Handicapping Tip of the Day #47 – 5 Ways to Conserve Wagering Funds

Handicapping Tip of the Day

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

by Rich Nilsen

One of the biggest challenges horse players face is the ability to manage their money and wager properly without losing focus.  Fail in any aspect of money management and the result is typically disastrous.

This year’s Cheltenham festival offers for new customers will keep you from failing to manage your funds correctly. Here are a few quick tips that will help you stay on track by conserving your wagering funds and not wasting bets on races you shouldn’t be playing.

  1. Stay Disciplined – Start with a defined bankroll for a set period of time and refuse to add to it.  ATMs and deposit options are out of the question.  Treat that money like an investment fund and work with it to turn a profit.  Have a game plan to start and stay disciplined in your wagering.
  2. Pick Your Spots – It’s alright to play every race if you have a small ‘Action Bankroll’ available.  You can use that to make bare minimum wagers if you lack discipline and absolutely have to have some action on a race.  However, the most important thing is to spot play and hammer those races accordingly.  Keep in mind that it’s simply impossible to have a good or strong opinion on every race. You have to pick your spots.
  3. Avoid Playing Out of Proportion – If your spot-play type of wager is $50 on a race, don’t play $200 on a race because you really love it for whatever reason.  Keep your best bet plays in proportion to one another, otherwise you risk damaging your bankroll and possibly even going on tilt.
  4. Choose Your Races Wisely – play to your strengths.  If conditioned claimers are not your thing, then avoid them at all costs.  If you excel at maiden turf races, then be sure to start with those races when you begin your handicapping for the day.  Choose your races wisely and your bankroll will be rewarded for it.
  5. Variance Happens – Understand that you’re not going to win every race, and worse yet, losing streaks are part of the game.  One of the best horseplayers in the country that I know has a stop limit.  If he loses a set amount of money, he stops for the day.  It’s a simple rule and he sticks to it, no matter what.  If it’s a good enough rule for a guy who successfully puts millions through the pari-mutuel windows every year, then it’s good enough for us.

Have You Missed These Handicapping Gems?

When 4/5 Odds is Value

The ‘For Sale’ Racehorse

Don’t Overlook Hard Races


Winning When You Lose

by Jude “Pontiff of the Pick Four” Feld

(reprinted with permission of our friends at Horse Racing Radio Network)

Jude Feld, handicapper and bloggerWagering on Thoroughbred racing is a game of probabilities, not certainties. Anyone who tells you, “This horse can’t lose,” is full of crap. Even Zenyatta got beat.

As horseplayers, it is our job to study the race before us, determine the top contenders and then decide at what price we will bet them.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we won money, even if our selection got beat?

In his popular book, Thoroughbred Horse Racing – Playing for Profit, the late, great handicapper Ray Taulbot discusses a betting plan invented in 1912 by Robert M. Carlton. Dubbed the Carlton Sureway Method by its author, it is a century old this year and just as effective now, as it was back in the day.

The method is a simple “across-the-board” play – $2 to win, $4 to place and $12 to show. The beauty of this wagering plan is that a show price of only $3.00 will break the player even and anything over that will produce a profit on the race.

Even a chalk player can benefit from wagering this way. A winner that pays $5.00 – $3.60 – $3.00 results in $31.00 in payoffs for the $18.00 wagered – a profit of $13.00 on the race. But the beauty of this plan is that if the horse had finished second, the player would still show a profit of $7.20!

I love it when you win even when you lose.

Even if the above mentioned horse finished third, the player would have broken even on the race, preserving capital and maintaining equilibrium despite being wrong about the result.

In my own play, I rarely make straight wagers on horses less than 4-1 on the board. Those horses finish first or second between 40% to 50% of the time, year in and year out. I prefer to bet more to win and place on my selections and eliminate the show feature of the Carlton Sureway Method, although a few times a year I’ll have a horse finish third, paying big double digits, and I wish otherwise.

With a winner who pays $17.80 and $8.60 you get back $35.00 for your $6.00 investment – a profit of $29.00. Should the horse get nosed out at the wire you still make a profit of $11.20. That’s 44% interest on your wagering dollar!

I love it when you win even when you lose.

In today’s society, instant gratification is the rage. Huge carryovers on exotic bets offer payoffs that could be life changers, but remember the story of the tortoise and the hare…slow and steady wins the race. Everybody likes to shoot for the moon once in a while, but building a bankroll through steady profits is the really the way to play successfully…not the only way, but the Sureway.

— Jude Feld

FREE Money in Indiana may be coming to an End

IndianaOver the past couple of years the Indiana breeding and racing industry has invested a ton of advertising money in both supporting and growing the sport in the Hoosier Park. This was as a result of years of casino money that grew purses in Indiana to levels that rivaled the neighbor state, Kentucky.

Following an attempt earlier this year by the Indiana legislature to reduce the amount of funds from slot machines at racetracks that are allotted to the horse racing industry, Indiana Inspector General David O. Thomas and attorney Kristi Shute issued a report making the same suggestion.

“Assuming that a continued subsidy to the horse racing community is deemed proper by the Indiana legislature, we respectfully recommend the legislature consider evaluating the amount of the subsidy and consider a monetary cap at pre-racino figures,” Thomas stated in the report, which was released Nov. 10.

The effect of such a reduction, which would require legislative action, would decrease horsemen’s funds from $58 million to $28 million. That’s over 50% for those calculating.

Learn more in this article from The Blood-Horse