Horse Racing Betting Strategy: Keys to Being Successful Long Term

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Horse Racing Betting Strategy: Keys to Being Successful Long Term

Horse racing betting is one of the toughest games going, and the only way to get anywhere near being profitable in the long term is through sheer hard work.

That isn’t what many people who think the game is easy want to hear - and it is a world away from the perception that professional gambler’s lead a glamorous lifestyle, when in fact being profitable means hours of hard work to find that elusive edge.

Success isn’t measured on a day-to-day basis, it is measured in the long term, a period that contains a huge body of work that often means years.

Getting yourself into a long-term mindset is crucial if you are going to be successful and that means not over-celebrating individual winners as well as not getting too despondent when things aren’t going well. Never forget, even the shrewdest punters on the planet back losers, it is simply part and parcel of the game.

What you do need is confidence, confidence in your methods and your ability to not only spot value, but how to make the most of an opportunity when it comes along.

Here are some tips to make you a better punter long term.

Bank Roll Management

Being able to manage your money and control your staking is one of the most important facets to profitable punting. It might seem boring, and at times you might feel more like an accountant than a punter, but straying away from your staking plan can be a real killer, whether it be under staking or over staking.

There are many different types of staking plans out there, and all have their advantages/disadvantages but, like so many aspects of taking punting seriously, finding a method that suits your punting style is most important.

Some people love to increase their stakes on shorter priced-horses, others like to adopt that strategy on bigger-priced runners in order to maximise profit potential, while others bet each-way to level stakes.

There are so many ways to achieve this, but finding the one that sits most comfortable with the types of horses you back is paramount.

Trainer/Jockey Comments

This one is easy – ignore pre-race comments from any of them. Jockeys are notoriously bad tipsters, even the top ones.

One of the worst feelings any bettor can have is being talked into backing a horse on the basis of an upbeat trainer/jockey quote. If you do your homework and cover the bases, then you should have sufficient faith and confidence in your methods not to be influenced by comments from connections.

As a student of the form-book and someone who understands pedigrees, you will already have a good idea whether a horse will stay a certain trip or go on soft ground etc, you simply don’t need a trainer or jockey to tell you.

It’s all about having confidence in your work. Do not put yourself in a position where you are blaming someone else for losing bets.

Watching Back Races

This is an absolutely crucial and major part of any good punter’s armoury. Knowing how to read form is obviously vital, but you also need to be able to spot things that aren’t necessarily in the formbook, and the only way to do that is to watch races repeatedly.

One other key point with this: forget the idea that you only need to watch the closing stages of a race. That is a shortcut that will do you harm in the long term.

Many races are won/lost at the start, or with an incident mid-race that effects certain runners in different ways.

Taking Best Enhancements from Bookies

Any edge you can gain from bookmakers is one you should be looking to take advantage of providing it doesn’t have a detrimental effect on your ability to use that account in the way you need going forward.

Bookmaker accounts and being able to access accounts is a topic of its own really, but you have to accept that if you are operating a profitable account, or even beating the prices on a regular basis, you are going to have accounts closed.

One thing is for sure, your account isn’t going to last long if you start having £100 each way on a 7/2 second favourite in ‘bad each-way' races. That is a big red flag for the layers and you will soon be restricted to pennies.

One key point here is you simply must take the best price available on your selections. Tools like that allow you to compare the odds of all the best betting sites are invaluable.


Probably the most important factor in long term success, especially in the modern era where we are all able to place bets from our mobile devices. We’ve all been in the pub and fancied a bet on the football after a few pints, right?

If you want to be serious about your betting, then this sort of thing is a big no. The decisions you make need to be made with the utmost clarity and on the back of thorough research. Without such discipline it is perfectly possible to undo all your hard work with one poor decision.

Discipline also means that you don’t chase losses. Remember, you are going to have losing days – the best punters on the planet have losing days. If you have confidence in what your do, then stick to your guns and you will make money in the long term.

If you don’t then there are flaws in your methods and that is something you must address.

Be Proactive

Remember, if you find an angle that you make money from, it won’t take long for others to do the same, or for the layers to latch on and snuff out any potential value in their prices.

You have to devote a good deal of time to researching potential new angles despite the strong likelihood that your experimentation is fruitless.

New markets, technologies, loopholes etc come and go all the time and the most successful punters are the first to latch onto them. Like so many things in life, if you stand still, you will find others moving past you. The most proactive and versatile punters will always lead the way.

If this all sounds too much like hard work why not find out how the professional tipsters make it pay with our Knowledge Podcast special on whether you should pay for tips?

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