12 Horse Racing Betting Tips and Tricks
Picking a winning horse can be tricky, there isn’t a magic formula and I will not give you one. However, what I can offer is twelve tips that will help you make more informed decisions.
1. Use an online bookmaker that has Best Odds Guaranteed
Using an online bookmaker that offers Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG) is a no brainer, this is where you take the offered price on a horse, i.e. 3/1, and if the starting price is higher you will be paid out at the higher price. Some online bookmakers still don’t offer BOG, so it is always worth checking. Also you need to check if BOG is being offered on all races or just specific ones.
2. Take the current odds and not SP
As explained in point one you will need to use a bookie that offers BOG. Always take the current odds on a horse, if it starts at a higher price you will get paid at the higher price. If you think the odds are too low and they will rise but drop before the off, wait a while and take what you are happy with.
3. Check for betting promotions
As like any other business, online bookmakers will use promotions to attract new customers and keep existing customers playing with them. Using a bookmaker that offers a promotion on a race that you are already going to bet on is just common sense. Please be advised that betting on just promotion races at a bookmaker could get your account limited and bonus banned. This will not be the case all the time but can happen.
4. Consider doing an each way bet
An each way bet is where you bet on the horse to win and the horse to place in a specific position (outlined below). This is a good idea if the odds are large or there are many horses in the race. It increases your chances of a return from your original stake.
5. Check how many places are being paid and the price being paid
Below is a guide on how places are paid, however some bookies will offer enhanced place terms on specific meetings and extra places.
2-4 runners – No places, just the winner.
5-7 runners – 1st and 2nd @ 1/4 the odds
8+ runners – 1st, 2nd and 3rd @ 1/5 the odds
Handicaps 12-15 runners – 1st, 2nd and 3rd @ 1/4 odds
Handicaps 16+ runners – 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th @ 1/4 odds
6. Check the max winnings limit
Obviously if you are placing a small bet on one horse you probably won’t exceed the bookies pay-out limit. However, if you are placing a bet on several horses to win the odds could stack up and you don’t want to have a winner that could have been more at another online bookie. Always worth checking.
7. Do your research
Checking the previous 5 races is a good idea, but remember not all races are equal and a horse can win against a lower grade horse but might struggle with in higher grade race. Also a horse might be specifically trained to win a certain high profile race. This information can be found on the bookies website.
8. Check the weather
Horse racing is an outdoor sport and the weather does come into play. Some horses will perform better when the ground is softer and others will not.
9. Does the horse have a Handicap?
There are more handicap races in the UK than any other. This is done to give all horses a chance of winning or it could be rather drab and the same horse would win every race. It is worth checking how much extra weight your horse is carrying.
10. Be aware of the Non Runner rules
A Non-runner will change the odds as there will be less horses competing in a race. If the non-runner is a favourite this would put the bookmakers at a disadvantage because now the long odds you took on the outsider will shorten. So because of this, Rule 4 was invented to protect bookmaker, there is a rule 4 deductions page here. If your horse is non-runner you will receive your stake back.
11. Be wary of a Tipster
If you knew the winning lottery numbers would you share them? Of course not! Tipsters are not in the know about which horse will win every race. Most high profile tipsters prosper by tipping a horse which they have backed, this then brings the price down as lots of people bet on the horse, and then the tipster can lay the bet.
If you look online you will find every horse in every race will be tipped to win. Someone somewhere will have tipped the winner for the race you want to bet on. Doing your own research and understanding that there is not a magic formula to picking winners is the best way forward.
Some tipsters will have better win percentages and it might be worth looking into his tipping history, but at the end of the day you will not know the real reasons they have picked a certain horse.
12. Don’t gamble more than you can afford
It is really important you set your limits and don’t gamble more than you can afford. All bookies have signed up to responsible gambling guidelines and you can set a limit on how much you deposit/bet. Make use of this feature.
Remember Enjoy the race.
You will not always pick the winning horse, but make sure you can watch the race and learn for next time!