The fastest way to become a profitable bettor is to use common sense. Something about horse racing and sports betting makes most people lose all their ability to see clearly.
If you’re reading this post then that already means you are not most people because those guys are in betting shops throwing their money away on a lucky chance.
And if you’re not most people, then you are part of the group that has the ability to succeed with their betting.
There are hundreds of ways to be a successful bettor. You’ll find some of them amongst the many posts on this blog.
Each person has their own preference and approach.
But that’s not what today’s post is about. Today’s post is about how you can become more profitable with nothing more than common sense.
You don’t need ratings, software or tools, which may sound strange considering that we provide those kind of tools here.
Don’t get me wrong those tools are excellent and can certainly help you and speed up analysis.
However, you can get half way there without any of them if you’re prepared to spend a bit of time and use common sense.
And this is how…
You MUST start by choosing a speciality.
If you don’t specialise then you’re going to be in trouble in the beginning, particularly in UK and IRE horse racing.
There are so many variables in racing that all you will do by trying to cover every race is cause confusion and lose money.
So start by focusing.
When I first got started my focus was all-weather sprints with ten runners or less, specifically at Kempton although I did broaden that quite quickly.
Why did I choose that?
There were two reasons. The first was that most of my experience was on US racing and this is the closest form of racing we have to theirs.
In a country that has a very broad range of conditions, these races had the least changeable conditions possible.
Less than ten horses means that the chance the horses will block or bump is lower.
All Weather means that the ground conditions are pretty much the same year round.
Sprints means that everything is about speed. Nothing else. If the horse isn’t fast enough it won’t win, any increases in weight are very unlikely to affect the runners and stamina doesn’t really come into it.
Pace is important but that’s to do with the type of runners in the race and their favourite positioning. In sprint races if the horse isn’t near the front then it probably won’t win, but if it’s in front with 4 other horses that want to be in front then you’re best looking for a mid-field runner who won’t be knackered trying to beat the other front-runners by the last furlong.
So start by choosing a specific set of race conditions.
Next use common sense to dictate the most important factors in that race. They could be the ability to jump cleanly, liking soft ground, stamina or anything else.
But don’t overthink it. Just write down the first five most important factors that come into your head for the race conditions that you’ve chosen.
If it takes you more than five minutes then you’re overthinking it. This should be quick and easy.
Now you need to… start analysing races.
But make sure you give yourself a maximum of fifteen minutes.
Do NOT take any longer. You don’t want to fall into the trap of overthinking.
The best way to do this is to take the first horse and score them one to 10 for each of the factors.
Then take the second horse and repeat the process but do it by comparing it to what you gave the first horse.
Continue this process with all the other runners in the race.
Move quickly, don’t second guess yourself and write down the first score that comes to you for each of the five factors per horse.
Try and do this to four races a day, if there are four races that match your criteria. Once you’ve done it forget about racing for the day. Do something else.
The next day watch the replays for each of those four races and look at how the horses performed.
Again don’t overthink it but just ask yourself did they run as you expected?
If not… ask why not.
DO NOT do this just looking at the results of a race on the Racing Post or similar site. You must use replays.
The results will not tell you how a horse ran. There are hundreds of reasons a horse could run well and not win a race. They’re just unlucky and the cause of down streaks for profitable bettors. There is nothing that can be down about them.
What you want to know is if the horse ran as you expected it would because when most of your preferred horses are running as expected… you will be in a position where you can make profit.
This is the point to start paper trading them.
Don’t wait until you get all your strongest horses running exactly as you expected, some will always perform differently due to unknown illnesses or something that may have happened in training you don’t know about.
Again, there’s nothing we can do about this so don’t worry about it.
But when you’ve got 70% or more of the horses you’ve marked as strong running as you expected (whether they win or not), you will be able to make a profit from your betting.