Horse racing betting – common pitfalls and how to avoid them

Horse racing betting – common pitfalls and how to avoid them

Betting on horses should be simple – you study the latest horse racing odds, you study the form book, you place your well-chosen bets and you keep your fingers crossed that your chosen mounts come romping home.

Unfortunately, it’s not all that simple. People are not computers, and many struggle at making logical decisions, especially when it comes to placing wagers. Emotions frequently get in the way and skew the decision-making process.

A little ‘betting with your heart rather than your head’ is not altogether a bad thing but if it becomes a regular habit it can decimate your bankroll. Here are a few horse racing betting pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Not accepting your losses

Sometimes bad luck plays a part in horse racing, but if you repeatedly blame ‘bad luck’ for your poorest decisions you’re not coming to terms with the flaws in your decision-making processes.

If you suffer what you consider to be a series of ‘bad luck losses’ then take a short break and actually study where you are going wrong. You’ll find it’s you that’s at fault rather than ‘luck’.

Abandoning your bankroll

There comes a time during a bad run when you just want to ‘chuck it all in’ and start afresh, i.e. completely wipe out your bankroll and begin with a new one. The chances of betting logically when you are in such a mood are slim to zero, and you’d actually be better of burning the money as at least then you’d get a little warmth from it.

In truth, if you find yourself wandering down this path you need to walk away, and you need to walk away, now. ‘Bad money’ isn’t tainted – the ten dollars that lose you a bet are exactly the same as the ten dollars that win you a bet. Walk away and keep what remains of your bankroll intact.

Getting delirious with a winning streak

There’s nothing better when it comes to horse racing betting than a winning streak … and in many ways there’s nothing worse. Once you make a series of ‘logical wins’ the temptation is to believe that you’re now a horse betting expert and a natural at picking winners.

When this happens you need to remember the processes that engendered your winning streak and stick to them. Losing a winning streak also puts you in danger of emotional betting once the losses start to accumulate.

“If only I had bet more money!”

We all have big winners and successful long shots from time to time. The key is to enjoy the riches of winning a £10 bet, and not dream about the riches you would have gained if you’d bet £1,000 instead. This happens with losing bets too – you wish your stake had been lower so you would not have lost so much.

Have a standard stake in relation to your bankroll, and stick to it.

If you can avoid these common pitfalls then horse racing betting success for you is much more likely – just remember to wager responsibly at all times, and never bet with money you can’t afford to lose.

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