Wouldn’t it be nice if you could follow your passion of only watching horses race and placing bets? After all, doing what you love is one of the secrets to a happy life.
Contrary to what most non-gamblers think, betting on horses is hard work. There’s the strain of the constant emotional ups and downs of victories and losses. There’s the nerve-wracking decision making process of which horse to back and how much to place on a bet, and much more. But what are the chances of turning this into a full-time job that’ll finance your mortgage and send your kids to college? With races such as the Kentucky Derby, and the 2017 Breeders Cup coming up perhaps you're tempted to try and follow suit.
Well the short and brutal answer is your chances are very low. Why? Because horses like people are very unpredictable and the likelihood of you winning as many bets as you need to remain financially stable is dependent far too much on the mercies of Lady Luck.
The most successful bettors and handicappers all support their passion for the races with a day job that pays the bills and provides them something to fall back on when things aren’t going too well on the track.
But there’s still hope
While I did say the chances of being a fulltime bettor were low, I didn’t say they were non-existent. If you insist on following your dream, below are just some of the things it would take to make a steady and dependable living from playing the races.
Well you can’t be a gambling man or woman if you don’t have the bankroll to finance your passion. The key to successfully gambling and not falling into debt is ensuring what you put into bets never exceeds what you currently have. But if you keep putting money into the races without winning, you’ll eventually be left penniless. Plenty pro gamblers often don’t earn profits of greater than 10% of what they’ve invested in races. Will that be enough to sustain you especially after you factor in your general life expenses?
Handicapping is important because it points you in the direction of horses that are more likely to win. You could pay for handicapping services from a pro to help you place better bets, just make sure it’s giving you winning horses
It’s very important you don’t let your emotions get the best of you while you are at the track. If you have a plan, stick with it and avoid being lured into playing with your prime bankroll at a race you have no genuine certainty on.
There really isn’t one perfect way to manage your finances if you opt for gambling as your chosen line of profession, but you could try out the Kelly Criterion. This involves optimizing wager size on the perceived edge on a race based on fair odds assigned to your pick against the track odds.
There are rules to winning when betting but none of the rules are set in stone. If you try something today and it works, it doesn’t mean it’s going to work again tomorrow. So be prepared to be constantly learning and avoid making the same mistakes twice. This will save you from less regret and keep you ahead.
If you are good at trifectas and exactas then hedging bets with a win bet can help you break even when other bets don’t work out like you expected.
Vary the amount staked in exotics depending on your expected payoffs. By doing this, you’ll be hedging your wagers for in case the favourites come in and make room for a reduced but profitable wager on longer shots.
Keep in mind that every successful gambler has their own winning formula which they update from time to time. If you have your own way of betting that works out perfectly for you and you are disciplined and smart with your money, I suppose you could head over to the Kentucky Derby and many more races to make a living. But just to be safe, don’t get too excited and quit your day job just yet.