Many people who like to bet horse racing have long sought a magical formula for winning. The horse racing code is something that has achieved a sort of mythic presence among bettors. Does such a code exist, and how can the horse racing code be beaten?
You already know that there is no perfect method for picking the winners in a horse race every time. The good news is, you don’t have to win every time to make a profit. You only need to be consistent with winning. There may indeed be a code in horse racing for making that happen.
Breaking Down the Basics of Horse Racing Betting
If we strive to simplify the process of handicapping, we need to first break down the basics of picking winners and making bets. The reason that horse racing can be a difficult game for newcomers to beat is that the odds are somewhat misleading. If you bet a horse at even money, or 1-1, you may tend to assume that you have a chance to double your money. That’s not true.
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When you receive your payout on a 1-1 horse, you will get back a little less than the amount you originally wagered. In other words, if you bet $2 on a horse to win you will actually get back about $3.80. That’s your $2 original bet plus a profit of $1.80.
But wait. In a perfect world you should get back $4, right? Yes. So, what happened to the other $0.20? The answer is the track subtracts a small amount for takeout and breakage. Takeout is the amount of the pool that is taken away to provide operating expenses for the track. Breakage is the odd sum which would make a payout end in a number like $4.15. Tracks stay away from these fractions and stick to payouts in $0.20 increments in most cases.
Now, in most cases you will never know this has happened because it is done as the money is bet into the pool. The track’s portion is subtracted before the odds are calculated. The point that you need to remember is that you are not getting true odds on the horses you bet. If you want to understand the horse racing code and how to beat it, begin by understanding takeout and breakage.
Favorites Are a Dead End
The next part of the horse racing code is somewhat controversial. Every time that we mention it in an article we are sure to get some disagreement. Here it is. If you only bet favorites at the race track you are doomed to lose in the long run. This cannot be argued. The stats don’t lie.
Favorites win one out of three races. If you bet the favorite every time, you will lose two out of three times. Does that sound like a winning formula to you? We are already hearing people out there typing away on their keyboard. Oh, some favorites are worth betting! Fine. Do you want to be the first person in history to guess right every time? Be our guest.
Betting on favorites just does not provide enough value for you to make large profits in the long run. Since favorites one out of three, a logical approach is to only make win bets on your choices that are 3-1 or better. That way, you only have to be right as often as favorites win a horse race.
Of course, horse racing betting is more complex than that. But value is a core part of the horse racing code. Rich Strike won the 2022 Kentucky Derby at odds of 80-1. How many bets like that do you need to win in horse racing to break even? If you answered a little more than one of every 80 bets, you are correct. Remember our old friends takeout and breakage.
Speed, Bias, and the Horse Racing Code
Many handicappers would seriously agree that speed plays a role in the horse racing code. There are even people who have devised numbers which attempt to quantify speed. That makes it easier to compare the speed of one horse against another.
If it were as easy as comparing one number against another to pick winning horses, betting on them would be easy. Just pick the horse with the highest number each time and collect your winnings. The problem is that no one would be winning because all of the money in the horse racing pool would be on one animal.
Speed ratings are just a tool. They can be a very reliable tool. They can surely point to horses that are faster than others. But that does not mean that they are perfect in and of themselves. They need to be used with other factors to help the bettor decide which horses are worthy of a bet.
Track bias is something you hear spoken of often in may discussions of handicapping. A track bias is said to exist when the surface of a race track tends to flatter the running style of a certain horse. Some tracks may be more beneficial to horses that run on the lead, while other tracks may be good for horses that like to stalk the pack and come from behind.
Form, Class, and Other Code Factors
If you really want to understand the horse racing code and how to beat it, you will need to begin thinking about form and class as well as speed and bias. These are the four essential factors that would go into the development of a code.
Form refers to the overall physical condition of a horse. Class is an indicator of the talent level of the horse in question.
As you are able to gain more experience in horse racing, you will start to see other factors that are important to your style of handicapping. That is when you will begin to learn the true secrets of the horse racing code and how it can be used to beat horse racing.
Putting Together Your Horse Racing Code
When you wager on the outcome of a horse race you are in competition with your fellow bettors. This means that you have to do better than them when it comes to picking winners. The secret to the horse racing code is that all bettors have one. Your code is going to have to be more effective than the code other bettors use if you want to win consistently.
Once you have become proficient at betting, you will identify the systems that work for you. This is when your ability to win more bets will greatly increase.