Basics of Winning

The Basics of Winning is a 6-week class for handicappers featuring the work of Dave Schwartz. This class is all about making you a Sophisticated Bettor!


You begin the class with an assessment process that benchmarks your starting point. At the end of the class you will have learned how to best exploit any race using your handicapping approach.

The class includes a workbook with almost 400 pages of slides, great new metrics and spreadsheet tools to help you in the parimutuel wars.

(Note: In order to take full advantage of this product you need an Excel-Compatible Spreadsheet. If you do not have Excel, you can download a free copy of OpenOffice here. Excel 2007 or Excel 2010 is preferred but not required.)




Week 1: Introduction

  • Why being a good handicapper is not enough
  • What you must change in order to win
  • Why asking the question “Who will win this race?” leads to losing.
  • The 4+ Contender Approach and why it works
  • The Sweet Spot Metric System spreadsheet
  • Homework

Week 2: Player Assessment & Development

  • Stop trying to figure out who will win the race!
  • 100-race Player Assessment
  • Goal: Concentrate 2/3 of your winners into 1/3 of your contenders
  • Homework

Week 3: How to Bet

  • Another Player Assessment example
  • Sample Races
  • The Hedging Option
  • How and why hedging works
  • 3 Betting Rules
  • 3 Reasons to Bet
  • Order of Preference (OOP) handicapping object
  • Example Races

Week 4: How to Bet, Part 2 (Practice, Practice, Practice)

  • How to best exploit a race
  • The principles behind exploitation
  • How much edge does a favorite need to be a play?
  • How much pool money should be eliminated to box your contenders?
  • Adding a 4th Reason to Bet
  • Many example races

Week 5: Missing Pieces (extra-long class)

  • Using the Demographic functions of the Worksheet
  • Great Q&A session with Best-in-Class member
  • Building your own Order of Preference object (OOP)
  • Factor pointers and ideas
  • Build Your Own OOP worksheet 

Week 6: The End is the Beginning

  • Introducing the Simple Fuzzy Handicapper spreadsheet
  • How SFH works
  • Odds and Ends: FTS are your friends
  • Closing Remarks