The laws concerning horse race betting varies across the globe but if it’s legal in your region, you might be considering taking up this hobby. If you’ve never been interested in it before, horse racing can seem complicated. However, everyone has to start somewhere so here is a beginners’ guide on betting on horse races. Keep on reading for some tips that will help you better understand the odds you will be facing and the types of bets that exist, as well as how to avoid some common betting mistakes.
Understanding horse race betting odds
For starters, you should understand horse racing betting odds. Bookmakers will always have a theoretical inbuilt margin that will place the odds in their favor. For example, if horse A has a 50% probability of winning while horses B and C have a 3/1 chance, i.e. 25% chance, the odds add up to 100%. This way, the bookmakers might not make enough money to cover all their costs. That is why they offer odds that add up to over 100%. For instance, horse A will have a 56% chance, B 29%, and C 27%. As this adds up to 112%, bookmakers have a guaranteed profit if there are bets on all runners. Of course, this is a simplified version of what usually happens as bookmakers can adjust the odds in whichever way suits them.
Deciding on the type of bet
With a bit more knowledge of odds, you should learn more about the different types of bets that bookmakers offer.
For one, there is the win single bet. This is the most popular type of bet as you are simply backing one horse to finish in first place.
Then, there is the each-way bet. Here, you will be backing a horse to win and place. For example, half of your bet will be going to backing your horse to win and the other will be backing it to place. This type of bet is not always available, especially if there are not enough horses running and if the bookmakers deem the bet unfavorable.
You can also opt for a patent bet where seven bets are made on three separate events. You will bet on three singles, three doubles, and one treble. Even if you have just one winner, you are still getting a return for the wager you placed.
A Trixie bet is when you make four bets on three selections in different events. At least two selections must be successful in order for you to have a return.
The older generation is more likely to opt for the Yankee bet – eleven bets from four selections, six doubles, four trebles, and one four-timer. The odds here are in the bookmakers’ favor so you can consider Lucky 15 instead. Lucky 15 means that you will make fifteen bets; just like Yankee but with four extra win singles. Here, you can find concessions like treble the odds for just one winner.
Choosing a bookmaker
When choosing a bookmaker, you first want to look into their reputation. If they’ve been around for a long time and are an authority in the field, they should be safe to play with. Moreover, you want to look into the odds different bookmakers offer, compare them, and opt for those where you can potentially get a nice return on your money.
Following top jockeys and trainers
When it comes to placing bets, you have to be informed about the participants and not simply make a wager based on superficial reasons (the name of a horse or look). Something you can do when coming up with a horse betting strategy is read reviews and look for advice on trustworthy websites such as WSN.com, who knows the ins and outs of sports betting and about what’s going on in the industry. By doing that, you will learn which jockeys and trainers are experienced and established and which are still fresh in the trade. Furthermore, this approach will help you realize that backing up-and-comers also comes with its benefits as they are often eager to prove themselves.
Assessing the track and ground
In time, you will realize that there are several factors that can influence your selection. For instance, the race track is probably the most important. You will learn that most horses have preferences in terms of ground conditions and some are better when the ground is soft and others when it’s heavy. To stay up to date with all track conditions, you can easily look for Twitter accounts that regularly provide punters with weather forecasts. Then, some horses prefer long races while some are better at sprints, so keep that in mind as well.
Avoiding common mistakes
Lastly, let’s take a look at some mistakes you should avoid. First of all, don’t think that the front-runners will always win. Stay open-minded and informed when making your bets. In addition, you don’t want to attach yourself to one horse or dislike a certain jockey as that can lead to some bad decisions. Lastly, as races can be quite short, you might be tempted to bet on race after race. However, it’s vital that you stay selective with your picks and not lose your wagering budget quickly.
No matter if you’re a complete beginner or someone who wants to improve their horse race betting skills, it’s essential that you watch as many races as you can to get a better understanding of the sport and betting odds. Once you’ve got a feel for it, you can begin to formulate the appropriate strategies to fit your allocated budget.