There’s nothing much more exciting in life than a day at the races and betting on horse racing is the icing on the cake. The average bettor will simply bet on the race winner and sometimes win a few quid.
However the wise punter will have developed the best horse racing betting strategy and be looking at a decent profit. If you’re happy being average, that’s fine. But if you want to know how to bet on horses with more complex strategies, then read on.
One thing that many people do not take account of when they bet on horses is that there are two distinct types of horse racing: flat racing and National Hunt (NH) racing. Although it may look to a rookie that the only difference is the placing of obstacles on the racetrack, that is far from the truth.
In fact, there is a world of difference between the two disciplines, the type of horses, how they are trained, jockey skills, licensing needed and from the betting perspective, different odds. The only real similarity is that in the UK, all racehorses are full thoroughbreds (usually abbreviated to TB) and must be identified, passported and registered with the Weatherbys General Stud Book (GSB) within 30 days of their birth.
Horses bred for flat racing are broken in as yearlings and begin their racing careers at two years old. They are definitively bred for speed, with specific bloodlines are immensely important in the flat racing world. A horse with the right breeding can change hands for millions of pounds.
The ultimate goal for owners and trainers is to win one of the five Classics – The 2,000 Guineas, The 1,000 Guineas, The Oaks, The Epsom Derby and The St Leger. These races are only open to three year old horses, so each horse only gets one crack at winning. However, if it does, it becomes almost priceless and is usually retired from racing and used for breeding purposes thereafter.
Horses destined for a National Hunt career do not commence their ridden training until they are three years old and only start racing at four years of age, sometimes older. They are bred for stamina and ability rather than for speed and therefore tend to be bigger in stature.
Although they are trained to jump, most will have their first race in ‘bumper’ (a flat race run under NH rules) which is used to get inexperienced horses used to the racetrack without having to worry about negotiating fences. National Hunt horses often continue racing until their mid-teens and male horses are rarely kept as entire stallions in order to keep their temperament and concentration levels in check.
Now you know a bit more about the two sectors of this sport, the first step in creating your horse racing betting strategy is to decide which one you prefer and want to concentrate on. Having a passion for a certain aspect of horse racing will certainly help the cause, but learning as much as you can about how to bet on horses is also crucial.
These come top of our list, as betting on horses is somewhat reliant on you having a certain level of knowledge about the sport. Whether you are at a racecourse, or betting online you need to understand the terminology that surrounds horse racing. If you don’t know the difference between a bumper and a handicap you’re at an immediate disadvantage and certainly not in the right place to create the best horse betting strategy.
The same applies to form. Every horse that has raced in the UK has statistics available for you to view either on a race card, or online. It is provided in a format that does not make much sense if have not taken the time to learn how to read it. Technically, you can place a wager without it by closing your eyes and using a pin, or picking the name of a horse that appeals to you. Although those ploys might just work if you use them on the best US Election betting sites! But joking aside, neither of those methods cut it if you are serious about developing a horse racing betting strategy.
Although it’s always good to hear what ‘experts’ have to say, also bear in mind that tipsters and those who post on forums are only expressing their personal opinion, they don’t have inside information that makes an outcome any more, or less, likely to happen. What they will give you is a greater knowledge of horse racing as a sport which is great, but treat them as exactly that, not as the basis for your horse racing betting strategy.
Here’s an example. In the Glenfarclas Steeplechase at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, Balko Des Flos set off with a starting price of 14/1 as one of the four top-tipped horses. Unfortunately, he unseated his usual jockey (Rachael Blackmore) about half way through the race.
Plenty of commentary followed on the forums about the horse being ‘past it’ and also slating lady jockeys. A few weeks later, Balko Des Flos ran in the Grand National. His starting price was 66/1 at most bookies and he finished second. The winner was Minella Times - ridden by Rachael Blackmore.
It is possible to build the best horse racing strategy by using a generic strategy. You’ll still need to know all of the basics, but it might suit you to channel your betting into a fixed regime. Here are some that can work well for betting on horses.
The principle of matched betting is to cover every bet you place with your bookie, with an equivalent lay bet on a betting exchange. This means opening an account with an exchange and learning how everything works, as you'll find it slightly different to the average bookie's platform. Accuracy is the key with matched betting, as you must cover every single bet with another and it is easy to make an error. It’s not the most straightforward strategy to implement correctly, but it is one of the most reliable ones in terms of consistent profit.
