Bet Management

Bet Management

In handicapping – as in life – not everything we think is true (factual) is actually true, nor does it merit our consideration as such.  Anything that can be considered out there is so much more intricate than is possible for us to fathom . . . and what’s really true is always more (or different) than what appears to be true.

Now – after that $65 intro – let’s bring it back down to what really concerns us all:  How to make more profits from a series of wagers.

Part of the figuring out what’s “actually true” might be to get a better handle on what constitutes a “series” of wagers. Most players look at races by-the-race. That is – they tally their bets by how much was bet, and how much was made or lost in an individual race.

What if you completely changed that kind of thinking?

Some of you can remember and were part of – the old days of our “Insider’s Club.”  And you might even remember and still own, or have purchased since (only currently available in the “Whole Enchilada” package) the method we gave out:  “Ranked Spiral Intervals.”  I would be willing to bet a fairly large sum that that particular method is the least used (though potentially most profitable) of all our methods.  It’s a bit tough to grasp and difficult to apply, but it contains important ideas that stand – even apart from the overall method itself.

. . . After doing the research for that method, and since that time (some 11 or 12 years ago), I have not again looked at my own win wagers, nor conducted my money management on those wagers from a “race-by-race” perspective.

Players are often hung up on ‘scoring’ their profit or loss in a single race – which is precisely why the ever-present controversy on whether profits can be made betting on more than one horse (to win) in a race.

Players, it seems to me, have an inordinate fear of winning a race but losing money in that race – i.e. betting on more than one horse – then having one of them win, but pay less than is needed to cover the total wagered in the race. And – of course – it only makes sense that we want to gain a profit when winning.

It’s like some “basic truth” of betting:  When the smoke clears, we naturally want to end up with more than we started with pre-race!

But – as per my intro . . . maybe the overall picture is a bit more intricate than that seemingly obvious truth.

I track and wager – by ranks . . . my top ranked choice, my second ranked choice and my third ranked choice. I will have – (zero,) one, two, or three horses for wager consideration in each playable race – according to the odds near post time.

Each rank has its own bankroll.

– I look at the results and decide next bet amounts – by rank only

I’m not much at all concerned with the total profit or loss per race.  By doing this, I’ve ‘stretched’ the betting picture – away from the importance of the individual race, and away from the importance of any individual horse (wager) in that race.

I follow the flow of the results of my top three ranks, and the bet size for each rank in each race is determined by the current bankroll for that rank.  So I might have three wagers to win in a race, and each of a different amount – not sized so that a profit is assured in that single race (dutching) – but sized to the current bankroll of that rank and the next amount called for according to the flow of that rank’s series of wager results.

I won’t elaborate too much more on this . . . of course the profitability of each rank needs to be determined by a large data base of actual wagers – and then adjusted to the acceptable odds parameters that are actually showing a profit for each rank.


I’ve been playing around with Delta Downs in recent weeks (never had seriously campaigned at that track before) – doing some initial exploratory research, and wanted to show you some money management comparisons recently discussed in these posts on the results achieved there (while also bringing in the above “rank-oriented” perspective).

Below are the odds and actual results of my top three ranked horses for consecutive dates Nov. 20th through Nov. 23rd. (Ded generally runs 4 nights a week).


