Do your research before you take the plunge into the ‘sport of kings’

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IT wasn’t too long ago that if you wanted to bet on a horse you were forced to head to your nearest track, find a casino in your neighborhood, or even drive across state borders in the hunt for a legally operating sportsbook.

Today, many states have legalized online gambling, allowing bettors to stick a few dollars on the next race at Del Mar, or place a futures bet on the Kentucky Derby.  

Horse racing was popular with the aristocrats and royalty in Britain, earning it the label ‘sport of kings’, with the first American racecourse founded in New York back in the 17th century. Since then, gambling and racing have been intertwined in the US, but it’s only very recently that betting has become available from the confines of your own living room. 

The changes in US state laws on online gambling have been heralded by some as the ‘golden age’ in sport betting, but before you jump in with both feet it’s important you do your research. Here 25Magazine offers some tips and advice on betting on the horses:

Do your Research

You could take a pin, shut your eyes, stick it into a racecard and pick a horse that could possibly turn a $10 bet into $260, but it’s highly unlikely. The serious gamblers, and the most successful, look at a variety of issues before placing bets; factors such as course and distance form, trainer record, and race trends to name but a few. The more you know, the greater the chance of picking a horse that might just turn a profit on your $10 investment. Also an important aspect of  joining a sportsbook is the ability for new customers to receive a sportsbook bonus using special codes.

Know your Bets 

The three most common horse racing bets in the US are to win, to place and to show: the win bet is just what the name suggests; the place is betting on a horse to finish in the first two; if you bet to show, you get a return if your horse finishes in the first three. The odds on a horse are best for a win bet but if you pick a horse at longer odds, or you just want to get a return on your investment, then a place or show bet may be for you. 

Trust the Experts

The increasing availability of online horse race betting means websites offering tips are now more common, and many you don’t need to register or pay for the privilege. There are people who spend a lot of time crunching the statistics, analysing the form of the horse, trainer and jockey, and arriving at a decision after going through all the potential permutations. They may still be wrong, but their advice may prove the difference between finding a winner, or picking a horse that is beaten by a short head. You’ll soon find the tipsters you can trust, and the ones you can ignore, and the more information you have, the better your chances of beating the bookie.

Know your Limits

It may seem obvious, but only bet what you can afford to lose. If you’ve set yourself a limit of $20 and it all goes on the first race, then don’t go chasing your losses. Betting on the horses can be fun but when the fun stops, then stop. There has been a massive hike in online gambling during the Covid pandemic but it’s important than when you gamble, you gamble safely.


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