How to Play Every Race and Not Lose Your Shirt

One of the quickest ways to lose money at the horse races is to play every race. Anyone will tell you that. We all know it, but we still do it. Why? Because it’s really boring to sit there through several races, waiting for a race where you have a solid bet.

I used to bring a ten dollar bill with me and use it to make “side bets”, usually win or win and place, sometimes an exacta, on races where I didn’t really have a clue, but felt like “having something going” as I called it. Almost always, I went home with ten dollars less than I came with and sometimes more when the ten dollar bill ran out before the races did.

One day not too long ago when I was bored to tears while waiting for one of only two bets I really wanted to bet on at OTB, I realized that there was another alternative. I could play cheap ten cent super bets, something to keep me from frittering away two dollars or more a race. Here’s how I do it for less than a buck a race and still cover five horses.

I play a ten cent straight super with my top pick to win, my 2nd and 3rd picks for second, and my 3rd, 4th and 5th picks for third and fourth. It costs 60 cents and covers 5 horses. As long as my top pick wins, I have a very good chance of hitting the ten cent super and I’ve never seen one that didn’t pay at least 60 cents.

If you find yourself bored and spending too much money on side bets, you might want to try this approach. You can use the morning line, a public handicapper’s picks, or wait for a race where you really like one horse to win and then go with the crowd’s picks for the rest of your super bet.

I hit several supers last Saturday, including a $23.60 one at Delaware in the second race, using IHandicapWithPacePals picks. I use them because they’re much better at picking winners than I am and very often have the super in their first five horses. If you want to add a horse, you can play around with six horse supers and spend a little more, but I’ve found that 60 cents a race works for me.

It hits often enough so that I usually get my investment back. And if I don’t, I didn’t lose the farm. On a ten race program, I spend $6 and get a lot of bang for my buck. I have something going in every race and have a good chance of at least hitting something. And, of course, there’s always the chance for a big score. The biggest super I’ve hit this way paid $233 and change. That’s a LOT of 60 cent super bets for future programs!


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