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The Basics of Handicapping

Published on: 29/08/2013
To ask why someone wagers is to ask a very difficult question indeed. Some people certainly do it out of habit: they might have played the lottery every week for 20 years, and purchasing a ticket has just become routine. At the other end of the spectrum are those who spend all day in the betting shop, spending all their income with the dreamful hope of increasing it. The sad irony here is that whatever they win is usually bet once again, and they only ever stop when they have lost everything.

There are also so called “Betting Professionals.” These individual’s are intent on actually making a living at the bookmakers. Their tactical aim is to increase their odds at every opportunity. They are studious, and committed to their cause. What differentiates these people from the amateurs just mentioned above, who always lose everything, even when they win, is their aptitude in “sports handicapping.” This is the careful planning and picking of those they believe have the greatest chance – this is the application of knowledge and skill.

These betting professionals have mastered the five aspects of handicapping. Without the master of these aspects they would quickly be relegated to the condition of those who bet on hunches, and those who eventually lose everything. These five aspects are managing money, keeping records, conducting research, hunting around for the best betting opportunities, and establishing a secure bankroll.

Money is the life’s blood of gambling. Without it the gambler cannot live as he is. No bookmakers can be convinced to grant credit: you must have money to play. The bankroll is described as the sum total of available cash that can be risked. As the season progresses the professional will always be aware how much available cash they have, and they will never bet more than they can safely lose. This is what marks them out from amateur gamblers.

Many would say that taking the initiative and learning about, history, weather conditions, statistics, injuries, and coaching changes, along with any other thing that can affect the outcome of a race – all these things taken together are the essence of Handicapping. Knowing your race. Knowing your horse, its history, how it has performed on this type of track. Also how the jockey has been doing: is he on a good stretch in his performance? Does he show periodical highs and lows? Is he a steady performer? You may have got the weather reports for that day, but has the weather changed? All this may sound pedantic, but any piece of information at all about the race can be used to your advantage. The professional will not treat horse racing as a fun day out: it is business – plain and simple. They want to be profitable – and the way to be profitable is to know your market, know your subject. They are not interested in hearsay or hunches and tips – they want hard evidence. Statistics, knowledge, performance history: this is what matters.

In order to be businesslike and stay in control of their finances, these professionals are meticulous in their record keeping. They are scrupulous in transcribing details of all bets they have made. Money management is obviously paramount, as they can never risk not having enough funds to operate. They never let a win go to their heads – they will not try to recoup their losses by betting on a “sure thing” they have overheard in the betting room. Their tactics are small bets – strategically placed. It is like a military carpet bombing: they do not place all their offensive power in one massive strike, and risk losing all of it in one go. They work intelligently, placing many bets with a lifetimes worth of experience and knowledge.

Though these professionals seemingly leave nothing to chance, they still have a keen antenna for instinct. If they don’t feel like the odds for a certain participant are right, they will not place the bet. Though these gamblers are living in an uncertain world of odds and unknown outcomes, their meticulous natures, and business like procedures ensure they are able to persist with their activities in an uncertain environment.

Published on: 29/08/2013 © Bet Bind