Do you have a set figure in mind when you go to the horse races?  Do you know how much money you want to win?  The amount you set for yourself, if you do set one, indicates how good or bad your chances are of leaving a winner.  Some people have no idea how much they want to win and simply say, “I hope I win a lot, but anything will be good.”

They think that by accepting any winning they are being realistic about their chances.  But nothing could be farther from the truth.  The people who have the best chance of winning money betting on horses are the ones who know the odds, probability, and mathematics of winning.  In other words, the people who set a figure or target based on how much money they start with.

But that is not all of it, they also know how much the vig is and what they have to overcome.  For instance, if the vig, including breakage, is 25%, then you know that you have to figure that in before you start to make a profit.  IN other words, you are investing a dollar, but your dollar only has the buying power of 75 cents.  You are automatically losing a quarter of your money before you get a chance to win.

Imagine if you called a stock broker and asked him to buy a stock for you and he said his fee was 25%.  You would hang up on him, wouldn’t you?  But that is exactly what happens every day when people bet on horse races.  Knowing how much money you have to start with, and how much you can reasonably expect to win, will help you to have a realistic expectation and that will help you to chose better bets.

You are playing a game when you handicap horse races.  I know that you may take it very seriously, but just like poker or any other gambling game, you are playing against other people and using your money against theirs to win.  That makes it a game.  The ones who win may have a little luck but they are also usually the ones who understand the game the best.  Here is what you need to understand about playing the horses to make money.  If you can beat the other players, make the 25% you have to make back just to break even, and then make anything above that, you are one of the elite few who has beaten the game.

Knowing that before you start betting will help you to choose the best bets.  Going to the race track with $ 100 and saying to yourself, “I am going to make $ 500 profit today,” is ridiculous.  Going to the race track with $ 200 and saying to yourself, I am going to go to the races with $ 200 five times and during those trips I hope to make a profit of $ 100, is much more realistic.

I know that doesn’t sound like much, but that just means you need more than $ 200 to be a serious horse player.  Under funding and unrealistic expectations, along with being unprepared, are the reasons so many people lose money playing horses.

If you want to win, set realistic goals and read good handicapping books and find good systems.  Leave the wishful thinking to the losers.

If you want to learn how a horse owner and insider handicaps just go to and get the truth. Bill Peterson is a former horse race owner and professional handicapper. To see all Bill’s horse racing material go to Horse Racing Handicapping, Bill’s handicapping store.

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