Tips for Betting on Horse Races

horse racingWagering on horse racing online can be one of the most exciting ways to spend your betting bankroll. There is non-stop racing action from around the country and the world nearly 24/7, and a wide variety of wagering options from conservative show betting for a modest profit to a Pick 6 wager that can produce a life-changing score. Below are some basic horse race betting strategies and tips that should help your bottom line.

Use Discipline and Have a Betting Strategy

One of the biggest mistakes of horse players is spending an afternoon wagering on horses and having no discipline and betting strategy on how to turn a profit.

Wagering on horses takes plenty of both, starting with what tracks you are going to wager on. On an average Saturday there may be two to three dozen tracks running, giving a horseplayer 200 to 300 races to consider. With the large menu of types of bets, there is nearly an unlimited amount of possibilities.

*Stick to two or three tracks, and make sure you know the tracks you are playing.

Do your homework before racing begins. Answer these simple questions before placing your first bet:

  • 1. Who are the top trainers and jockeys at each track?
  • 2. How does the track play, and what is the current condition of the track?

What is the takeout of the track? The takeout is the percentage a track takes for placing the wager. It can vary greatly. For instance, Keeneland has a 19% takeout on trifectas, while Penn National has a takeout rate of 31%. Playing tracks with lower takeout rates can make a big difference to your bottom line.

Plan in advance what races you are going to play, avoiding short fields with just five or six runners, and concentrate on larger fields where more betting value can be found.

Based on the size of your bankroll, plan out what types of wagers best suit your betting style. You can play more conservative bets like win, place, exactas, and daily doubles. Or, with a bigger bankroll or if you are a higher-risk player, swing for the fences with more exotic bets like trifectas, superfectas, and Pick 4 bets.

Looking for Value

One word horseplayers overlook is value. With so many betting options, both in the amount of races available each day and the large menu of betting types, being a successful horseplayer is not all about picking the winner.

It is important for a successful horseplayer to look for opportunities that present betting value. In simple terms, find a horse that is going off at odds higher than what you think his chances of winning are.

If you find a horse you think should be around 2/1, and his odds on the toteboard are 4/1, it is time to wager. If you think your horse should be around 4/1 and his odds are 2/1, it is time to move forward and look for a better wagering opportunity.

It sounds simple enough, but some horseplayers do not have enough discipline to pass on the underlay, and while some of those horses will still win, in the end it is a losing proposition.

Jumping Into the Exotic Pools

When a horseplayer cannot find value in the traditional win pool, a good option is to look for value in the exotic pools.

The exacta and daily double bet can be the best place to find value. For one, the takeout rates are generally lower than with higher risk exotics like superfectas and Pick 4’s.

In addition, most tracks and online toteboards post the probable payoffs for each combination in the exacta and daily double pools.

That gives a horseplayer vital information, as again horseplayers can look for combinations that are offering value while skipping combinations that appear to be underlays.

Finding the Right Racebook

Even with all the horse race betting strategies and free horse race betting tips in the world, a horseplayer would be lost without the right avenue to place wagers.

One of the most important aspects of keeping the wagering bankroll in the black is using a good and reputable Racebook.

Most Racebooks offer a generous sign-up bonus on the first deposit, and offer rebates on wagering. Those rebates can range from 3% to 8%, and can greatly enhance the bottom line of the wagering bankroll.

Discipline, seeking out value, and using the right Racebook can lead to having more fun and turning more profits betting horses online.