Sunday, November 30, 2014

10 Cent Superfectas

I have been asked about articles on the 10 cent superfecta on my blog.  As a year end gift here are the links to all of the articles.

Exotic Bets: The 10 Cent Superfecta

A 10-cent Superfecta Experiment

More on the 10-cent Superfecta

10 Cent Superfecta Poll Results

A Ten-Cent Superfecta Favorite Bet of Mine

Superfectas are Popular

Playing the Quarter Horses at Remington Park

Side-by-side Betting with Ten Cent Superfectas

Approaches to Betting the 10-cent Superfecta

The 50 cent Pick 4 and the 10 cent Superfecta 

Going for the Big Payoff 10-cent Superfecta Bet 

The 10-cent Superfecta Revisited 

How to Structure a 10-cent Superfecta - for Fun and Profit

Where do you look for likely signs that a potential long shot could win in a horse race?

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Your biggest lessons come from your losses.

I have learned the hard way time and again over the years.  I didn't have confidence in my bet.  Yet, I placed the bet anyway.  Those two sentences have cost me more money in my  career than anything else.  If I could learn from my mistakes, hopefully I wouldn't do it again.  Easy to say but hard to do.  I break my own rules. And that is what gives me my loses.  This is entirely avoidable.

The trouble with 'confidence' is awareness of yourself.  You might think I'm being hard on myself here.  The thing is, you need to be hard on yourself about your mistakes, so you don't repeat them. This is real money we're talking about, after all - it's your money.

I am not smarter than the horses running the race. None of us are. So for optimal results, I know that I need to wait for the "confidence" that I am right about my bet. The simplest, clearest way to do that is to be aware of your own confidence level and wait until you "feel" right about the bet.  Otherwise, don't place the bet.  That is the hardest thing in the world to do.

Learn from your losses when you have them.  Be hard on yourself about your losses. Figure out why they happened so you can prevent them from happening again. Doing this will make you into the best bettor you can be.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

To bet or not to bet?

There is a saying in poker: know when to hold'em and when to fold'em.  This is just as true in betting on horses.  Know when to bet and when not to bet.  This rule of success is easy to say but hard to follow.

Always remember: your winning bets have to absorb your losing bets.  Losing bets put you in a hole.  If in doubt about a bet, don't bet.  A weakness in betting is betting too much and too frequently.  It's not easy to keep from betting especially if you are the type of person that enjoys the action.  This can be your downfall.  Establish a goal for yourself in betting.  One such goal might be "be a winner at the end of the day".  What does this mean?  It means that you have more money at the end of the day than when you started.

Okay but how do I do this?
First, you have to want to be a winner.
Second, only place bets that you have a high level of confidence in. If in doubt, don't bet.
Third, know when to not bet a race.  (Too many horses could win the race.)
Fourth, know when to stop and declare the "end of the day".  (If you're really ahead before the "end of the day" QUIT betting and keep your profits.)

If you think about it the only way to be a winner: "you must stop at some point when you are ahead".  There is no other way.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Don't Recycle Your Winnings

Everyone wants to come out ahead when the races are over and you are through betting for the day.  The truth of the matter is that for the majority of horse players this is not the case.  I have been friends with many horse players for the last 30 years plus.  My observations have been that most people who play the horses lose money the majority of time.  It's kind of like fishing.  Most of the time you don't catch any fish.  The fish may just not be biting.  However, every so often you catch a big one and it entices you to come back again.  So it goes with the horse player.  So is there a plan that can turn this around?

I hate to say this but many horse players go to the track unprepared.  Sure they may have their Daily Racing Form and maybe have done some handicapping.  However,  how many have thought seriously about how much money they are taking with them to bet with.  Have they thought though what's the appropriate 'bankroll' for today's betting.  Is the money in that bankroll what they can afford to lose or is this money they may need for other purposes.  It's important to know whether you're just going to bet to have fun or just for the action.  Or, are you going to win and increase your
bankroll or at least  keep your winnings for the day.

Here is an approach that can keep you from losing your whole bankroll and to keep the proceeds of your winning bets.  There's a saying at the track: "you can't win them all but you can lose them all".  Let's say you go to the track with a $200 bankroll and there are 10 races on the card for the day.  That gives you $20 on average that you can wager on each race.  The approach I'm suggesting is quite simple (but hard for some horse players to follow).  Decide ahead of time that you will only cycle through your bankroll one time.  Decide that you will keep the proceeds from each winning bet.  When you are right with your bets, collect the winnings and don't use that money to place more bets.  In other words don't recycle your winnings.  The worse thing you can do is to keep betting with the money you have won.  This is a recipe for losing your whole bankroll for the  day.  This is also a sign that you may be a real loser.

Be a winner and come home with your winnings for the day even if you have depleted part of your bankroll.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

With the Kentucky Derby just around the corner

Here is an update on a blog article I wrote on August 25, 2012 titled "A Different Betting Strategy".

