Horse betting is fun. But like all other forms of gambling, it is also pretty risky. It takes years of experience to be good at the mental mathematics required for a successful wager. But that doesn’t mean, one cannot win if one bets responsibly and makes informed choices.
Here are a few tips:
Watch the horse
Observe the horses when they are brought to the paddle. Notice their energy, gait and physical strength. There are many giveaways. If a horse is sweating heavily, it indicates nervousness. That horse probably won’t be your golden ticket.
Look for a horse that is comfortable with the terrain and not very jittery, or it will spend most of its energy before the actual competition. Weather, the roughness of the terrain and distance will also impact each horse’s performance in a unique manner.
Do your preparation
Like an exam, never go to the track unprepared. Of course, betting is much more fun than giving an exam. Look at the race track programme. It will tell you the history of each horse, its class, history with jockey and success rate at the present terrain.
If a horse just moved up a class, it will not be wise pick as it will be competing with more experienced ones. The programme will also tell you about the owner and trainer. Look at the jockey standings. The top ten are bound to win some ninety percent of the races. Also, invest in the daily racing form. It includes articles by handicappers and tips on betting at a particular arena. You can also count on agencies that provide horse racing betting tips to earn you a good payout.
Make a straight wager
A straight wager is when you bet on a horse to come in first, second or third place. In consecutive wagers as well, the ‘show’ bet has the best odds. These are safer than exotic wagers that let you bet on multiple horses at the same time because you either win all of the parts of your exotic wager, or you don’t.
Bet on the favourite or not?
Race favourites win some 35 percent of the time. But they may not always have the best chances. On average, favourites tend to perform better in small tracks with a smaller number of competitors. More often than not, you will win by betting against the favourite, rather than in favour of it.
Set a budget
Decide how much you can afford to spend and stick to it. Don’t bring out that $100 bill just that. Sure, it may be more exciting to bet a larger amount, but it is also a considerable risk. Instead, start with a two-spot (£2). Don’t bring extra cash or you will be tempted to spend it all.
Listen to commentators
Each race has running commentary by handicappers during the race. Listen to it for clues and insights into the horses’ performance and the terrain. Use that information to place your next wager.