Can you bet on a horse to lose is a question we get asked a lot, and the answer is yes you can bet on a horse to lose.
Before the invention of betting exchanges, you needed to be a bookmaker to bet on a horse to lose. By that, I mean bookmakers stood there and took other people’s bets on a horse to win, which is basically the same as betting on a horse to lose.
For example, a punter placing a bet on a horse to win at 5/1 is literally betting on a horse to win at 5/1. That also means the bookmaker standing the bet from the punter on that horse to win at 5/1 is literally betting on that horse to lose at 1/5.
But while the idea of laying horses at short prices like that remains something most punters don’t want to do, the invention of betting exchanges such as Betfair at least gave punters the option of betting on a horse to lose.
How Do I Bet On A Horse To Lose?
Betting exchanges give you the option to both back and lay horses, with laying a horse being the same as betting on a horse to lose. If you’ve not already signed up to Betfair, or the other betting exchanges such as Betdaq, just head to their websites where you’ll be able to create an account in just a few minutes.
You can then deposit funds and starting laying horses to lose as you see fit. If you’re not familiar with how Betfair or other exchanges work, simply click on the horse race in which you want to bet on a horse to lose.
You’ll now see decimal odds displayed in two different columns. There are odds in blue boxes that are under the heading ‘back’ and there are odds in pink boxes that under the heading ‘lay’. Ignore the odds in the blue boxes as these are the odds at which you can bet on a horse to win.
If you want to bet on a horse to lose, you want the odds that are in the pink boxes, the lay odds. For example, if the odds about the horse you want to bet on to lose are displayed as 6.00, you will be laying the horse to lose at 5/1. That means if you agree to lay the horse at 5/1 (6.00) to another punter for £100, you will lose £100 if the horse wins.
The punter will have to bet £20 on the horse at 5/1 (6.00) to win your £100 so, if it loses, you will win the punters £20. Your winnings will then be added to your account minus an agreed percentage of Betfair commission.
Can I Bet On More Than One Horse To Lose?
Yes, you can bet on as many horses in a race to lose as you like. If you think five of the horses can’t win, for example because they are badly drawn or don’t like the ground, you can bet on all five of these horses to lose. You can also bet on horses to lose in a variety of different races throughout the day, whether that’s one horse in each race or more than one horse in each race.
Can I Bet On A Horse To Lose With Any Bookmaker?
Yes, some bookmakers will allow you to bet on horses to lose. These options can normally be found by clicking on a horse race and then selecting the more markets section. However, bookmakers to lose odds are rarely as competitive as the lay prices on the exchanges.
For example, if a favourite is 8/11 (1.72) to win, bookmakers may let you bet on it to lose at even-money, when their win odds suggest the price for it to lose should be 11/8 (2.375). In this scenario, you’ll often find that the exchange prices may be 4/5 (1.80) for the favourite to win, while you can bet on it to lose at 5/4 (2.25).
The odds offered by bookmakers on outsiders to lose can often be insulting. For example, while they may only be willing to offer 80/1 about a horse to win, bookmakers will probably only offer you a 1/1,000 about it losing. Admittedly, outsiders are often also much bigger on the exchanges, but the win odds will normally be the opposite of the lay odds.
That’s why we always recommend you check the best prices at bookmakers and on the exchanges if you want to bet on a horse to lose.
Is It Legal To Bet On Horses To Lose?
If you’re just a punter who finds it easier to pick horse that won’t win rather than those that will, betting on horses to lose is perfectly legal.
What is illegal is betting on horses to lose if you have any connection to the horse in question. That means you can’t bet on a horse to lose if you are the jockey, trainer, or owner, or connected to any of these people in anyway, even if you’re just a friend of a friend. If you constantly make lots of money from betting on horses to lose, be prepared for people checking to see who you are and what connections you may have.
We hope that’s answered your question about, can you bet on a horse to lose. If you want any more information about betting on horse racing or other sports, feel free to browse our blog where you’ll find lots of other articles.