There are now a large number of horse racing bet types available to punters. It is no longer simply a case of placing a bet with the TAB or taking the fixed price on offer at the time of betting. There are far better alternatives that will increase your profits long-term. Knowing the best ‘win’ bet types available to you is important. We have listed them below:

BOB (Best of the Best) – Higher of Top Fluc OR the Best Tote

Offered by Ladbrokes.

Simply the best betting product available. Should be used for any horse racing bet placed 30 – 45 minutes before the start of the race. Only offered by a few bookmakers on Saturday metro meets, it is most effective for value runners where the tote price can vary significantly to the TF price – see below:


online betting - best of the best

The example shows how the BOB (Best of the Best) price compares with the prices of other betting products on the result of the 2011 Melbourne Cup. It highlights the importance of selecting the right product, a $100 wager placed on the winner Dunaden using the Vic TAB would have returned $810 versus $990 using BOB, a difference of $180.

TOP FLUC (TF) – Pays highest official on course bookmakers Top Fluctuation

Still a great racing product. Only recently usurped by BOB as the best racing product on the market. Should be used whenever BOB is NOT available. Guarantees that you’ll get the best price bet in the betting ring with bookmakers, only rarely gets beaten by a higher best tote price. Like BOB, best must be placed 30 – 45 minutes before race time.


Top Fluc Example

The graphic shows the price fluctuations from the opening of betting up until the start of the race. Trying to predict the highest price is difficult whereas Top Fluc gives the highest fluctuation.

BETTER DIV – Higher of the Official SP OR Best Tote

Better Div is a great product to use in the 30 minutes prior to race time when BOB and TF are NO longer available. Guarantees the best of the three tote prices or the official Starting Price (SP). Usually only available on Saturday metro meets, it is now offered by most bookies albeit under their own moniker eg. Lux Div or Maxi Div.


Better Div Example

The graphic shows the fluctuations in prices between the 3 totes and also the official starting price. Better Div is a much better option than simply selecting a fixed, tote or starting price product.

FIXED PRICE – Current fixed price at any given time.

Guarantees that you’ll receive the fixed price irrespective of future fluctuations. Should be used either: in early bird markets where you believe the odds are very good value and are likely to come in, or in the 30 minutes before a race where BOB and TF are not available and you believe the fixed price on offer will pay better than the totes or official SP. Fixed price betting is offered by all online bookmakers and can be used for betting with promotions.

SP (Starting Price) – The official starting price offered by bookmakers

Less common nowadays, the SP is usually used in conjunction with other bet types like best tote. SP is sometimes used for non – metro race meets where other betting products are unavailable.

BEST TOTE – Guarantees to pay the higher of the 3 tote dividends

Best tote is a decent betting option in the 30 mins before a race when BOB , TF and Better Div are no longer available. Best tote pays the highest dividend declared by the 3 totes (TABs: Supertab (VIC), NSW tab and Unitab (other states). Be aware that tote prices can be unpredictable, they usually don’t represent great value for short priced runners.

BEST OF 2 TOTES – Pays higher of VIC tote and NW tote

Often offered at non – metro race meets. Should only be used for high priced runners or at the expense of TP or Fixed price and SP betting options.

MID TOTE – Pays equal to the second highest of the 3 totes

Again, only to be used at the expense of other bet types. We do not consider the tote prices to represent great value. They do represent value when offered in conjunction with other bet types likes SP, however, solely relying on tote prices is NOT a sound betting strategy.

HOME TOTE + 5% – Pays home tote price plus an additional 5%

Bookies are happy to pay an additional 5% on all home tote dividends because they know what little value the tote represents. This bet type is not recommended. Only use at the expense of all other bet types.

FIXED PRICE EXCHANGE BETTING – Guarantees the current fixed price offered by a betting exchange

Offered by BETFAIR

Betting exchanges generally aren’t the best product available to racing punters because products like BOB and TF provide the highest price during betting on the event. With the exchange, you must decide at the time of betting that you are getting the best price and this is not easy to predict. Exchange betting should be used in the 30 mins before a race when those products are no longer available. It is always a better option than relying on the tote prices and generally the SP too.

Exchange betting is especially effective for short priced favourites (>$2.50) where the price on the exchange can often outstrip all other bet products. Also very handy for non – metro meets where the betting products offered by bookies is limited.


Betfair Short price example

The example highlights the potential value on the betting exchange as opposed to the bookmakers.

LAY BET (Exchange Betting) – Bet that a horse will NOT win the race

One area where the exchanges really differentiate themselves is that you are able to bet that a horse will lose. Prior to the introduction of exchanges this was not possible. This allows punters to run their own book on certain races.

One thing to be aware of is just as the exchanges provide better prices for backing horses, punters wanting to lay horses must also pay a higher price and then factor in the commission payable to the exchange from any net winnings.

PYOF (Pick Your Own Field) – Select your own field from within a race and pick the winner from that field

Offered by CENTREBET

An innovative product released by Centrebet. It provides punters with far more choice than standard betting products and we applaud it. From a field of 12 runners, you may select any number of runners to enter in ‘your’ field. From the field that you select, you then pick the winner from odds that are adjusted to your field.


  • Place – Select a runner to finish in the top 3 place getters
  • Fixed Place – Take a guaranteed fixed price on a runner
  • Place Div – Get the highest place price paid by the 3 totes
  • Place Card – Select a horse to run a place in each of the four nominated races