Horse Racing Handicapping Tip – Forget Betting Because Of The Column

Money management is the key to winning when handicapping and horse racing betting. Selecting a solid money management system is essential, but even the best money management system in the world won’t work if you don’t have enough winners at the right price.

One of the worst money management systems I have come across is betting because of the column. This is a form of progression betting where you determine how much money you want to win and then bet enough money on each of your selections so that when you have a winner you have reached your goal.

For example, suppose you want to win $3.00 on a race where the favorite is going to post in a tie. You would bet $3.00 on the horse. If you lose this bet, then you will add your loss of $3.00 on the first race to the amount “owing” on the first race. You would then add to this sum the $3.00 “due” to you for the second race. You must now wager enough money on your selection in the second race to win $9.00. It sounds simple, but is it feasible in practice?

I recently tested betting due column to see if it would work. I set a goal of a profit of $100 for the day. Since favorites win about 33% of the time, I opted to use the favorite in every race I played. I spread my $100 goal over 33 rides, looking to profit from just $3.00 per ride.

I have an online betting account where I can watch and bet on races from all over the country. Below are the results of the first eight races I encountered.

Track/Race: PHA-1. Due: $3.00. The odds: 3/2. The bet: $2.00. Result: lost.

Track/Race: TAM-1. Due: $8.00. Rating: 7/5. The bet: $6.00. Result: lost.

Track/Race: PHA-2. Maturity: $17.00. Rating: 7/5. The bet: $12.00. Result: lost.

Track/Race: TAM-2. Maturity: $32.00. Rating: 6/5. The bet: $27.00. Result: lost.

Track/Race: BEU-1. Due: $62.00. Rating: 6/5. The bet: $52.00. Result: lost.

Track/Race: PHA-3. Maturity: $117.00. Rating: 7/5. The bet: $84.00. Result: lost.

Track/Race: TAM-3. Maturity: $204.00. Rating: 4/5. The bet: $255.00. Result: lost.

Track/Race: BEU-2. Maturity: $462.00. The odds: 1/1. The bet: $462.00. The result: Won.

The odds given above are the odds of the favorite as they appeared on the scoreboard when the horses entered the starting grid.

After seven straight losses, we finally had a winner who paid $4.20. We would have cashed notes worth $970.20. Because the horse’s odds increased after we made our bet, we made an eight-race profit of $70.20, instead of the $24 we were looking for. Great! But do you see the flaw in this system?

Note that the bets become quite large after only a seven-game losing streak. Also note that there was only one favorite out of eight races. The results could have been much worse.

Some of you will look at this and say, “But, it worked!” Yes, it worked. We also got a bonus on the last bet when the odds on the horse changed from equal money to 6/5 after the horses left the gate. But betting $900 ($462 on the last run plus $438 in previous losses) to try to win $24.00 is sheer madness. You get odds of 0.0267 for every dollar wagered. You can do almost as well by putting your money in a savings account (even in today’s bad economic times) and you won’t risk your investment breaking its leg in the home stretch.

I won’t bore you with the details, but later in the day there was an 11-game losing streak that would have required a bet of $9,427 on the next run. Before making that $9,427 bet, you would have suffered losses of over $11,000. As if that weren’t enough, it ignores the fact that as your bets increase, the odds are likely to decrease. You have to continually add to your bet, hoping the race doesn’t start until you get the right bet amount to make your “due”.

In conclusion, few people have the necessary bankroll to follow this type of betting system. Even if they did, few people would have the guts to put so much money into mutual pools for so little profit.


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