horse racing info

Framing Your Own Betting Market

Framing your own market is an effective way to punt like the pros. It allows you to analyse a race and put an actual odds figure on any horse to find runners representing true value.

Once your market is framed, you simply back any horse that is over its rated odds. For example, if you rate a horse at $4.00 and the opening price given by the bookmaker is $8.00, then you have yourself a double overlay, and then back it accordingly.

If you're right more often than you're wrong, then steady profits should roll in. Over time you'll get better at framing your markets and then it's simply a matter of waiting for over the odds opportunities.

Here's one way to create your own betting market.

How to Frame your own Betting Market

A simple way to create a market is to have a maximum and minimum figure to work with that can give you a percentage that can be converted to odds. Ideally that would be from 0 to 10, with 10 points being best and zero points being worst.

Chance Points
Great Chance 10
Good Chance 8
Fair Chance 6
Some Chance 4
Rough Chance 2
No Chance 0

Assessing a Race

Once you have picked out a race to assess, you can then work your way through each horse’s form and give it a rating from 0 to 10. If you consider a horse has no chance then you would give it zero, and if you thought it was a great chance then you would give it a 10, and anywhere in between for any other chances.

Assume you have finished analysing a race with 8 horses and allotted the following points.

Horse Rating Points
Don't Cry Fair Chance 6
Mama Kin Good Chance 8
November Rain Some Chance 4
Sweet Child No Chance 0
Paradise City Rough Chance 2
My Michelle Good Chance 8
Like a Lady No Chance 0
Civil War No Chance 0

Finalise Market Chances

You have narrowed a field of eight horses down to only 5 realistic chances as shown below.

Horse Points
Don't Cry 6
Mama Kin 8
November Rain 4
Paradise City 2
My Michelle 8
Points 28

Convert Chances Percentage to Odds

It is a simple process to convert each horse’s points to a percentage which will then allow a price to be attached to each horse. The five horses combined total of points is 28. We simply divide each horse's individual points by the total of 28 and then multiply by 100 to get the percentage figure. Using the percentage converter at the bottom of the page we can then put a monetary figure to each horse's percentage and we have our market.

Horse Calculation Percentage Odds
Don't Cry 6/28 *100 21% $4.75
Mama Kin 8/28 *100 29% $3.50
November Rain 4/28 *100 14% $7.00
Paradise City 2/28 *100 7% $14.00
My Michelle 8/28 *100 29% $3.50
  Market 100%  

Compare Rated Odds to Actual Odds

Now that you have created a price for each horse it is relatively easy to determine a horse’s value when you see the actual market for the race.

Horse % Rated Actual Value
Don't Cry 21% $4.75 $3.50 No
Mama Kin 29% $3.50 $6.50 Yes
November Rain 14% $7.00 $6.00 No
Paradise City 7% $14.00 $4.25 No
My Michelle 29% $3.50 $5.50 Yes

Don't Cry, November Rain, and Paradise City actual odds are all under our rated odds and are poor value according to our assessments.

Mama Kin and My Michelle were both rated at $3.50 and bookmakers are offering $6.50 for Mama Kin and $5.50 for My Michelle. These two horses are great value according to our assessments. We can now back both horses to make a substantial profit should either horse salute.

Overlay Betting for Value

We have to back our assessed bets accordingly to take advantage of the value on offer. Mama Kin and My Michelle are what professionals call 'overlays', and they would be backed according to their rated percentage to return a marginal profit.

We have framed our market to 100% but ideally you would look to assess your market to around 80%-90% to turn the margin into your favour, as opposed to the bookmaker who bets over round to 120% or therabouts.

Assuming we are betting to return a minimum $100 on each horse. We rated Mama Kin and My Michelle at $3.50 each, so we would need to place $29 on both horses to return $100. Bookmakers are offering us $6.50 for Mama Kin, for a return of $188.50 if Mama Kin wins, which is a big overlay of $88.50.

We are receiving $5.50 for My Michelle which will return $159.50 if My Michelle can get up, for an overlay of $59.50.

Horse % Actual Outlay Return Profit
Mama Kin 29% $6.50 $29.00 $188.50 +159.50
My Michelle 29% $5.50 $29.00 $159.50 +130.50

You don't have to bet to return $100 if it is out of your reach. You can lower the amount to return $50, $20, or even as low as $10, whatever is in your budget range.

To return $50 - Halve the bet and have 29% of $50 which is around $15.
To return $20 - Have one-fifth of the bet, or 29% of $20, which is $6.
To return $10 - Have one-tenth of the bet, or 29% of $10, which is $3.

Whatever amount you choose to return, you can frame your own market and bet well within your means, just like the professionals. See our Bookmaker Percentages section to see how bookies frame a betting market.


Framing your own market can be done very quickly if you have a computer with software such as Microsoft Excel. You can use a spreadsheet to input your horse's name and rating, and then odds calculations & percentages are done automatically for you.

Once you find a race you want to evaluate, then simply work out your assessment for each horse and do the calculation to convert each rating to a percentage. Use the percentage converter chart below to find the dollar figure for each horse and then compare your horse's odds to actual odds offered by bookmakers. If you see a horse offering better than your assessed odds then back it accordingly.

Framing Your Own Market Benefits

Betting this way gives your punting some structure and means you won't be accepting poor value. You'll only be backing horses that, according to you, represent true value. It also allows you to know exactly how much you are required to outlay each race and how much you are likely to return if any of your horse's win.

It is easy to keep detailed records of all your punting acivities so you are aware of your profit or loss. You can also analyse all aspects of your betting to improve areas that may not be working.

Betting Bank for Overlay Betting

If you plan to frame your own markets and bet this way regularly then you would need a bank of around 20 to 30 times your return per race. If you framed your markets well and planned to bet to return $20 a race then a minimum bank of $400 may be enough to get you going.

If you are aiming at returning $100 a race then a minimum bank of $2000 would be required, although a bigger bank will give you piece of mind for any losing runs that may occur.

Long term profit will depend on how accurate you frame your market and the prices you get for any value horses.

Framing your own market and backing value horses can be very rewarding when you have rated a horse accordingly and a bookmaker has not, especially when they get up at very good overlay odds.

Percentage Converter

Percentage Decimal
91% $1.10
83% $1.20
80% $1.25
78% $1.29
75% $1.33
73% $1.36
71% $1.40
69% $1.44
67% $1.50
65% $1.53
64% $1.57
60% $1.67
56% $1.80
53% $1.90
50% $2.00
47% $2.11
44% $2.25
40% $2.50
36% $2.75
33% $3.00
31% $3.25
29% $3.50
27% $3.75
25% $4.00
22% $4.50
20% $5.00
18% $5.50
17% $6.00
15% $6.50
14% $7.00
13% $7.50
13% $8.00
12% $8.50
11% $9.00
10% $10.00
9% $11.00
8% $12.00
8% $13.00
7% $14.00
7% $15.00
6% $16.00
6% $17.00
6% $18.00
5% $19.00
5% $20.00
5% $21.00
4% $26.00
3% $31.00
3% $34.00
2% $41.00
2% $51.00
2% $60.00
2% $67.00
1% $81.00
1% $101.00

Head over to our Betting Guide to learn more about betting online on Australian racing.