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horse race betting strategy

Updated: August 16, 2013
horse racing betting strategy


So what is horse race betting strategy? Is there really such a thing? Of course. I’ve written this article as a guideline to help you beat the bookie. So what are the key factors when it comes to horse race betting?

  • Horse’s Weight – Weight can play a huge part trough out the race, more so, if the race is short one. Lighter horses will be faster than heavier. It’s not a key factor but it is worth your time to take a look at it and think.
  •  Horse’s Record – Well this is an important factor. Think about it, if you were to watch a football game, would you really bet on a heavy underdog? It’s essential that you check the record and see how the horse did in the past. The key factors that come in play are terrain, did he race before, has he won before. It may seem like a logical question but a lot of people just look at the odds.  Do your research, it will be worth your time and money.
  •  Jockey’s Record – Though a slight note but there are definitely good and bad jockeys out there. So check his record to see his past racing records.
  •  Race cards – before betting bettors have the option of reviewing mentioned cards for  the horses involved in a race. These cards provide information on horses recent performances, who is the jockey , horse weight and who is his trainer.


All the above information is crucial towards making the best decision and finding value in betting. By all means, do the research via forums as well, you can find plenty of useful information on forums like SBR and betting expert.

On to betting. Maybe you’re not from England or USA where these kind of things take place but that’s ok. We have online bookies that handle streams and bets. You can place wagers from the comfort of your home.  In my opinion you should focus on single bets instead of combo bets.  All the professional punters I know of make single bets. Why? To reduce the varience. Varience is especially high in horse betting world because the likely hood of horse winning is much smaller. Typically the smallest odd to bet on the horse would be 2 to 1, rarely below that and often above that. Depending of course on the size of the race.

Horse betting types:

  • Show – your horse must finish in the top 3, small payoff but pretty secure
  • Place (to be placed) – your horse must finish 1st or 2nd
  • Win – your horse must win
  • Quinella – Your horse must finish 1st and 2nd with no particular order (you are basicly betting on multiple horses)
  • Exacta – Same as Quinella with the exception of order. It must be in exact order
  • Trifecta – Your horses must finish in the top 3 positions in the order of the bets placed. This is very hard and is very variant
  • Superfecta – this is extremely hard to win. Your horses must win in top 4, its extremely rewarding if you do hit
  • Daily double – your horses must win in two consecutive races
  • Pick 3 – same as daily double with an extra race

Etc all the way up to 6, which is close to winning a lottery :)

Hope this explains a few types of bets. The most commonly used types are place and win and each way (it’s a combination of win bet and place bet, so if your horse places but doesn’t win you’re still in the green).


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