How to Avoid Common Horse Betting Mistakes

How to Avoid Common Horse Betting Mistakes

Given the variety of betting options and the widespread availability of racing from around the country, it’s easy for bettors to fall victim to a variety of wagering habits and errors that make long-term success nearly impossible. The game is hard enough without overcomplicating things, so it’s worth examining these common, but critical mistakes.

Mistake # 1:  Playing too many tracks/too many races

It’s virtually impossible to develop a solid opinion about more than a few races on a given day, yet an alarming number of players doggedly pursue race after race, betting multiple tracks and failing to focus on anything in particular. This is a mistake that is simply ruinous. An effective horse player must learn to pick his spots and back his best opinions with the bulk of his wagering capital. To this end, players are well-advised to focus on a particular track or sequence of races. While it’s possible to wager effectively at more than one racetrack a day, almost all bettors become more profitable when they learn to become more selective about the races they bet. Simply put, a limited scope allows the player to concentrate his time and energy playing only his best opinions. If pure action bets are too irresistible to avoid, they should be pursued with very trivial amounts of money.

Mistake # 2: Chasing

This bad habit is as old as the game and extends itself to virtually every wagering venture. Bad days are inevitable when risking money on uncertain events. But those bad days can quickly become horrific days when a player can’t control the urge to chase losses. Let’s say a well-intentioned player budgets $100 for a day at the races. By the middle of the afternoon, our player has bet his strongest opinions and come up empty-handed. The cash is gone and so are the viable betting opportunities, but there’s still three races left on the card. Unwilling to concede defeat, the player invests another $100 in attempt to recoup his earlier losses, betting wildly on horses he knows are improbable bets. This scenario, all too familiar to many bettors, usually ends badly. The player compounds his losses because he was unable to control his emotions. An effective horse player must have strong will power and be willing to accept defeat and live to fight another day.

Mistake # 3: Lack of Preparation

Failing to plan is planning to fail. This old-school aphorism is as true at the racetrack as it is anywhere else in life. Betting requires the investment of real money, so the regular horse player should spend ample time preparing for how that money will be managed. This means careful planning well in advance of the race. A successful bettor always has a plan that they are well-prepared to execute on race day. Lucking into a big score might happen occasionally, but anyone cashing regularly is assuredly a student of the game. 


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* REMINDER! - you must be of legal age in your state or province to legally wager on thoroughbred or harness horse racing. Please bet responsibly!