For fans across North America, the Kentucky Derby is the single most important event of the year. But for those living in other parts of the world, the thrill of the Derby comes only once every four years.
Even for Americans, watching the derby is a bit like winning the lottery. The anticipation and excitement is unmatched. The atmosphere at the race track is electric. But at the end of the day, it’s just a game.
It’s fair to say that none of us would mind winning the lottery. After all, it’s unlikely we’ll ever need to worry about money again. Unfortunately, this is far from true, and the odds of winning the lottery are actually quite small. If you do win the jackpot, life will certainly look different, but for the most part, you’ll still be expected to pay your way.
The same goes for the Kentucky Derby. For many, there is simply no other sporting event that compares to the excitement and euphoria of witnessing a $500,000 purse race. But the truth is, the odds of winning the Kentucky Derby are astronomically against you. Still, many have bet on the Kentucky Derby and some have actually won. Today, let’s take a look at how these lucky few bettered their odds and what lessons we can learn from their betting strategies.
To start things off, we need to establish some ground rules. First of all, this article is going to be about betting strategies, not about the betting itself. We’ll get into the nitty gritty of how to place bets a little later.
The first rule of thumb is pretty basic – don’t bet if you aren’t feeling lucky. The majority of folk who bet on the Derby are either fans of the sport or simply feel like trying their luck at a few dollars. These bets are generally considered non-profitable and they exist mainly for entertainment purposes. For the purposes of this article, we’ll ignore these types of bets.
The second rule of thumb is to never risk more than you’re willing to lose. This is especially important when betting on sporting events like the Derby where you’re not exactly sure who is going to win. If you look at the history books, you’ll see that many people who wagered on the horses during that time lost a large portion of their winnings. The key takeaway from this is that the more you wager, the more you’re likely to lose.
How Do I Bet On The Derby?
If you want to bet on the Kentucky Derby, all you need is a sportsbook account at a trustworthy bookmaker. Remember, this article is about bettors, strategy and tips, and not about the legality of online sports betting in general. You’ll find plenty of information about the legality of online sports betting if you do a quick internet search.
Bettors can place bets on nearly all major sporting events and matches involving professional teams. The range of sports covered is quite significant and includes American Football, Basketball, Baseball, and more. If you’re a fan of any of these sports, you can easily find the odds and information you need to place a bet.
Here are the basic steps to get started:
- Locate a sportsbook that accepts your deposit method.
- Open an account with the bookmaker
- Make sure you review the rules and regulations concerning online betting before you start placing bets.
- Use the online tools available to you (mostly provided by the bookmaker) to make informed decisions about which bets to place.
- Follow the instructions given to you by the bookmaker carefully.
- Be sure to read the terms and conditions of using the services offered by the bookmaker before you start placing bets.
- Place your first bet on a horse or a ticket that you think is going to win – it’s always best to start small.
- Use the winnings from your first bet to place a second bet – in this way, you’ll continue to win money even after placing a single bet!
- Build up a bankroll of at least $100 before you start placing massive bets – just in case you lose.
- Double, triple, or even quadruple up on your bets when they are winning – this way, you’ll minimize the risk of losing your entire bankroll. This is especially important if you follow the advice in the next section and start betting on multiple events.
- Take note of the winning streaks and statistics for each horse – this way, you’ll be able to keep track of how each horse is performing and whether or not they’re on a winning streak. You can also use this information to determine whether or not you should continue betting on that horse or if you should switch to another.
Now, let’s move on to the more detailed process of picking winning horses. The following advice will help you make more effective decisions when placing bets on the Derby and really upgrade your odds of winning.
The Multi-Event Strategy
The simplest and most effective way to increase your chances of winning is by spreading your bets across multiple events. This is often referred to as a ‘multi-event’ or ‘multipart’ strategy because you’re placing separate wagers on more than one event. For example, you might bet on the first four legs of a horse race and the fifth leg is the actual race itself. By doing so, you’re making five separate bets, but you’re only risking four of them. In essence, you’re reducing the risk by half. This is sometimes referred to as ‘parting the herd’ because it’s similar to how farmers will sometimes break up their prized dairy cows into smaller groups to keep their herd from becoming too diverse and diluted. The rule of thumb here is to never risk more than you’re willing to lose, but in order to do this successfully, you must be able to correctly predict the outcome of each event. Let’s take a look at how to do this.
Use The Form
One of the first things you’ll want to do if you decide to use this strategy is to look for signs that indicate which events are likely to come in at a certain price – sometimes this can be found by looking at the form of the horse. If you’ve ever played the lottery, you’ll undoubtedly know what I mean when I say that some numbers are more likely to show up in the results than others. This is the same concept here. Some horses are just easier to predict than others, and it’s usually a good idea to take this into consideration when placing your bets. Sometimes, you can get lucky and predict the correct results of several events, but as a rule of thumb, you should always bet on the forms of horses you understand best. An example of this would be Thoroughbreds – these are the horses most often used in the Derby and other horse races, and they have a pretty well-known form. Not only will you know exactly how each horse is going to perform in the upcoming derby, but you’ll also be able to predict with relative ease the results of other race events involving these horses. Another important factor to keep in mind is that the more you know about the horses, the better you can make educated decisions about which ones to bet on. If you’re new to horse racing, it might be a smart idea to start with a shorter race like the Santa Anita Derby – this is one of the pre-season spring classics and it only has three legs. All you need to know is the first, third, and fifth legs – the last two are basically for fun since it’s not important which one wins. The same concept applies to the Kentucky Derby – only five races. You don’t have to keep track of all the leg results. Just the first, third, and fifth are usually enough.
Use The Media
Often times, we’re not exactly sure what’s going to happen until the event has already started. In these situations, it’s best to wait until after the event has taken place to form your opinion on it. This is similar to how journalists often report on breaking news stories that happen during the game – often, the results of the event aren’t clear until the end. Since we don’t know the outcome of each event, it might be a good idea to examine how each horse is performing in the media. As a rule of thumb, the closer the outcome is to the end, the more likely it is to change. Therefore, it’s often a good idea to look at the early results of each event closely before making your decision on whether or not to continue betting on that horse.