In today’s world of sports betting, one of the most popular sports to place bets on is horse racing. These races take place across the globe every day, with different preferences and tastes catered for. They are a quick way to realize your returns (or losses) in sports betting, rather than having to wait hours for an event to be finished. Some races will be over in the blink of an eye.
The other reason that many people are attracted to horse racing is because there are often some lucrative odds on offer and a chance of a long shot stomping home to victory.
If you are not familiar with betting on horse racing, you will need to learn the ropes, as it can be somewhat confusing the first time that you get involved with these markets.
Understand the different types of bets
Just like with most sports, there are many different markets you can use when it comes to a horse race. Having said this, the most common market that you will need to know about is simply the winner market.
This market is as it appears, you can back a horse to win the race or you may decide to back the horse in an each way bet.
An each way bet has two parts to it; the first part is a normal win bet and the second part is a place bet. The number of places that will be paid out on will depend on the specific race and bookmaker that you are using.
The more horses there are in the race, the greater the number of places offered will usually be. If your horse wins and you backed it each way at 12/1, you will get paid back on your winner stake at the full odds of 12/1 as well as getting paid out on a fraction of the win odds as part of your place bet. Usually the place odds will be ¼ or 1/5 of the winner price.
Horses for Courses
Even if you are not in any way familiar with horse racing, you may have heard the phrase “Horses for Courses” said before. What does this phrase actually mean?
When it comes to horse racing, there are a few different types of events, from flat turf to National Hunt and all weather racing. This means that some races are run without any obstacles, some are run with hurdles and others are completed on all weather surfaces. Horses are going to have their own specialty and be best suited to a certain type of surface, track and type of race.
Even tracks within the same event type will vary vastly with some being left sided tracks and others being right handed for example. Some tracks finish uphill and others downhill and so on. These are all different factors you need to account for when betting on a horse.
Look at their past track record on similar tracks to see which type they are best suited for. Even if a horse has won all of their races on a certain track type, if they have a mediocre record on the track where you are thinking of backing them on, you should probably look elsewhere.
How is the surface?
Once you know about the type of tracks that a horse prefers, you can then look to the conditions of the horse track on that given day, which is commonly referred to as the “going.”
The type of under footing conditions for the horse is going to have a massive impact on the result of the race. It can vary from hard; where the going will be the fastest to heavy whereby the ground is very wet, soft and it will be harder to run on as the hooves wills sink into the ground.
In between these two extremes, there will be different levels such as good to yielding and other combinations.
While this information on the state of the track turf will be available on the card, a good idea is to see how the first race of a meeting goes and what the jockeys say about the surface before you make your final bets. Weather can change obviously between the time of the official going is announced and the race in which you are betting on.
Handicaps and Weights
This can be one of the toughest areas to grasp when it comes to horse betting. Once you put in some practice and research though, you will be good to go. Certain races will have handicaps to make the field more balanced. The official handicapper will assess horses and look at its ability and give it a rating. This score showcases what weigh the horse will have to have as a handicap in any race in which it runs.
Many experienced horse racing bettors like to bet on handicap races as they believe that they can spot the scenarios in which the official handicapper has gotten the handicap of certain horse wrong and these mistakes can then be capitalized upon.
Make sure you get your pricing right
Finally, you need to ensure that you are always getting the best price available to you. Of course different bookmakers will have different odds for certain horses. The people setting the odds will have different opinions as to how the race is going to develop and who will be the horses featuring and those which will not be.
You obviously want to get the most bang for your buck when you are onto a winner, so make sure you shop around for the best value. Odds comparison sites can be handy or you can simply go to your most commonly used sports betting sites yourself and compare the odds.
If you are looking to make a profit over the long term, this sort of strategy can pay off massively, even if it seems like only small amounts in the beginning, it all adds up.