date race odds 1 fin1 pays 1 odds 2 fin2 pays 2 odds 3 fin3 pays 3
20-Nov 1 1.4     3 w 8.4 12    
20-Nov 2 5     4 w 10 8    
20-Nov 4 1.4     16     18 w 39.2
20-Nov 6 1.6 w 5.4 4     11    
20-Nov 7 1.6 w 5.2 14     23    
20-Nov 8 2.5 w 7.2 14     23    
20-Nov 10 11     8     14    
21-Nov 1 12 w 27.4 2.5     4.5    
21-Nov 2 3.5     3.5 w 9.4 1.6    
21-Nov 3 3     7 w 17 8    
21-Nov 4 4     10     4    
21-Nov 5 3.5     1.2     10 w 23.6
21-Nov 6 1.6 w 5.2 14     3.5    
21-Nov 7 2.5     12     0.8    
21-Nov 8 1.2     7     7 w 17.6
21-Nov 9 4.5     2     6 w 14.2
21-Nov 10 6 w 14 5     1.2    
22-Nov 1 3.5 w 9.2 8     11    
22-Nov 2 3     4.5     2.5    
22-Nov 3 12     8     3 w 8.6
22-Nov 4 8     2     1.2    
22-Nov 5 0.8 w 3.8 5     17    
22-Nov 6 4.5 w 11 3.5     3.5    
22-Nov 7 2.5     4     8    
22-Nov 8 1.2 w 4.6 10     7    
22-Nov 9 1.6     3 w 8.2 3.5    
22-Nov 10 6     3     0.5    
22-Nov 11 3     10     19    
23-Nov 2 1.2     3.5 w 9 14    
23-Nov 3 1.6 w 3.6 2.5     5    
23-Nov 4 3     8 w 19.4 1.8    
23-Nov 5 2     10 w 23.6 2    
23-Nov 6 8     3.5 w 9 2.5    
23-Nov 7 2 w 6.2 1.6     6    
23-Nov 8 1.5 w 5 1.6     10    
23-Nov 9 0.8 w 3.8 5     2    
23-Nov 10 1     3.5 w 9.2 9    
23-Nov 11 5     1.8     6    

The green color codes are acceptable odds for that rank. The gold w are all the winners for each rank, and if the price is in gold – means it was also at an acceptable odds level for wagering. The dark brick are odds above what I was considering acceptable for this series. If no color – then those were odds and payoffs that were considered too low to be accepted for this series.

Now – below is the same races by rank – with the races for each rank that were outside the acceptable odds – deleted. That is – these were the races qualifying for a wager – by rank:


rank 1 rank 2 rank 3
20-Nov 2 5
20-Nov 8 2.5 w 7.2
20-Nov 10 11
21-Nov 1 12 w 27.4
21-Nov 2 3.5
21-Nov 3 3
21-Nov 4 4
21-Nov 5 3.5
21-Nov 7 2.5
21-Nov 9 4.5
21-Nov 10 6 w 14
22-Nov 1 3.5 w 9.2
22-Nov 2 3
22-Nov 3 12
22-Nov 4 8
22-Nov 6 4.5 w 11
22-Nov 7 2.5
22-Nov 10 6
22-Nov 11 3
23-Nov 4 3
23-Nov 6 8
23-Nov 11 5
20-Nov 1 3 w 8.4
20-Nov 2 4 w 10
20-Nov 4 16
20-Nov 6 4
20-Nov 7 14
20-Nov 8 14
20-Nov 10 8
21-Nov 1 2.5
21-Nov 2 3.5 w 9.4
21-Nov 3 7 w 17
21-Nov 4 10
21-Nov 6 14
21-Nov 7 12
21-Nov 8 7
21-Nov 10 5
22-Nov 1 8
22-Nov 2 4.5
22-Nov 3 8
22-Nov 5 5
22-Nov 6 3.5
22-Nov 7 4
22-Nov 8 10
22-Nov 9 3 w 8.2
22-Nov 10 3
22-Nov 11 10
23-Nov 2 3.5 w 9
23-Nov 3 2.5
23-Nov 4 8 w 19.4
23-Nov 5 10 w 23.6
23-Nov 6 3.5 w 9
23-Nov 9 5
23-Nov 10 3.5 w 9.2
20-Nov 1 12
20-Nov 2 8
20-Nov 4 18 w 39.2
20-Nov 6 11
20-Nov 10 14
21-Nov 1 4.5
21-Nov 3 8
21-Nov 4 4
21-Nov 5 10 w 23.6
21-Nov 6 3.5
21-Nov 8 7 w 17.6
21-Nov 9 6 w 14.2
22-Nov 1 11
22-Nov 3 3 w 8.6
22-Nov 5 17
22-Nov 6 3.5
22-Nov 7 8
22-Nov 8 7
22-Nov 9 3.5
23-Nov 2 14
23-Nov 3 5
23-Nov 7 6
23-Nov 8 10
23-Nov 10 9
23-Nov 11 6


