Horse Wagering Tips

A few simple horse wagering tips can be greatly beneficial if you’re new to horse racing, especially if you’re not especially interested in learning how to handicap the races. These are a few rules of thumb that should make your wagering experience more enjoyable.

  1. Bet only with money that you can afford to lose.
  2. Decide on a bankroll amount and bet accordingly. If your bankroll is $100, you shouldn’t bet more than $5 on any race. If you commit five percent or less of your bankroll to a race, you’ll be able to sustain several losses in a row and still have adequate funds to play with.
  3. Select your horses using any method that strikes your fancy…horse’s name or appearance, color of the jockey’s silks, lucky numbers…whatever. Have fun with it!
  4. If you want to get a bit more analytical, watch the odds on the horses. You can do this wherever you have access to a live video feed of the races. A horse’s odds drop because more money is being bet on that horse. Sometimes a late drop in a horse’s odds (a few minutes before post time) can be a tipoff that there’s sharp money on that horse. Follow the sharp action.

If, on the other hand, you take horse racing a bit more seriously, and are willing to invest some time and energy into formulating a winning strategy, you might want to consider the following:

  1. Same as above.
  2. Same as above. However, your bankroll should be large enough that your winnings will adequately compensate you for the amount of time that you’ve invested.
  3. Do your handicapping ahead of time. When the races start, you need to be focusing on other things, such as the tote board, track conditions/biases, a horse’s appearance/demeanor in the paddock and post parade, late scratches, etc.
  4. With regard to your handicapping, avoid shortcuts. Analyze every horse in the race. Look beyond the obvious…value is very rarely found in the obvious.
  5. Visualize how the race will unfold. Will the pace be honest? Will it be contested? Which horses will have tactical advantages?
  6. Demand value. Establish your own “morning line odds” and bet on horses whose actual odds exceed your expectations.
  7. Structure your bets to take full advantage of your handicapping insights. This includes combining straight wagers with exotic wagers – especially keys, wheels and part-wheels.
  8. Avoid hitting the “All” button unless you truly believe every horse in the race is capable of accomplishing the task at hand (whether it be winning or rounding out the superfecta).

For more horse wagering tips, regularly visit the Betting Edge section and get advice from our experts.