What is laying horses?

Horse racing betting is a sport that offers an almost infinite variety of bets. In almost every case handicappers are choosing horses to win. There are also a few betting platforms which allow laying horses. What is laying horses? It is essentially betting on horses to lose.

Okay, laying horses is a little more complicated than that. Here’s a look at what laying horses really means, and also how the smart horse racing bettor can use it to make a profit. As with all types of horse racing betting, the results that we may describe are not typical and may not reflect your own efforts.

Taking a Stand Against a Horse

Whenever you make a bet on a horse to win you are taking a stand. You are stating an opinion that you think your chosen horse will come in first. The other nine horses in the race might have something to say about that, and this is what makes horse racing betting challenging. It isn’t always easy to pick a winner.


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Many bettors claim that it is much easier to identify a horse that has no chance to win. In any given race on any given day at any given track there can be horses which have little or no chance to win. What if it were possible to bet on those horses to lose?

There is a way! Many online betting platforms such as Betfair allow bettors to lay horses. You can actually become a bookmaker of sorts with the help of a betting exchange. These exchanges allow you to book bets directly with other bettors and offer odds on horses you think will lose.

Betting Exchanges Vs. Online Racebooks

There are a few differences between betting exchanges and online racebooks. The biggest of these is that the online racebook only allows betting into the parimutuel pool. A betting exchange allows bettors to book bets between themselves.

What is laying horses? It is when you offer to take a bet on a horse at certain odds from another bettor. This is what exchanges do that online racebooks do not. They basically allow you to become a bookie. It can be a profitable way to bet on horses if you are prepared and know the game.

Generally, you will need a larger bankroll if you want to lay horses. You have to be able to cover the bet that someone makes. You also need to be familiar with odds so that you can offer a reasonable price on the horses that you wish to lay.

How Laying Horses Works

Once you have signed up with a betting exchange and made your initial deposit, you will then be given access to list horses that you are willing to lay for other bettors. In short, laying means that you are betting on something not to happen. In this case, you will be betting on a horse not to win.

Other bettors will see which horses you are offering to lay and at what odds. They then have the opportunity to accept the wager as you have proposed it. If the horse loses, you collect your winnings on the bet. If the horse wins, you are obligated to pay the bettor their winnings at the agreed-upon price.

This is why laying horses can be a very risky proposition for the average bettor. You must know what you are doing before you agree to book the bet. The betting exchange will only allow you to make the lay if you have enough money in your account to cover the wager.

Liability and Laying Horses

If you intend to lay horses on a regular basis, you will need to understand how liability plays a role. When you are booking the bet you have a certain liability that has to be considered. The liability is the amount that you stand to lose in the worst-case scenario.

Most betting exchanges will allow you to define the parameters of your lay wager. You will determine the odds that you are willing to offer, and you will determine how much you can cover in a bet made by another player. The exchange is not going to permit you to book a bet that you cannot cover.

This often means that you are going to need  larger bankroll when you are laying horses online. It may be possible for you to have a $100 bankroll when you are making $2 bets at an online racebook. This will not be the case when you are using a betting exchange.

Before you embark upon the betting strategy of laying horses, decide how much you can afford to lose. There is always the possibility that your fellow bettors will be smarter than you and rack up a sizable win.

Learning How to Spot Lay Horses

Anyone that wants to be successful in laying horses is going to have to learn how to spot horses that are primed for defeat. But this is not enough. You also have to look for horses that are overpriced. The best horses to lay are usually false favorites that are being offered at very short odds.

Why? Because there will be a lot of attention on these horses. Many bettors will be wanting to bet on them to win. If you feel like a horse has issues that have been overlooked, you may be sitting on an excellent opportunity to lay.

Signs that a horse could be in trouble include declining performances, poor or absent workout information, and the addition of equipment or bandages that the horse has not raced in before. As you can see, laying horses is going to really draw upon your abilities as a handicapper. You are going to need to be at the top of your game.

What is laying horses? It can ultimately be a path to horse racing profits if you know what to look for in race horses. When there are 10 horses in a race only one will be the winner most of the time. Some bettors contend that it is much easier to identify four or five losers than it is to pick a winner every time.

Check our Bovada racebook review, or AmWager review & 5Dimes review for folks anywhere! You can also read other reviews such as Twinspires reviewBetamerica review.


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