Horse Betting Tutorial


Horse betting is a game where you can actually have a long-term advantage, unlike slot machines, lotteries and casino games where they odds are fixed in the house's favor. In horseracing, like poker, the odds are determined by the players - instead of the house - through pari-mutuel wagering.

What is pari-mutuel wagering?

Pari-mutuel literally means "bet among ourselves." All bets on a horse race will be placed into a pool and the winners share the money in the pool proportionately according to the size of their bets. The payouts are determined by the amount of money bet on each horse, or a combination of bets in the case of exotic bets.

For example, suppose a race has 20 people who each bet $100 on a horse #1, and 10 people who each bet $100 on horse #2. There would be $3,000 in the pool, so if horse #2 wins. The 10 people who bet on it would share the $3,000 and would each get $300 for a $200 profit. Therefore, horse #2 would be listed at 2-to-1 since you make two dollars for every one dollar you bet. If 10 more people bet $100 on horse #2, it's odd would be 1-to-1 instead since there is now $4,000 in the pool to be split 20 ways, or $200 per person.

These are called "track odds". Since these payouts are determined by the player's opinions instead of the actual chances each horse winning, there is plenty of opportunity for a smart player to win by simply outsmarting the other horse players.

Pari-mutuel wagering is the reason that betting on horses can be profitable, but it has a downside: a large wager to often drive down the odds (and therefore the payout) of your horse, especially in smaller tracks.

Race Analysis - Picking winners

There are a handful of basic fundamentals that all successful horse players use, including: speed, class, pace, distance, surface, current form, post position, and connections.

  • Speed. Speed is usually measured by taking various speed figures and converting the raw times into an easily understood number that is comparable at all distances. These speed figures are published by various providers.

  • Pace. Different horses have different running styles and the pace of the race will often give one or two horses a significant advantage. Some want to be in the lead for the whole race, other horses like to stalk the leader and wait to attack the lead.

  • Distance and surface. The distance and surface of the race is very important. Most horses have a preference for certain distances. Similarly, most horses are most effective one surface but useless on the other.

  • Current Form. The current form of the horse simply means how good he is running right now. Just like athletes, horses have good days and bad days, hot streaks and slumps. A subpar horse in good current form can beat another horse, even if the other horse is a better horse overall. You can assess a horse's current form by looking at the horse's most recent races, especially the pattern of its races. Has he been competitive in his recent races?

  • Post position. Post position can have a big impact on the race. The horses that start the race from the outside are at a disadvantage because they will need to run further than the horses that are racing on the inside.

  • Connections. A horses "connections" are the human handlers - the jockey and trainer - who can make a huge different in most races.


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Horse Betting - Betting Tutorial

HPG ADMIN on March 1, 2013