In order to be successful wagering on horses you must have a philosophy or "game plan." Just as a successful coach employs a "game plan," so too must the successful handicapper. So with that in mind, here are a few helpful suggestions in planning your wagering strategy. 1. Develop a Philosophy A philosophy is basically matching your handicapping knowledge with your personality. In other words, what key variable do you place a high emphasis on? Do you only wager on favorites or do you play longshots? Do you never wager on maiden races? Whatever your philosophy, establish one you feel comfortable with. 2. Discipline Select a daily, affordable dollar amount for wagering. 3. Budget Set realistic goals. Establish your maximum wager. Wager only what you can afford. 4. Game Plan Develop a game plan for your day's wagering strategy. A "game plan" is basically how you plan on attacking today's race card, i.e., How many races will you bet? Will you bet straight win/place/show wagers or exotic wagers? 5. Maintain Your Conviction Understand that all races are not equal as to betting opportunities and some should be skipped or played with less enthusiasm. However, once you make your decision, stick to your game plan. 6. Money Management Try to spend less on high risk plays, i.e. Exacta, Trifecta, Pick 3, Pick 6, etc. Manage your money and spread it out over the day's races. 7. Be Flexible Don't be afraid to consider other ideas or information. For example, if you never bet on maiden races but a hot trainer who specializes in first-time starters is running a horse in the fourth race - don't be afraid to take a shot. 8. Have Fun Horse racing is great sport and entertainment. Don't wager more than you can afford to lose and enjoy your day at the races.