To finish off, Betting.com' team has compiled a list of ten commandments for horse racing. Be sure to follow these strictly in order to minimize the potential of making any newbie mistakes that could eat away at your bankroll.
1) Check the conditions – The weather report is likely to have a huge impact on the performance of horses in any given race. If rain has been persistent it can leave the course in a “heavy” condition, which makes it difficult for some horses to get the traction they need on the ground to get them across the course quick enough to win the race. So, before placing any bets, make sure you’re aware of the state of the ground, which is usually displayed on the same page as your ante-post betting options.
2) Paddock Patrol – It’s always important to keep a watchful eye on how a horse is behaving in the build-up to a race. Horses tend to be very emotive animals, and like professional human athletes, are prone to swinging moods and moments of erraticism. If you’re struggling to pick between two or three horses, keep an eye on how the horses are carrying themselves as they are paraded around the paddock before the race begins. If a horse is sweating heavily or making life difficult for the jockey and staff before the race has started then the chances are that the horse is stressed and expending energy in the paddock that is being lost on the race itself. Meanwhile, a calm, relaxed horse is likely to conserve its energy for when it really needs it.
3) Research – There is a huge plethora of free information available to punters on a daily basis from a whole range of publications, newspapers and websites. They do all the hard work for you in researching form, handicaps and other useful tidbits, so why not split-test between different sources to see who is bringing home the bacon. Another option for you is to take advantage of tips published by horse racing tipsters. They strive to provide quality service and if you find the right tipster you can have a lot benefits. Another option for you is to take advantage of tips published by tipsters, who are focused on horse racing. They can guide you to the right odds and markets, while you are placing your bets.
4) Don’t bet on every race – It may seem obvious, but it can be easy to get caught up in the moment when watching a televised broadcast from a horse racing meeting, and wanting to be a part of the action by placing a wager on every race. However, this strategy can quickly eat away at your bankroll if you are making rash decisions and betting for the sake of it. There are plenty of streaming options out there, so assume that you can access any race in the world, and carefully pick out your selections accordingly.
5) Experiment with new accumulators – Betting on the winner of a race is ultimately the most enthralling way to enjoy the spectacle, but in the long-term it is likely to leave you in the red, as even betting on the favourite tends to be successful only around a third of the time. To be successful in the long-term when betting on horses, you have to be creative. Combination accumulators such as Yankees and Lucky 15s not only give you the luxury of not having to rely on 100% of your selections winning, but they can also be placed at relatively cheap stakes, which can quite easily accumulate into big winnings if your luck is in.
6) Betting with the best odds – If you take sports betting seriously, then you will be having a close eye on your bankroll, so you should also be keeping abreast with who is offering the top prices on each race. Bookmakers are teeming with offers and promotions to reel you into their site, and some also have a clear disparity in the odds they offer from race to race. Make sure you’re betting with a bookmaker that has deals that compliment your betting strategy (for example, you could find a bookie that offers a refund if a selection finishes second in a specific race), and make sure you’re shopping around for the best odds for each race. Your balance sheet will thank you for it. If you are having trouble finding the highest opportunities, our Odds Comparison is always up and running with the best bookmakers' odds.
7) Get to know the trainers – Your regular novice horse racing punter will probably be able to recognize an established jockey like Frankie Dettori or Ryan Moore, but if you asked them to name the top trainers in the game then they’ll probably be left scratching their head. The top trainers like Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins are all famed for their long-term success, so if you are toying between two options, you may well be best advised to plump for the horse that comes from a trainer with the best caliber.
8) Channel your focus – Such is the sheer depth of horse racing options, it can be easy to get lost amongst the noise and spread your time across all the different categories of racing, which can ultimately leave you hemorrhaging cash because you are simply not channelling enough focus and energy into segments of the market that generate the best ROI. It can be as simple as dedicating your time solely to grade 3 jump racing. In an instance, you have focused your attention on a much smaller data set, which will allow you to make much more informed decisions.
9) Track your bets – We never tire of telling people to do this, because over the long-term it is the easiest way to make sure you are focusing your betting bankroll on markets that have been proven to generate proven ROI. Perhaps you are a natural for the novice hurdles, or are left jubilant by grade 1 jumps? The only way to know is to keep a log, whether that be via the Betting.com bet tracker, or via your own internal spreadsheet, which can, of course, be fully integrated with our setup.
10) Ignore the name – This one is fairly tongue-in-cheek as we come towards the conclusion of the guide, but it encompasses a much bigger potential pitfall, which is emotional betting, and links in well with the advice to not bet on every race. Even the most seasoned veterans of horse racing betting have made the mistake of punting on ponies that have a name that strikes a personal chord, whether it be a shared name with a love one, or a quirky childhood reference. While these horses can romp home from time to time, overall you are left empty-handed most of the time, so try to avoid this where possible.