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Handicapping & Wagering Guide

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When and How Much to Bet

Straight Betting

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Straight Betting

I consider straight betting as Win, Place and Show betting.  While I don't concentrate all of my bets on Win bets, it does have its place in a horse players arsenal.  I never bet to Place or Show as these are not good bets to sustain a return on your money.  In other words, to me the small return you are going to receive is not worth the risk.  Even on bets that I consider Play or Prime my statistics show that I cannot win money betting to Place or Show.  The payouts are just too small.  However, I can show a good profit on Win bets amongst my Play and Prime bets.

When do I Win bet?

If you are a new horse player or handicapper I would highly suggest Win betting only on races you feel are your best bets of the day.  As I said before, the exotic payoffs are very enticing, but you can lose a lot of money fast if you do not have a good feel for when to apply these bets and how to use them.  Win betting takes this away and lets you concentrate solely on handicapping, ranking your plays and putting your money into races where you think you have the best chance of winning.  It is easy to bet if you have a daily budget of $100 and have 5 Play/Prime bets on a card.  5 divided by 100 is 20, so you know you have $20 you can bet on each race.  Once you begin playing exotics it throws in a whole new dimension of how much of your $20 do you put into each bet.  You simply don't have that with straight win betting, other than working the odds if you are splitting your bet between horses..

Another place to win bet is on a reasonable longshot or when the odds on your winner are good and you have a hard time deciding which horse or horses will finish second.  Sometimes something in the past performances will jump out at me that the betting public has missed.  Maybe a horse wins a decent amount of the time when they switch from Turf back to Artificial and they are going off at 15-1.  I like betting this horse to win instead of trying to play them in an exotic such as an exacta.  This way no matter who runs second I get a good win payoff.  With a short priced favorite you usually need the second spot in the exacta to try to get a decent payoff, but with a reasonable longshot why not collect a decent payoff no matter who finishes second?

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