Horse Racing, Progressive Betting Schemes and Money Management

Most of the articles written by Bill Peterson are filled with drivel, but this one actually makes sense,

Bill-Peterson_86539Horse Racing Progressive Betting Schemes and Money Management
By Bill Peterson

Progressive betting schemes and strategies have been around since people first started betting on horse races and trying to make a profit. The idea is based on the notion that certain situations occur with some frequency or regularity and that you can make money by wagering more when they are more likely to happen. It reminds me of betting on a game of musical chairs and trying to figure out when the music will stop.

In decades of playing the horses, I’ve found things that do help to make a profit and things that are worthless, or even worse, things that lose money. If you gamble long enough, you’ll hear someone mention the “Law of Averages.” I don’t know who coined that phrase, but I can truthfully tell you that, in all my experience, I’ve never known anyone who was prosecuted for breaking that law or anyone who enforced it.

There is no law or statute that says a favorite has to win a certain number of races or at any time or frequency. Yes, the favorite does win an average of about a third of the thoroughbred races run in North America, but people who bet on them lose money because the tracks take out their share of the pools before they pay the winners. Enough people wager on the favorites to drive the odds down low enough so that they are a. the favorite, and b. a bad (unprofitable) bet.

If the favorite doesn’t win two consecutive races, it doesn’t mean the next favorite is more or less likely to win the next race. If you increase the amount you wager based on that assumption you will lose in the long run. There may be a few times when you win and make a profit, and it seems like the system works, but in the long run you’ll lose. Progressive betting is a bear because as you lose you keep betting more and more.

Check any printout of the results of horse races at any race track and you’ll find some pretty long streaks of races where the favorite failed to score. Those streaks will eat up your bankroll very fast. When you win, you’ll win a little after you deduct your losses, but when you lose, there will be times when you lose a lot.

Good money management doesn’t mean betting more based on a concept that is false. It is based on your own performance and what you know to be true about your own ability to pick winners, what those winners will pay, and preparing for losing streaks. That, of course, is based on your experience and the size of your bankroll.

Use increments as betting units and allot no more money than you can afford to lose for the duration of a losing streak. When you win, your bankroll will naturally increase and the size of your betting units will, as well. That’s how you maximize profits and minimize losses – the real key to making money betting on horse races. It’s very risky, and you should never bet more than you can afford to lose.

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