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Getting pointers/guidance on horse betting?

Discussion in 'The Sports Book' started by notfromconcentrate, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate High-rolling diner. Low-rolling gambler.

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    I've only ever bet on horses a handful of times, and had no idea what I was doing. But I do remember it being fun, and I'd like to try it with a better idea of what I'm doing this time.

    I have heard that some sportsbooks/racebooks offer guidance on betting, and I'd like to see what those options might be for someone like me who's effectively a beginner on the subject.

    I know that South Point offers it, but that's going to be a bit out of the way for me this trip. Anywhere on/near the strip/downtown that might have workshops or particularly helpful staff for betting on horse races?
     
  2. DoctorD

    DoctorD Low-Roller

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    I’m by no means an expert on the ponies.

    Horse betting is pretty standard whatever book you are in. Some will have one of the clerks that can answer basic questions. What is a Win/place/show bet, exacta,trifecta, etc...

    I would suggest getting familiar with a daily racing form. It shows each horse and their past performance. Along with their rated speed numbers and track conditions at the time of racing.

    Some books will have these for free. Other places will charge a couple of bucks for.

    My advise is to stick to bets on win (horse comes in 1st) and place (horse comes in 2nd) to start. The more exotic bets have a crap ton of money taken off the top of the betting pool before money goes back to winning bettors.

    Their should be plenty of YouTube videos that go over deciphering the racing guide as well.

    D
     
  3. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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  4. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    This thread has my interest.
    I read one book that discussed reading the racing form but they mostly covered stuff you could figure out.
    These books are similar to the investing books which tell you to buy low and sell high. Great advice, right???
    But they don't into finding the stocks which are low and what is the high price to sell.
    The horse racing book I read was similar in concept of always bet on the winner but don't really tell you how to find the winner which makes sense or else everyone would be winning.
    One thing I haven't been able to find is how to determine if a horse has been downgraded a class or whatever.
     
  5. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    the book i mentioned does,but downgrading a class is a tricky situation....

    i have an old book that delved into that.

    betting thoroughbreds by steve davidivitch and another by andy beyer

    if it's just a straight claiming price, that's pretty easy, but if there's a condition
    attached to said price, a horse that might look climbing the ladder is actually descending.

    every track has these type races and it just takes time and understanding the conditions
    ...even then you are at the mercy of the trainers intentions.... steve had a great chapter
    called through the trainers eyes.....
    as a former owner of pacers and trotters, there are times you enter a race that you know you
    can't win but even a top 5 finish can alter the earnings made say the last five races and you
    then enter a race you know you have a strong chance....

    sorry for getting so esoteric here, but i've been in the game 40+ years and i still don't
    have it figured out totally. i'm serious. times i think i have a race nailed i end up
    scratching my head.... i go back and try and figure what i missed....

    one advantage in recent years is to be able to watch replays.... you might see that a horse
    was blocked, took a bad step,etc....

    ok, i'll shut up and say what my friend harvey pack says
    "may the horse be with you".

    ps..i had 5 alive to the late pick 4 at del mar tonight....
    horse that had good connections but mediocre work outs as a first time starter was bet down
    from the morning line and won easily.... sh it happens......
    and as oscar madigan says...that's why they call it gambling...

    and hymen roth....this is the life we chose
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  6. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    Next time at BAM I will see if they have that book and how well they cover diagnosing the racing form.
    For me, its the analyzing of the data that brings me the most joy.....right after winning.
     
  7. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    sounds like a plan.... it's a great feeling when you study the form, read between the lines
    and come up with a nice priced winner.....anyone can pick chalk.
     
  8. azlefty

    azlefty High-Roller

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    Racing is very hard to exploit because at most tracks I am aware of, about 75% of the bet pool is returned to winners, and the rest goes to track management and taxes. I think most Las Vegas race books don't participate in the parimutuel pool but instead book the risk themselves, but pay at the same rate of return. Compare this to about 95% for a naive bet against a point spread, or 99+% for a skilled blackjack or video poker player. Since the profit margin is so much higher, casinos are said to be fast and loose with the free drink tickets for people betting on races.

    Here is my strategy: watch the post parade and look for the horse that feels perky and in the mood for a race. Then multiply that by your favorite color and raise to the power of your lucky number, add the page number of the page the race is listed in the Racing Form, multiply by the number of digits in the horses name+1, add a random number between -4 and 6 if physically at the track to account for the butterfly effect of your physical presence, then modulo divide by the number of horses racing. This is a guaranteed winner at least 10% of the time. Your mileage may vary. Please let me know how it goes for you and if you have any refinements!
     
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  9. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    I was using this, Capture.JPG but your methods seems a bit easier. :p:jester:
     
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  10. spicole

    spicole No shirt, no shoes... NO DICE!

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    I was in the same boat a few years ago. We had a trip lined up for the same weekend as the Kentucky Derby, and I thought "hey, it might be fun to throw a few bucks down on the race!"... and I had no idea what to do. Time for some research!

