What is a Longshot?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2019
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When it comes to gambling, a longshot is a hand, bet, or contestant that is unlikely to win. For example, in horse racing, an underdog horse is considered a longshot. The longshot bet is generally held in very low regard, because the perceived chance of winning with a longshot is decidedly low. However, betting on a longshot can be very profitable. If you win, the payout is likely to be extremely large, as such bets are not expected to pay off.

Betting on a longshot can be a bit like spinning a roulette wheel and hoping to win. The odds are stacked against you, but you never know what might happen. On the other hand, there are some gamblers who spend time researching contestants or teams, using a variety of methods to try to determine which longshots have the best chances of paying off.

For those with a little extra money to spend, making longshot bets may not be such a bad idea. By spending just a few dollars, it is possible to rake in hundreds or even thousands of dollars in gambling profits. However, plunking down large sums of money on a longshot could be a recipe for financial disaster. If you lose, you'll lose big.


There are many books, magazines, and websites that offer tips for betting and winning on longshots. Though it may come as a surprise to novice gamblers, many professional gamblers have developed strategies for making longshot bets. There’s no guarantee that such longshot strategies will work for you, but employing one may be better than trying to place bets with no clear direction.

No matter what strategy you learn or develop for betting on longshots, keep in mind that there is real risk involved. There is real money to be lost when longshots don’t win, and they aren’t very likely to win. Still, many bet on them, considering the thrill, when they do win, well worth the risk.


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