Now this was a great series – not to be an anomaly at Ded I’m hoping (make that dreaming!) – but anyway let’s compare four money management approaches that might have been applied;

% of BankRoll ”  /  “Base Bet + square root”  /  “Red-Black” (from Jerry Samovitch’s “Out of the Red-Into the Black”) / and our own P3+   . . . and I’ll apply each of these for each of my top three ranked horses results.  The starting BR used is $500 per rank – with starting wagers of $20 per rank.


1st rnk hi bet 1st rnk BR hi 1st rnk profit 2nd rnk hi bet 2nd rnk BR hi 2nd rnk profit 3rd rnk hi bet 3rd rnk BR hi 3rd rnk profit
% of BR $35 $930 $193 $47 $1,287 $785 $64 $1,597 $520
BB+Sq Rt $41 $886 $200 $47 $1,337 $837 $54 $1,687 $633
Red-Black  $34 $815 $173 $34 $985 $485 $55 $1,292 $422
P3+ $43 $1,027 $282 $47 $1,335 $835 $55 $1,719 $655

– Our method, P3+, was used ‘straight’ – i.e. no progression was allowed.

– The Red-Black approach is basically: starting at 4% BR – then up 1/2% on every win and down 1/4% on every loss (never going above 8% of BR and never dropping below 2% of BR).

– % of BR is just that – 4% of bank figured anew on each race after previous result factored in.

– Base Bet plus Square Root was explained in a recent post


You can see by perusing the dates and race numbers that several of these races had 3-horse wagers – most had two-horses wagered and a very few had a single horse.

Some might ask, “But rank [fill in the rank] had the best return – why not just wager that rank as a single horse bet every time?”

The obvious answer is that I have no idea in advance which rank will perform best in a short series. Not knowing this track, I lowered a bit my usual odds parameters – both on bottom and on top. Which wasn’t wise – for example there were 6 wagers in the 3rd rank at less than 5-1 (which is my usual cut-off min. for that rank), and sure enough only 1 won.

Anyway – perhaps you will get some ideas from all of the above. You can see how “by-the-rank” wagering creates a situation where each rank becomes it’s own series of “races.”  And even though they often occur in the same race at the track, it’s not necessary at all to think of them (or bet them) like that.

Once that way of “looking” at it establishes itself . . . (and for those of you that have it) go back and take a gander at our method, Ranked Spiral Intervals. You might be astounded at what can occur running the type of parlays we describe in that material.


As always – comments welcomed.


  1. paul Rawls

    Hi Gary,
    I had a good first day I made a profit but in Race 7 today why did you use the 10 horse I know the 14 horse scratched. Please explain why I should have used the 10 horse. Great Job
    Paul R

    • Paul – Reread the exacta guidelines. The suggested way to bet the exacta is using the top two win contenders to the next 4 lowest in odds (and to each other). At 13-1, Pyrite Personal was the 5th horse in odds (the gap after that went to 19-1) – so he was the 4th in odds not counting your key horse #7. The bet I made was #7 to the #3 #4,8,9,10, and #3 to the #4,7, 8, 9. Using this suggested approach, you will always have either 8, or 9 exacta combinations. – Gary

  2. I have been playing the “sniper” methodology this month. Ended up with a 42.9% flat bet profit. Just betting $5/race profit was $1041! HOWEVER, just ran that series of bets thru the P3+ betting software and was totally floored!! I pretty much assumed that this methodology was mainly geared for place and show betting, wrong. Even though I had a 20 bet losing sequence, the profit realized thru P3+ was an astounding $2,455.85!!!!!!!! And this is on a bankroll of $250 -50 units@ $5!! The hit rate on this series of bets was only 25.5%. Had to share this for those people on the fence considering purchasing the P3+ methodology. Took me awhile to purchase, obviously because of price, but after finding out how well Gary’s handicapping methods worked, decided to take a chance, BEST INVESTMENT ever. Just go for it! No looking back for me now, damn the torpedoes full speed ahead!

