There are many different systems and ideas people adopt to try and narrow the odds of winning money on the ponies. Some work well, some are hit and miss while others are a waste of time (and money).
In this post, we’ll look at a few handy tips to help you be a better punter, and hopefully make a profit from your horse race wagering.
Always Study Recent Form
This point is just a given. Form guides are there for a reason, and you won’t find one professional punter who doesn’t follow recent form. In fact, many experts will often dig way back into the past when it comes to the performance of certain horses and jockeys.
Good recent form over a certain distance won’t guarantee that a particular horse will win on race day, but it definitely shortens the odds and, combined with some other strategies, can almost guarantee you’ll pick a winner.
Don’t Put Your Money On Favourites All the Time
While backing favourites consistently can seem on paper like an almost sure-fire way to make a punting profit, it’s not really the case. For starters, if a horse is a favourite, the payout is going to be low because of the short odds.
Plus, favourites on Australian racecourses only win around about 30% of races, so that leaves a massive 70% of calls you could potentially lose on. If you only win 30% of the time and the payouts are small, you’ll lose money.
When it comes to Melbourne Cup odds, the race favourite has an even poorer record, winning the great race only around 23%, which is less than a quarter of the time.
Regularly Backing Long Shots Will Eat Up Your Cash Flow
If a horse is at long odds, you can be sure there is a good reason for that. It’s true, very occasionally one surprises everybody and wins or comes to a place, but these occurrences are few and far between.
Unless you have some insistent reason to place your money on a long shot, you’re better off leaving the horse alone. Long odds always sounds attractive and enticing. If a horse is 100-1 and you put $10 down, you stand to win a cool grand.
Chances of that coming to pass are extremely slim, and if you consistently use the long shot ploy you’ll simply go broke. It’s inevitable.
Focus On Certain Types of Bets and Master Them
You don’t want to be a jack of all trades type of punter, especially if you’re just starting to get serious about it. You’re better off focusing on just a few different types of betting options, developing strategies for those bets and fine-tuning your processes as you learn more.
The simplest bests to start with are a win and a place, or even striving to master more simplistic quinella betting.
More exotic bets have the chance of paying higher, but that’s because they are harder to win and harder to master.
If you’re somewhat of a novice, focus on getting good at predicting race winners and place getters before moving onto the more exotic combinations, such as trifectas, quadrellas and so on.
Don’t jump around all over the place dropping money down on all different types of bets. You won’t master these betting styles or formulate any solid strategies that way.
Treat Punting Like a Business
If you think of it as a business and take it seriously, then you’ll not only be far more inclined to do your homework, but you are also far less likely to take any major or unnecessary risks.
If your aim is to become a profitable professional punter, then you should be treating it like a business anyway, formulate a business plan and implement and perfect strategies based on growing experience and constant research and testing.
Which leads us into our final tip.
Test, Test and Test Again
Test your strategies with simple $1 bets to see how they pan out. Take notes of what you did, how you fared and what you think you might have done wrong. Keep fine-tuning your strategies until you hone some profitable ones. Then you can more confidently place larger bets and hopefully make a decent profit.