One of the best exercises for developing your handicapping skills is with the self-directed rolling show parlay. “What?” you ask. No it is not some new fangled IRA or 401k applied to horse racing. It is a method of playing the races on a limited budget while had the same time testing your handicapping skill over a full or partial race card given many different conditions.

You may wish to play your rolling show parlay with your top picks on Pick Threes, Pick Fours, Pick Fives, Pick Sixes, and even Place Pick Nine’s. A number of race tracks now offer Place Pick Nine’s for as little as a one dollar wager. If you are just learning, your budget is limited and you want to enjoy the excitement of horse racing this is a great way of playing without sacrificing your entire bankroll.

Place Pick Nine or Place Pick All is now offered at a number of tracks including Arlington Park, Hawthorne Race Course, and Hollywood Park. You will first handicap all your races to make your place pick nine wager, picking one horse you expect to finish either first or second. Utilizing the selections you made, you would wager a Show bet on each horse prior to the start of each race. After each race the winnings will be posted on the tote, you will then cash your ticket and bet a show on your selection on the next race. Based on your winnings, bump up the amount of your next show wager by one dollar.

For Example, in Race #1 your horse finishes second for show money of $3.50. You would then wager three dollars to show on your selection for Race #2. Should your horse finish out of the money you would then knock your show wager back down to two dollars. Should your horse finish in the money revert back to the three-dollar show wager you placed in Race #3. Continue to do this throughout the race card. As earnings build move up to a four-dollar show wager maxing out at a five dollar show wager.

To get an idea of how it works let’s examine a recent Place Pick foray made during the Arlington Park meet in the summer 2010. [SH = Show wager. (1st) = finish position of horse selected. Earn = for $2.00 wager. Ext. = Extrapolating the wager. Bal. = Running balance of funds].

Race 1 #6 Plenty of Jack. $2 SH (3rd) Earn $3.40. Bal. $3.40
Race 2 #5 Terminal One. $3 SH (1st) Earn $3.20. Ext $4.60. Bal.$5.00
Race 3 #6 Delightful Daisy. $3 SH (1st)Earn $3.20. Ext $4.60. Bal. $6.60
Race 4 #6 Atticus Christy. $3 SH (2nd) Earn $2.20. Ext $3.30. Bal. $6.90
Race 5 #2 Cool C Note. $4 SH (2nd) Earn $2.80. Ext $5.60. Bal. $8.50.
Race 6 #6 Sparse. $4 SH (2nd) Earn $3.60. Ext. $7.20. Bal. $11.70.
Race 7 #1 Loves To Fly $4 SH 7th Place Ext. $0.00. Bal. $7.70.
Race 8 #10 Silent Candy $2 SH (3rd) Earn $6.40. Ext. $6.40. Bal. $12.10
Race 9 #1 Battle Buster $3 SH (1st) Earn $2.60. Ext. $3.90. Bal. $13.00.

While we did not win the Place Pick Nine, we did have a net profit of $13.00 for the day all the while conserving our original bankroll going in of $20.00. As you can see, the rolling show parlay can help you gauge how your handicapping is going. Make adjustments in your next outing. It is clearly a fun way to play and teaches serious discipline.

As mentioned above you may wish to apply the self-directed rolling show parlay to Pick threes, Pick fours, Pick fives, and Pick sixes to condition yourself for a handicapping challenge. Other ways to apply this wagering technique might go beyond the play of a single-track race card. Try a multiple track stakes Saturday covering a number of races or even a multiple track with specific conditions, say all seven-furlong races. The goal here is improving your handicapping skills, having fun on a budget and hopefully making a little coin.

With a the rolling show wager you can budget as little as two dollars for each race and the one dollar for the Place Pick Nine wager. Should many of your horses finish in the money, you could come home with a few extra bucks. At the same time you will have fun and sharpen your handicapping skills while playing the races.

Source by Keith Mazikowski