Horse racing is exciting, and many people love to place bets, hoping to win big. But winning isn’t always easy.

Many people, especially those who are not seasoned bettors, make the same common mistakes when betting.

So if you want to know how to beat the bookies, we’ll show you these errors and give you tips to do better.

Ready to learn and boost your chances? Let’s go!

1. Betting Without Research: A Rookie Move

Did you know that nearly half of the people who bet on the Grand National, choose their horse based on its name?

And, to be fair, sometimes it works but that is just sheer luck. Most simply place bets based on hearsay or gut feelings, bypassing research altogether.

To truly stand a chance at beating the bookies, you must understand the horses, their form, and the jockeys riding them.

I’m not suggesting you open a spreadsheet and spend the next six months putting together the stats.

But you can learn a lot if you take some time to delve into recent race results, racecourse conditions, and a horse’s form.

And if you can’t be bothered to do the legwork yourself, then check out a tipping service like Tipstrr, which will give you a daily free tip. It’s worth a punt!

This makes perfect sense for big races. A trainer must enter a Grand National runner in January, even though the race doesn’t take place until April.

So much can change in the time in between that it makes sense to note any changes that could affect a decent run.

Knowledge isn’t just power; in this arena, it’s the difference between a win and a loss.

2. Overlooking Non-Favourites

In horse racing, the favourite isn’t always the winner. Often, bettors make the error of placing their money solely on the crowd’s pick.

That’s doubly true if you’re unfamiliar with betting or the horses running in the race.

Your instinct is to go with the crowd because you believe they must collectively know more than you do.

But that’s not true. While favourites have a track record that justifies their status, upsets are common in racing.

How to beat the bookies? One word: value. Seek out horses with odds that offer value.

These might not be the top picks, but their chances of winning, compared to their odds, may present a worthwhile gamble.

If you’re still not sure, there are some great tools out there, like Rebel Betting, that simplify everything for you.

3. Neglecting Course and Weather Conditions

The state of the racecourse plays a pivotal role in race outcomes.

Different horses perform variably on wet, dry, soft, or hard courses. A champion on a dry course might falter on a wet one.

Similarly, some horses have a history of performing well in specific weather conditions. The ones who like to slog it out in the mud at Chepstow in December rarely perform as well on drier courses in April or May.

Overlooking these factors can be detrimental to your betting strategy. So before placing a bet, always check the day’s weather forecast and the track’s condition.

Pair this information with the history of the horses running in the race to make a more informed bet.

4. Failing to Manage the Bankroll

Money management is vital in any betting activity, horse racing included.

First, setting a budget is paramount. Decide on an amount you’re comfortable losing and stick to it. This prevents the pitfalls of emotional and impulsive betting.

Second, diversify your stakes. Don’t put all your money on one race or one horse. Spread it out. This way, a loss in one race might be offset by a win in another.

Finally, track your bets. Maintain a record to understand which strategies yield success and which don’t.

Look at options that maximise your bets rather than sticking to the likes of a ‘win bet.’ Maybe a reverse forecast is a better option if you’re torn between two runners.

You only have a certain amount of money, so use it wisely.

5. Getting Caught Up in the Hype

Race days, especially big events, come with a lot of fanfare. The buzz around certain horses or jockeys can be contagious.

Getting swayed by popular opinion without personal research is a typical blunder. Beating the bookies demands a cool head.

It requires bettors to filter out the noise and rely on hard facts, data, and personal strategies.

As an example, most Grand National fans loved AP McCoy. The legendary jockey was a staple at Aintree, and the longer he went without a win in the race, the more people were desperate for him to finally land it.

In fact, most years, despite the fact that the horse was never going to win, people bet on whichever runner AP McCoy picked.

McCoy finally won the Grand National on his fifteenth attempt in 2010 on Don’t Push It. But his fans had spent 14 years backing him in a race, losing their money in the process.


So there you have it, the five most common mistakes people make when betting.

So if you want to know how to beat the bookies, make sure you do your research, look beyond the favourites, check the course conditions, manage your money and don’t get sucked into the hype.

The racecourse is full of surprises, but with the right approach, you can tilt the odds in your favour.

Success in betting isn’t guaranteed, but armed with these tips, you stand a better chance at the finish line.

Knowing the trends and factoring them into your betting equation is an important part of turning the odds in your favour, whether it be horse racing or wagering in general.

Those who are new to the process may have a tough time trying to beat the bookies, but the comforting thought is that although sheer luck cannot be completely eliminated as a factor, knowledge can influence your chances of success.

Bet Goodwin




18+ New UK customers only. If you place a win or each way single bet in any UK or Irish Horserace and your selection finishes second beaten by the official distance of a nose, places second beaten by the official distance of under half a length in a chase, falls at the last fence or hurdle when leading or finishes second and the SP of the winner is 50/1 or bigger (except the UK Grand National) we will refund the win part of losing stake as a free bet up to £100. Minimum stake to qualify is £10 win or £10ew. Credited within 24 hours. Full T&C's Apply – Click Through For Details. #ad. Please bet responsibly.