8 ways to increase your chances of winning
Betting on horses can be exciting, but it can also be confusing. Some horses run faster than others, some horse jockeys are better than others, and some horses are simply more popular among the betting crowd. While there’s no way to guarantee you’ll win every time you place a bet, if you’re looking to increase your chances of winning at horse racing you should keep these 8 factors in mind when placing your bets.
1) Get your picks in early
Make sure you get your bets in on time. If you’re in a race that goes off at 12:30, be prepared and have placed a bet before 12:25 p.m. (if possible). It may not seem like much, but even 5 minutes can make a big difference when there are thousands of dollars on stake!
2) Keep track of how you are doing
Once you’ve placed a bet, it’s important to monitor how well you are doing. Even if you don’t have money on each bet, you should keep up with what horses are performing well and which aren’t. This will allow you more opportunities for bets since horses that aren’t on top form can be used as part of betting syndicates (known as arbitrage) where wagers are combined with those placed by other players in order to spread risk and bring profits.
3) Start by picking favorites
The exactas and quinellas and other exotic bets you see at a racetrack aren't really that hard to win. If you pick 1-2 favorites in a race, your odds of winning are pretty good. Maybe you don't win enough money on one bet to go out for a celebratory meal or buy that new iPhone, but at least you know for sure whether or not your horse came in first.
4) Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb with long shots
It’s not a matter of if you will win or lose with long shots, but how much. So even if your long shot comes in at 50-1, that one bet can pay for an entire day. Just be sure to have a cash reserve on hand for when you pull up short on a live thoroughbred at 5-1; it’s hard out there for an accumulator. Horse racing is all about striking gold and big payouts.
5) Look for trends
There are three main trends in horse racing that will determine how you place bets. This is true for any sport, really: weather, team performance and athlete health. Weather can be a big deal when it comes to horse racing because most races take place outdoors and are affected by rain, wind and heat. If there’s a chance of lightning during a race, it’s probably going to get canceled—unless they can keep all horses safe on their way out onto course.
6) Stick with two horses per race
Pick two horses each race and stick with them. Chances are, one will be in front at some point during a race, and you’ll win if it finishes first or second. In other words, don’t spread your money around—it can come back to bite you! But how do you choose which two horses? There are several strategies out there
7) Double down on low odds bets
Betting on longshots with low odds is a surefire way to lose money. Instead, focus on laying down big bets on horses that have a much higher chance of victory (odds between 2 and 5). This helps reduce risk and allows you to better recoup some money, even if your horse comes in second or third.
8) Bet after big races
Big races, like Grade 1s and Triple Crown races, get all kinds of coverage during and leading up to them. This means that if you’re interested in betting on a horse race but aren’t sure who’s going to win, you can do some research beforehand. If a horse is training really well or has impressive recent wins under its belt, it might be worth a shot. Remember, though: Horses are athletes, so take their statistics with a grain of salt—no matter how impressed you are with their workout regimen or their recent performance record, they could have just been taking it easy when they weren’t being watched by anyone (human observers anyway). Only bet on horses after big races if you have additional information that suggests they’ll run an impressive time.