Horse racing is one of the oldest sports in the world and its popularity has lasted for centuries. The UK hosts some of the most prestigious racing events including the yearly Grand National and Ascot race days. Although these events have grown to encompass so much more than just the horses, with fashion, food, and socialising high on the agenda, they would be nothing without the racing at their heart.
For people who cannot make it to the race days but want to get involved with the excitement, there is the option to place bets on the outcomes. Wagering on horses has been legal in the UK for centuries, long before other forms of gambling became legal in the 1960s. And with the development of the internet and online betting sites it has never been easier to place a bet on your favourite horse.
However, winning a bet is not as easy. While a lucky few might come good on a random pick, the majority of winning bets have strategy or research behind them. The best way to get a return on your wager is to follow these top tips:
Choose Your Betting Site Wisely
Not all betting sites are created equal, and it would be foolish not to research these as thoroughly as you research your horses. Some sites will offer better odds than others, as these are all calculated in-house and vary between providers. In order to entice new players a lot of sports betting sites offer joining bonuses such as matching your deposit or a number of free bets. These can be enticing, and when used well, can maximise your returns.
Research Your Horses
Just like footballers, racing drivers, and cricketers, racehorses can be in and out of form. Analysing their past performances can help you to understand whether they are going to be at the top of their game, or whether they’re struggling. It is also important to research their form during the specific event you want to bet on – or races of similar standing. Make sure you also take into account the going of the racetrack: if a horse performs consistently well on firm tracks but this one is soft, it’s going to have an effect on its abilities.
Professional tipsters can take all the hard work out of betting by doing the research for you and reporting their findings. Most charge a small fee to subscribe to their website or emails and in return, you will get dozens of tips you can bet on in races all over the country. If you investigate why they’ve recommended each horse and track whether the tip pays off or not, you can start to develop your own strategy, as well as having more confidence for picking which of their tips to follow.
Use Betting Exchanges
Traditional bookmakers only allow you to bet positively – on an outcome occurring – but betting exchanges will take the inverse bet too. In a ten-horse race, you can only pick one horse to win, but with a betting exchange you can also get odds on that horse not to win – giving you nine other possible winners. The winnings aren’t going to be as high, and most betting exchanges don’t have the enticing new customer offers advertised elsewhere, but these can be a great place to bet if you would rather win little and often.
Stick to the Big Events
There are hundreds of small race events happening every week all over the UK, but they won’t be attracting the big names. This makes information on the horses harder to find, meaning your bets will be less-well informed. Also, big events attract the bigger bookmakers who will be wanting to win business with great offers and odds, giving you the best chance of coming away with something. It does not matter whether ten people place a bet or ten thousand, your chances of winning and your prize will be the same, so there’s no reason to shy away from events like the Grand National.
The Rising Popularity of Horse Racing
We are a nation of animal lovers and horse racing gives people the chance to see some of the best equine specimens up close. Watching a good horse run is a beautiful thing, and the added excitement of the competition makes horse racing a wonderful day out for the whole family. At some racetracks, you can tour the paddocks before and after the races and interact with the horses themselves. Sometimes you can even feed them a healthy treat! Modern races often have a festival atmosphere, with stalls and food kiosks providing further entertainment in between the races.
Relying on luck will not guarantee that you keep winning, so developing a strategy is a good idea. Find as much information on the horses as you can and analyse it to work out who is in good form. Analysing your own betting record is also a good idea to see what type of races you have most success with.