To be completely honest, not many bettors know how stakes work and how much they should bet. This article will shed some light on this issue so that even the most inexperienced punter can hit the jackpot once in a while.
The Different Types Of Stakes
When a bookie takes your bet, he will almost certainly offer you one of the following three types of bets:
- Main Event – the “real” race, such as the Melbourne Cup or the Kentucky Derby
- Long Shot – a race that you deem unlikely to be won by your selected horse (for example, 50/1 odds on a horse called Carbine to win the Derby)
- Accumulator – a race where you make a bet on the cumulative result of several races (for example, a accumulator on the Melbourne Cup carries you to the fortune of up to £100)
On the face of it, these types of bets seem rather straight-forward, but in practice, things are far from it. Knowing which one to choose becomes a bit more complicated. Let’s examine each of them in turn.
Main Event Stakes
Main Event bets are probably the simplest to understand. The name itself should make things crystal clear. A “main event” is simply a “real”, or “bona fide”, racing event. A bookie will place a bigger bet on the main event than on any of the other races combined. This is because he perceives it as the most significant race of the season. In reality, it usually is the case that the main event is the culmination of several weeks (and sometimes months) of hard work by the bookie, and it can involve some of the most famous horses in racing. Main Event bets are ideal for someone new to betting because, even if you do lose, at least you know what you are getting into. You are not going to be taken for a ride on a long shot, and you will not be in the position of having to make a large investment if your selection loses. This kind of bet is usually restricted to people who are considered to have a certain amount of experience or knowledge about horse-racing.
Long Shot Stakes
Long shot bets are typically offered at much longer odds than Main Event bets. This is because the bookie has little faith in the likelihood of your chosen horse winning. For example, instead of offering you 100/1 odds on a horse called Carbine to win the Melbourne Cup, a long-shot wagering shop might offer you 50/1 or even 33/1. Long shot bets are often used by people who enjoy the thrill of an extravagant gamble. They get their kicks out of backing unlikely long shots and seeing them come in at very favourable odds. This is a great way to make a quick profit, especially if you place the bet on a selection that is already determined to win. If you are placing the bet on a horse that is currently in the lead, and you feel that it is going to win, you will not lose either. This kind of bet is great for someone who likes to live on the edge. The danger, however, is that if the selection loses, you could end up losing a large amount of money. This is why these types of bets are usually restricted to people who are considered to have a certain amount of experience or knowledge about horse-racing.
An Accumulator bet is a bit like a long shot bet, but it is different in one important way. Where a long shot bet relies on your selection losing, an Accumulator bet relies on your selection winning or placing second. This is also known as a “quasi-win” bet. The best thing about Accumulator bets is that they do not have the same level of risk as long shot bets. While you could lose a large amount of money on a long shot, you will at least have the consolation of seeing your selection win or place second, and hence avoid any real financial losses. Even if your selection does not win the race, you will at least have the satisfaction of knowing that you have made an effort to further your financial gain. Accumulator bets are ideal for people who can afford the occasional loss but want to enjoy the thrill of placing a wager on a winner. The downside is that people who are new to gambling might find it a little bit more complicated to understand the concept of an Accumulator bet. This is because they do not have the same level of understanding of horse-racing as they do with respect to Main Event and Long Shot bets.
How Much Should You Bet?
This is a question that gets asked a lot, especially by people who have just lost a large amount of money on a bet and want to know what went wrong. The issue is that not many bettors know how much they should bet, and this is a problem because, as we have established above, choosing the right bet can be tricky. To prevent yourself from losing money, it is advisable to follow a couple of simple, yet effective, tips.
The first thing to do is to limit your losses. If you are losing money consistently, it might be a good idea to cut your losses short—that is, back off and wait for a better opportunity to make big bets. The second thing to do is to familiarise yourself with the different types of bets that are available, and which ones you should avoid. As we have established above, not all long shot bets are equal, and some are much riskier than others. Familiarising yourself with this fact can help you make smarter choices when it comes to wagering.
The Pitfalls Of Over- or Underestimating The Speed Of A Horse
The best way to make smart money off horse-racing is to accurately evaluate the speed of the horses. Before placing a bet, you need to make sure that you understand how fast the horse will probably go. As a general rule of thumb, you should not bet on a horse that you perceive to be slow—especially at the beginning of a race. If the bookie gives you an ultimatum, “bet big or get out of the country”, this is usually a sign that the horse is much slower than expected, and hence risky. On the other hand, if he does not give you such a warning, it usually means that the horse is going to run really fast, and hence you should place a large bet. Another thing to bear in mind is that some horses, especially those that are considered “special”, do not follow the typical racing format. These types of horses might not need to run fast to win, and hence you should not necessarily expect them to go as fast as the average racehorse. In these instances, it can be tricky to estimate their speed without testing them out first.
Unfortunately, there are some instances where even the most experienced punter can end up losing big. One area where this can happen is when a horse runs really fast in the beginning, and then slows down at the end. In these situations, the bookie will sense your uneasiness and will ask you to put more money on the table. If, however, you had known beforehand that this was going to happen, you could have mitigated your losses and made some extra cash. When this happens, it is usually a result of a jockey misreading the horse’s intentions. If you back the wrong horse, you could lose a lot of money, even if the selection runs reasonably fast the rest of the way.
Racing Is Not For The Faint-hearted
To avoid losing money, it is advisable to avoid places where you cannot afford to lose. This includes places like Las Vegas and Monaco because, while you might get your money back if you win, the expense of travelling there and back is likely to make you broke. Places like these are great for people who like to go there and spend some quality time, but they are not the best for individuals who want to make a decent living off betting. Ultimately, if you want to be successful at betting on horse-racing, you need to approach it as a business and see it as a way to generate income. You also need to be realistic about your chances of winning and accept that, on occasion, you might lose a large sum of money. The key point to remember is that, in general, chances are that you will make a profit in the long run. This is because, as a rule of thumb, the more you bet, the greater the odds of winning.