Biggest Mistakes When Betting on Horses

min read
A racehorse and jockey running on a track.
BetMGM @BETMGM May 08, 2023, 8:32 AM

Betting on horse racing is a thrilling pastime we’ve enjoyed for centuries. The adrenaline rush that comes with watching powerful thoroughbreds race around the track is hard to match, and having the ability to bet on the outcome makes it even more exhilarating.

With the rise of online sports betting, it’s become easier than ever before to bet on your favorite races. All you need is a digital device and an online connection, and you can be off to the races no matter where you are in the world.

Like any form of gambling, it’s important to approach online sports betting responsibly. Horse racing is particularly challenging for new bettors and the truth is that many novices make mistakes that could have been avoided entirely had they been aware of the most common pitfalls when betting on horse racing.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned horse racing enthusiast, it’s worth taking the time to learn about the sport and the basics of the betting process. With that in mind, here are some of the most common mistakes bettors make, along with all the details you need to avoid making them yourself.

Not Doing Research Before Betting

If you want to make informed betting decisions, research the horses and races you’re interested in before you start placing bets. You’re gambling in the dark without knowledge of statistics and performance, and while you may get lucky here and there, you’ll be far more likely to lose money in the long run.

Providers like NYRA Bets provide all the research you need, allowing you to gain valuable data on past performances, running style and track preferences. You can also look at details about trainers and jockeys, the weather or any other factors that may affect performance on race day.

Novices often underestimate the complexity of horse racing. Multiple factors can impact the outcome of a race and you need to take as many of them into account as possible. Fortunately, horse racing statistics and data are widely available, but it’s up to you to analyze that information and develop a suitable betting strategy.

Betting on Every Race

Some days, you might get caught in a series of unwinnable bets. Novice bettors often don’t realize this until it’s already too late, falling into the trap of trying to maximize their chances of winning while ignoring a depleting bankroll. 

Some races will suit your budget and betting style better than others, which is why it’s crucial to evaluate each race and pick the ones that provide the best odds of winning. The more selective you are with your bets, the easier it will be to manage your bankroll effectively.

It’s understandable if you get excited about horse racing betting, but be careful not to get carried away and bet carelessly. Instead of trying to bet on every race, focus on the ones with the best value in terms of odds and predictions. If you focus on specific odds for success, you can increase your chances of winning and minimize your losses at the same time.

Lack of Bankroll Control

Being able to manage your bankroll efficiently is one of the most important aspects of betting. Without proper bankroll control, it’s easy to get carried away and bet more money than you can afford to lose, which is especially dangerous when you combine it with the temptation to chase losses.

Chasing losses is a dangerous strategy that can spiral awfully quickly, made by novice bettors who try to recover previous losses by placing bigger, riskier bets. The best choice in that situation is to rather accept the loss of unwinnable bets and call it quits before you dig yourself into a hole.

If you want to improve your bankroll management, try setting up a budget for each race and place bets based on sustainable percentages of your total bankroll. At times, you may even need to step back and evaluate your betting strategy, identify any potential weaknesses and adapt your approach moving forward.

Not Having a Betting Strategy

Forgetting to have a betting strategy in place is a common mistake that’s easily avoidable. Making random and impulsive decisions can be fun at first, but most of the time, it ends up being a lesson on what not to do if you want to achieve any sort of consistency.

Without a sound strategy to rely on, decisions are based on emotions rather than analysis. Odds and performance statistics should be far more influential in decision-making, and that’s only possible when you’re able to put your emotions aside and focus on the facts.

Your strategy should be flexible enough to make intuitive decisions but also structured enough to provide a clear plan for long-term success. Ideally, it has to fit your goals and betting style and should include bankroll and risk management, specific races you enjoy betting on and the types of bets you get the highest win rates from.

Find Your Feet With BetMGM

If you’re ready to join in on the fun and put your strategy to the test, register with BetMGM and discover all the latest and most popular horse racing picks. You’ll find everything you need to make the most of your online sports betting experience, from live odds and accurate stats to current favorites and underdogs worth rooting for.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.