Horse Racing

How to bet on Horse Racing; A guide

Horse Racing


Historians appear to agree that the Horse is an animal native to the North American Continent and this consensus may partially explain why horse racing has been quite the rave in the region.

For a long time, historical records show that horses played a critical role in the affairs of the Native American Indians, the First European Settlers in North America and later on, the English Settlers in North America.

All one has to do to confirm these claims is to consider the historical annals of this region, it bears witness to this narrative.

In horse racing, there’s so much territory to cover and that may be a logical explanation for the fact that lots of people who want to bet on horse racing find it an intimidating affair.

Betting on horse racing is the preserve of the true believers.

In this article, we shall briefly walk you through the basics of horse racing and later on, share a few basic tips on how to bet on horse racing.

Let’s do it!

The basics

Because horse racing is a sport that has enjoyed lavish attention mainly in the United States of America, we can’t write a serious treatise on the subject of horse racing without referencing how the game is being played in the country.

In nearly 40 States in the United States of America, some sort of horse racing has been native to the local scene for donkey years.

In fact, betting on horse racing has been highly acknowledged by the locals in these respective States for a long time before Casino Gambling became mainstream.

One of the reasons why that was the case is because horse racing makes for a great spectator sport, in the order of baseball.

In the US, 3 major types of Horse Racing have emerged over the years, each with its unique features and following.

We have Thoroughbred Racing, Standardbred Racing or Harness Racing, and Quarter Horse Racing.

Of the 3 main types of Horse Racing prevalent in the US, Thoroughbred Racing retains the title of most popular.

Standardbred Racing or Harness Racing features a driver seating behind the horse in a small cart known as the ‘sulky’, as opposed to the driver riding atop the horse the way a regular jockey would.

Quarter horse racing features horses that are trained to run at crazy speed. Quarter horse racing usually doesn’t exceed 870 yards.

As someone interested in betting on horse racing, keep it in mind that even though gamblers have been socialized to attribute winnings to luck in most games, the reality of horse racing is slightly different.

Betting realties

Betting on horse racing requires sound analytical skills, among other things.

You can’t learn about betting on horse racing without stumbling upon the term ‘handicapping’.

The term is about the art and science behind picking winners in horse racing.

Horse racing has its fair share of superstitious practices. Some players base their handicapping decisions on relying on a few tricks here and there.

Take our word for it, those practices won’t serve your best interest.

In the US, the one-stop shop for news and editorials on horse racing is the Daily Racing Form. As earlier noted, you can’t successfully bet on horse racing if your analytical skills are below par.

For people who want to bet on horse racing in the US, the Daily Racing Form is the horse racing industry main ‘rag’.

The journal gives ample insights on past performances of horses in relevant horse races.

In fact, one won’t be exaggerating if one concludes that the Daily Racing Form is the Bible for Horse Racing in the United States of America. The journal is that consequential.

Handicapping, like lots of gambling based predictions, is not an exact science so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Don’t be surprised that there will always be a contrary view to a perspective on handicapping considered to be the orthodoxy in some quarters.

The territory is punctuated with a plurality of theories on betting strategies.

That notwithstanding, you should start by focusing on what you can wrap your head around.

Handicapping is simply about studying all the factors that goes into horse racing with a view to predicting a winner.

This is a fun activity because like elsewhere in the gambling firmament, no matter what the theories say, you will find that no two races are alike.

That notwithstanding, before you place a bet on a race, it’s important that you do your due diligence.

Doing your due diligence means you consulta reputable horse racing experts, in print or online, hours before the race commences so that you can make predictions about the race with the benefit of expert opinion.

One other thing you must be familiar with before you start betting on horse racing is something called the Pari-mutuel Wagering System.

Pari-mutuel Wagering is the betting system accepted in the US.

This is a wagering system traced to the French, under which all the money wagered in a game of horse racing goes into a common purse and after deductions are made to cover the cost of the game and other legal, financial obligations, the remainder is paid out to the winners.

You may be wondering how the win odds in horse racing is determined.

Here’s how; the amount of money the betting public bets on a horse determines the odds of that horse.

If the betting public overwhelmingly bets on a horse, the odds are lowered while horses with very little money bets on them (they’re known as longshots) carry higher odds.

One of the great things about the Pari-mutuel Wagering System is that, as opposed to what typically applies in most casino games, a player bets other players and not the House.

As someone new to betting on horse racing, the experts believe your interests are better served when you focus on Straight Bets.

If you focus on Straight Bets, here’s what happens; you will collect on a ‘Win Bet’ when your horse finishes first. On a ‘Place Bet’, you will collect if your horse runs first or second. On a ‘Show Bet’, you will collect when your horse ends up first, second or third.

The three types of bets highlighted above are straight bets.

Closing thoughts

The principle behind straight bets is a simple one making it best suited for newcomers to horse racing considering the fact that horse racing has many moving parts that will overwhelm a newcomer that doesn’t start with the basics.

As always, horse racing is a sport that demands a high level of financial discipline when wagering so that you don’t end up bankrupting yourself in the name of entertainment.

Don’t chase your losses by increasing the size of your bets whenever you’re losing. You can only consider increasing the size of your bets when you’re winning and that also has to be done cautiously.

This is by no means an exhaustive article on horse racing, however, we hope you learnt something new and useful.

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