Strategies for Success When Betting on Horse Racing

Strategies for Success When Betting on Horse Racing

Although gambling is fun and exciting, if you want to give yourself the best chance to win more than you lose, developing a strategy is the way forward.

Whether you are in a Vegas casino playing craps or roulette, taking part in an online poker tournament from the comfort of your own home, or headed to a racetrack to bet on the horses, the more knowledge you have at your disposal, the better decisions you will be able to make.

The history of horse racing in the US goes back to 1665, and since the introduction of the American Stud Book in 1868 it has only grown in popularity.

Horse racing is the third-most gambled on sport in the US, despite it not being popular in terms of on-track attendance – and that is because it is an exciting and easy sport to bet on. Races are over relatively quickly, there are hundreds of races around the country (and around the world) to bet on, and there are various strategies that can be used to make winning easier.

Types of Horse Racing Bets

There are several types of bets that you can place on a horse race, and they range from a simple win bet to bets that involve multiple horses and multiple races. Understanding the right bets to place will help you form your winning strategy.

  • Win – this is the simplest bet; just choose the horse that you think will win the race.
  • Place – Hedging a bet by choosing a horse that you think will win or finish second.
  • Show – Hedging a bet even further by choosing a horse that you think will win, finish second, or finish third.

As your knowledge grows, you might want to start placing multiples, which are bets on the outcomes for different horses in the same race. Some of these bets include:

  • Exacta – bet on the horses that will finish first and second respectively. You can also bet on a trifecta (first three horses past the post in order) and a superfecta (first four horses in order).
  • Quinella – this is the same idea as the exacta, but you don’t have to get the order correct.

If you are at the track or online, you might want to bet on different races at the same track on the same day. You can pick the winners of two, three, four, five, and six races in a row, known as the Daily Double, pick-3, pick-4, pick-5, and pick-6, respectively.

Strategies for Success

1. Know Your Budget

When you are at the races, don’t gamble more than you can afford to lose. Although in an ideal world we would all make millions betting on the horses, losses do happen, and it is better to be prepared for that eventuality than risk gambling away your mortgage payments.

It is also a good idea to make sure that each individual stake is only a small percentage of your overall budget, so you aren’t risking it all on one bet.

2. Research

This is not overly exciting, and can seem complicated, but the more you know about the course, the weather, and the horses themselves, the better informed you can be when you choose a horse. You can find out more about terms used in racing from a news source like the Racing Post before each race and the program where each race is listed. These resources contain a wealth of information that you can use to choose the right horse. Look out for:

  • Previous form – how well the horse has performed in its last few outings.
  • Jockey and trainer details – you can learn more about different trainers online and start to recognize winning jockeys.
  • Horse details – name, color, lineage, age, and how much weight it will be carrying. You might also be able to tell how well the horse is likely to go on the type of ground it will be racing over.

If a horse is not carrying too much weight, has a proven history over courses with similar conditions, and is trained and ridden by winners, then it is a good option to place a win bet on.

3. Bet More

Statistically speaking, the more bets you make, the more likely you are to win. This doesn’t mean you need to bet on every single race on the card, but you should try spreading your stakes out across different bet types, different horses, and different races.

In the U.S., you can bet on Thoroughbred racing on dirt and turf, National Hunt racing, harness racing, and quarter horse racing.

4. Shop for Better Odds

This is a bit easier to accomplish online, but it can be achieved at the track too – find the bookmaker who offers the best odds so that you can make a bit more with a winning bet. If the horse that you want to put $10 on to win is 5-1 at one bookmaker, and 6-1 at another, you stand to make $10 more when that bet comes in by going with the second.

It might only be a few dollars here and there, but you will start to notice where you can get a better deal and it all adds up in the end.

Make a Plan

If you are getting ready to bet on the horses, make sure that you have a plan and a budget – and stick to it. The more you gamble, the more you will get to understand the sport and the best strategies that suit you, and that can only be a good thing.

When you have all the above memorized you’ll be ready for your racetrack experience, and then you can begin to pick your fashion clothes for your chosen event.