What are Early Prices?

clockAnother common betting phrase which can cause confusion among novice punters is that of ‘early prices’. As the term suggests, this revolves around backing an outcome early – some way ahead of the actual event – but what are the timings involved and why should you be looking to take advantage of them?

It’s All About Timing

If you’ve ever placed a bet in a physical world shop then the cashier may ask if you want the price written on the slip. In the hours leading up to a horse race, football match or any other sporting event, odds can change for a variety of reasons – a change in the weather, a late injury or many other factors can intervene and either increase of decrease those odds.

Taking an early price is a form of guarantee against those factors so if you back a horse in the morning at 4/1 and its eventual starting price comes in at 2/1, it doesn’t matter because in the event of a winning bet, you have guaranteed that figure of 4/1.

When to Take Them

Traditionally, early prices were available from the moment that a bookmaker opened their doors and the time was set at 10 AM. However, in the modern day world of online betting sites, they will be on offer much earlier. Once they are made available, any punter will have until ten minutes before the event starts in which to take advantage of them.

Once that ten minute time limit is reached, prices will revert to the SP and they will then fluctuate in real time. If your selection goes on to win, the profit you take will be based on the odds applicable at the exact point when the event starts.

What to Do

Taking an early price could be seen as a gamble to the novice punter but experienced bettors will take advantage of this in an attempt to make big profits ahead of an expected drop in the odds. This could be based on a weather forecast for example which affects the ground in the hours leading up to the off. A particular horse’s chances of winning that race could be greatly improved by the change in conditions so this is one way in which taking an early price could work to your advantage.

In order to do this on a regular basis, you must do a ton of research while possessing the knowledge to fully analyse your sport. If you have the time and skill, early prices can certainly work for you.

In contrast, many believe that the SP or starting price is a fair way of judging the chances of a horse or any other winning option. That’s why, if you are in a betting shop, you will see a queue quickly form in the minutes before the event starts.

Ultimately the decision is yours but perhaps the best way is to practise taking early prices with a few small bets and seeing if they are likely to work for you in the long term.

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