The subject of betting on horse races is complicated and involves many considerations. This short horse racing betting article is meant as a place to start and not the final word on betting. To sum it up and give us a starting point, the goal is profit, and the way we arrive at a profit is to find wagers that have a positive expectancy. In other words, if you risk $100 you’ll get back more than $100.
There are no guarantees in racing. It is gambling and therefore you could lose everything you risk. Every calculation we make is based on projections. Therefore the result may be different than the expectation. That means, though things may look good on paper and it seems like you’ve identified winning situations, they may not continue to occur. Everything about horse racing is in constant flux. Your job is not to predict what will remain the same, but rather to predict how and when it will change.
Along with predicting change, you must also predict probability, which is the second half of the profit calculation. It reminds me of the old, “who, what, when, where, and how,” that reporters used to use to write a newspaper story. Handicappers must ask themselves the same questions, and the answers are what they base their wagers on. The who of it all may be a horse, jockey, or trainer.
That’s where you might want to start your quest for something that will change. When you give it some thought, the trainers are the people who are trying to change something. Of course, as their agent on the track during the race, the jockey is also trying to change something. The only people not trying to make a change are those whose horse won its last race. They want the same result.
Look at improving horse
Looking over a race program. However, you’ll find very few horses that won their last race and many that lost their last race. It’s usually easier to find a horse that will improve than it is to find a winner that will win again. There are so many that need improvement and so few that are in peak condition. Even the ones that are in mid-season form may not maintain that for long.
Therefore, to make the most profit, find the horse that has the most reasons to change and is also at the longest odds. This can’t be based on wishful thinking, however, and it’s a good idea if at all possible, to stick with horses that have won at a distance and on the same surface before. You’ll rarely find a profitable bet on a horse that just won convincingly.
Skip some multi-leg wagers
Even those players who make multi-leg wagers, however, skip some races either because they aren’t included in the pick whatever they are playing or because they are too hard to handicap and don’t offer one or two live long shots or a reliable favorite or two. In such cases, the wise handicapper may skip the multi-leg wager that includes that race.
For most handicappers, there may be a few good bets on the card, but the handicapper won’t know until the race goes to post because he is looking for a safe bet based on the odds, not just the probability of a particular horse winning. If you can find three good win bets on a 9 or 10 race card, I think you’re doing well.