Tips for Successfully Wagering on Harness Racing

Harness Horse Racing on Track

Many people are familiar with horse racing. Some of the most famous sporting competitions include horse racing events like the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Stakes, and the Preakness Stakes. These events are known across the globe and draw millions of dollars in wagers each year.

While horse racing is well-known, most people aren’t as familiar with harness racing. Harness racing offers great opportunities for gamblers to earn some money, but if you are new to this type of wager, it can be difficult to make smart bets. If you’re interested in placing wagers on harness racing events, these tips will point you in the right direction.

Be Aware of What You Don’t Know

When something like harness racing first piques your interest, you must start learning from the ground up. One of the most common mistakes that people make is that they don’t want to acknowledge their shortcomings or ignorance. They simply want to be an expert without putting in the effort. That can be costly when talking about gambling.

What that means is that you should be honest about what you know and what you still need to learn. If you don’t know much about the track surface or size, the horses involved, or the riders, then spend some time learning. Don’t just jump into the action if you don’t have the knowledge to back it up. Learn. It will help you greatly in the long run.

Don’t Do It All on Your Own

Another common mistake that people make is that they try to do it all on their own. There’s a lot of information that you need to know before you get started, and it can be tough to learn it all by yourself.

Instead of going into it alone, learn from others.

There are great tools provided by handicappers. Go out there and see what they are saying about the course, the jockey, and the horse. It’s true that some information is more helpful, so don’t rely on just a single handicapper. Read what several are saying about the horse and jockey if that information is available.

It is also important for you to learn about the trainers. Just as a head coach in football or hockey significantly affects the outcome of the game, the trainer often makes all the difference between a good horse and a champion. Know which trainers continually train winners. What you are going to find is that those trainers have a much better chance of winning events than their counterparts.

Be Frugal with Your Wagers

There is a principal in business that says that 20% of your employees do 80% of the work. The reality is that this principle can be extended into harness racing wagering as well.

You may find that you are placing several wagers that earn you absolutely nothing. They are losses for you every time. They are the 80%.

Examine yourself. Learn why you are placing these wagers and why they are ending as losses for you. You may find that you’ve developed a “strategy” that you are sure is going to be successful, but it’s actually only brought you losses.

To increase your chances of success, you must be frugal with your wagers. Your goal is to narrow down the number of wagers you make until you’re successful 80% of the time. You’ll be successful on four out of every five bets you are placing. This can be done by spending some serious time examining yourself and learning your shortcomings.

The 90% Rule

We gave you the 20%-80% rule, now it is time for you to learn the 90% rule. What this rule tells you is that unless you are 90% sure or more that your bet is a good one, then don’t place it.


Don’t place money on a horse where you are only somewhat confident or even 80% sure. Unless there is very little doubt that the horse is going to win, walk away.

This is especially true for a “hunch.” This is one of the most common bets that gamblers make and is a huge mistake in terms of strategy. Don’t get caught up in all the stories you hear about someone who had a hunch and it turned out to be a huge win for them. More often, the person puts money down on a bet that they thought was going to go well but didn’t really have much confidence in it and they lost. Save your money for another day.

Get Some Rest

This is an important piece of advice that you can really apply anywhere in your life. It doesn’t matter whether you are going to work, in a relationship, or placing wagers. You need to make sure you are taking care of yourself. That starts with getting the proper amount of rest.

What happens is that a lot of people work all day, then go to the track to place wagers and watch harness racing. They may be tired, stressed out, hungry, or thirsty. They are compromised, and that is going to show in the way that they place wagers.


You need to be smart, and that means you need your brain working at full capacity before making any decisions that could cost you money. Take care of yourself so that the wagers you are making are sound ones.

This can also mean establishing a good routine related to gambling. Maybe you decide to make every Saturday afternoon your time that you head to the track. To accommodate that, you ensure that you get a good night’s rest Friday night. Maybe you go to breakfast with friends or spend time with your kids before you head to the track. Creating a good routine can help you find greater success at the track.

These are the kinds of tips that can be true winners for you. Harness horse racing is not always the easiest sport to place a bet on. Doing your homework on horse racing, taking care of yourself, and learning along the way will help you build a strong foundation for success.

Jim Beviglia
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About Jim Beviglia
Jim Beviglia has been a gambling writer at since 2018. During that time, he’s written just about every type of article related to gambling, including reviews of betting sites, guides to popular casino games, betting tips on both casino and sports betting, sports and casino blog posts, and game picks. In addition to online gambling, one of Jim’s other major interests is music. He has been doing freelance work for various music sites and magazines for two decades. Among his outlets past and present are American Songwriter, VinylMePlease, Treble, and The Bluegrass Situation. Jim has also written five books on music that were published by Rowman & Littlefield.