Betting on horse racing is an extremely popular pastime and we’ve all heard stories of lucky punters winning life-changing sums of money from a relatively modest outlay. However, it is an extremely complex sport and due to its intricacies and idiosyncratic nature, it can be extremely tough to know where to begin. It can often take successful bettors several years to make a consistent profit, however, even if you’re armed with impregnable knowledge of the sport, long-term profits are far from guaranteed. The unpredictability of horse racing is undoubtedly part of its charm, however, it does also make it increasingly difficult for punters to make a decent return on their investment. We’ve picked out ten tips which will hopefully put you on the right track when it comes to betting on this fascinating spectacle.
Learn to Read Form
Race form is displayed in an extremely unique way and is a historical breakdown of all a horses’ previous runs. It also provides important details such as age, weight as well as the potential application of headgear. If you fancy your chances of making a profit, it’s vital that you learn the abbreviations and fully immerse yourself in the terminology before you begin wagering.
Each race will be set out in the same way, which makes it much easier to decipher and form cards can be easily found online.
Listen to the Experts
Expert opinions tend to vary in quality. However, there are hundreds of people, most of whom have years of experience within the sport, who regularly share their insight and wisdom on a weekly basis. As well sites such as the Racing Post and the Daily Racing Form, most betting sites now have their own blog and often team up with jockeys and trainers to provide regular analysis and tips on significant race-days. As this betuk review explains, brand ambassadors such as Neil Mulholland can provide insightful content which enable punters to get inside the mind of a trainer. These are always worth reading before you arrive at your final decision.
Manage Your Bank Roll
Before you place your first bet, it’s important to make sure that you are confident in managing your money. This includes deciding on your budget (and sticking to it!) and working out how much you are willing to stake per bet. Less experienced punters are likely to stake around 2% of their bank roll per bet, whereas those with a little more confidence may increase this to around 5%.
If you don’t have a staking plan, it will be hard to make a consistent profit.
Keep a Record of Your Bets
Life is extremely busy and it can be tough to keep of track of every single bet, yet it is undoubtedly worth creating a basic spreadsheet for your wagering information. This document does not necessarily need to crunch the numbers, however, it is worth being able to see which types of bets and races are profitable and if there are any races/days/weeks/tracks that you tend to struggle with.
Stick to Your System
If you’ve created a system for wagering, then it’s strongly advised to give it a fair crack of the whip. Unsuccessful bettors tend to flit between systems and rarely give each method long enough to turn a profit. If you’ve gone to the effort of creating a structure and a methodology to your betting, then it’s worth sticking with it, even during the inevitable sticky patch.
Try Not to Become too Down-hearted
If you haven’t managed to crack the code, it’s important to respond positively. Betting on horse racing is a long-term game and successful punters rarely hit the ground running. It’s also a hugely unpredictable sport with very few bettors likely to have correctly picked out Rich Strike, the 80/1 winner of the 2022 Kentucky Derby.
Every punter is likely to hit a bad run of form at some point and it’s crucial to respond proactively.
Watch as Much Racing as Possible
Even if you have zero financial interest in a race, it may still be worth watching it. Immersing yourself in the sport is absolutely vital and by tuning into every single race, you’re more likely to become familiar with a horses running style or the way in which a particular jockey copes with a tricky ride. You may also spot a fast-finishing horse, which could be worth noting down ahead of its next appearance.
Be Selective with Your Races
You don’t have to bet in every single race. The most successful punters tend to be the most selective. If you aren’t 100% sure of your selection OR there are 3-4 different options, then it is strongly advised to take a watching brief.
Each day, there are several races which can be described as ‘competitive’ or ‘trappy’ and wagering in these type of contests is unlikely to yield long-term profit.
Shop Around for the Best Possible Odds and Offers
Before placing a bet on your chosen runner, it’s undoubtedly worth ensuring that you’ve taken the best possible price. Odds comparison sites are widely available and these allow punters to compare bookmakers. This is an excellent tool to ensure that you don’t take an inferior price. If you have multiple betting accounts, taking advantage of the various welcome offers and promotions, particularly during festivals such as Cheltenham and the Breeder’s Cup is absolutely essential.
Take Time Away from Betting on Horse Racing
If you’re starting to find that you don’t enjoy betting on horse racing and you are beginning to view it as stressful and time-consuming, then perhaps it could be time to take a break. A few days off can refresh the mind and you are likely to come back with a renewed determination and mind-set and this could have a positive effect on your betting balance.