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Make Money Betting At The Races

Horse racing is one of the oldest gambling activities that various countries have enjoyed for over a century. Over the years, there have been bettors who have made significant money from making wagers in horse races.

This article will show how you can also follow profit from horse race betting.

What It Means To Make Money From Horse Race Betting

Horse race profits

Before going through the various strategies, we must define what “making money” means. Profiting usually means walking away with more money than before, putting cash down on a wager. In the simplest sense, it can also be about winning most of your wagers.

Bettors looking for a profit are likely to make intelligent wagers instead of taking risky horse race bets. Professional bettors get up to 5% ROI on their wagers through a specific period. While the yield looks small, it is significantly high for those looking to make money in the long term.

How to Make Money Betting Horse Betting

Here are how to make money from horse betting.

Reading and Understanding The Race Card

Knowledge is the key to finding the right horse to wager on for specific races. To better explain this concept, we need to understand the basics of reading a race card or the principle of race handicapping.

Racecards provide all the information you need in each race, including the basics such as the name of the jockey & horse, the color of the jockey’s shirt, the horse’s stable, and the horse trainer. Other significant data from the card are the horse’s trials, previous race results, and family tree.

Horses are evaluated for the races through different factors. These factors include the stables they were raised in and their historical performance. Jockeys and trainers are relevant data since both are responsible for their horse’s performance. It takes skill and experience to handle a horse throughout the race. In addition, some trainers condition horses to race. They are responsible for addressing behavioral issues that occur at any time, such as biting jockeys or other horses. Trainers must also make horses adapt to having saddles and bridles attached to them while following the gestures of a jockey.

Trails and previous race forms are as relevant as similar information on NBA rosters or Formula 1 racers. These data can tell you if a horse is consistent in their performances throughout the previous year. This record means the horse has a significant chance of losing the next race. Even if participants won several times, they might have gotten lucky or were within favorable conditions. With their historical performances, you can see how well they will do in popular events such as the Cheltenham Festival or Epsom Derby Festival.

A horse family tree and its relative should never be made light of since this can be a deciding factor for many. Horses that share a blood relation with top-performance relatives may have the same internal physic as their father, uncles, or cousins.

Finally, there is track formation, which comes in various types, including dry and wet. Most horses will find running through soft and wet grounds challenging since going through them requires more energy than usual. You want to back horses with a light frame, allowing them to go through a wet track with less effort than heavier horses. Understanding a race card lets you know the most profitable horse racing bet.

The information in a race card and a thorough background check on the participants can tell you which horse has a better chance of crossing the finish line first. In addition, the information can tell you how a bookie would set the horse’s odds and starting price.

Set a Horse Betting Bankroll

A bankroll is always necessary for anyone seriously aiming to make money from horse races, a set of funds exclusively for making wagers. When you back a horse, you take a specific amount from your bankroll. This amount is your betting unit, and your bankroll should be 100 or 500 times the amount you use to make your wagers.

What is the point of a bankroll while on a UK or US horse betting site? A horse racing bankroll lets you know whether your wagers are profiting. Let us say you wagered a total of $100 with a stake of $5 per bet, which led to a loss of $60.

Your losses are likely due to certain decisions you made with several of the 20 wagers within a set period. These decisions include picking a horse based on biases or without relevant information.

On the flip side, you can also see a gain of $50 out of the twenty wagers you made. You are likely to have won more than half of the wagers you spent if you get back your stake and profit of $50.

Mistakes can occur anytime when making wagers, especially when professional bettors are trying new types of bets. There will also be times when you catch a lucky streak with your wagers. You will find tracking your winning and losing wagers hard without a bankroll.

Imagine making wagers with random stakes at a time. You may see a loss of $60, but you will not know that most of your wagers won, and you happen to lose the bet with the most stake. By making wagers with betting units, you can track your gains and losses to change your horse race betting strategy when needed.

Infographic on making money from horse races
Tips On Making Money From Horse Races

Watch the Odds

Profitable horse racing is always about finding potential winners among the participants. While there is the allure to picking a horse based on its odds or pricing, you stand to lose a significant amount most of the time. With that in mind, it pays to line shop or odds shop.