It may sound crazy at first but bare with me for a bit. There are some interesting characteristics of horse racing that makes it different from other wagering venues like the stock or options market trading. There are a limited number of horses in a race (usually less than 14 but sometimes as many as 20 as in the Kentucky Derby). Quarter horse races are usually no more than 10 horses. Most races are completed under 2 minutes. The results and payoffs are made available immediately after a race is finished and declared official. You know right away whether you won or lost.

 Let's consider what would happen if you bet on all of the horses in a race to win. You would for sure win the bet. However, would you make money or lose money on this bet? I was first exposed to this idea a number of years ago when I was at the Kentucky Derby and by chance entered into a conversation with an older lady from Louisville who told me that she had won the Kentucky Derby for the last twenty- five years. My reaction at the time was ... really? How did you do that? She proceeded to tell me that she always bets every horse in the Kentucky Derby to win. She did tell me the truth now didn't she. This deserves bragging rights! I got to thinking later, just how much would you win or lose over the last 8 or 10 years if you bet like she did on the Kentucky Derby? I did a little research on the internet and here is what I found with $2 bets.

                                          Odds Paid Cost Win/Lose
2012 I'll Have Another 15.30 32.60 40.00 -7.40
2011 Animal Kingdom  8.00 18.00 40.00 -22.00
2010 Super Saver        20.90 43.80 40.00 +3.80
2009 Mine that Bird     50.60 103.20 40.00 +63.20 (+37.60)
2008 Big Brown           2.40 6.80 40.00 -33.20
2007 Street Sense        4.90 11.80 40.00 -28.20
2006 Barbaro              6.10 14.20 40.00 -25.80
2005 Giacomo            50.30 102.60 40.00 +62.60 (+13.00)

For the last 4 years you would be ahead $37.60. For the last 8 years you would still be ahead but only $13.00.

[Update: 2013 Orb  5.40 12.80 40.00 -27.20 (+10.40) Last 5 years you'd still be ahead $10.40.  For the lst 9 years however, you'd be $14.20 behind still not bad considering the bragging rights you would have.]

 I decided to go further with this idea in everyday betting. So I started with the hypothetical idea of betting all the horses in a race and then work backwards. [The usual approach is to find the horse(s) you think is going to win and then work forward.]

If you "bet them all" then you always win the bet. Whether you gain money or lose money on the bet is something else. For example let's assume there are 8 horses in a race we pick. If you bet 7 of the 8 horses to win then the only way you lose the bet is if the one horse you didn't bet wins. Otherwise you will win the bet. Again whether you make or lose money on the bet depends on the odds of the horse that wins. To illustrate, suppose the horse that won is one of the 7 you bet to win and the horse went off at 7/1 odds. On a $2 win bet the payoff would be $16. Your cost to bet the 7 horses would be $14. Your net winnings for this bet would be ($16 - 14 =) $2. If the horse that won went off at 3/1 odds, then your net would be ($8 - 14 =) -$6 or a loss of $6. In other words you won the bet but lost money.

 If we move backwards to betting 6 or 5 or 4 or 3 or 2 horses again depends on the horses you bet or didn't bet. It will also depend on the odds the winning horse went off at and what it cost you to make the bet. If you bet 5 of 8 horses to win then you lose the bet with 3 horses and win with 5.

 Looking at win betting in this way allows you to place a bet that takes into account a possible win with a long shot or a very long shot included in the bet. Long shots do come in but when and what do you look for?

The Kentucky Derby is a good example for "betting them all" as we showed earlier. Stakes Races are also a good place to look. But why? In the Kentucky Derby there is always a large field of horses, typically 20 horses. Many of these horses will have very long odds. There is not a horse in the field that the trainer for the horse does not believe that the horse can win. These are the finest cream of the crop 3 year olds. They will all be going for it.

 This is also true for Grade I, II, and III stakes races. The advantage with the stakes races is that there is usually far less then 20 horses in the race competing. This makes the cost of the bet a lot less. Take Saratoga this summer(2012). Race 8 on July 30th was the Shakespeare Caress Stakes. There were 8 horses in the race. Rosa Salvaie won and paid $41.40 on a $2 bet. The cost of the "bet them all" bet was $16. This was a $25.40 gain. Race 10 on August 5th was the Grade I Vanderbilt Handicap. There were 8 horses in this race. Poseidon's Warrior won and paid $74.50. This was a spectacular gain of $58.50 on a $2 bet. R1 on August 9th was the Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes. There were 8 horses in this race also. Cat Feathers won this "Two And One Sixteenth Miles On The Hurdle" race and paid $48.60 for a $2 bet. This was a $32.60 gain.

The trick to "betting them all" is to be very selective and do your homework ahead of time. This is not a bet for just any race. It's a bet where the race looks to be 'wide open'and has the highest quality horses in the race (potentially any horse in the race could win). It's a judgement call, granted, but with experience you can get a feel for 'wide open'races. High priced stakes races are very fertile ground in which to look. Have fun and good luck.