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Horse Betting Strategy

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Horse Betting Strategy

by Tom Wilkinson

When it comes to a winning horse betting strategy I could write numerous books on the subject. The problem with reading all of those books, although fascinating reading, is that most of them wouldn’t make you any money. A successful horse betting strategy is very difficult to find. Many people have written numerous books on the subject, and for the most part, the books aren’t worth the paper they are printed on. What all of these books fail to mention is the huge house edge the horse tracks have over the player. The person betting on horses has to overcome a huge percentage, far greater than that of sports betting, or most casino games. While horse betting is one of my favorite things to do, it is not the easiest thing to win at.

Having said all that, a winning horse betting strategy can be formulated. If you are looking at making money betting the horses you have two main choices. First, you can play the horses to win, place, or show and try to grind out a profit that way. My first tip is to throw out place and show wagering entirely. You can’t make money in the long run by betting horses to place and show. With discipline and a sound wagering strategy it is possible, although unlikely, to find a winning betting strategy by playing horses to win, I don’t recommend it though. Your best horse betting strategy is to play the exotics. That refers to the exacta, trifecta, superfecta, and multi race bets such as the pick 3’s, pick 4’s and pick 6. So why do I say that you must concentrate on the exotics? If you are betting to win, place, or show you are eventually going to lose. The house take is just too high to overcome over the long run. You just don’t get a fair return for your money. It is possible, though to get a decent return playing the exotics.

What I will concentrate on today as a horse betting strategy is playing the pick 3’s. Many tracks have rolling pick 3’s that enable you to play races all day long. Some tracks specify only certain races so check your program before laying out your ticket. When we play a pick 3 there are two main schools of thought. First, we can concentrate on a few horses in each race, say 3 or 4, and combine them onto one ticket. If we boxed 3 horses in each race of a $1 pick three, it would cost us $27. That would be 3x3x3. That is a $1 pick three. Obviously a $2 pick three would be double that amount and cost us $54. You could box four horses in each race and the cost would then be $64 on a $1 Pick Three Ticket. That is the first possibility. The second choice, and the one I prefer, is to concentrate on one or two particular horses in a race and get all of the horses in another race. Let me give you an example. Let’s say we have the first three races of the day, with 8, 7, and 10 horse fields. We could just find a single horse in the third race and use all the horses in the first two. That ticket would give us all 8 horses in the first race, all 7 horses in the second race, and our strong selection in the third race. The ticket would cost $56 for a $1 pick three (8x7x1). The advantage to playing the ticket like this is that we could get a long shot in either of the first two races and if our single horse comes in a winner in the third race, we collect big. You can also, if you prefer, pick out 2 or 3 horses in a couple of races and go all in the third race. In the previous example, that would mean 2x2x10 for a total of $40 or 3x3x10 for a total of $90. The possibilities are endless but you should get an idea of what I am trying to show you.

The goal with your horse betting strategy should be to hit a big ticket. That is really your only chance to come out a winner in the long-term. The house take will eventually grind down the everyday player unless they can hit the occasional big ticket. Hopefully this will give you something to think about the next time you head out to the track.

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