    Surprisingly, the Wizard of Odds was really weak on this subject:

    https://wizardofodds.com/games/racetrack-betting/

    The Dummies website is a bit better, with very clear instructions on how to place your bet.

    https://www.dummies.com/games/casino-games/betting-on-horse-racing-for-dummies-cheat-sheet/

    Wikipedia has a good explanation of parimutuel betting terms.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parimutuel_betting

    Lastly, the Sports Geek has very good explanations of the quinella, exacta, and trifecta bets, including the box bets.

    https://www.thesportsgeek.com/sports-betting/horse-racing/quinella/
    https://www.thesportsgeek.com/sports-betting/horse-racing/exacta/
    https://www.thesportsgeek.com/sports-betting/horse-racing/trifecta/

    Other than the win/place/show bets, the box bets on the quinella, exacta, or trifecta wagers were easy to make. For example, a $2 quinella box on three horses is $6, whereas a $2 trifecta box on three horses is $12. These allow for a variety of outcomes to pay off. I'd recommend a few quinella, quinella box, or exacta box bets to test the waters. You can get some cheap entertainment and the race books are much much MUCH more loose with drink tickets. (1 ticket per $10 wagered IIRC. Can someone confirm?)

    The guys at the betting window are pretty helpful if there is no line, and if you are clear on which horses you are trying to bet. If the book is busy then they may be less helpful. I made sure I got my wagers in early for the "Big Race".


    Now, if you are looking for advice on which horses to bet on... I have no earthly idea. @azlefty covered most of it! :poke:
     
  11. bnlphan

    bnlphan Degenerate In Training

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    If you are in a state where TVG operates they have some good info available even if you dont bet with them. I use their speed class and pace ratings often.
     
  12. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    I have a TVG account and watch it on mute except when Sarge, Ron Ellis and Simon Bray are on as they are excellent handicappers and if you watch who Brittany interviews before a race, that horse almost always runs big. When Shrupp the shill and Matt I definitely have the sound off as I find them annoying.

    I play mostly rolling pick 3's and the pick 4 and since they changed the tax rule I haven't gotten a W2g like in past years where I had a couple dozen or more each year.

    One tip I'll share is that once a horse breaks its maiden, they have a very very poor history of winning next out against winners. Obviously some do but it's a rare case when I use first time against winners.
    I also like to play first time running as a gelding. and horses for the course.
    Like now at DelMar if a horse has shown good form in the past, they tend to regain that form.
    Same goes for pretty much every track.
     
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  13. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    I am 100% sure that the racebooks in vegas are co-mingled with the live pool at the track. Part of the take out goes back to the place that booked the bet.

    The only exception to this is the futures wagers on the derby.
     
    Downtown 2 nights and Cosmo 11/11-11/13 (been since Jan, a long time!)
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  14. bnlphan

    bnlphan Degenerate In Training

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    Lol @BlacklabberMike i was going to mention how i watched on mute because most of the talking heads are idiots.
    Anothet good thing about tvg is you can play around with your bets. Make some crazy exotics youd never want to tell a live person.
     
  15. azlefty

    azlefty High-Roller

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    You may be right.
    I know in the past at least some casinos booked the bets themselves, because I won a quinella and the return was different from what was listed on tv so I asked about it, and the guy told me it was a formula based on the win and place returns and it was booked by the casino. This was a long time ago and I don't know if it still happens.
     
  16. C0usineddie

    C0usineddie VIP Whale

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    I bought a bunch of old racing forms and picked my horses for practice. You can then go online and see the history if the races and payouts to see how you did. There is a ton of information in the racing forms.

    Imagine you are watching swimming and Michael Phelps is competing. Obviously he has a very good chance of winning, no brainer. Now, who do you think will come in second or third? It would be nice if you could see some stats about them so you had some knowledge about their history. Thats what the racing form has. Of course, you wont know which one is the Phelps one either so it will pretty much tell you.

    Just watch some videos on how to read it, its pretty fun do play with. The complex bets will come later once you have a feel for just picking a winner.
     
  17. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    if you want a challenge and fun thing to do, try betting a show parlay for the entire card..
    me and 2 other degens went to saratoga last week and each put $5 into the pool. going into the
    last race we had $495... we took the $95 and played some crazy exotics (no bueno) and
    were down to the 7 or 11. we bet the 7 who never lifted a foot as a favorite and the 11 came in 2nd...
     
  18. FullPay

    FullPay When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

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    I live three miles from Churchill Downs and the one thing I know about horse betting is the house rake is between 16 and 25 percent. Why would you play against that kind of house edge in Vegas? Horse bettors only bet because they think that they know something that you don’t. If you don’t think like that, buy their stock.
     
    Birthday Solo!
  19. DoctorD

    DoctorD Low-Roller

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    One other tip that I have is to pick a couple of tracks to get to know. Get familiar with how the surface runs in different conditions and how the classes are set apart.

    -Don’t be one of the guys betting 15 different tracks during your visit. I’ve had more success concentrating on a couple that you can analyze well through the guide. If that means having a race going every 15-20 minutes then so be it.
    -Don’t be afraid to skip a race if you don’t have a good read on it.
    -If something changes in a race that you weren’t expecting ( like a turf race moved to the dirt), you can get your money back for your bet until the race starts.

    D
     
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  20. bnlphan

    bnlphan Degenerate In Training

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    Good points by @DoctorD

    I find certain tracks are better for me than others. Why I don't know but I do so much better at Louisiana Downs and Hawthorne for some reason.