There are some very good books on the market for people who want to learn how to be a good Horse Racing handicapper. While it is unclear if the authors do really make a profit over the long run, one thing is certain, you can become a better handicapper by reading their strategies for betting success. Making a profit playing the horses is the goal of a lot of people, but what is really involved and how long does it take?
First of all, there are several ways to be a professional handicapper and let’s clear up which way we are talking about in this article. The ways to make money betting on horses nowadays are, a. enter handicapping tournaments, b. actually bet on the horses using your own money or for a syndicate of investors.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll be talking about plan b. If you want to make money by handicapping horse races then you should know you are up against a tough challenge. I would have this advice for you…
First of all, read everything you can get by the major authors such as, Beyer, Ainslie, Davidowitz, Quinn, etc.
Secondly, and this may be the most important part of making money on horses, learn how to gamble.
There are two very distinct challenges to making a profit at the horse track. The first, of course, is learning about horses and racing and that, in itself, can take a lifetime. The second challenge is learning how to bet properly and that, too, is very complicated and demanding. It seems diabolically simple at first, you just go up to the window and tell them what you want, give them your money, take the ticket and walk away.
But how you invest your money, in what increments and on what propositions, is much more complicated. It is gambling, one of the oldest human pursuits and one of the trickiest. It is a contest of wits, skill, and courage. You are competing against others with varying intelligence, experience, determination, information. The number one skill that any professional horse player cannot succeed without developing is the gambling skill. While his or her handicapping skill may be mediocre, the gambling skill has to be top notch.
In order to learn how to gamble, you must understand human nature, your own nature, and mathematics.
Knowing about human nature will help you to exploit your opponent’s (the crowd) weaknesses while not allowing yourself to be vulnerable, which brings up knowing your own nature. If you know when you are weak and therefore don’t play, you will avoid a lot of losses. If you know your own strengths and build on them, you will multiply your gains.
Knowing mathematics will enable you to know when you have the advantage in a situation. A simple example is knowing that a horse going off at 2-1 has a fifty percent chance of winning.
A good gambler is an opportunist and can make money many ways in life. He or she can also avoid a lot of problems in life by being able to assess a situation and know whether the risks offset the possible reward. That is true of many situations, not just betting on horses.
Therefore, since gambling and risk taking are integral to success in a wide range of human endeavors and will be encountered throughout your life, I strongly advise you to spend 30% or less of your time and effort learning how to handicap and 70% of your time and effort learning how to gamble.