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Some Thoughts on Easy Horse Racing Systems

      ...Articles by Bill Peterson...

#1 Easy Point System For Horse Racing Wagering
By Bill Peterson

   This is an easy to follow method that I'm going to explain because I want to show you how critical it is to use a systematic method, a system, to handicap and wager on horse races. Now admittedly, this is a pretty simple method and a large number of punters spend hours reading a racing form or playing with computer programs to figure out the contenders in a race. Some people call handicapping an intellectual sport and do it for fun or the challenge while others do it for profit. Because it costs money to play the races, if you aren't making money, it can be an expensive hobby. With that thought in mind, let's look at how we can at least support the hobby with winnings from the races.

   The goal of making a profit should always be somewhere in mind, if you want to support your handicapping. Keep it in the back of your mind while you read the race and determine the contenders. You may think that all the people who are cashing tickets after a race are winners, but such is not the case. If you are a pro at gambling and handicapping, you know what I mean. Cashing a winning ticket does not make you a winner in the long run.

   How can that be? Well the people who cash tickets after a race may have spent too much for that ticket and didn't actually make a profit on the race. Others may have profited from that race but didn't manage their money well and wound up losing for the day, week, or month. Here is what I am getting at, the professional gamblers and horse players are not only good at picking winners, but they are also good at picking bets that are profitable over the long run. In order to be successful, you must be good at picking horses and bets.

   Let's do a little exercise that will help you to start thinking along the lines of odds in comparison to a horse's real chances of winning, the basis for picking good bets.

We'll start with 100% of the money invested in a horse race by all the bettors and then subtract 20% which is approximately the track's take out, or vig. We are left with 80% of the pool, the amount that will be distributed to the winners.

Then we'll consider the number of horses in the field. Divide the 80% by the number of horses in the field. If there are 8 horses in the field, then each horse accounts for about 10% of the pool because 80 divided by 8 equals 10. Let's go one step farther and call that 10% a unit.

Next we will consider the factors of a horse race.

   1. Consistency of the runners is determined by dividing the number of races a horse ran by the number of times it won. So a runner that won 2 out of 10 races has a consistency rating of 2 out of 10 or 1/5 or 20%. The horse with the highest consistency rating gets the 10% for that factor. The horse who wins each factor gets 10% for that factor.

   2. Class is arrived at by dividing the amount of money the horse has made in its lifetime by the number of races it has run. So if a horse made $10,000 and ran 10 times it would have averaged $1,000 per race. If the horse has raced at least five times in the current year you should divide this years winnings by the number of races it ran this year. If it raced less than five times, use lifetime races and earnings.

   3. Jockey's are easy to compute. Just find the jockey's winning percentage.

   4. Trainers are also easy to figure, once again, use the winning percentage.

   5. Speed in last race. Find the horse with the fastest speed rating in its last race.

   6. Overall Speed is computed by finding the fastest speed rating in the last 60 days. If they don't list speed ratings, use raw times at the distance, for instance, 6 furlongs at 1:10 or whatever.

   7. Won Last Race (if two or more horses won their last races, give the 10% to the one who won in the classiest race.)

   8. Just won at the same distance on the same track (if two horses have done it, give the 10% to the one who did it at the highest level, if it is still a tie, give each one 5%)

   Now let's put it all together and see if we can't make heads or tails of the runners to figure out what fair odds are for each racer...

   1. Each factor listed above is worth 10%. The horse with the highest rating for each factor gets 10%. It is actually possible for a horse to be the leader in all categories and to get the whole 80%, but that doesn't usually happen.

   2. The next step is to determine what amount of money should be allotted to comprise realistic payoffs, good bets.

   The odds you see on the toteboard are figured by turning the percentage of the pool bet on the horse into a fraction. An example would be a runner with half of the pool bet on it, 50%, would be at 1/2 odds because dividing 50 into 100 gives us the fraction, 1/2. This means that the horse should win half the time if it is really as good as the public thinks it is. Reading the table below, we see that a four dollar payoff would be a fair payoff for the horse for every $2 bet on it.

Fair Odds Percentage
2/5 80%
3/5 70%
4/5 60%
1/1 50%
8/5 40%
2/1 30%
4/1 20%
9/1 10%

   So if you look at the factors in the race and estimate that a horse who had the best time in its last race and also has the best jockey (gets 10% for each factor so it is a 20% horse) is going off at more than 4/1 odds, then it is a profitable bet because it will win about 1 out of 5 times but pays more than $10, the cost of the base bets.

   This system is not meant to be used for serious wagering. It is simply an exercise to get you thinking in terms of probability and payoff, the true key to making a profit at horse racing handicapping.

The most consistent horse racing systems have to have the basics and a handicapper must understand the basics. I've been around horse racing for 50 years. Without the basics the rest isn't going to do you any good. If you want to learn how a horse owner and insider handicaps just go to True Handicapping and get the truth.

