Success at the dog track is measured by how much money you make. It's as simple as that. If you walk out with less money than you walked in with, you have a problem. If you walk out with more money than you walked in with, on a regular basis, you're a winner. Of course, we all have our losing days, but you need more winning days than losing ones.
So, what's the best way to make sure that your bankroll grows rather than shrinks? While there are a lot of different ways to handicap grayhounds, I think that there's only one way for most people to get to where they can make money at the track almost every time they go. You do it by starting small and building up to making bigger bets.
Your instinct might be to make big, complicated bets – wheeling and keying dogs in trifectas and superfectas. Unless you have very deep pockets, phenomenal luck and fantastic handicapping skills, you'll lose your shirt. Instead, here's the best way to win money and keep more of it at the dog track.
Start with win bets. Find the best dog in a race and bet it to win. Use a good handicapping system and don't bet too many bets on a program. Betting every race is the quickest way I know to empty your pockets and get discouraged. However, DO handicap every race. Play the ones you're surest of and just watch the rest and see if your pick wins.
No one can pick a winner in every race, I don't care how good they are at picking dogs. On a program with 10 races, the average beginner should bet no more than 3-4 dogs. Do that until you're hitting enough so that you're ahead on almost every program. It's very important to keep good, written records of your picks. No changing your mind after the race because you would have picked a dog. Be honest with yourself and keep track of your wins.
When you get to where you're picking enough winners to make a profit on them on a regular basis, increase the amount of your win bets. That's all there is to make a consistent profit at the track. Once you've mastered this, you can go on to quinielas, trifectas and even superfectas. But until you develop your handicapping skills, stick with small win bets on a few races. It's very hard to do, but worth it in the long run.