Horse racing is the third most popular sport to bet on in America, which is pretty impressive considering that it comes in 26th regarding the number of people who watch it. The truth is that horse racing is not valued for the thrill of the sport itself, the main reason that people watch it is because they want to bet on it.
Some people use small bets as a form of social entertainment, so they don’t really care about the outcome. But for those who are serious about wanting to win, there are several ways that you can use strategy to increase your overall payouts.
I will talk about how to research before the race, how to shop the odds, how to use different kinds of bets to your advantage, and how to deliberately expand the number of runs that you are betting on.
There is a lot of detail here, so you might want to bookmark this site so that you can refer back to it as you practice these tips, or so you can take it one suggestion at a time before moving onto the next one.
The following strategies will not guarantee that you win every time, but they will increase your chances of getting a higher overall payout. No matter what kind of wagers you are placing, it is crucial to always gamble responsibly.
Gambling is exciting because it is a risk, but you should only take that risk if you are prepared to handle the possibility of a loss.
Use a budget to know how much you can potentially lose without risking your financial security. For more information on gambling responsibly visit our webpage by clicking the link below.
Tip #1- Do Your Homework!
Thousands of people bet millions of dollars on horse races each year, but a tiny percentage of those people do any research before selecting which horse to bet on. Even just a cursory glance at the racing program before you place your bet can significantly raise your chances of winning.
It will be helpful for you to refer back to the following sample as we discuss each part of the racing form.
First, you should get some background on the race itself. The top of the racing form will list the time and location of the race along with the distance of the course. Underneath that it will explain the requirements to enter the competition and the race’s classification.
You can do a quick internet search to find out the kind of track available at each location. If you bet on multiple races, you will quickly learn which places have dirt tracks, which ones have turf, and which ones have both.
The next column on the form guide will list the horse’s rank in their past few races. Sometimes these are listed underneath the horse’s number instead of in the next column. Usually, but not always, nine horses compete in each competition so that the rankings will be recorded from first to ninth place. Some races, like the Kentucky Derby, have more than nine horses.
However, it is important to remember that each race is different. Some tracks are shorter than others; some runs may have a horse wearing blinkers while others may not. It is a good idea to find out more information about the past performances listed on the racing form so that you can notice correlations.
The next column will have information about each specific horse, including its name, gender, color, and its lineage. If the horse is from overseas, you will see an abbreviation of its country of origin in brackets. The color and gender will be listed as an abbreviation in one or two lowercase letters. For example, “c” stands for colt, while “ch” is for chestnut.
Next, to the horse’s name, you will see some numbers and letters. The number refers to how long it has been since its last race. The capitalized letters are a code used to describe information about the horse’s record. For example, if you see the letter CD next to the horse’s name, that horse has won races at this course and distance before. The lowercase letters explain equipment that the horse will be using for this race, such as blinkers or visors. Sometimes, the equipment information is listed in the next column. That column will contain the horse’s age and how much weight it will be carrying during the race, registered in stones and pounds, where a stone equals fourteen pounds. The fifth column names the jockey and the trainer for the horse. I recommend doing a quick search on the riders and trainers of horses that you might bet on. The trainer’s record of wins will be a good indication of the possibility of placing in the top three.
The final column on the racing form varies in different locations. Most of the time, this column will have the official rating, a simple way to tell how likely a horse is to win. This official rating usually comes from the racing organization that is hosting the event. Other times, the last column will include other statistics.
Once you have learned how to use that to select winners, begin expanding to the past performances, official ratings, and finally the course information. Take it one step at a time, and before you know it, you will be astounded at how much you have learned. That’s why your teachers always said to do your homework!
Tip #2- Make Different Kinds of Bets
Up until now, I have focused on the most common type of wager for horse racing, the win bet, where you just choose which horse you think will win and hope that you are right.
If you really want to take your horse race betting to the next level, learn how to incorporate different types of bets and use them strategically.
Horse racing is one of the most popular sports in almost every country, and it has been around for a very long time.
Over time, each region has developed its own system of wagers and rules. For this article, I am going to focus on bets that are commonly used in the United States.
However, many times different countries use the same kinds of wagers with a different name, so whenever possible I will make a note of that. The win bet that we already mentioned is a universal wager.
Before we can get into all of the different kinds of the bets, you need to know about the systems used to calculate the payouts for each type. There are three primary betting systems used in horse racing. The method used will vary around the world and by track.
Sometimes, bookmakers will use a starting price which means that the odds are not known until the start of the race after the bets are in.
It’s pretty easy to understand fixed odds betting once you get started. One of the benefits of fixed-odds is that you can almost always calculate your potential payout before you place the bet. The second betting system which is particularly popular with horse races is pari-mutuel or tote betting.
It is impossible to calculate your potential payout because you don’t know how large the pool was or how many people placed winning bets.The newest betting system is called exchange betting, and the use of technology means that it is growing in popularity.
