This is for all the people who play for a living--(RTP-NANCE-ETC) I go to the track 2-3 times a week for recreation. I was wondering if you guys who do it for a living-what format do you normally use- do you normally bet to win & place? do you play tris? do you play supers? do you play exactas? or do you play all of the above? And on average how many races do you bet a day? Do you have a goal to make X amount of dollars a day? I'm just curious as i am trying to make my wagering more profitable in the long run.
In my opinion, it all depends on your handicapping style. Depending upon how you approach a race, you will be naturally "better" at certain bet types. To determine how money management can work best for you, be sure to track your wagers VERY comprehensively. I'll show my system.
I keep two "databases" (which could also be done on paper). The first actually tracks the bets themselves, so I can clearly see my profits, per track, per wager type, etc. The second tracks how the payoffs shaped up, and whether or not I would've been better off playing the race differently.
Sensuous Woman on Monday was the perfect example. I've looked at my numbers over time, and I've seen that if I play a horse greater than about 12/1 to place, I'm actually better off playing them back in Exactas rather than playing Place. However, I can also tell that I tend to lose money on back-keyed exactas with more than five horses up top. So, I bet the horse to win and show, but instead of place played a 1-3-4-5-6/7 exacta. This resulted in about 30-40% more profit in the race.
Obviously that's a lillywhite example, but tracking your trends over time is the ONLY way to know whether or not you are managing your money properly.
For tris, I track EVERY way to "build the ticket" separate (same with exacta). For example, I'll have a section for 2x3x5 trifectas, or 1x3xALL combinations. Since I keep track of the odds of the horses I involve, I can generally tell which wagering methods kill money for me personally.
For example, for me, there's all sorts of dead money in boxes. Rather than a 5 horse box ($60 per unit), I'm MUCH MUCH more profitable plaing a 2x3x5 five times (same cost). Obviously you miss some, but you'll only know if an adjustment like this is profitable for you if you track, track, track.
My system may not be the best, but it's all about finding one that can yield you information and sticking every number possible into it.
One more thing I'd like to point out is bankroll. IMO, you HAVE to establish some sort of "bankroll" which you use as your running capital. Then, establish betting limits/minimums based upon that standard bank. Personally, 2% is my minimum play and 5% is my max.
Currently, my standard bankroll is $10k. The LEAST I will bet on a race is $200. If I can't justify this investment, I'll stay away. At the same time, the MOST I'll bet is $500. No wager is a sure thing, and risking more than 5% of your total capital is pretty ridiculous. However, I will bet unlimited up to whatever profit I have for the night (to at worst be even).
Every $1,000, I will reset my percentages -- for example, If I dip under $9,000, my minimum becomes $180, and my max $450. These adjustments keep you from busting out on a bad streak, and something like this would help anyone actually looking only to generate a solid profit.
Once you've established these limits and you track your numbers, after awhile you'll see an approximate profit (or loss) level result. Personally, the last three years -- month to month -- I've run at about a 15-18% post rebate profit pretty consistently. So, if your goal is to earn $50k for the year, I would know that I have to handle about $330k to get there. I know my average per race bet, and as a result, I can tell exactly how many races I "have" to bet per week to get to that number. Obviously, you don't want to play bad wagers, but at the same time, this will tell you whether or not that earnings numbers is a pipedream...
Looking at the above example (want $50k income, making about 15-17%), the "necessary" handle to gain your approximate income is $330k in a year. So, if you average about $300 a race, you'll need to bet around 1,100 races on the year -- which is approximately 21 a week or 3 a day.
If you generally find a race or two to bet on a card, that tells you need two (or possibly three) circuits at a time to sustain the proper handle to achieve your earnings goal.
I've rambled aimlessly. I suppose my best advice is to keep track of your bankroll religiously, and apply sound risk versus return principles with EVERY wager you make. Don't burn up money unnecessarily, and handicap with a level head.
One more thing -- don't "pick winners" bet value.
Hope this helped somewhat,