How to Bet Horse Racing

How to Bet Horse Racing

Horse betting tips are like faces – everyone’s got one. Whether it’s the guy down the street telling you that the 5 horse in race 6 will win, because he’s on Lasix for the first time or some pro telling you that horse X will win because it ate well this week, horse betting tips are everywhere. So rest assured, the tips we’re about to offer have nothing to do with a gut feeling, and rather, everything to do with years of experience. Here you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth… 

9 Tips To Be a Better Horse Bettor

A lot of people, including those that bet on the horses, don’t know horse racing deeply. And that can be okay to a point. Sometimes knowing too much hampers you. Still, there are some things that every horse bettor should know.

1) Have Fun, Don’t Bet Too Much

The first horse betting tip should be obvious. Never bet more than you have to lose. Horse racing is a blast, but don’t muck up a great time by betting your mortgage payment. Be responsible and enjoy your time at the track or watching the race on TV. Never think you’re due to win, because you’re not. You could lose the next 1,000 races – yes, it’s theoretically possible. Have a great time and play with money you can afford to lose – just in case.

2) Read the Racing Forms

Another horse wagering tip would be to consult the racing form. I’ve seen countless horse racing bettors in U.S. racebooks that simply look at a horse and bet. Maybe they had a feeling – based on who knows what. Perhaps they liked the way it showed before the race. Either way, betting blindly is foolish. These horse bettors occasionally catch a winning ticket, but usually they lose.

In fact, don’t just look at the racing form, learn it. Okay, you don’t need to become an expert, but you should know some basics, such as how to interpret data on the past performances sheet. If that’s all you do, you’ll be well ahead of the curve.

3) Learn About the Jockeys

Should you have a desire to go further with it, start learning about the jockeys. The first step would be to view the racing form to see the jockey and owner information. The next step – perhaps more time costly – would be to get to know the jockeys.

4) Know One Track In and Out

Just starting out? Stick to one track. Yep, this is a great plan. Even if you’re a seasoned horse bettor, sticking to one track can give you an edge. Rather than jumping all over the map betting on horses, get to know the ins and outs of a track. Who is racing there? What happens when it rains? Any changes to the track today, this week or whatever?

You should eat, sleep and breathe the track you’ve chosen. When you’re comfortable with that, you can add another track to your profile.

5) Get to Know the Horses

A spin off of this horse betting tip is to follow horses. Get to know horses and follow them around the country and/or world. You’ll get a leg up once you learn how they perform.

The downside here is that you need to pick horses with good potential. Getting to know a bad horse doesn’t help too much. Knowing what horse in a 10-horse field that’s going to lose isn’t of too much value, because you’ve got 9 other horses and you need to bet on winners.

If you’re betting online, like at Bodog Racebook, you can play horse matchups. This is where knowing a horse will help. Even if the horse isn’t the best, you can figure out if that horse is better or worse than one other horse and bet the appropriate way.

When you’re looking at the racing form, keep races of the same type in consideration. This is something that trips up many amateur handicappers. If today’s race is 6 furlongs on dirt, looking at how a horse did in a 1 1/8th mile race on turf isn’t too beneficial. I guess if anything, it will tell you to discount the horse – potentially.

6) Don’t Make Too Much of Workouts

Workouts are workouts. I’m not a big fan of workouts. A horse ran fast in a workout, so what? Was it a race-type situation that compares to the race at hand? No. Were the other horses of the same caliber? Probably not. For me, I just look at workouts to see when the horse has been active. That’s it.

7) Horses are Not the Same

A horse is not a horse. Some horses run better in short races, others in long races. Some run best on turf, others on dirt. This is where looking at past performances will really help. Let’s say that today’s race is 6 furlongs on dirt. You look at the favorite and see that the horse has 3 first place finishes. All of them have been on turf and at 1 1/8th mile distance. What does this tell you? This horse appears to be a good turf runner. Today’s race is on dirt not turf – discount the horse unless you see solid dirt performances.

8) Class Matters

Keeping with the horse isn’t a horse theme; let’s talk about class. Horses race in different classes. For instance, there’s Grade I, II, III, claming, and so forth. If a horse finishes first in a big allowance race and is now racing in a Grade II derby, that horse is potentially outclassed.

Think of it this way. In baseball, there’s the high school teams, college teams, recreational teams, single A, double A, triple A and the major leagues. If a pitcher threw a perfect game at the college level, would you expect him to perform well if his next game was against the New York Yankees? Of course not. It’s the same way with horses.

How do you know class? Read the racing form. Do you see a theme here? A horse’s past performance will tell you all sorts of stuff. Class is one of them.

Don’t throw your money away. Take these tips to heart.

9) Bet with the Best Online Racebooks

If you want to get a head start, head over to Bodog and get an account. They will give you a free cash bonus of 10%. It’s a great way to start betting on the horses with the houses money. Their online horse racing interface is near perfect.

Another great racebook is BookMaker – they are offering a 20% bonus right now on deposit of $300 or more.