Shopping the odds is about going through various US or UK horse betting sites to find the right price for your winning horse. Bookies cut the bets to remain profitable and add funds for the purse money. You will see this through the difference in the prices on each horse betting site.

The idea is to find bookies offering a higher payout for your target horse. This is possible through any online UK or US horse books that cover the same tracks you follow.

Keep in mind that the difference in prices is not that substantial. Expect the difference to be around $1 to $3 between bookies. After winning several monthly races, that $1 difference can turn into $20 to $40. While the slight increase may not seem much for a single or a couple of wagers, this is a big deal for professional bettors who makes regular wagers.

Diversify Your Horse Races

Focusing on a single race is advantageous for many bettors since this will give you ample time to research the jockeys, trainers, horse condition, and other aspects of the event.

Every professional bettor aims to find value in horse race wagers to get a good yield. Sticking to just one or two races increases your win rate. However, limiting the number of races to participate in will also limit your earnings. Focusing on quality has its disadvantage since their earnings are not substantial enough to secure a solid ROI for a month.

Diversifying your bets on various races and tracks allows you to get more value bets within a limited period. Flat tracks are the most common ones new bettors are familiar with since it involves a smooth track surface. Note that we also mention tracks here apart from races.

There are also races on dirt tracks, widely used in various US horse racing tracks. Thoroughbreds can run faster on these natural tracks than on artificial flat tracks. However, running through them puts tremendous stress on the horses’ hooves. You will likely see less of a horse going through more than two races on a dirt track.

Splitting your focus on different tracks will require additional time and effort in looking up the race cards of different tracks. In exchange for the work, you can bolster your earnings from valued bets each month and secure enough to support your professional horse race betting career.

Be Familiar with the Different Bets

New bettors tend to be surprised at the various kinds of wagers available in each race. Horse race betting is not just about wagers on which one will cross the finish line first.  

There are three standard wagers for each horse race: win, place, & show. The win bet is the most common type everyone is familiar with, where you predict which participants will win the race. The place bet is picking two horses that will finish first or second. The show bet is a wager on three horses winning first, second, or third places.

Payouts for win bets are much higher than place or show since you only support one horse to win, making this wager much riskier. Professional bettors will take this if a strong thoroughbred can outperform others on the track. On the other hand, place and show are better options if you think there are two or three likely winners of a race. Despite their low payout, winning either place or show will still let you make a profit.

Outside your standard, wagers are much riskier, such as exacta and trifecta. Exacta is a wager on which of the horses will finish first and second in the correct order, while trifecta is to guess the race order of winners in a race. The risk for these wagers is higher than standard wagers since you are attempting to guess who exactly is the fastest and the runner-up of a race. Despite the risk, exacta and even a trifecta are valued bets for races where you can get a good grasp on the horses who will go through the finish line first, second, and third.


Are there professional horse bettors? 

Professional bettors treat their wagers as an investment or business venture instead of a hobby. To make informed wagers, these bettors take the time to get information on the trainers, jockeys, horse condition, and other data for the race.

How do you find value horse bets? 

A value horse bet offers a reasonable reward for its risk. For professional bettors, valued bets offer the best returns on their wagers.

Should you use other types of horse race wagers apart from straight bets? 

Nearly every US online horse race betting sites offer exotic wagers that are incredibly risky and have a high payout. Trifecta is an exotic wager example where you guess which horse will place first, second, and third.

What are the most profitable horse bets? 

These wagers will likely win at a reasonable price or provide a high payout. The profitable wager is a win for the fastest horse in a race with a likely winner.

What is a good mindset to make money from horse betting?

The proper mindset of a professional bettor is that of a businessman or investor. Their attitude is betting to win instead of betting to risk, where they select valued bets that are likely to win instead of granting them the highest payout.

Researching and organizing your wagers are essential steps to making money from horse race betting. Constantly assess if the wagers you make will let you profit in the long run.

This article was published on December 29, 2022, and last updated on December 28, 2022.

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