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Horse Racing, Can You Make It Pay?


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Anybody that has been on a horse racing forum or sought to make a living out of betting on horses will have heard the word 'discipline' time and time again to such an extent that it makes their stomach sink.

Discipline, why you need it but do not want others to have it.

Bookmakers of course rely on punters that don't have discipline, they want you to place a bet in every race, chase your losses and only spend 5 minutes giving the form of a 16 runner handicap with a 6/1 favourite a cursory glance before handing over your cash. The disciplined punter and bookmakers have this desire in common. If all punters were disciplined and paid attention only to the races were the odds of a successful outcome were at there highest there would be no bookmakers.

A short mention of a betting bank. You need a bank or bankroll that is separate from your normal day to day finances. This takes some psychological pressure off because you don't have to fear losing your mortgage or food money. You will also have to protect your bank by only using a small percentage of it for each bet, lets say 5%. So if your bank starts at £100 then the maximum and minimum on anyone bet is £5. As your bank grows so can your maximum bet but the minimum stays at £5, this allows you to adjust your bet.

So, we have established that you need a bank and to concentrate your efforts on races that you have the highest chance of success in but which races meet that criteria?

That question could be answered more easily if you kept records of your bets and the type of races you bet in but if you are like most punters you don't. If you did you would discover in which race types you are successful and those that you are not.

All is not lost, if you look at the days racecards you can eliminate a lot of races with a quick glance at the runners. If their are a lot of potential winners then discard it, don't waste your time trying to sift through the form of an open race. Only bet in this type of race if you have an edge or to be clearer know something everone else doesn't.

The races you need to concentrate on are races that have around 3 or 4 pontential winners. This should ensure that the price of the favourite is not too short and gives you a fighting chance of sorting out the winner with the form available to you. This is of course called 'race selection' and together with keeping a record of your bets, race type and your bank should help you in your endeavour of making money at horse racing.

One more thing I'd like to point out and it's obvious, but so many punters get caught up in the excitement and thrill of the BIG meetings such as Cheltenham in the spring and Royal Ascot in the summer and that is a 3/1 winner at the Cheltenham Festival pays out exactly the same amount as the same priced winner in a small race at Hexham.

Thanks for reading and I hope it helps. I also confess I'm not a writer and do tend to waffle so if in this post I have been verbose and less than clear I apologise.

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