Value-Seeking On-Course Punters – Ask for the fractions!

A lot of the fun in betting rings in days gone by was hunting around for the best prices. Finding a back row bookie whose floorman had fallen asleep and let his boss roast offering 11/4 when the firms were taking 5/2 along the rails was all part of the game. Of course in those days the layer caught napping didn’t have the ‘Betfair Twist’ option. That is doing a little pirouette on the stool to look into his computer and see what price the horse was on the exchange, then say ‘It’s gone’ and lay you nothing.


That seems to be socially acceptable among some layers these days. Of course there was no shortage of bluffing in the old days either. Books ignoring you totally, or if you were lucky and you got a polite one, copping a deaf ‘un, pretending not to hear your bet as they casually removed the price or just growling ‘nothing done’. The vast majority would play the game and accept that they had been caught fair and square and at least lay you part of the bet. They got their own back on the floorman shortly after giving the poor unfortunate a public bollocking and assuring him there would be ‘no honours’ that day.

These days, the bookies have alerts on their screens which shows them if the price has gone on the machine. That is why it is very rare to see much variation of prices in a market that is generally based on exchange moves. One part of the ‘good old days’ that still hangs in there and punters can benefit from is the layers willingness to lay fractions. The fraction prices of 100/7 100/6 etc changed in the 1970s to the more familiar 14/1 and 16/1 to the detriment of punters. However, although not advertised, most bookmakers back in the day would still lay ‘the fractions’ if asked. It was particularly useful for bookies’ floormen hedging, the boss would ask them to bet a horse to win a grand or a monkey.

Obviously bookmakers today don’t advertise the fact they will still lay the enhanced odds. Not all will, but if you chose a long-standing independent you will more often than not be accommodated. Fractions are as follows to stakes to win £100.

11/2 – £100-£18

6/1 –  £100-£16

13/2 – £100 – £15

7/1 – £100 – £14

15/2 – £100 – £13

8/1 – £100 – £12

9/1 – £100 – £11

11/1 -£100 – £9

12/1 – £100 – £8

14/1 – £100 – £7

16/1 – £100 -£6

33/1 – £100-£3

66/1 – £100 – £1.50

Don’t be shy, if you don’t ask you don’t get.

Come racing for value!

There is such a thing as a free bet!

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