Horse Betting Tips, Info & Advice

I can’t do anything here but provide the most basics of horse betting and handicapping tips and advice here. Handicapping and betting horses has a lot of nuance and complexity, far more than a site that’s primarily about casinos would realistically want to cover.


There are plenty of books and lots of information out there if you want to become a really good handicapper though, and I recommend absorbing as much information as you can.

  • Thoroughbreds are horses that run in famous races like the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown.
  • Thoroughbred racing is far more popular in the USA than its cousin, standardbred racing.
  • Horse tracks are one mile ovals.
  • The furlong is the basic unit of measurement on a horse track. A furlong is 1/8 of a mile long.
  • Most races are 6 furlongs long
  • There are usually nine races per day on a thoroughbred race track.
  • Each race has criteria – sex, age, winnings, et al, that the horse must fit into in order to be in the race.
  • Buy a copy of The Daily Racing Form or the track’s official program. Either one of these will have tremendous info on each horse and how it’s performed in the past.
  • You need to know the name of the track, the number of the race, the dollar amount, what type of bet, and the horse’s program number in order to place a bet.
  • There are different ways you can bet. You can bet on a horse to win, place, or show. There’s also the daily double, the exacta, the perfecta, the quinella, the trifecta, the superfecta, and pick six or pick nine.
  • Win means first place. Place means first OR second. Show means first, second, or third.
  • Horse betting is normally a parimutuel type wager, which means when you place a bet, you affect the odds and payouts for the entire race.
  • Handicapping simply means betting on a horse whose actual chances of winning are better than the odds on the bet.
  • Successfully handicapping horses is not as easy as it sounds in the previous tip.
  • Factors to look at when analyzing and handicapping include: the trainer of the horse, the jockey, the horse’s past results, the standardized speed figures, and a whole lot more.

The racetrack doesn’t create eccentrics; it attracts them. But it does little to curb their quirks once they’re there. It fosters idiosyncracies, encourages traits we’d temper elsewhere. People become cartoon versions of themselves at the track. It’s a license to act inappropriately. -Brendan Boy, in Racing Days.

Horse betting can become a fascinating hobby for people who enjoy that kind of puzzle. Becoming a winning handicapper is almost as complicated as becoming a winning sports bettor, and it requires total mastery and dedication to the task at hand. But luckily, it’s one type of gambling where skill counts in a big way. I heartily recommend learning how to bet the horses, and I hope these beginner tips have been helpful.

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