Betting Trends at the Racetrack: Becoming a Winner

If you’ve always wanted to place bets at the racetrack but don’t really know where to start, or what common mistakes to avoid that most newbies make, learning about betting trends for a particular race can help you to narrow down your choices, and pick a horse and jockey that have a reputation for winning. This guide can teach you how to create your own strategy, how to spot betting trends in horse racing and will steer you away from the common mistakes most people make in the beginning.

Betting Trends and Betting Small

When you make your first bet, make it small. This should be a practice bet that will help you to become familiar with the whole process. Tradition requires most new bettors to make a two dollar bet.  Should you decide to bet on the favorite horse each time, you’ll have a thirty-three percent chance of winning, which are pretty decent odds. It will take a little research to spot the betting trends at a track, but fortunately, there is usually plenty of information available that you can take advantage of.

image of horse race

When you place a bet at a racetrack, you have a few options: win, place or show. If you’re betting that a certain horse of your choice will finish first, this is called a win. When you make a place bet, you’re betting that the horse will come in first or second. A show bet means that you’re betting that the horse of your choice will come in first, second or third. Place and show bets help you to easily become acquainted with betting in general. Try a few place and show bets before you decide to make more serious wagers.

When you bet on horses, it’s going to be all about the odds. If you bet a couple of dollars to win and it comes with two to one odds, you will more than double your money if you win.

If you’re a beginner, you should place your bets at a betting window, as opposed to an ADW. This way you’ll have a little human interaction with the employee who can also answer any questions you may have regarding that day’s races.  After you have placed your bet, the teller will give you your ticket, which you will hold onto and turn over in exchange for cash, should you win.

For most people, it can take a long time to get the hang of betting and make serious cash. A seasoned bettor takes the betting process very seriously. A handicapper will carefully research a wide range of data involving a horse’s racing history, their trainer, rider, track conditions, and any other aspect that could affect a horse’s performance. All bettors will purchase a daily racing form which includes the performance data for each horse.

In addition to the daily racing form, there are other types of betting tools that you can utilize to help increase your chances of winning, these include the racetrack program, public handicapper selections, and the handicapping tips sheet.  The racetrack program contains information on all the jockeys, trainers and horses while the public handicapper selections sheet features selections made by a professional handicapper. The handicapper tips sheet also includes daily selections made by handicappers at the track.

Combining Bets for Better Odds

You can combine bets in a number of ways in order to increase your winning potential. These types of combined bets can cost slightly more to place, but the payouts are significantly higher and can be even more so depending on the odds of each horse. Combination bets include the exacta, the quinella, the trifecta and the daily double. The exacta requires you to choose the first two horses to cross the finish line. With the trifecta, you must pick the first three finishing horses. With the daily double you will need to choose winners for two consecutive races.

When to take your Bets up a Notch: Studying Horse Betting

Placing larger bets should only be done if you can afford it and you’re comfortable with making this type of risky bet. When we say a larger bet, we mean a bet that’s at least a hundred dollars. Don’t start off with more than that amount until you have a better handle on the gambling process and more importantly, only do so if you can afford it.

image of horse race

When you’re at the track placing bets, the goal is to put yourself in the best position to win and there are certain stats and facts that can help to increase your odds of making it big. First of all, every track uses a TV simulcast commentator who handicaps. Pay attention to what they’re saying and you may just pick up some useful tips. Horses that are deemed the favorites will win over thirty percent of the time, but these horses usually come with low payoffs. If you’re making a small wager for your first bet, choosing the horse favorite is a safe way to go.

Now that you know how to place a bet you can go to any racetrack in the country and choose a random horse and place a small two dollar wager. But for you, the goal probably isn’t to make a few dollars and enjoy a good race. While the thrill and suspense of a horse race are exciting, your goal is to make some money.

The information available to you is the key to making the best choices and increasing your chances of winning. Become familiar with a horse’s reputation as well as a jockey’s. Learn about the different surfaces of a racetrack. Some tracks have grass or dirt while others feature artificial surfaces. A horse will perform differently based on the surface.

Many handicappers will pay attention to how a jockey has performed in the past. If a particular jockey always places first or second, regardless of the horse they ride, it shows they have true talent. So if you notice a good jockey riding that day, you may want to make a slightly larger wager than you normally would.

For each race, the racing program will feature a horse’s odds for winning next to its name. While it’s true that the past performance of a horse doesn’t guarantee the same results in the future, the statistics will show that over time, choosing the favorite horse can pay off.