Punting Resolutions for the New Year

Matt Taylor has been a professional punter for years. In this piece, he’s sharing his Punting Resolutions and what he will be focussing on in 2020 to help his punting and potentially help yours.

Matt has also been featured in a customer insights story. Read about how he got into the game here.

You can follow Matt on Twitter here.


As each new year commences, I like to reflect on the previous 12 months of my horse racing gambling journey.

The game is ever-evolving and many of those that don’t adapt will become plankton for the whales (both bookies and fellow punters) that inhabit the waters of the wagering ocean.

Given the need to adjust to evolving trends in the wagering industry I have decided to put together my ‘Top 5 Punting Resolutions’ for the New Year.

Obviously, not everyone has the same skillsets and there are many different ways to make a quid. However, I will attempt to generalise where possible to accommodate both serious and professional horse racing punters who operate at both a Fixed Odds and Betfair Exchange level.

Don't give up on Price!

How often do we do the form and then look to the fixed odds market and, you guessed it, the bookies haven’t missed it in their 135%+ markets.

Mentally it’s easy to ‘check out’ on your selection and, in some instances, start building a case for another runner that perhaps isn’t as strong as your first selection. My New Year’s resolution will be to hold out and monitor that price because in the majority of cases the prices that a runner is first put out are generally going to get better as the real betting commences.

It’s so important to have your Betfair account ready to pounce when that value pops up!

Less Bets but make them count!

Synthetic Holds, POC Tax and, in general, bookies moving to automation have put an extra squeeze on us punters finding ‘overs’, therefore making it harder to find good bets. The term ‘synthetic hold’ basically references the shopping/choices (or lack thereof) we have price-wise on a certain runner in the Fixed Odds markets.

The bookies aren’t really taking much of a view these days. They are all a similar price for most runners. Therefore, the synthetic hold (best price across the boards) has, in my opinion, never been worse for the modern punter.

It’s a shame that we need to bet less, but that’s what the industry is forcing us to do. My New Year’s resolution is to be patient and wait for those good bets. Once a good bet presents itself you need to bet up and take the value because they are few and far between these days, plus you’ll need to make up for your reduction in turnover to maintain or increase those same profit levels.

No more leaking chips

I’m not a poker player but I believe the term is very apt for us racing punters. Let’s say you’ve spent 30 minutes plus on a race. You’re looking for angles or small edges that you aren’t sure are there.

So you wait. And as the race is about to jump you have so much knowledge, perhaps an hour or two’s worth of form study in your head, that you think you need to use it to make some money to justify the time you have spent or, as you might be thinking at the time, wasted. That’s what I’m looking to avoid this year.

So instead of having a few speck bets on a runner or two, or three, or four in that race, I will be leaving those races alone in 2020 and not ‘leaking chips’ just in case a horse I only half-like happens to win.

More Lay Betting

Similarly, to the point above, how often do you find what you perceive as a hole in a runner’s form and want to ‘bet around it’?

You do so by backing runner A, B or C and although you get the horse you oppose gets beat, it’s runner D, E, F or G that wins the race and you’ve got nothing to show for it other than a red book?

My New Year’s resolution will be to make sure I am laying the runner that I believe is under the odds and if I get it beat, I want to make sure Kermit the Frog is showing his green head!

Stay Fresh

This is not a specific resolution, but it is something that I am guilty of at times. Punting full-time or doing it seriously is a tough gig that can wear you down so getting yourself in a form hole is a big negative.

If you know what you are looking at and are well organised, then often the best bets jump out at you and you don’t need to work that hard to find them. Staying fresh and being ready to jump on new opportunities is vital.

I hope you can take something out of my New Year’s resolutions for 2020. There are plenty more things that I will be doing in the New Year but these are my top five to lead to a big 2020 on the grumble and grunt.

Have a great year!

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