What on earth is Dobbing? 'Double or Busting' is the technique of backing a horse and then hedging that bet - by laying it, to achieve an evens money return - no matter the outcome of the race. So really this is a very specific hedge bet, like an apple is a very specific fruit or a square a very specific rectangle.
A 'Double or Bust' hedge bet is equivalent to a back odds of 2.0 - depending on the 'outcome', you'll win a point or lose a point.
For example, if you back a horse for £10 at 8.0 and lay it in-running for £20 at 4.0 (double the stake, halve the odds), the result will be a £10 loss if the horse does not trade at or below 4.0 in-running, or £10 profit if it runs well enough to trade at 4.0 or lower.
By 'dobbing' you are always taking a 50/50 risk, or 2.0. By backing you are taking the risk on offer on the exchange.
However, by hedging your bets in-play you can take any risk level you deem appropriate. In essence, by hedging, you are creating you own pseudo market and backing the horse to perform as well as you feel it can. It doesn't have to run any better than that for you to win that bet. With this type of betting you are taking control of your own risk levels. This means picking that risk level - not strictly dobbing but hedging at the appropriate level for the horse in question.
Problems arise when we are faced with deciding what risk levels to actually take on any horse. There are many sites and services dedicated to providing information about the chance of horses winning, from race cards to ratings services with many levels of information. Few of these however give information showing exactly how well horses have ran, sure there are in-running comments, winning distances and speed ratings but non of these actually tell you how much money could have been achieved in-play from the lowest price the horses were traded at.
Exactly how well horses have run, with a direct link to profitability, can be calculated by using 2 pieces of information about each horse in each of its previous races. Those are the Betfair Start Price and the Lowest In-Play Price it traded at. This can give is the exact in-play profitability for this horse. We end up with a from guide for in-running performance not 'crossing the line first' performance.
If we want flexibility with our hedging, a radical new way to visualise this information is needed if we are to make any use of it.
With 'dobbing', for any given horse we want to see how profitable it has been in the past.
This table shows data for the horse 'Puzzle Time', specifically showing double or bust stats (hedging at 2.0 return) for all of its previous runs:
The profitability of this horse, by just backing (not hedging out), at BSP is: 2.32 points after commission.
However the dobbing profitability of this horse is 7.83 points after commission, here we can see a profit graph showing its past 7 runs, each time achieving an evens money return by trading in-play at halve or lower that its starting price.
This is all well and good, we can see the profitably at a return of evens - 2.0, but what about its profitability at 1.9, 1.8, 1.7, 1.75 and so on. For that we need another chart. Not one showing profit against time for a fixed return, but a chart showing target return against profit achieved at that risk level.
Here is a chart for the same horse with a intersect line at 2.0 (for dobbing)
Now you can see exactly what this horses in-running performance looks like for a range of risk levels and you can choose the hedging risk level that actually suits this horse and your betting strategy.
Some time ago I created a piece of software to do exactly that - 'Dobbin Day' is a desktop software for PC or Mac. Its job is to act as a data visualiastion tool, showing graphical and tabular data about runners previous performances. Its also handles all the bet placement work needed to place these types of bets, tracks the progress of your bets and saves your betting history for your own analysis.
The concept of hedge betting is quite simple, Dobbin Day takes it to the next level and is well suited to seasoned hedge bettors, increasing the amount of relevant information and making the selection process and bet placement easier.
If you're new to this I have a free web page you can use to find decent horses, with full instructions on how to use it. Its available at: www.dobbinday.com/dobs
If you are interested in the 'Dobbin Day' desktop tool to improve your hedge betting, please visit www.dobbinday.com