UNITED STATES—Winning in horse racing betting consists of both luck and skill. Relying on luck alone can kill your bankroll almost instantly, while having skill alone can only take you so far. One thing that you should never do, though, is make mistakes.

Mistakes in horse racing can cost you, and we’re not talking only a few bucks here but probably hundreds.  This is especially true for beginners who don’t have enough experience just yet to notice the mistakes they’re making.

If you think you’re one of them, then you’re in luck because this article will discuss some of the most common mistakes beginners often make in horse racing betting.

Not Looking at the Jockey

If you know how to bet horse racing, then you might have noticed that the horses mostly do the heavy lifting. However, they can only go so far without their jockeys. Most people solely focus on the horses alone, and while it’s the correct thing to do, if you’re an intelligent bettor, you would also look at the jockeys.

Just like what you do with the horses, you should also look at the jockey’s experience with the event, his bond with the horse, and his win rate. Not paying attention to the jockey is like betting on F1 by only looking at the car. It’s a huge mistake and might even lose you a few hundred dollars if you keep relying on the horse alone.


Over-trading, or in lay terms, betting on every race, is a costly mistake that most beginners make. We get it; horse racing betting is exciting that you just want to bet on every race you come across. This is even more thrilling if you win a bet once or twice on the same day.

But do you know what’s not exciting? Losing, and you’ll get a lot of that when you bet on every race you see. Let’s face it — it’s not every time that we win our bets, and not every race is profitable.

What you should do, though, is to allocate your money wisely. Focus most of your bets on significant events, and if you still have surplus money that your bankroll doesn’t need, then you can go ahead and bet on the lesser-known events.

Don’t just be smart about your bets. You should also be smart about spending your money.

Constantly Betting on High Odds

The high odds are pretty tempting for some because of the potential payout it can give you when it wins. However, these horses are given high odds for a reason, and that reason is that these particular horses are unlikely to win. Sure, some underdogs can pull off a win once in a while, but these wins are few and far between.

After winning once, it’s very tempting to bet on another high-odds horse, but you should control yourself. Remember, they have high odds, which means the bookmakers believe they likely wouldn’t win, and they have given that horse a high payout to give it some action.

Don’t Get Hung Up on Other People’s Opinion

While it’s good advice in general, it’s also great when you’re in the stadium. Following the herd can sometimes be profitable, but you should also remember that the public makes mistakes, especially when it’s backed up by hype from experts and the media.

Not only that, but the truth of the matter is that experts also experience losing streaks. After all, nobody knows what the future holds. Sure, they have some useful tips from time to time, but the point still stands.

Ignoring the Track

Tracks are made equal, not to mention that different thoroughbreds have preferences on the track surface. Some horses prefer synthetic tracks, while others like dirt. That said, when you notice in the track record that a horse has a higher win rate on a dirt track, you should reference it in the current race.

With that in mind, if said horse participates in an event with a synthetic track, it might be wise to lay against that runner, especially if it’s a favorite.

Not Shopping Around

Like how you shop for clothes, you should also shop for bookies. Not all bookies have the same odds for a particular horse, so if you want to find the best value, you should shop for the best value in different bookies. You could also bet on multiple bookies on the same horse if you’re confident that a horse would win.

If you win, you’ll be winning a lot of payouts from different bookies, not to mention that there might even be perks and benefits you can get from them.

Final Words

Horse racing betting is about honing your skills and sharpening your instinct. This is especially true since we can’t do anything about our luck. By honing our skills, we will be making fewer and fewer mistakes, and we’ll be maximizing our profits and minimizing our losses in the long run.