Have you ever wondered how anyone makes a real profit at the horse races? Most good professional handicappers can estimate a horse’s chances of winning a race and make a living by eliminating horses who have no chance. It isn’t the bets we make so much as the ones we don’t make that amounts to our final profit or loss at the end of the year. Here is an example of how to make money betting on horses. You may call this a horse racing system, a very practical one in fact, if you wish.
First of all, almost any horse racing system works some of the time, but nothing, and I do mean nothing, works all the time. Playing a good jockey or trainer and sticking with his or her horses will assure you of some wins, but even the best in the horse racing game have their slumps and off days.
One of the best ways to make a profit on horse racing is to familiarize yourself with a handful of top trainers and jockeys and then to follow them each day as you learn how they manage to win. By follow, of course, I don’t mean to physically tail them, but rather, note their horses that are running, handicap the race as best you can and see which types of races and at what odds they win.
Many top jockeys and trainers run very close to the break even mark if you flat bet all their runners. By eliminating a few of their real clunkers, you can have a positive ROI just by flat betting to win on any horse that appears live. If you follow a top jockey and learn that when he or she gets on a horse it will improve, then almost any horse that shows any promise is a good bet. It is amazing how often a top jockey will bring a horse in at a good price because the public didn’t think the runner had a chance based on past performances.
A really good jockey or trainer will surprise the public now and then and that is when you can make money playing almost anything he or she has running. Let’s take a hypothetical situation and see how a positive ROI can be earned. It doesn’t matter if we are talking flats or trots, any good driver, jockey, trainer can make you money.
For instance, let’s say that trainer John Doe had 1,000 starts last year and has a negative ROI of -4. That means that if you bet $1 to win on each of those 1,000 starters, you would receive $960 in return for a loss of $40. Flat betting his horses would lose 4% of your bankroll over time and that certainly doesn’t seem very appealing. But with a little basic handicapping and common sense, that can be turned around. In order to get to the break even point by betting his horses, you would have to eliminate just 40 starters from the 1,000. Do you think that you could look at 1,000 races that this trainer started a horse in and eliminate 40 of them?
It would probably be quite easy, especially if you know that he doesn’t push them hard in their first race, so any first time starter could be eliminated. If you know that he rarely wins with a no-name jockey on board and almost always wins with just a handful of good jockeys you can eliminate many more bets. Let’s see how we can turn this into a winning year.
Based on a flat win bet of $100 for each of his races, it would cost $100,000 to bet every starter he had. Of course, it wouldn’t take $100,000 to do this because you will keep replenishing your bankroll. On the other hand, nothing is guaranteed in life and losing streaks do happen, so a sizable bankroll would be in order, and not taken from the rent money! It must be money you can afford to risk. Playing the horses, no matter how careful you are or what you may have been told, is gambling.
So the first place we start is by eliminating first time starters. John has 30 of them among his 1,000 starts for the year. That leaves 970 bets. Based on $1 bets, you will still receive $960 for the winners, so we are still looking at a $10 loss, but we are also very close to the break even point. By eliminating horses that have a jockey that he does not win with, and such horses that appear severely over matched, we manage to eliminate another 60 starters. We are now at 910 bets multiplied by $100 that means we are going to make $91,000 worth of bets over the course of the year. But if we are good enough not to eliminate any of his winners, we are going to make a profit. We will still be betting more than 9 out of 10 of his starters, so we haven’t eliminated too many, just the real obvious clunkers.
That $960 times our base bet amount of $100 equals $96,000. That is the amount his winners will pay over the course of a year based on $100 win bets. We are investing $91,000 to purchase the bets or wagers, so our profit or ROI is $5,000. That amounts to an 18.2% profit margin. For a professional handicapper, anything over 10% is good.
While $100 win bets may be out of reach for many gamblers, and flat betting to win may not appeal to some people, this is the type of scenario that many true professionals look for and work at every day. There is no guarantee from year to year of any trainer or jockey’s success and that is why it pays to play more than one jockey or trainer. You might say it creates a diversified portfolio. That’s how real profits are made at horse racing, not with gimmicks or computer programs.