Making A Living Betting On Long Shots


Screen Grab courtesy of NBC

In yesterday’s blog, I mentioned the betting increments of $5 to Win and $20 to Place when betting on long shots, horses I consider Value Plays. I use those increments throughout my book, including four straight days at Santa Anita earlier this year, so people can relate to how much money can be won or lost. During that week, I wagered on thirty-five horses and cashed six Win tickets and ten Place tickets, a win rate of only 17%; a place rate of only 28.6%. Yet I still made a lot of money that week.

I began the week with a seven-race losing streak, cashing no tickets the first day, but with median Win odds of 11-1 and median Place odds of 3-1, making a profit for the week was not difficult. Overall, using the above mentioned bet sizes, I wagered $875 and saw a return of $1340.50, a profit of $465.50. Keep in mind that was a good week. Some weeks, I do not fair that well, and obviously, I cannot make a living off such small wagers, but many horse players routinely make bets of this size.

For those who cannot bet $25 on a  horse, I share the following recommendations. Start small and you can, with patience, turn your hobby into a full-time profession.  Begin with a $200 bank and build from there.

Win Place Bank
$1  $4    $200
$2  $8    $400
$5  $20   $1000
$10 $40   $2000
$50 $200  $10000

During my four days at Santa Anita, I cashed two Win tickets per day three days in a row. This is not typical. Cashing one Win ticket per day is closer to the norm, but if that winner pays $23.40 it will make you more money than if you consistently wager on horses that go to post at short odds.

Making a living betting on long shots is not for the faint of heart. When you first begin, the stress from long losing streaks can weigh heavily, which is why I recommend backing up your Win wagers with Place bets.Horse_50x50

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