    • Ray – Thanks for the report and the recommendation. As I had mentioned to you in a pm – Sniper can be streaky at times (witness your 20-race loss streak!). . . and the P3+ software was designed specifically to profit well from win streaks, while allowing recovery of losses from losing streaks. Keep up the good work brother. – Gary

    • Hello Raymond. Problem with blogs is that people come and go, and some never come back. Not sure if you’re still able to get this, but I would very much like to see a copy of your Sniper workout with the P-3 Betting Method. Especially in how it deal with your 20-race losing streak which you encountered using this Sniper Method.

      Any reply is appreciated!

  3. Hi Gary,

    Been reading and re-reading this for several days. None of your other articles, as good as they are, has ever given me such pause. It’s not because I don’t get it. It’s just that it’s throwing more variables into the mix. Maybe that’s a compliment to you. I’m a firm believer in money management, but tend to stay fairly close to a percentage of BR. I am a serious probability junkie, but never been too wild about anything that “increases the bet following a loss.” Of course, I’m probably being too conservative. And since I rarely wager during the week (and, in fact take weekends off a lot, too), I haven’t defined what a “series” of bets would be. I guess it’s whatever you make of it. Perhaps you could say that a series is actually happening to you rather than to the race meet, or whatever. E.g., you could have a series of Saturdays or a series of Stakes races, etc., although that would obscure hot/cold track issues. And then there’s the question of what type of wager(s) in which to specialize, depending on that nagging old risk/reward thing. Some only use place betting, for safety, I suppose (but that’s a whole ‘nuther topic – each betting pool is its own animal, so using place/show to backup your win bets is kind of a false safety net, although I’m sure you could devise a profitable place-betting strategy). Others focus on exotics. And I do actually kind of like the idea of that – I’m sure you could have a series of exactas or trifectas. Another thing is that I can never quite zero in on what my strategies should be – probably a little scatter-brained, I guess. Ok, a lot scatter-brained, as you can see. But I’ve been trying to get a handle on some of this stuff since my start in 1980. And I’m not sure I’m any closer now than I was 30 years ago. I’ll probably order the Spiral Intervals . . . but then I saw the Marquee Method for BC races. I don’t recall seeing that one before. But there I go again losing focus.


    • Dave – Thanks for the serious comment. You address important points for all players. I think sometimes it’s less a matter of “losing focus,” or thinking in a “scatter brained” way (I know you were speaking in jest) – as it is the fact that there is just so much to consider in racing. It’s difficult to know or decide what to focus on. I think of it kind of it like food . . . Some folks just like their meat and potatoes, or rice and fish, or tortillas and beans, etc. They rarely if ever want try something completely new and different (and if they do – they reject it). But for sure – without sampling the new – without testing those new ideas – one could not possibly become as well-rounded, as knowledgeable, as creative as the other person who does do this.
      My theory is to hold on to what works – toss what doesn’t – and then keep researching and testing all the time to try and squeeze just a bit more out of the game. – Gary

  4. Tracking the top ranked horses is a nice piece of work. The kind of thing we can, and should be doing ourselves.
    Nice to see the P# do so well for the month.
    Also interesting that you are being selective in the number of races you play. Something to be learned there….

    • Spence – Thanks for the comments – always good to hear from you. In the stats from my foray into Delta Downs – the only races I didn’t include were races with several first time starters, races where a single FTS was at 6/1 or less on the morning line, races where my top two ranks were both going off at less than 5/2, and races with fewer than 7 starters. This for the testing run. Later if I continue to follow that track, the selectivity criterion would be tightened down more than that. – Gary

  5. Gary,

    Your website and products are very good. Nice to see quality material in the racing field. This spiral parlay is a well thought out wagering strategy. Excellent work by you guys.


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