Horse Racing Betting Strategy

Horse racing betting is extremely popular and something that a lot of people will bet on daily. We all have our own systems and strategies, but if you are looking for things to think about and possible different strategies to use then you can certainly pick them up from other people. One thing every horse racing punter should do is continue to learn. A lot of people think they have the best strategy and they know everything that is needed, but there is still a lot for everyone to learn. Being able to take a step back and increase your knowledge when it comes to betting on horse racing is something everyone should do.

Win or Each Way?

Whether to back win or each way on your bets is probably the most talked about subject when it comes to betting on horse racing. It is important to understand the differences between betting to win and betting each way, as well as the terms paid on each way bets for the different races. In general, there are three different methods used by punters, one that involved backing every horse to win, one that involves backing every horse each way, and one that involved a mixture of win and each way bets. I imagine the majority of punters do the third one, although I am sure there are many different cut-off points from when people back win to when they change to each way bets.

My tactic is simple, I combine both win and each way bets when I am betting on horse racing and my cut-off point is single figure prices are backed to win, double-figure prices each way. There is one exception to the rule and that is when I am backing each way in a race where there is an odds-on favourite running and I will take each of those races on merit when I am placing my bet.

If you would like to see the different strategies in action and the difference they make to your profit and loss then you can do this by making a note of your bets over the next month. Show the actual profit and loss for your bets, using the strategy that you normally use. Then add columns showing the profit and loss if you had backed them all to win, all each way or if you had backed single figure prices to win and double-figure prices each way. Do this to level stakes and if you have a normal betting month it is highly likely that you will see the best profit from the final column where you mix your bets win and each way based on the price.


One of the most important things when it comes to betting on any sport is discipline, but I always think it is more important for horse racing betting. When you bet on horse racing you have the chance to bet every single day on over 30 races each day from the UK. That is a lot of racing and a lot of betting opportunities, discipline is needed to make sure you don’t spend too much money and bet on too many different horses.

By being strict with yourself about a staking plan and choosing your each way bets carefully you can put yourself on the right track to success. It is not good being able to pick many winners if you don’t have the right discipline to stick to your staking plan and stick to betting in the right way. The chances are that the majority of all your profit will be lost due to either betting too often or staking poorly. This is something the best horse racing backers avoid and something you need to avoid too if you are to make a good profit from racing.

When it comes to horse racing, choosing the right way to spend your gambling money is just as important as being able to choose a winner in a race. Everyone will go through good and bad spells with their betting but discipline is the key to limiting losses and taking advantage of the winners when they come. Make sure you bet when you want to, do not over bet on the horses and keep your discipline to ensure you have the best possible chance of making a profit from what is a very tough sport to get right.

Narrowing the Field

We all have our own methods of picking horses and this may be something simple or something very complicated that takes a lot of working out. These systems will bring a degree of success otherwise you would not be using them, but for me, the two most important things are to read the form and look out for any specialist pieces of information that may help. Whatever your methods are, it is important you stick to them and you give them a chance to be successful, don’t abandon them if they fail over the first few days.

Recent Form

My most important tool and the place I look at first when I am picking horses is to look at the recent form of all the horses involved. Horses are not machines and they are not going to run to the best of their ability every single time they see a race track. This is even more important when it comes to lower grade races as these horses tend to run more often and that means they are less likely to keep their form.

Catching a horse right is one of the most difficult things to do and if you can use recent form to judge that then you have a great chance of making a profit from horse racing. This doesn’t mean backing a horse after it has won recently, it may mean backing a horse that has shown promise last time to come in the top four or six, and given you hope a win is around the corner. These are the most difficult horses to find and if you can find these on a regular basis then you are going to be looking at a nice profit from your horse racing bets. You will often be rewarded with a nice price on these horses, which will really boost your profit.

Trainer Form

After looking through the recent form of horses one of the next things I like to look at is the recent form of a trainer. When studying you will notice that horse racing trainers go through good and bad spells at different times of the year. If you can find a horse in form that is trained by a trainer who has his horses in generally good form then you have a great chance of backing a winner. Using the stats you can find online you will also be able to pinpoint trainers who are out of form and these horses may need avoiding because of that.

Specialist Stats

This is quite a broad area but something I always check when I am looking through a card at a particular meeting. These stats include things like course form, jockey bookings, draw bias and any other bits of information you think may give a horse a better chance of winning the race. This is usually my last port of call after narrowing down the field and is something I use as my last resort when looking to back something.

Course specialists are a big thing for me and often a horse can run many pounds better than its official mark on a course it has a love for. With so many different courses in the UK, all with different layouts I really like this stat and take it very seriously when betting on horses.

I do not tend to be forced into a bet due to jockey bookings but it is still something I look at when making my final decisions. Things I look for are things like unusual jockey bookings, for example, a big jockey riding for a small yard, or if a jockey heads to a course for just one ride. I treat these as small tips each pointing towards backing a horse, although I don’t back a horse solely because of these.

One last area I look at is the draw, what bias the track has with the draw and if the current weather conditions will have an impact on that. Each course is different; some have no draw bias while others have a huge draw bias, especially over sprint distances. This means the draw can be an important factor in the race and this is one of the final things I check before placing my bet on the race. A good draw can make all the difference to a horse while if the horse has been handed a bad draw then it is likely the horse faces a much tougher task than normal due to the position they are in