The horse betting game is all about profits.
For the casual player, profits are a way of keeping score – a way to judge how one’s approach is faring. For the more determined bettor, profits are everything – otherwise, why waste the time?
The question that must first be resolved however, is “how much do you require from the game? The savvy player knows that serious money cannot be made on paltry $5 and $10 wagers. This basic fact must be faced. (Tip #1) If you cannot bet more than $20 without feeling reckless, and if you cannot lose that bet without getting down on yourself . . . perhaps you need to reevaluate your reason for betting the horses in the first place.
(Tip #2) Only bet on handicap races, this is a type of race in which the weight each horse has to carry is individually allotted according to it’s past performance to make the chances of all horses in a race more equal.
(Tip #3) Once you have an on-going record of profitable betting, how you then structure your money management approach becomes very important. Each small gain in either win %, or win price can cause a big change in your long-term, bottom-line ROI.
Short term riches are possible of course. We have all heard stories of the lucky $2 player hitting a once-in-a-blue-moon pick 6 or whatever. But that is NOT what can be expected in most cases, nor can it be promised. (Tip #4) If some system seller tells you that his method will guarantee that you will get the big money – run as fast as you can in the other direction!
This is a long-term game. Literally anything can happen in a single horse race – and does. Neither should a serious bettor care, nor be put on tilt by the outcome of any short series of races. Having a slight advantage over the game – that is extended over a long period of time – while the betting is being optimized – leads to real, and serious profits.
Years of observing other horse players has taught me many things about the realities of handicapping and betting the horses. But perhaps the most important lesson learned – the one that most players never learn – the one that prevents consistently profitable wagering is – (Tip #5) a smart player does not wager in too many races.
How many is too many? That varies of course, but if you are betting in even half the races offered at a track on the average race day – that is very likely too many. One needs to be constantly on guard against throwing money that has been hard-won in a race that the bettor had a good handle on – onto the next race where he does NOT feel a solid sense of the most likely outcome scenarios for that particular mix of horses.
(Tip #6) Another lesson that takes many years to acquire is having minimum acceptable odds parameters. You need to be able to pass on low-odds favorites even when they look like a shoe-in in today’s race. Your decision needs to be whether to bet against that horse if another looks capable, or passing the race altogether. I have suggested in other places that if a player is consistently betting horses at less than 2/1 – he is playing in a losing game. In most circumstances (and in the long run), even betting horses at less than 3-1 as a steady diet will likely have a negative long-term profit expectancy. The more races you wager the more true this becomes. After all, favorites win only around 33% of the time. If you are very restrictive in the kinds of races you wager, and have very strict qualifying parameters for the runners that you will consider, then (maybe!) you can push your acceptable odds range down just a bit.
(Tip #7) Avoid betting on races with 6 or less runners as they tend to be won by a very short priced favorite and will give a poor return for your money unless it is part of a multiple bet, such as a Double. However, if the favorite is a decent price, say 3/1, for example, then needless to say, it is worth having a bet.
(Tip #8) Try to limit my horse racing betting to races with 13 runners maximum. If you are are tempted to back a horse in a race with a large field of runners I suggest you limit yourself to a race with 17 runners at most.
You should always try to reduce uncertainty in your race selection, so (TIP #9) avoid betting on “Maiden” races. “Maiden” races are for horses with little race experience which have never won a race. Although there are some talented apprentice jockeys, this type of race can be unpredictable.
Even if you only have a bet at weekends, (Tip #10) try to learn as much as possible about the horses you are backing, their jockeys and trainers. As well as familiarizing yourself with the characteristics of different racecourses.
The best horse racing betting advice I can offer is to (Tip #11) never bet more than you can afford to lose. You are not going to win all the time, so don’t waste your money chasing a losing streak. So take a disciplined approach to betting, and hopefully, you will have fewer losing bets which will help to make your horse racing betting more profitable and enjoyable.