Your First Day At The Horse Track

Spread the love


One of the reasons that the popularity of sports gambling has skyrocketed in recent years is its accessibility. It’s easy to bet on most major sports because everyone understands the basics, which teams are good and why they win. Horse handicapping, on the other hand, is a completely different and somewhat arcane discipline. Where there are some shared concepts, success at sports betting doesn’t guarantee the same playing the ponies. Legendary sports handicapper Jimmy ‘The Greek’ Snyder was famous for killing the books with his sports plays–and giving it all back with his inept horse bets.

Below are some very basic concepts that you need to know to enjoy a day at the horse track. This information doesn’t even scratch the surface of what you’ll need to know if your goal is to become a serious horse betting devotee. If that is the case, you’re best advised to check out one of the many theoretical books devoted to the subject.

Arm yourself with information: The first step for any horse handicapper is to pick up a copy of the Daily Racing Form (DRF) and the track program. The publications give the names of the horses, jockeys and trainers, the morning line odds, and the types of bets available for each race. You’ll also have past performance charts, which are crucial for serious horse handicappers. These charts reveal a lot about a horse and what they’ve done on the racetrack, including its record, where it ran, the quality of competition it ran against, and what position the horse was in at various points in the race.

You’re playing against other bettors, not the racetrack: A big difference between sports wagering and horse betting is the function of ‘the house’. In horse racing, you’re not playing against the track–instead, you’re betting against the other patrons. The track simply serves as a ‘banker’, accepting money and paying bets. For this service, they take a percentage of the money bet on each race (called the ‘takeout’). The odds on a horse aren’t set by the track, but rather by the amount of money bet on each entry.

So where do the odds in the newspaper or program come from? The so-called morning odds are basically educated guesses as to where the wagering will go. Its roughly analogous to overnight lines in sports gambling. They can be helpful as a guideline, but may or may not be indicative as to how the actual wagering will go.

The Basics of Handicapping: Even expert handicappers approach the sport differently and, like his sports gambling counterpart, may place greater emphasis on the importance of certain data than other handicappers. Some handicappers place a great deal of weight on a horses past performances, including the quality of opposition hes run against. Others place greater value on recent workouts, and still others go to the paddock to eyeball the horses and try to determine which ones are ready to run.

Once a bettor reaches a conclusion about what he thinks will happen in a given race, it is still subject to the odds that are available when betting. This is similar to sports gambling, where an underdog may be more attractive due to an excessively high payback potential than he would ordinary, or, conversely, a clear favorite becomes an unattractive wagering proposition due to a prohibitively high price. Its all a matter of the math”if I could speak to the teenagers of America, Id try to impress upon them the importance of doing well in math for no other reason than its importance in all forms of gambling.

Training and bloodlines: Handicappers often focus on a horse’s breeding lineage, considering the quality of the bloodlines and the racing pedigree of his parents and grandparents. Others put great focus on a horse’s trainers. An ‘A-list’ trainer can often get the most out of a horse much in the same way an elite level NFL coach can cause a team to ‘over perform’.

The Jockeys: In the simplest terms, jockeys are independent contractors and thus to make money they need to do well. In theory, a jockey wants to get on the best horse possible in each race to maximize his chances of winning. That also results in sort of a chicken and the egg conundrum”are the horses winning because the best jockeys are aboard, or are the best jockeys merely adept at getting on the best horses? Most serious horse players look to the jockey as a secondary consideration. Its sort of a situation where a good jockey cant win with a bad horse, but a bad jockey can cause a good horse not to win.

Don’t Go Overboard, and Try to Find What Works For Angka Keluaran HK : As with any new betting discipline, its always sound advice to not go overboard with the amount of money you wager. These are just the basics of how to bet a horse race and what some of the salient factors are in determining who will win or lose a race, and doesn’t even to begin to scratch the surface of successfully handicapping the sport. If you want to learn more, Id suggest starting with the Daily Racing Form website, after which a simple Google search can expand your options from there.