If you’re looking for a way to make extra cash, you’ve probably considered putting your money on the horses. There’s certainly nothing wrong with getting lucky at the races, but if you want to make a living at it, you’ll need to consider some of the aspects of betting on horses that not even your best friend will want to tell you about. Here are some of the things that you might not want to do, and the reasons why.
Don’t Underestimate The Spread
You might have seen guys at the track spreading their bets across several runners, all part of a race or tournament. This is called ‘betting on a running total’ or ‘total betting’, and it’s something that you shouldn’t do unless you’re aware of the risk involved. The problem with this strategy is that the odds will converge towards the average speed of the whole field, which means that the slower horses will become easier to beat, and the faster horses will be more difficult to beat, even though you’re only betting on their finishing times. This is also called ‘frontrunning’, and it’s never a good idea. When you frontrun the odds, you’re actually placing a bet before the bettor has a chance to place his bet. This means that the odds will be skewed in your favor, whether you want them to be or not.
Odds are always helpful, but without some sort of limit, they can quickly become very high, which makes frontrunning almost always a bad idea. The good news is that, although it’s a terrible idea, most bookmakers will try to avoid fixing the spread when you place a bet. This means that, unless they’re fixing the spread in which case you’ll know what’s going on and can make the right choice anyway, the odds will be more in line with what you’re expecting, at least from a mathematical standpoint. In some cases, you might not even need to worry about the spread, because the betting lines will stay relatively even for the duration of the bet, which is usually the case for smaller events where there aren’t a lot of betting interest. On the other hand, if there’s ever a widespread belief among the bookmakers that the odds are going to go against you, they can and often will make the entire field rise or fall together in an effort to match the implied odds of your bet. This has the effect of making sure that every runner is exactly the same price regardless of whether they’re going to win or lose, and it’s why betting on a spread is always a risky proposition.
Use Credit Cards
The banks that issue credit cards have essentially given up on trying to convince you to spend more than you should, because the data proves that they’re not successful at all. This means that you can access virtually all the credit that you want, whenever you want it, but it also means that you’ll need to pay dearly for all that credit. The best solution is to use a credit card that has some sort of cash-back or rebate mechanism, which returns part of what you pay to the extent that you meet certain spending criteria. There are also cards that have a variable interest rate, which can make your money grow faster than you can spend it.
The key is in being smart about how you use your credit cards, because you’ll almost certainly be tempted to blow through all the available credit, which can and often does cause people a great deal of financial stress. The key to avoiding this is to set up automatic payment for your credit card bills, so that they’re never more than a few days away, and to pay off the entire balance in full every month. Another thing that you can do is to make sure that you use your credit cards for ‘rewards’ programs only, since these are much less likely to trigger an interest fee than your average credit card, and if you do get hit with one, at least it’ll be a small one that doesn’t ruin your financial situation. Just be smart about where and how you use your credit cards, and you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits that they have to offer without any of the risk.
Don’t Rush To Final Decision
In the same way that you shouldn’t frontrun the odds, you shouldn’t try to make a decision on whether or not to place a bet until the last possible moment. This is because the longer that you wait, the more likely that you’ll be able to study the odds and decide that they’re favorable, in which case you should bet, or favorable enough to justify the risk involved, in which case you should place a profit-sharing wager. Waiting until the last possible moment doesn’t mean that you have to commit to a bet immediately, but it does mean that you should probably make your decision with more information at your disposal than what is available at the moment that you’re considering placing a bet. This is why you should always try to make your decision as soon as possible after receiving the results of the previous race or event, because as soon as you make your decision, the information that you have at your disposal will be the information that is currently available, and you won’t be influenced by any information that you might encounter later on in the day, or even the next day. This is also sometimes called ‘rumor betting’ and it can, and often does, result in very profitable wagers being placed, but it’s also very risky due to all the factors that can influence the odds at any given moment. This is why it’s best to simply follow the golden rule: Wait until the odds are fixed before placing any kind of wager.
Avoid Free Checking
It’s always a good idea to avoid Free Checking in favor of a traditional checking account, simply because there are some fees associated with this type of account that you don’t have to worry about when you use a credit card. The key is in setting up regular payments for your bills, which also makes it easier to budget, and in avoiding any ‘free’ activities, which can lead you to incur significant fees and interest charges. Free Checking is an essential tool for budgeting, and it makes it much easier to keep track of your finances, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to use this type of account for all your spending, especially on things that you can’t afford. Free Checking is also an invitation to spend money that you don’t have, which can quickly lead to financial problems. Use Free Checking for those bills that you know you’ll never be able to pay off, and make sure that you have a regular paycheck ready to go every two weeks, so that you don’t incur any late fees or over-the-limit actions from your bank. Just be smart about how you use Free Checking, and you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits that this type of account has to offer without any of the risk. Good luck out there.