A Little Strategy Goes a Long Way When Betting On Horses

Visiting a racetrack and doing a little gambling on thoroughbred horses is one of the single best ways to spend an afternoon or evening. Typically, thousands of people fill the grandstands to watch dozens of horses circle the track, many of whom like to wager on the outcome. While betting on horses is a thrilling experience that often releases adrenalin and endorphins within the human body, a lot of money can be squandered quickly if you don’t have a basic strategy or an understanding of how things work. Here are a few things you need to know about how to get the greatest return out of your dollar while at a racetrack.

Every one of the millions of folks who like to wager on horses can be split up into one of two categories: those who research the jockeys, trainers and horses before placing a bet; and those that go on pure instincts and feel. The majority of people like to do some research before the race, confident that due diligence and knowing how to crunch numbers will give them an edge they wouldn’t otherwise have. For these people, getting a hold of a racing form and a cup of coffee is an essential way to start a day of wagering. For folks who go on instinct and feel, the method used to arrive at their final pick is often simple and unorthodox, such as picking a horse with the most exotic and unusual name.

No matter what your approach to making a pick, here are a few horse racing tips that can help keep your pockets full.

Unless you have a chunk of money to burn and insider knowledge about the horses and the track, betting trifectas and quinellas is more hassle than it’s worth. Avoid the highly involved bets and stick to straight wagers and exactas.

When making a straight wager, it is important to understand the odds and the possible payoffs. While the favorite is obviously the horse that is the most likely to win, it is also the horse that pays the least. If you are going to bet the favorite on a straight bet, bet on them to win instead of betting on them to place or show.

Even the most favored horse will usually pay double your investment if they are to win. If you bet a favorite to place or show, otherwise known as “bridge jumping,” then the amount you need to risk to make the payoff anywhere near worthwhile is far too much to lose if the favorite has a bad race and finishes out of the top three, which happens regularly. Horses with odds higher than 15-1 are generally disregarded by the betting public. Even so, every day of racing has a few longshot winners, which often pay as much as $50 on a $2 bet.

Many experts use a simple strategy when they feel as though the favorite is a sure thing to win the race. By coupling a dynamite favorite with another much longer shot and betting the two in an exacta box, you are essentially betting on one horse with a payoff that will be much nicer than a straight bet. In this scenario, a $2 bet will likely pay at least $25 if it’s a winner.

Article Contributed by Dominic Godwinson.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of HorseRacing.com