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The 10 Rules for Horse Betting

Rule 1 Money Management This is the most important rule of all. It is a must for horse players and all people involved in gambling. If you are serious about making money gambling you must incorporate a money management system. I define a money management system as a determination of how much money is safely wagered on any given bet. Try to find a money management system that best suits your betting style and bankroll. I will write more about money management in up coming articles.

Rule 2 Do Not Chase Like Little Orphan Annie said “the sun will come out tomorrow.” How many times have you been down, and found yourself playing a track or race you would not have normally played. What usually happens is that you force plays and lose, only to be down more money. Being able to take losses is a difficult lesson to learn, but one that must be learned if you desire success in gambling. I promise the sun will come out tomorrow and so will the horses.

Rule 3 Stay Away From Sure Things Let me say this in plain English, there is no such thing as a sure thing. Anything can happen in a race. If you have been around long enough you probably have seen some crazy things happen in races. Let me tell you my own true story about tips at the race track. I have been an owner of thoroughbred race horses for about 12 years. That being said, my first time on the backside of the track was to watch my first horse breeze. While I was there my trainer was talking to another trainer about the races that day. The other trainer told us how he loved his horse that was entered to run in a maiden race that afternoon. I quickly marked it on my program and was looking forward to making a sizable bet. Shortly later my trainer and I came across another trainer who told us how he had a great shot in the same maiden race.

I quickly marked it and said to myself, this is great I can make an exacta box and really make a score. Later the same morning we came across another trainer and a jockey and believe it or not they both loved their horses in the same maiden race. Now I had four horses out of nine that had a great shot that day. I went to the track that afternoon and I handicapped the race. I found a horse that displayed many of the things I look for when picking a winner in a maiden race. I then decided to key my selection for 1st 2nd and 3rd in trifectas with the four tips I received in the morning. Sure money, so I thought. The result was that my pick won the race and paid $30 and change and only one of the four horses finished better than 4th. From that day on I have been very skeptical of inside tips at the track. There is no easy money at the track.

You have to do your work and trust your own picks. Rule 4 Keep Records When using a service or your own handicapping selections, it is very important to keep accurate records. Keeping records is the only way to determine if your system works. Be sure to allow a fair amount of time when judging a system or service. I recommend a minimum of 100 bets in order to gauge the reliability of your system. You should keep records wager types and amounts along with profits and losses. You will be amazed to see certain patterns develop. This allows you to focus on your strengths while eliminating your weaknesses. The main reason people do not keep records is that they cannot bear to see all the losses. If you choose not to keep records, you will never learn from your mistakes and are sure to make the same mistakes over and over again.

Rule 5 Look for Value There are differences of opinion when it comes to the topic of value. I define value as the risk versus the potential reward. Some say that value means not playing a favorite or a horse at 3-1 or less. I do not limit myself to specific odds when determining value. Although I am the last person to look for favorites, there are times when they offer value. Value is determined on a race by race basis. When handicapping races it is a good idea to play lines maker. Handicappers often overlook this idea, but it is useful in uncovering value in a race. I try to find races where a favorite is over bet and vulnerable.


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