Horse Race Betting Strategies

Backing Winners

One of the nice things about wagering on horse races is that punters who use good strategy can make profits. That is because punters are not competing against a fixed negative house edge, but rather against the public. However, race tracks do deduct a “take” from the total amount of money bet to cover track expenses and winners’ prizes, and this normally adds up to 14%-20% of the total bets (varies depending on the track).

Online racebooks that run horse racing lines also take out a fee for their services (though this take is much smaller). So punters need a good horse racing betting strategy to overcome this take, and the random occurrences that happen in races. With this being said, here are some different horse racing betting tips that you can use to win profits.

Limit your Number of Bets

Many beginning punters make the mistake of placing small bets on a wide range of races; for example, a person might wager £25 on six different races. The problem with this is that you do not get to properly analyze every race, and you are spreading money across too many wagers.

A better idea is to focus your bets on two or three races a week, and put more money into each of these. This will not only allow you to spend more time concentrating on a couple of bets, but your money will also be focused on better-researched wagers.

Know a Race Track’s Take

Just like with online casino games, where many players opt for those with the lowest house edge, horse racing enthusiasts like to search for race tracks with the lowest take. At the lower end of a take is 14% of the total bets, while some tracks deduct 25% or higher for their take. It is important to understand that the track’s take affects your long-term profitability with horse racing, so lower takes are obviously ideal.

That is why you should know what percentage of the total betting pool each track in your area takes, and only visit the places with lower takes. You can find this information online for all of the major tracks, and most local race tracks as well. As mentioned before, you can always opt for online horse racing betting, which takes out a much smaller fee than live race tracks.

Watch the Take on Exotic Wagers

Many race tracks and online racebooks have a bigger take on exotic wagers like Each Way, Exacta, Quinella, and Trifecta. This fact is enough to convince many punters to stick with traditional bets like Win, Show, and Place. But this does not mean that you should totally avoid exotic bets since they can be favorable in certain situations. For example, if there are two horses in a race that are of fairly equal ability, but far better than the rest of the field, making a Quinella or Exacta bet could be the best option.

Another case where exotics would be the best choice (despite the take) arises when one horse has a high chance of winning, but the payouts are abnormally low for a Win bet. For instance, if the horse had a 50% chance of winning, but its Win bet odds were only 1/2 (£1 profit for £2 wagered), this horse would be a big underlay and not worth risking a Win bet on. However, since the horse has such a high chance of winning, it would be worth making an exotic wager like Show or Place simply because the horse has an excellent chance of finishing in the top three or four.

Look at Latest Performance/Workouts

One of the simplest tips in horse racing is to look at the latest race performance for a horse to judge their conditioning. For example, if a horse recently finished in sixth place at a race two weeks ago, they do not have a very good chance to win the next race (all other conditions being equal).

Sometimes you can also find workout information on the big-name horses that will help you make an even more informed decision on the condition of a horse. Based on how a horse has been doing in their workouts and the difficulty of the training, you can get an idea on if the horse will be improving or declining in their next race.

Watch for Class Dropdowns

Horses that drop from a higher class to a lower one are usually considered contenders to win their next race. For example, a horse that drops from Allowance to Claiming is often better than the rest of the horses at the lower level. You can find a lot of horses that are dropping down in class just by browsing the internet. When you find horses that are dropping in class, you should combine this information with their past performance. Assuming the horse was not performing too terribly in its higher class, this would make for a good Win bet.

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