Horse Racing Betting Strategy: 7 Tips for Better Betting

horse racing betting strategyDeveloping a horse racing betting strategy is one of the best things a bettor can do for themselves if they wish to make money. There are a lot of betting markets for horse racing, with it being the third most popular sports to bet on in the US. It’s also the 26th most watched sporting event.

The majority of people that watch horse racing are betting on a runner and all of them hope that theirs is a winning strategy. While there may be no ultimate system that guarantees you major winnings, having a horse racing betting strategy will act as a guide. This is especially needed if you’re a first-time bettor. It’s not often that people will actually win, with some spectators placing small bets for entertainment. However, if you’re serious about horse racing betting and want to win, read on for seven horse racing betting tips that will help you your share of that lucrative purse. With these seven steps, you’ll increase your chances.

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What you’ll find in this horse racing betting strategy guide:

Step 1 – Do Your Research

There are thousands of bets placed on horse races each year. But only a small number of those people actually do any research about the runner they’re betting on. It’s said that just even a quick scan over the racing program before you place your wager gives you an advantage.

As part of your horse racing betting strategy, look for the form guides. These have all the information you’ll need to know about the race and running horses in it.

  • Get background information on the race itself, and the type of track the horses will be running on.
  • On the form guides, there’s also information about the horses organized by their race number. You’ll also see their starting position, which has some advantages and disadvantages so pay attention to this.
  • Furthermore, the horses rank in past races will be listed so take a look at that. Horses that are consistently in the top three are usually a good option to go for. So, a runner that’s usually in the top three in dirt mile races is a good bet in a dirt mile run.

There’s a lot more information you’ll find in the guide that gives you a better understanding of the runners in the line-up. Learn how to read a form guide.

Step 2 – Shop Around for the Best Odds

Since there are tons of US racebooks online, shopping for the best odds on offer is simple. Don’t just settle for the first one you come across. Keep your options open and place bets at more than one racebook. This increases your overall payout since you’ll only be going for the best options out there.

Furthermore, you can stretch your bankroll further with the free bets and bonuses on offer. Which leads us to our next horse racing betting strategy tip.

See our guides on horse betting:

Step 3 – Keep an Eye on Your Bankroll

This is perhaps one of the most important steps in term of maximizing your success as a horse racing bettor. Let’s look at how you should manage your bankroll:

  • Set aside cash strictly for betting on horses only and stick to that budget.
  • Secondly, put it in a separate account from your everyday bank account. This makes sure that you stick to only to what’s in your account.
  • Next, decide how much you want to spend on each bet. This will prevent you from upping the ante reactively. The safe rule is to spend no more than 3% of your bankroll on a wager. Using a percentage allows you to adjust the amount depending on how much you’re winning or losing.

Step 4 – Don’t Chase Your Losses

A good thing to remind yourself of is that you shouldn’t be placing bets to recover the money you’ve just lost. A good horse racing betting strategy understands that betting on horses is risky. Sometimes you win and most of the time you’ll lose. However, that’s not what sports betting should be about. It’s about fun and excitement. Never place bets when you’re emotional.

horses running on a dirt track betting strategy

Step 5 – Develop Your Own Handicapping Method

Horse racing betting is unpredictable and involves an element of luck at times. Learning how to handicap will help you know which horses to ignore and which ones to go for. The following handicapping methods are meant for straight win only bets on one horse.

  • Beginners should especially avoid low-level races. Horses in these races are inconsistent and hard to know how well they’ll do.
  • A general rule is to narrow down your selection to a maximum of three horses.
  • Check if the horse has raced in the class they’re running in. horses that have just been bumped up may be out of their depth for their first couple of races. Look at how it’s performed in its last three races in the same conditions in question.
  • Check if the runner has had any big wins in the past six months. The more recent, the better.
  • Good form and consistency are very important. Look out for horses that have just returned from a long absence. Also, check their trainer and if they’ve been consistently winning races or not.
  • Find out if the horse has finished a good work out five or six days before the race.

Step 6 – Place Different Types of Bets

If you’re a beginner, it’s understandable if you just want to stick to the straight bets. However, if you’re feeling a bit more confident, you can take the step and learn how to add more bets strategically. Also, there are betting systems that you can familiarize yourself with to elevate your horse racing betting strategy.

Horse Racing Betting systems

These are used to calculate the payouts for each bet type. You’ll find primarily three betting systems in horse racing. They are:

  • Fixed odds betting: you’re staking a bet with the bookmaker and your payout is calculated on the amount you staked.
  • Pari-mutuel/tote betting: this calculates odds based on the pool size of all stakes made for the bet. The more people bet, the larger the pool becomes and the higher the payout. However, it will be divided based on how significant your original stake was.
  • Exchange betting: this is the latest betting system that’s being used. Because of the proliferation of tech, it’s also becoming more popular. In this system, you’re betting against another person. You choose a horse, set your own odds, and a stake amount. Then hopefully another person will wager the opposite of your pick.

Different Bet Types

Instead of going for the common show and win bets, try the place bet. This allows you to pick a horse that you think is going to win but you’re not sure because it gives you space to hedge your bet a little.

Then there’s also across the board bets which combine win, place, and show. But you get an equal dollar amount on each bet. So, if your horse comes first, you’ll get the total amount; come second and you get two-thirds; and if you come in third, you get one-third.

Multiple Horse Bets

To up your winning potential, you can also bet on multiple horses at once. The stakes may be higher and harder but so are the payouts. Place an exacta, quinella, or trifecta bet at your racebook to wager on multiple horses.

  • An exacta bet in a when you choose which horse you think will win first and second place. You’ll have to get both horses and their order right to get a payout.
  • A quinella is also about picking first and second but you don’t have to get the order correct.
  • A trifecta bet is wagering on which horses will be in the top three.
  • Finally, there’s a superfecta which is about picking the top four runners.

Step 7 – Bet on a Variety of Races

Finally, you can also bet on multiple horse races. They don’t cost much but have higher payouts. They are incredibly hard to get right because of the many variables that you have to consider. Plus, you get one selection wrong and you’ll lose the entire wager. Basically, you bet on who will win first place in all the races that will be run on that specific track.

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