It can be a long summer dry spell for your average sports enthusiast, now that the 2012 NBA Finals are over, and football season and playoff baseball are still months away.
If you got caught up in I’ll Have Another’s run at The Triple Crown earlier this month, though, summer may be a good time to put your undivided attention toward learning more about horseracing, a sporting dating back to well before 648 B.C. And if you’re looking to jump right in, you’ve got a little bit of time to get caught up before the next big races open next month, Saratoga and Del Mar.
Some people make big money betting on horse racing. Maybe you’re a little skeptical as to why it happens to them. What kind of skills did they have to win big? Did they cheat? Were they lucky?
In reality, the answer is most probably a combination of luck and skill. If you are wondering how people can minimize their losses and maximize their gains, check out the following tips to learn what you can do to maximize your success and minimize your losses:
Study during the beginning of the season and bet during the late part of the season. You can prevent substantial losses by getting to know how things work before diving right in. Research the ins and out of racing the first few months of the season (during the Triple Crown would be ideal) and then take your information and put it into play when the Saratoga and Del Mar tracks open in mid-July.
Start “betting” without real money. If you want to get into the habit of picking winners without actually putting down money, you could do some practice bets that don’t involve real money. Try some online horse betting games where real money isn’t at stake but the winnings and losses are tied to actual races. For example, MyFantasyStable.com will let you pick real horses, trainers and jockeys to race in a particular event and give you the purse earnings after the race. You aren’t going to actually receive a cash payout, but this foray into horse betting can help you decipher whether you’re able to pick winners.
Set a personal limit on how much you’re willing to lose. Everyone makes mistakes on the path to success. And, even those who are successful continue to make mistakes or errors in judgment or place a bad bet occasionally. The most important thing you can do is to make sure those losses don’t cripple you. Set aside a certain amount of money for betting – money that you can afford to be without should you lose it all – and stick to it. If you have a hard time sticking to your personal guideline, it may be worthwhile to consider whether gambling on horse racing is right for you.
Stick to a single track. Online, you can bet on any race, anywhere, giving you more options than you can handle at first. However, because you don’t know all the ropes yet, do what you can to help yourself by learning all the ins and outs of one particular track. Once you’ve had some success, consider expanding your betting to additional tracks.
Know the track record of the trainer, jockey, and horse. If a horse catches your eye, do your research. Look at the horse’s previous winning history, as well as its bloodline. You should also research the jockey riding the horse and the horse trainer’s history. What other horses has this trainer trained? How have they performed? Examine this carefully, and you will receive strong insight as to how heavily you should bet on a particular horse. Do your research on sites like Daily Racing Forum, Racehorse Report, and broad sports sites like Bleacher Report for information about horse racing.