It is often easier to choose a horse that won’t win instead of one that will, but bookmakers don’t usually offer these types of bets. In some cases, you will not be able to choose your betting system.
Understanding the difference in your possible payouts can help you deliberately use different methods for different bets to get the highest payout. Incorporating different ways of betting is equally as useful as including various types of wagers, as long as you are smart about it.
Place, Show, and Across the Board Bets
When it comes to horse racing, the most common bet after win bets are the place bet. Place bets are standard in pretty much every country, but they are organized a little bit different in some countries than others. In the United States, you choose one horse, and you will win if that horse comes in either first or second place.
It is basically a way of increasing your chances to win because you have two opportunities to be right instead of one. In other countries, the place bet is pretty similar, except that they allow you to cover more ranks depending on the number of horses in the race. For example, you may be able to bet that your horse will come in any of the top three or four places depending on the details of that race.
Place bets are great for times when you think that your horse has a pretty good chance of winning but you’re not sure, because it allows you to hedge your bet a little.
In the United States, you can still bet up to the third place, but we usually call those show bets instead of place bets.
Bets are another excellent way to make a fortune when you are confident that a horse will do well, but you aren’t sure if it will win first place. You can still get a payout even if the horse comes in second or third place. The rest of the world calls these each way bets, but they usually just combine win and place bets since other countries don’t tend to use show bets.
Multiple Horse Bets
Another fun way to incorporate various bets is to bet on multiple horses in the same race. Depending on which one of the following stakes you choose, it may be harder to win, but the payouts are usually higher.
If you have done your homework and are confident about your selections, these are an excellent way to get a bigger bang for your buck.
There are two ways to bet on two horses at a time, the exacta bets and the quinella. To place an exacta bet, you choose the horses that you think will win a first and second place. To win, you have to get both horses and their order right. Exactas are sometimes called dual forecast, perfecta, or exactor. A quinella bet is also guessing the top two places, but you don’t have to get the order right to win, so quinellas are easier than exactas. Quinellas also go by other names like reverse exactas, reverse forecasts or reverse perfectas. Based on the everyday use of the word trifecta, you can probably guess what a trifecta bet is; a bet on which three horses will win the top three spots in the race. A superfecta takes it one step further to allow you to wager on the top four spots in a run. These are some of the most challenging bets to win because you have to get the order right, but they have massive payouts when you do win.
I suggest that you use these bets sparingly and only when you are super confident in your choices. Another alternative is to make a reverse trifecta that doesn’t require you to guess the correct order.
These are fun, easy ways to mix up your bets without having to do a lot of extra work, especially if you aren’t sure who the overall winner will be.
Multiple Race Bets
Instead of betting on multiple horses, you can also bet on numerous races. These bets are appealing to many gamblers because they don’t cost much, but they can have huge payouts, but the higher the payout, the higher the risk. These are incredibly difficult to get right because you are placing bets on multiple variables.
Another way to bet on multiple races, or numerous horses and various races is to place an accumulator or parlay bet. These are less common in the U.S., depending on the betting system used but they are available.
Obviously, these are harder to win because you have to get all of your selections correct or you will lose it all. I would suggest getting used to each bet before you attempt an accumulator.
Exacta betting is one of the most popular forms of horse race betting available today. This means picking the first two finishers in a race in exactly the right order.
These can be difficult bets to pick correctly, yet offer bettors massive payouts. Generally speaking, exacta bets are available for major races. That includes the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes.
These types of wagers are easy to make. A minimum bet of $1 is typically required for these wagers. Some tracks and online horse racing sites set a $2 minimum on exacta horse race bets.
Head over to our exacta betting tips page to learn more about one of the most exciting types of horse race betting in 2022.
Trifecta betting takes things to a whole new level. This type of horse race wager requires bettors to pick the first, second, and third-place horse in the correct order.
Nowadays, the majority of online horse race betting sites offer trifecta wagers. These are popular amongst hardcore racing fans thanks to the huge payouts they provide.
Correct $2 bets can often result in thousands of dollars. The trick is utilizing expert horse race betting strategies to make the most logical bets possible. Check out our trifecta betting tips page to learn more about these types of bets.
Tip #3- Shop the Odds
Shopping the odds is a pretty simple way to increase your overall payout, and it applies to pretty much all bets, not just horse races. However, it doesn’t work on pari-mutuel betting because there is no way to control the size of the pool. But if you are using fixed odds, you might as well get the best value for your money.
Shopping the odds might seem like it doesn’t make that big of a difference at first. You may only make a few extra bucks on each bet. But if you are betting on a regular basis, those extra few dollars will add up quickly. It is worth taking an extra few minutes to do a quick search, but it is not worth obsessively searching every possible website.
