outright plays on Tour-Tips are never closed out in-running.
What if I can't get the published odds or
place terms for a player?
As a general rule of thumb, I would suggest taking odds on a player only if
they are available at no more than 1/3 less than the odds posted at Tour-Tips.
For a 50/1 outright play, take odds at 33/1 but no lower. For a 33/1 outright
play, take odds at 22/1 but no lower. And so on.
As another general rule of thumb, take place
terms of 1/5 1-2-3-4-5 only if the outright odds are at least 15% higher than
with place terms of 1/4 1-2-3-4-5. By this rule, 20/1 at 1/4 1-2-3-4-5 is
preferable to 22/1 at 1/5 1-2-3-4-5, but not 25/1 at 1/5 1-2-3-4-5.
Similarly, take place terms of 1/4 1-2-3-4 only
if the outright odds are at least 20% higher than with place terms of 1/4
1-2-3-4-5. By this rule, 33/1 at 1/4 1-2-3-4-5 is preferable to 40/1 at 1/4
1-2-3-4 but not 45/1 at 1/4 1-2-3-4.
Finally, take place terms of 1/4 1-2-3-4 only
if the outright odds are at least 5% higher than with place terms of 1/5
1-2-3-4-5. By this rule, 22/1 at 1/5 1-2-3-4-5 is preferable to 23/1 at 1/4
1-2-3-4, but not 25/1 at 1/4 1-2-3-4.
Remember, these are just general rules of thumb
rather than based on a mathematical proof of which place terms are preferable in
This is just an introductory guide to
outright betting, so if you have any questions, please contact me on