Almost every human endeavor has a golden rule that the participants need to learn in order to be successful. Handicapping horse races is no exception. There are a few truths of the game that every horseplayer will eventually discover, many times by experience. While knowing the golden rules may not make you successful, not knowing the golden rules will almost always contribute to your failure.
There are many ways to arrive at a horse to bet on or an exotic combination, however the golden rules are immutable. They do not change no matter how many races you play or what kind of race you play. Off track or fast track, they don’t change. There are times when you’ll hate them and other times when you will rely on them. Don’t take them personally. They were true before you were born and when you’ve cashed your final ticket, they will still be going strong.
The first rule is that nothing works all the time. By that I mean that any angle you can think of or discover will work some of the time, but nothing will work all the time. There are sad stories of a horse player discovering an angle and playing it on paper for a long time before finally taking the plunge and betting on that angle. He builds confidence, it seems to always make him money so he finally mortgages the agrarian business and puts it all into his new money making wonder only to have the universe pull the switcheroo and to have it stop working.
He pours more and more into it certain that it will start to work again and make him money and guess what? That laughing sound you hear is the god’s having a good yuk on the hapless gambler because he didn’t believe it when he read that almost anything will work some of the time, but nothing works all the time.
Rule two is value and all that it implies when it comes to finding bets. Good horseplayers don’t look for good horses, they look for good bets and in my experience they are hard to find. What makes a bet a good one? Profit over the long run is the answer. It is a racing and betting scenario that when played many times will return the bettor’s original investment along with a profit. Some call it ROI. Because things are always changing at the track those profitable scenarios come and go which leads us back to rule one.
BE creative and always keep an open mind. Keep looking for the next good angle and don’t bet a dead horse when the universe hits the “off” switch and the angle goes South, so to speak. Know when to play it and when to pass it up.