Horse Betting for Beginners

Mr-Ed-Horse-Betting-GamblingAfter years of betting on sports like football, basketball and baseball, I was looking for something new to try. It’s not like I perfected gambling on those sports, but I’ve always been curious about horse betting.

Before I went into it head first, I needed to do my research first. I wanted to give myself the best odds of winning. I had to learn about the sport and why people love putting “a few dimes on a pony.”

As I read about the sport, I realized how little I actually knew about horse racing. I knew about the Triple Crown races (Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, Preakness), but was unaware of how many daily races are held all over the country. I may have been a little naive, considering there’s a relatively large track within an hour from my house.

I’ve learned a lot about the sport and read hundreds of articles to learn tips on how to win.

To help all the beginners out there, I’m going to give you a few quick tips I learned along the way.

First off, let me explain some of the lingo.

  1. Win – This one explains it all, you’re betting on the horse to win the race.
  2. Place – You’re betting on the horse to come in either first or second.
  3. Show – You’re betting on a horse to come in first, second or third.

Win, Place & Show are the three most common ways to bet. There are other ways, but let’s save that until you’ve mastered these three methods.

The Odds Are Your Friend

When you’re starting out, look at the horses with the best horse betting odds. Unless you’re a pro and know your way around the track, make a few small bets on the favorites to cut your teeth. It’s best to make your bet at a manned window at first. You can move to an electronic betting machine later if you want.

When you bet at the window, you need to say your bet in this order: Racetrack, Price, Dollar Amount, Bet Type and Horse Number. So, let’s say you’re at the Hoosier Downs track and want to bet $50 on the #7 horse to Show in the third race of the day. Your bet at the window would be, “At Hoosier Downs, in the third race, I’d like to put $50 to Show on the #7 horse.” It doesn’t matter which track you go to, you say your bet in the same order.

You Have To Spend Money To Make Money

It’s an old adage that is still true to this day. There’s nothing free in this world and if you’re looking to strike it big at the track, you most likely have to put down a healthy amount. You could hit a big underdog in a race and score, but those are few and far between. If you bet the favorite every time, you have nearly 33% chance of winning.

Don’t Like The Track? Bet From Home!

Depending on where you live and if it’s legal in your area, there are websites that offer horse betting from the comfort of your own home. If you’re in the United Kingdom, William Hill offers horse betting and will even give you a £25 bonus for signing up (that’s roughly $40 on this side of the pond). You can even use mobile devices, which is better than sitting at your desk.

Knowledge Is Power

After you’re comfortable with the basics, dive into the information deeper. You can find nearly anything you want about a horse. You can find out if there’s been a recent medication change, their bloodline, past race results and even if the horse uses blinkers during a race.

Horse information is key, but weather could play an even bigger role. Underdog victories are greater to happen when the playing field gets evened out by weather.

If I were to face Usain Bolt in a 100m race, poor weather may cause him to slip and only beat me by 80 meters instead of beating me by 99 meters.

Stick To Your Gut

Research can only take a horse better so far. If you just have a gut feeling, go for it. I wouldn’t bet the house, but a few dollars on an underdog from time to time is just fun. Horse betting can be very entertaining and lucrative, but don’t be irresponsible and get carried away. Please set your limits and play responsibly.

I could go further into detail, but I wanted to give some horse betting tips to the beginners out there. I wish you the best of luck…and if you hit big on an underdog, drinks are on you!

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