Horse racing is one of the most ancient of all sports, and without a doubt one of the most popular for punters all around the world.
Opportunities are always there if you take time to build some solid knowledge and experience about this complex sport.
In this article, we will provide some basics to help you in placing your first bets on horse racing.
As in any discipline, the first thing to understand comes to a few major differences between various betting possibilities.
In horse racing, a “win” bet means your horse has to come in first place. A “place” bet means your horse can come in first or second. With a “show” bet you are predicting that your selection will end first, second, or third (often referred as finishing “in the money”). Obviously odds for a win will always be higher.
Some bookmakers will offer more betting options but these basics should help you in your first steps.
Remember: a basic understanding of odds is essential, and you need to understand the concept of value and know how to find it. Money management is also crucial.
Now, how do you choose a horse? There are many books and websites on horse racing and everyone seems to have a different opinion on what are the most important factors to consider when choosing a horse. But you certainly need to analyze the following:
– First, try to get used to read the race day program. The program is filled with information that you can use at your advantage to place smart bets: you will see a section for each race with the statistics and history on all the horses taking part in a particular race.
– Check at which class levels the horse has been racing at: maiden races, claiming races, allowance races, or stakes races. Horses move up and down classes throughout the year depending on their performance.
– Past performance on specific surfaces. Some races have natural dirt and grass, others have artificial tracks. Horses do not perform the same on each surface.
– Data on jockeys. If a jockey usually comes in first, second, or third no matter what horse he is riding, it is a solid evidence of talent. If a good jockey is riding a horse for the first time that has consistently finished in the middle of the pack, placing a “place” bet on that horse might be a smart bet.
Try not to bet on every race. Instead, be patient and get familiar with horse racing and its subtleties. With time and experience, you should be able to make money on this fascinating sport.
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