The Great Odds Debate

Zed community on discord has been vigorously debating on the merit of the existing odds system and I would like to give my 2cents worth opinion on the current system.

A quick recap for those that are new to Zed or unsure of how the existing odds are generated. An odd will be generated before the start of the race (you can check the odds on 5mins before the race starts).

Odds are derived from 1,000 (or is it 10,000??) simulations of the 12 horses in the race, the lower the odds, the higher the probability of winning a race. That being said, the odds generated would vary from race to race depending on the competition within that particular race, i.e. a horse would generate a better odds (lower number) when racing against a field of “ordinary” horses as compared to the same horse racing against a field of “gun” horses.

Many have argued that the current iteration of the odds system is damaging to the game. A seasoned zedder (such as Poseidon)could tell if a horse is “good” or a dud within a couple of races (watch his videos to find out more). This has potentially a negative effect on the game as the “discovery” process of finding out if how good your horse is rather quick and easy. For example, I have a Z4 genesis that has CONSISTENTLY generated odds north of 35–1 over multiple distance, would I be racing this horse anymore compared to a horse that generates odds below 10–1?

Odds based on Time Trial / Historical Time?

I would like to explore a new odds system that’s based on time trial / historical time:

All unraced horses have the option to go through a time trial for each distance (1000m, 1200m, 1400m, 1600m, 1800m… you get the idea). These times are displayed on the horse’s profile page. This has dual proposes as it also allows more transparency in the secondary market. When these horses enter a Griffin race, odds will be generated based on individual’s time trial data for that distance and hidden variables (e.g. distance preference, gate, weather, form, etc.)

For raced horses, odds will be generated based on their average historical time (maybe just the last 10) for that distance + hidden variables. We could further “enhance” the odds by having an algorithm that also takes into consideration the average best timing of the particular class/distance. This would also take care of the “relative strength” within that particular race.

The objective of the odds should NOT be giving a clear and definitive indication of the horse performance but rather an indicative/guidance on the potential of the horse for a particular race.

Future of Odds

I am sure many would have their views (for or against) the above, but whatever the outcome, the current Odds system needs to be revisited for the greater good of the ecosystem.

In the real thoroughbred racing industry, odds for a race works very differently as odds are predominately (maybe ONLY) used in betting and odds are generated based on a tote/totalizator system.

Please feel free to leave me your comments. :)



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