What is Handicapping?

To win money betting horses online you must become skilled at handicapping horse racing. Handicapping refers to picking winning horses by using the information that is available. The master of EZ Horse Betting knows how to secure the best information, analyze it, and make intuitive judgments. There is some basic information you should know about this skill.

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A Definition of Handicapping

The most simple definition of handicapping is picking a winner. This applies to all forms of sports wagering and not just horse racing. There are individuals who handicap football, basketball, baseball, and other sports which can be wagered on through various sportsbooks online or in physical locations such as Las Vegas. There are even those who handicap the Oscars and elections of major countries! Almost anything with an uncertain outcome can be wagered on.

To be more specific, handicapping for those who love horse racing refers to a more strict approach. The casual bettor may choose to bet on a horse because of its name or the number it is assigned in a race. The handicapper understands this type of betting relies on pure luck and chooses to study the races instead. These serious students of racing pour over data from racing charts and past performances to look for any indicators which can give them an edge.

To handicap is to state you have an opinion. You have made a choice and are willing to back that choice with your hard earned money. One of the greatest handicappers of all time, Andrew Beyer, has stated the importance of having an opinion when you bet horses online or at the racetrack. Beyer knows a thing or two about handicapping. He invented the speed figures which are found in the Daily Racing Form. Beyer goes so far as to say that if you don’t have an opinion you should not be betting a race.

Handicapping Methods

There are as many methods of picking winning horses as there are people who pick them. Each race bettor has a particular routine in which they read the Daily Racing Form or use services which provide past performances. Even though there are different methods, most handicappers will analyze at least four elements of every race:

  • Speed—the attempt to determine which horse is fastest.
  • Form—the attempt to determine which horses are in shape.
  • Class—the attempt to determine the skill level of every horse in the race.
  • Pace—the attempt to determine how the race will be ran, which horse will take the lead, which ones will make a late run, etc.

These four elements are important but by no means are the only things bettors consider. They may also look at trips. Trips is used to refer to how well a horse ran in its last race and whether or not it encountered any difficulties that could be chalked up to poor racing luck. Perhaps the horse lost its footing at the beginning of a race and stumbled, or maybe it was bothered by other horses.

Some handicappers assign a higher value to one or more of the four primary factors. Some prefer to focus on speed while others concentrate almost entirely on pace. They will then use the remaining three factors to bolster or downgrade their opinion of each horse.

Handicapping Tools

The most essential tool in the horse bettor’s tool box are past performances. PPs, as they are commonly called, reveal information about all the horses in a given race. This includes detailed descriptions of their most recent races. A bettor can then compare the performances of all horses in the event to form an opinion of which horse to bet on.

Past performances are found in each edition of the Daily Racing Form. They can also be purchased from services like Brisnet. If you register an account with an online racebook, you might qualify for free past performances. This can save you a lot of money over the course of the racing year.

Some bettors prefer to use other services like The Sheets or Thorograph. These services are priced higher but reduce the handicapping process to the consideration of a single number. At a single glance the bettor can identify which horses are preferred by the publishers of the information. But, their opinion is just that and it may be no better than your own. Before you spend lots of money on a service, you should give things a try on your own.

Race charts are different than past performances in that they focus on a race instead of on a horse. You can examine a race chart for a complete picture of how a race was ran. It also includes detailed notes from the chart caller. Charts used to be a part of the regular Daily Racing Form, but must now be purchased separately or obtained from other sources.

Why You Should Learn to Handicap

There is a simple reason why you should learn to handicap the races. It will make you a more informed bettor and give you an edge. The process can be tedious and time consuming at the beginning, but once you become comfortable with it things go much smoother and faster.

Some even find that the have an affinity for the process of studying horse racing. Some individuals like numbers and figures. Others simply view their efforts as an intellectual challenge. They like the thought of besting other people who are trying to do the same thing.

One of the best reasons for learning this skill is so that you can watch and wager on live horse racing right from the comfort of your own home. All you need to do is create an account with one of the racebooks recommended by EZ Horse Betting. It takes just a few seconds and you can also claim a nice welcome bonus.

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