Is Winning at the Races Harder than it Used to Be?
Speaking in terms of statistics alone, one would have to admit that it does look more difficult to win at the horse races these days than it used to be 20 to 30 years ago. So, what does that mean for the average punter? Is it really too difficult to win at a horse race in 2022 than it used to be earlier? If that is so, then what are the reasons for that and how do we counter it? Let’s discuss those answers next.
Cause: More Newcomers are Betting on Horse Races
Before the internet’s global advent allowed the sports betting industry to spread exponentially, the industry was nowhere as big as it is today. Consequently, millions more are now betting on each major horse race. Whereas the bets were mostly limited to people closely associated with horse racing and the equestrian culture before, now almost anyone can bet on any race online.
Given that a majority of newcomers have little to no understanding about the nature of betting on horse races, nor are they directly connected to the sport, they don’t win often. This lowers the overall percentage of winning bets on horse races each year, even if experienced gamblers reap more profit than before. In other words, the addition of inexperienced gamblers without a proper betting strategy can at times create an illusion that it is harder to win money in a horse race than it used to be. This is not the only reason in all instances, but it is certainly the main reason why the stats make it feel like winning is more difficult than it used to be in the old days.
Solution: Knowledge, Strategy, and Experience
Winning a bet in any sport is more luck than skill, but skill does play a part in it. The idea is to improve your odds of winning by creating and applying a custom strategy for each race. Experience further hones a bettor’s ability to tell a winner and that happens naturally with time. However, what is more important is that you start strong with a solid knowledge base, a reliable betting strategy, and a bit of buffer.
A buffer in sports betting can be considered a safety cushion to help both experienced and new punters lose less if they end up having a bad day at the racecourse. Depending on the bookmaker, the race, and the particular offer, a buffer may come in the form of free bets or bonus credits. These give you more value for your money per bet or deposit. For example, you may make a £10 deposit to receive £30 in bonus credit, creating a £20 buffer in free betting credits. For the upcoming Cheltenham Festival, GG is offering free bets for existing customers and newcomers, so that they can take advantage of the best bonus offers from each bookmaker.
Each-Way Betting: Can they Improve Your Odds of Winning at the Racecourse?
As each-way bets are a fairly new introduction, people who had been betting on horses from a time before they became popular now tend to avoid them. This is a common reason why even veteran gamblers end up losing more money than they win. It is important for them to understand that the racing scene has changed a lot in the last 15 to 25 years.
Significantly more horses are competing in each race nowadays, while the difference in power, speed, and performance between them has also decreased dramatically. Upsets are more common than they used to be, which means that straight win bets have become more difficult to win than before.
An each-way bet stabilises the volatility to some degree, allowing people to have a better chance of winning at least something from the outcome. To get a better understanding of each-way bets work, take a look at the example below:
- £10 is staked on a horse to win the race at odds of 6/1.
- £10 is also staked on the same horse to earn a rank, but at lower odds of 3/1.
- If your horse wins, you receive £110 by betting £20: £10 x 6/1 = £60 + £10 x 3/1 = £30 + the original total stake = £20.
- If your horse gets a rank, you receive £40 by betting £20: £10 x 3/1 = £30 + the original stake on the second bet = £10.
As we can see here, each-way bets require that you double your stakes, but they also lower your risk of losing it all quite significantly, as compared to straight win bets.