People have been betting on horse races since horses have been running. Betting on the outcome of formal horse races can be fun and profitable if you know what you’re doing and can beat the odds.
Sadly (or gladly), most people do not win at horse racing. It is estimated that 95% of all horseplayers lose money at the game. Fear not, however, as the reason that most people lose is because they are not like us. They do not study horse racing and handicapping information. They do not have a game play for handicapping and betting on horse races. In short, they are content to throw their money into the pari-mutuel pool blindly and hope they get lucky. We, as the other 5%, should be thankful for these people.
Betting on horse racing isn’t a complicated procedure. Most often, you place your bet, take your ticket, and tear it up when your bet doesn’t pay off.
Follow this tips for winning at horse racing. Please be forewarned: Winning at horse racing takes effort. If winning at horse racing were easy, everybody would be doing it.
Employ a Sound Money Management Strategy
It is impossible to win at horse racing, or any other type of gambling, if you do not have a sound money management plan. The question is, what constitutes a sound money management plan when it comes to horse racing? The answer: Optimal Betting.
Optimal Betting is based on a mathematical principal called the Kelly Criterion. It recommends that you bet a percentage of your bankroll based on your “edge” over the game. Your edge, can be expressed as follows:
Edge = W – L/$ odds
W = percentage of horses that win the race (your win %)
L = percentage of horses that do not win the race.
$ odds = the average win payout based on $1. To determine this, take your average win mutual, subtract $2, then divide by 2. Note: If you do not know both your win % and average win mutuel, then you should start keeping track immediately.
An example of our edge can be computed using a 17% win percentage and an average win mutuel of $14.50.
Edge = 17 – 83/6.25 = 3.72
Optimal Betting theory would hold that a horseplayer should bet 3-4% of his/her bankroll on each wager.
With Optimal Betting, it is imperative that you always know your edge. This means that you must keep betting records so that you know your win percentage, and average win mutuel. Betting records will also help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses as a handicapper. More on that later.
You should adjust your edge with every 200 wagers or so. If your edge decreases, so does your wager. If your edge increases, your wager increases. Please be careful when increasing your wager. It is foolish to wager more than 5% of your bankroll even if your edge justifies if. The reason for this is simple – there can be long losing streaks when you are betting on horse racing. If you bet 5% of your bankroll per race, and lose 20 races in a row, you are tapped out. Tapping out makes it impossible to win at horse racing.
A more conservative approach to money management is to bet a flat percentage of your bankroll on each race. This could be 2%, or if you are really conservative, just 1%.
A compromise between Optimal Betting and flat percentage betting is to bet a higher percentage on lower priced horses and a lower percentage on longshots.
Maintain an Adequate Bankroll Dedicated to Horse Race Wagering