While handicapping and learning to estimate the probability of each runner winning the race is an essential skill for horse racing betting success, the actual wagering methods and angles are important, too. Wagering strategy means finding the best value for each dollar you invest as well as protecting your bankroll. That isn’t very easy to do in an endeavor as risky as gambling on horses.
You should have a good money management plan for any financial undertaking in life and wagering on horse races is no exception. Since it is risk prone and failure is a possibility, the first concern is structuring your bets so that you can out last a run of bad luck. Obviously, if you run out of money, no matter how successful you may be as a handicapper, you can’t bet and turn those winners into financial gains.
So my first advice is to write down a plan for how much you will risk on each wager based on the amount of your bankroll. Some experience should give you an idea of how often you win and how many bets you lose. Let’s say you’ve kept some good records of your bets and know that you average 4 winners out of 10 bets, but you have also experienced losing streaks as long as 20 wagers.
Your bankroll is 1,000 units, it may be dollars, pounds, euros, or whatever currency you use. Obviously, if you don’t want to get wiped out by a losing streak, you cannot bet more than 1/20 of your bankroll on any one bet. I would caution you against going to that level, however and would instead advise you to go to 1/40th of your bankroll. First of all, you don’t want to be taken down to your last betting unit by a run of bad luck. It has a psychological effect and may influence your decision making.
Secondly, there is always the possibility that you will go beyond the 20 losers limit and what then? Better to plan for the worst and then double it. A long losing streak may be uncomfortable, but if you have one and still have half your bankroll and can make sizable bets, you’ll be glad you were cautious.
The next problem is what to place those wagers on. Do you bet long shots or favorites or horses that are somewhere in between? Once again, look at your records and see where you have the most success. If you are comfortable with longer dry spells but like hitting bigger payoffs, go for the longer priced bets, as long as you can hit them, of course.
Churn is what happens as you make your wagers and it is what makes casinos and race tracks profitable. Each time you bet a percentage goes to the race track or casino. The more bets you make the more money you pay for the privilege of betting. Therefore, you must weigh the risk and payoff against the number of times you’ll have to wager in order to collect. Find the right balance of risk and reward because churn is the hidden enemy to every horse player and gambler.