The requirements of a 1.01 betting strategy make it more suited to those who follow flat racing than for National Hunt because you are looking for very short odds, as close to 1/100 as you can get. At those odds, you have a winning probability of 99.01% and you’ll also see them described as ‘surebets’. The strategy involves placing multiple small wagers, each with a small profit and to do this takes a lot of time and dedication. It’s not a strategy for the faint-hearted or for beginners to try out.
Just as the name suggests value betting strategies are all about finding value odds. By that we mean, where a bookie has posted odds which you feel are either incorrect (unlikely) or where you believe the outcome is more likely to happen than the odds imply.
Taking our earlier example of Balko Des Flos. After the mishap at Cheltenham, most bookies had him at 66/1 equating to a 1.67% chance of winning the Grand National. However, one bookie was offering 100/1 (a mere 1% chance) and up to five places for an each way bet. Balko Des Flos came in second, but a £2 each way bet meant a return of £42 and a clear profit of £38. That was a value bet.
The chances are that you will opt for a less challenging horse betting strategy, possibly the pick three betting strategy, rather than those we detailed in the last section. But even if you intend to build one entirely of your own, it will work best if you understand and make use of a variety of different types of bet.
Many bookies will offer one-off sports betting bonuses and ongoing promotions to keep customers engaged with their site. However, horse racing punters often get the cream of the crop, there are statistically more bonus opportunities offered to UK horse racing punters than for any other sport. Regardless of that fact, whether you are implementing a cricket betting strategy or tennis in-play betting strategy it's always worth looking out for them, they do help to keep your bankroll topped up.
For horse racing, the biggest bonuses come when major horse race events are taking place. For flat racing fans, keep your eyes open for the dates those Classic races are happening and for NH enthusiasts it's the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National Festival that keep the bookies right on their toes. This is something to be aware of and can become a vital part of the best horse racing betting strategies if used wisely.
The main ones you'll find if you're already signed up with a bookmaker are boosted odds, extra places, best odds guaranteed (BOG) and free bet opportunities. However, if you're actively looking for a new bookie, want a change from your normal one or ready to add another account, then these are the times that you'll find the biggest and best new customer welcome offers on display from practically every top bookmaker in the UK.
Now that you have read our guide to developing the best horse racing betting strategy you should make a point of checking out some of our other betting guides here at Betting.co.uk. As well as teaching you how to bet on horses, we can also offer advice on other sports betting strategies, show you how over/under betting works as well as providing you with comprehensive advice on dealing with tricky wagering situations, such as when derby betting strategies should be used, and many more.
The more horse races you watch and the more you study the intricacies of this wonderful sport, the quicker you'll learn and become confident with betting on horses You'll find that you're able to use more complex bets within your horse racing betting strategy.
However, we feel that there's even more to it than that. We hope that you'll also develop a true passion for horse racing and find pleasure and excitement on every step of your journey. Not to mention finding the ultimate horse racing betting strategy that brings you plenty of winners and profit.
There are a wide range of horse racing systems out there with a variety of horse races to choose from. Some of these are definitely aimed more towards the experienced horse racing betting fan. However, some of these horse racing betting strategies can be easily used by newcomers to the sport. Read our Betting.co.uk guide to using a horse racing system to see which strategy could help you win big at the best sports betting sites.
If you want to make some decent wins at the best UK bookmakers, you will have to know horse racing inside out. This means knowing all of the form of all of the runners along with details about the jockeys, racetrack and so on. Thankfully you can sometimes use a horse racing system to win over even the toughest bookmakers. Read our guide to horse racing betting strategies to find out more about this.
There is plenty of debate about which bets work best for horse racing. Some people recommend keeping it simple with a well-researched single bet, while others prefer some exotic bets that can serve up some massive wins. Those who do their research are always most likely to win. Make sure you check out our guide to horse racing betting systems. This will show you how you can get consistent wins at the best horse racing bookmakers in the UK
Most horse racing fans will attempt to use the best horse racing betting strategies to help them increase their knowledge of the sport. However many of these horse betting systems will fail sooner or later. But be sure to read our guide to using horse racing betting strategies. This will reveal some great systems that you can use at all good betting sites.
All horse racing betting fans will be searching for a proven system. After all, this would enable them to achieve more success with their horse racing bets at all online bookmakers. However, many horse racing betting strategies have their weak spots and one of them is not having a decent horse racing app! So make sure you take the time to read our guide to using a horse racing system for the best way to bet on the 'Sport of Kings' and win!
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