No matter how good you are at handicapping, sooner or later you end up on a losing streak. It's really discouraging when you do what's worked for you before and it doesn't work now. You begin to question your skill at picking dogs and wonder if you'll ever pick a winner again. Unless you've radically changed what's worked in the past, you will pick winners again. But it may take a while, and some changes, to get back into your stride.
When I hit a bunch of losing races, the first thing I do is take a break. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you can't just immerse yourself in the dog races without coming up for some fresh air once in awhile. You get stale if you don't have some other interests in your life, something to balance the strain of going over programs and the stress of betting money on your own judgment calls.
Sometimes, losing streaks can come about when you move away from logic toward impulse. Are you picking dogs with a good system, but then betting other dogs on the spur of the moment? Or, are you betting your system bets, but then "covering them" with "insurance bets" just in case they don't come in? This is one fast way to lose money and pick winners, while losing at the same time. That's not something you want to do, because it makes you feel like a fool.
If you're spending more money on a race than your bets can reasonably recoup, it's time to stop and take a look at your methods. Sit down somewhere quiet with a cup of coffee – preferably decaf – and really think about how you've been betting lately. Are you spreading your bets all over the place? Are you betting on races you don't have strong feelings about, just because you feel like you have to bet every race?
Are you aware of how much money you're spending – and losing – at the track? Or are you kind of glossing over it so you won't feel so bad about how much you've thrown away lately on bad bets that you didn't think about too thoroughly first? Maybe what you need is a fresh start. Maybe, it's time to change the way you operate before you blow your whole bankroll.
One good way that I've found to do this is to take a break for a few days. Then, go to the track on a day when there's a good program. Take a smallish amount of CASH with you. No credit or debit cards or any other source of money. Just cash. Pick out the dogs you want to bet on and bet them the minute you walk into the track. Then, get yourself something eat and drink and sit down and watch the races.
Don't get up except to go to the bathroom or leave the track. No outside bets, insurance bets or bets because "the 7 dog looks really good" and someone tells you it's a lead pipe cinch. Just watch the races and collect your money and go home. If you lose every bet, at least you didn't spend more money than you planned to spend. Sometimes, it's more important to do what you promised yourself you'd do – to show some self-discipline – than it is to win money.
Do this a few times and you might get into a winning frame of mind again, where you're picking dogs and betting them with smart money management – and winning. Do this as a regular routine and you might just find that – on more trips than not – you go home from the track a winner and losing streaks are few and far between.