Value seeking on-course punters – ask for 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 amongst 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!

I have written a book about my experiences in the betting ring, it’s been getting some good reviews, here’s on of them. It’s on Amazon and Kindle as well as direct from me.

If you’d like one you can buy a signed copy  direct  from me via paypal here

It’s also available on Amazon and on Kindle.

Available on Nook

Available on Kobo

Racing Ahead Magazine's review with postal purchasing details.

Racing Ahead Magazine’s review with postal purchasing details.


8 responses to this post.

  1. Great piece Simon. If you don’t ask you don’t get, eh? All those fractions add up, and the aggregation of marginal gains can make a difference


  2. […] (Don’t understand fractions? You can still get them and the value on course, but if you don’t ask you don’t get ) […]


  3. […] 7/1 and 13/2 with the fractions. If you don’t understand fractions, please see here  Bach On Tow looked to be a danger two out but Dont Call Me Oscar got the money and returned 5/2 […]


  4. […] Only four went to post for the Higos Insurance Services Novices’ Chase. Betting was quite lively though, with decent money for Gary Moore’s Leo Luna including a £1200-£400 and Alan King’s Even money favourite Carraig Mor. One retired ex-rails layer was seen dashing in for a monkey at 6/5 while one layer was busy chatting, too me, oops sorry, take you eye off the ball for one second. There was even money for the outsider Saint Breiz, the punter had a £4950-£150, that’s 33/1. That’s a really galling bet to hear about because had he just said £150 with the fractions he’d have been laid a £5000 – £150, that’s a free potential £50 for just knowing the game. If that confuses anyone please click here […]


  5. […] The most competitive race on the card punting-wise followed. The Horse Racing Loyalty Bonus At Handicap Hurdle. Ten runners went to post and plenty were supported with tips flying around all over the place. Benbecula was backed from 7/2 into 3/1 market-leader but there was also money for Dainty Diva at 8/1 into 7/1 and Redwood Boy steady at 7/2. One bookmaker on the rails confided that it was ‘As busy as a Saturday’ adding that he ‘Didn’t know where the punters had appeared from’. I’m not sure if it was him that laid the £2000 – £250 each-way the winner After Eight Sivola but whoever it was they probably wished he’d left them out. The only plus side to laying the bet is that had the punter asked for £2000 – £240 each way he’d have got it and saved a score. Of course if they win it’s irrelevant. (Haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about? Head over here and learn about fractions and how to bet like a professional ) […]


  6. […] Peter Houghton was bracing himself for an off-course plunge, with some trepidation too, he’d been Gary Wiltshire’s right-hand man when Frankie rode his industry-busting magnificent seven back in 1996. To make things worse for those bookies facing roll-up bets the four-timer was a real possibility with Dettori riding one of the day’s bankers, John Gosden’s Jack Hobbs who opened up at a shade of odds-on at 10/11. That price touched evens when support poured in for Stravagante backed at all rates down from 7/1 into 4/1, none of that was to ‘noted’ money but the even money attracted the biggest bets of the day with several four-figure sums reported on the rails. Much to the surprise of much of the betting ring the off-course money stayed off course. Maybe people don’t do Frankie Dettori multiples any more. There was another bet worth mentioning, a punter had £250 each way on 33/1 shot Prince Of Paris, what was he thinking, he should have asked for the fractions, don’t understand fractions? See here […]


  7. […] Second race of the day was the Betfred ‘City Bowl’ Handicap which is a special treat for racegoers as they got to witness at close quarters a flag start down in front of the members’ rail. 10 went to post and betting was brisk in an open market with William Of Orange ans Spectator going off as joint-favourites at 7/2. There were a couple of decent bets. One firm laid a bet of a monkey each-way at 6/1 Rockfella, another of £2750-£500 each-way on Fun Magic. The bookie who laid it was resplendent in a pair of Elvis circa 1972 sunglasses and cool with it joking that ‘The punter didn’t even ask for fractions’. Huh huh you really should ask for fractions when battling on course bookies for maximum value, if you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about check my blog on the subject here. […]


  8. […] (that’s with the fractions, don’t know them, check out how to bag the value here ). The trouble is you may well get the value but you can’t eat it unless they win. This one […]


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