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What Do You Need to Bet on Horse Racing? Part 2

Did you attend Cheltenham Festival or any other horse racing festivals this year? Did you wager on horse racing for the first time—or maybe think about doing so? If you are new to betting on horse racing, whether you are new to the sport itself or not, it can be a complicated undertaking. There are in fact many things that you need in order to bet on horse races. In What Do You Need to Bet on Horse Racing? Part 1, I talked about some of the material things that you need to place your wagers:

  • A UK betting site for horse racing you can trust
  • A reliable internet connection
  • A laptop, desktop, or mobile device
  • Access to resources, live updates, and live-streamed events
  • Documents for tracking results
  • Money to put in your account

Now I want to talk about some of the immaterial things that you need to succeed at wagering on horse racing.


A System or Method for Handicapping

One of the most important things that you need to bet on horse racing is a system or method you can use to reliably handicap horses. The reason that I say "system" or "method" is that a lot of punters debate about whether you should have a system or not. There are some people who think that the idea of a system is too mechanical, so I prefer the word “method” as this allows for more discretion.

There are numerous different handicapping methods out there which you can investigate, but ultimately you need to test one yourself, and also realise that the world of horse racing is one where there is continuous change and evolution, so any methods you use will need to be regularly adapted.

No matter what, this means you are going to be committing to doing a lot of research, probably on an ongoing basis. If you already diligently follow horse racing, you have won half the battle. You now just need a method to put that knowledge to good, profitable use.


A Money Management System

Another thing you need is a money management system. Many people think that money management systems are betting systems, but simply using something like Martingale or Fibonacci does not replace having an actual method for handicapping horses.

I also am not a fan of these “systems” in the first place. There are a lot of logical fallacies involved with something like Martingale. Usually the best money management system is incredibly simple and looks like this:

  • Deposit only what you can afford to lose in your UK betting site account.
  • Invest around 2% of that on all of your wagers (notice how modest this amount is).
  • Keep the exact percentage that you use consistent across the board for all your bets.
  • Have a maximum cap on how many bets you will take during any given period (that includes the day, week, month, and year).

A system like this encourages moderation and discourages arbitrary, emotional decision-making. It will make your bankroll last a long time, even if you are losing, and may make all the difference in the world. If you experience a losing streak in an otherwise profitable year, it could be the thing that keeps you in the game.


The Right Mindset for Betting

Proper betting psychology is something else you need in order to be successful. If your head is not in the game, you are not going to do well. You need to be focused on what you are doing, and prepared to deal with the risks that come with betting. If you are not levelheaded about wagering, you will fly off the handle when something goes wrong. This may then cause you to compromise on your betting system or money management plan rules. At that point, you are not going to last very long.

Many punters who have the technical knowledge to be successful still manage to blow their accounts because they lack the emotional stability to bet.


Hard Work and Adaptability

Finally, one more thing you need to have in order to make it as a punter is the ability to work hard and really commit yourself to an ongoing journey. As I mentioned previously, the world of horse racing is one that is always transforming. That means that you must continue to put in the hard work to follow along with the races, learn, and adapt. That may mean making changes to how you structure and plan your bets. Not everyone can do it; in fact, most people can’t. That is why there are not a lot of professional punters out there. But they do exist, and if you are determined, you may be able to join their elite ranks!


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Gambling on the Internet

A few things to consider when gambling online:

  • Take advantage of first deposit bonuses
  • Have a budget and stick to it
  • Don't lose more than you can afford
  • When drunk, don't bet!
  • Don't chase losses
  • Bet on markets you know well
  • Don't abuse bonuses