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#2 Quick and Easy Horse Racing Handicapping Systems Can Help You to Make Money

   The thought of handicapping horse races and expecting to actually make money is a daunting thought to many people. They worry that handicapping horse races for profit is too difficult. Is it more work than it's worth to figure out who has the most speed or class and then compute that into a winner?

   It's no lie that handicapping horse races isn't always easy and that it's also risky. On the other hand, it doesn't always have to be complicated. A quick and easy method to handicap the races, a system as they are called, can just use a few factors that are easily found in any racing program.

   For instance, adding the speed figures from the last three races that each horse has run and then choosing the three horses with the highest totals, is a system. From that point, you can refine it or use those figures in any way you like, if you want a more complex system. If you're looking for a value bet, you might want to try a system that bets the horse with the highest odds from that group with the highest totals.

   A simple way to find value would be to write the total of their last three speed ratings beside each horse and then write the odds at two minutes to post, beside each of those numbers. The results might look something like this...

Figure Total/Odds

1. 230/5-1

2. 240/3-1

3. 220/8-1

4. 218/8-1

5. 245/5-1

6. 253/6-5

7. 252/3-1

8. 244/5-2

   Just looking at those total speed figures and odds, can you find the value bet? Obviously it's the 7. It's almost the fastest horse, but is going off at over two times the odds of the favorite. Without looking at any other handicapping figures this horse appears to be worth a second look and perhaps a bet.

   These types of bets come along quite frequently, but who have you noticed making a simple notation like the one above at the track? It's simple yet really points out which bets might be value bets and lead to a profit. For just a fun day at the track without working too hard, playing a fun and easy system like this can lead to winners and even some profitable days.

   Now, I'm not necessarily saying you need to forget about working hard at picking winners and using many handicapping factors or a more complex system, but I am saying that if you aren't using any horse racing handicapping system right now, just starting to use a quick and easy system may help you to win more often and lose less.

Click Here to learn more about my handicapping systems


#3 An Easy Horse Racing System to Evaluate Horses Before You Bet

   The process of horse racing handicapping is simply the evaluation of each runner to determine its chances of winning. Once you have an idea, or what we call a "guess-timate" of how likely each runner is to find the winner's circle, then you can start the important part of making money betting on horses. Finding value on the odds board is the goal of serious horse racing handicapping. An easy horse racing system is every horse player's dream.

   A simple and easy to use formula will tell you if a runner is a good wager, may be profitable in the long run. Just ask yourself, "If this same race was run ten times or twenty times, how many of those races would each runner win?"

   If your answer for horse A is two out of ten times, then he would win about a fifth of the races, so his fair value odds would be 5-1. Once you know that, a look at the odds board will tell you whether he is a good bet at over 5-1 or is overvalued by the crowd and is going off at less than 5-1. I realize that I am simplifying something that is actually very difficult to do, but for the purposes of this short horse racing article, we can't go into depth on the subject of handicapping, an intellectual pursuit that could fill many volumes.

   One method that you can use to quickly handicap a race is to break it down to three factors, speed, class, and jockey. Creating a hierarchy, a list of horses starting with the best and going to the worst in each category and then assigning a number for each position is one way to find horses that have an edge. It won't tell you how many times the horse with the best score would win if they raced against each other ten times, but it will tell you which one might win most often.

   For instance, taking the two best speed figures in their last three races and adding the figure for those two races together, will give you a number for each horse, assuming that each one has had a race. If you don't play maiden races with first time starters, you won't have the problem of a horse with no past races. Let's say there are five horses in the race and we'll label them from A to E. Their speed figure totals look like this...

A=150, B=145, C=155, D=130, E=148.

Putting them in order from best to worse would give us,

C, A, E, B, D.

Now if we give them a number for their order, it would look like this (since there are five horses, the top number is 5 and the worst of course, is 1).

5 4 3 2 1

C A E B D, so horse C gets 5 points for speed and A gets 4, etc.

   To figure class, find the horse who has earned the most money in its last five starts or simply look at the purse in the horse's last race. Any method will work as long as you can identify the horse that raced against the best horses in its last race. In the case of a tie, give each horse the same number in the hierarchy. For instance, if two horses both raced for $50,000 in their last race and that is the top amount, then give each one a 5.

   Once again, create a hierarchy with the best receiving a 5 and the worst a 1.

   Finally, simply look at the jockey's winning percentage and use that to create a hierarchy.

Your final totals might look something like this...

Speed =

5 4 3 2 1


Class =

5 4 4 2 1



5 4 3 2 1


   Now add each horse's total score to find the top horse.

   Horse A gets 4 points for speed, 5 points for class, and 2 points for jockey, so it gets a total of 11.

   Horse B gets 2 points for speed, 4 points for class, and 3 points for jockey, so it gets a total of 9.

   The rest get C=11, D=7, E=8.

   Since A and C are tied for 11, they are the top horses. You could bet the one with the best odds, or simply pass the race. This is a very simple system to handicap a horse race and won't make you rich. Wagering on horse races is very risky and this article and system are only meant for entertainment, but it is one easy way to handicap a horse race.

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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