After checking those sites a few times for a few different races, you will begin to notice a pattern of which sites usually offer the best odds. You can create your own system of using 2-3 sites for most bets. You should also consider the bonuses that each site will provide.
Almost every online sportsbook will offer welcome gifts for your first time using that site. But some of them will also offer reload bonuses for your subsequent bets, or other special offers. They are making money every time you lose, so rewards are an easy way to get some of that money back.
Tip #4 Bet on Multiple Races, but Not Every One
This strategy comes down to some pretty simple probability, the more times that you place a wager, the more chances you have to win. And if you bet on multiple races, you are already a much smarter gambler than most of the population. Statistically, if you look at the total amount spent on horse race gambling in a single year, approximately 70% of that total is paid during the Kentucky Derby.
So Many Races
The Derby is the most popular race in America, but it certainly isn’t the only one. In fact, it is the first race of the Triple Crown series. Even if you just bet on each of the tracks in the Triple Crown, you would still have two more chances to win.
We at The Sports Geek provide in-depth horse race betting tips and picks for various races taking place throughout the year. Here, you will learn more about each of these races while gaining insight into some of the betting favorites and intriguing underdogs.
Different Kinds of Races
It is always good to branch out and try new things because the more that you do, the more you will learn. Horse racing is no different. The best way to broaden your gambling horizons on horse races is to bet on different types of horse races.
Flat racing is where thoroughbred horses run on a flat track for one to three miles. Dirt tracks are used most often in the United States, but most other countries prefer turf.
Often referred to as jump racing or steeplechasing, the National Hunt gives horses obstacles that they have to jump over on their way to the finish line. These obstacles might be simple hurdles, or they might be a combination of fences, trenches, and water.
Any natural obstacles like ditches or water are marked on the trail. Although it is a fascinating sport, very few people have a long enough attention span to pay attention to such a long race, so this is one of the least favorite types of horse races. However, you don’t need to watch the whole thing to place a bet on the winner and potentially earn some extra cash.
Another exciting racing variety is harness racing. Horses pull their jockey in a sulky, which is a two-wheeled cart. Basically, it is the modern form of ancient chariot races. These races are less focused on speed and more centered on horses trotting a specific pace for an extended time. Horses can be punished for speeding up to a gallop by being forced to slow down and let the competition pass.
The shortest type of horse racing is called quarter horse racing, in which horses race for a quarter mile or less. Running is a good analogy for the various types of horse races. Flat racing is the same as a 5k run, endurance racing is a marathon, and quarter horse races are the 100-meter dash. The All-American Futurity is the most popular quarter-horse race in America.
A Simple Warning
Clearly, there are hundreds of horse races that you could potentially bet on. While betting on more races increases your probability of wins, don’t try to place a bet on every single one. Betting on every horse race will quickly take the fun out of the experience and devastate your bankroll.
If you have only ever bet on the Kentucky Derby, add in the rest of the Triple Crown this year, and maybe a couple of the pre-derby races for next year. If harness racing is inspiring your inner-Spartan, gamble on a harness race or two. Add a few different bets on a few different tracks over time, and you will increase your odds of winning without going overboard.
Tip #5- Manage Your Bankroll
Manage your bankroll! Make a budget! Control your cash! I cannot emphasize the importance of bankroll management enough. It is something that every bettor needs to learn, regardless of what they are gambling on.
The next step to bankroll management is to decide how much you are willing to pay for each stake. If you choose ahead of time how much you will place on each bet, you will be able to resist the temptation to bet higher amounts reactively.
When I say the small percentage, I mean no more than 3%. Keeping each stake down will allow you to make as many bets as you want without running out of money.
Let’s say that your bankroll is a total of $1,000. $10 is 1% of your bankroll, and $30 is 3%. So you can bet any amount between $10-$30 on each bet. Even if you are combining multiple stakes into one parlay, you would still only wager $30 on the one parlay bet. The most that you can lose is $30.
For now, we will be optimistic and assume that you have had more wins than losses. Now you can either cash out your winnings, or you can add them to your bankroll, or you can do a little of both.
If you hit a losing streak, because everyone has them every once in a while, you would merely decrease your bankroll amount and make smaller bets. That way you won’t go chasing the next win and end up risking it all on one or two wagers.
The reason that you give yourself a range of 1-3% is so that you can adjust your stakes based on your confidence level. You bet the full 3% stake on the bets that you are most confident of, and the ones that you are a little unsure of use the 1%.
Of course, you can use any number in between. That 3% limit keeps you from getting caught up in the moment and betting emotionally. Gambling is not fun when you are losing all of your money, so protect yourself by managing your bankroll.
The competition itself may not be all that exciting but wagering on it is. Millions of people bet on horse races each year, but very few of them take it seriously enough to win a significant payout, especially when they only bet on one track.
Some of these tips may seem overwhelming at first, but if you take them one step at a time, you will eventually be able to incorporate all of them successfully. Good luck on your next bets!