To win at the dog track, you have to be smarter than the people who are betting against you. Pari-mutuel betting, which is how we bet on greyhounds, is betting against the other people at the track – not against the track itself.
So, if you win, you’re cashing in with other people’s money. It’s as simple as that. What isn’t simple is how to learn how to handicap better than the crowd. If you ask any five people how they handicap dog races, you’ll probably get five different answers.
One may handicap using speed figures. The next might use the pace of the race or the post position stats or the track bias. Some people actually use dice to pick dogs or birthdays or their lucky numbers. None of this is much help in teaching you how to develop your own handicapping method, is it?
So, what you have to do is figure out, by yourself, which factors you think matter the most when it comes to predicting which dogs will run in the money. Is it speed, pace, post position, running style, days from a layoff, trainer or kennel standings or which kennel is “hot” right now?
Or, and this makes more sense, is it a combination of some or all of those factors? But which ones are more important? And do they all apply equally to ALL the grades? Does what works in Grade A work in Grade D?
That doesn’t sound likely, does it? So there you are, back to Square One again and thinking that maybe you’ll take up something easier like rocket science or the stock market. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Take a deep breath. Get a program and start going over it slowly and without thinking about what other people have told you. Look for patterns. Look at how post position, speed, pace and running style affect each race.
Take your time and really study hundreds or even thousands of programs until you get a feel for how to pick contenders. Look for books and articles on the subject of greyhound handicapping. Read as much as you can about the art of picking winning dogs. That’s how you develop YOUR system of greyhound handicapping.
If you can find someone who is experienced at handicapping, ask them which factors they think are most important and try handicapping with those factors and see how you do. Like everything else, greyhound handicapping is a learning process. Don’t expect to be an ace at it right away. Just keep learning from experienced handicappers and from your own experience.