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How To Bet On Horse Racing: A Beginners Guide

Horse Racing is one of the most traditional and ancient sports of all time as it has remained unchanged in its basic premise, which is to see which horse runs the fastest course or distance. Due to its complexity, aside from seeing the horse’s race against each other for sport, horse racing has garnered major popularity in the gambling world.

Horse racing usually contributes to the economy when gambling is associated with it as it was able to generate up to US$115 billion in the worldwide market back in 2008. Just like every other sport is known to the world when it comes to gambling, betting on horse racing has also been used as a major success story in some people’s lives.

Ever since 2008, betting on horse racing has been undergoing a tremendous change is it becomes even more popular than before. It is slowly gaining more popularity and even apps are being built to teach and help people understand how horse racing works and how to bet on it.
For punters who are looking to start a path in the horse racing world, we will be discussing how to start betting on the ancient sport and the types of bet you should go for. But before that, you should understand the basics of horse racing betting.

While phrases and terms commonly used in horse racing could turn out to be confusing to people the beginners looking to bet on horses, in this article, we will explain just how these phrases work and implemented in the racing world. Different types of horse race bets are placed to help you win, but before that, you need to have a basic knowledge evolving around the sport itself.

Much like betting on every other sport, there are different types of horse racing bets that can be placed. Punters can place straight and exotic bets, with each type of bets coming with many choices and some come out to be losing propositions even when you secure a win.

Types of Horse Racing Bets
When it comes to betting on horse racing, there are two categories of wagers to select when you bet on the horses; Straight and Exotic Wagers. Taking the beginners path, the best route a novice should take is the straight wagers as they are simple and cheap. All you have to do is pick out a horse to finish a race in first, second, or third position. And the minimum bet you can place at the track for a straight wager could be as low as €2.

Straight Wagers
Straight wagers are the most popular and simplest of horse racing wagers and they are the most frequented bets among beginners in ancient sports.

They offer less risk, no huge amount of experience or skill is needed, cheap and it is easier to secure a return when compared to other forms of wagers in horse racing. While you may feel the need to jump straight into the exotic wagers department, it is highly advisable to gather experience with the straight wagers where you can bet on one horse simply and cheap.

WIN: Naturally, this means that you’re betting on the horse that will come out first place. When your horse finishes first, you get to win. The takeout rate on a potential Win bet, which is the amount of money the track deducts from each pool to cover expenses, is, at most times, 15/20% depending on the track being used for the race. The rest of the cash will then be distributed among the punters holding the Win tickets for the first-placed horse.

Compare to the Place and Show wagers, the Win bet is quite hard to predict as its level of difficulty could be determined by the level of play a single horse receives.

PLACE: When you bet on a horse to place, this means you’re betting on your horse to finish first or second or sometimes third. You win this bet when your horse comes out in first or second place. Compared to the Win bet, Place is easier to win. The payouts in the Place bet is less compared to the Win bet and this is because it is divided two ways rather than one – punters who played the Place bet on the first and second horse get to divide the pool.

Unlike the Win odds, the Place odds and payoffs are not available for public viewing as it concerns who runs first and second. And although there are several ways to determine the payoffs (maybe not accurately, but close enough) by calculating the amount of money bet on every horse in the Place pool, it is not advisable for beginners to devote too much of their time to mathematics.

SHOW: This is considered as the easiest of the straight wagers to cash in on, as it requires your horse selection to finish the track first, second, or third. Since you’re spreading your bets and you have a higher chance to win, and the pool is divided among three groups of punters, the payouts are substantially less when compared to a place or win bet.

While it is considered the best way to begin your path as a horse racing punter due to its low risk, the low pay can be quite discouraging for many.

ACROSS THE BOARD: Across the Board wager is seen as the combination of the win, place and show bet. When a punter bets across the board, they are betting on the selection to win, place, and show, three different bets in one spot. Due to being three different bets in one, and across the board wager is more expensive compared to a single win/place/show wager.

In an instance where you want to place a $3 across the board wager, it will cost you €9 as you’re making three bets all at once. If your selection finish first, you get the win bet, finishes second you get the place bet, and if your selection ended up third, you only get to collect the show wager. Across the Board cannot be called a good bet as it is expensive and have low payout potential. Let’s just say it collects more than it pays sometimes.

WIN/PLACE, PLACE/SHOW: This bears quite the resemblance to the across the board wager where you get to make multiple straight wagers in a single bet. In Win/Place wager, however, you can only get to Win and Place when you’re betting on your horse. If your selection wins, you get to collect both the win and place money and if it ends up second you get to collect the place money alone.

In Place/Show, you can only get to Place and Show when you’re betting on your selection. So when your selection finishes second, you get to collect the place and show money, and if it comes out third, you will only claim the show cash. Since you making multiple wagers on your selection in a single bet, a win/place and place/show are quite expensive (but not as high as the across the board wager). A €3 win/place or place/show will cost you $6 as you’re betting $3 for your horse to win and another $3 that your horse comes out second.

Exotic Wagers
Exotic wagers are strangely different from Straight wagers in the sense that it allows punters to make multiple wagers on different horses in a single wager, and they are much harder to win than the straight bets. Exotic wagers are usually reserved for punters with a strategic approach, skill and some knowledge in horse picking. It is majorly being played by experienced punters with a huge bankroll as it can be expensive to play sometimes and payouts in exotic wagers are much higher than the straight wagers. Beginners should only try out this wager when they have managed to gain some experience with the straight wagers.

EXACTA: In this type of horse racing wager, you’re betting on two different horses to come in first and second in a particular order. For instance, placing a $3 exacta on horse 2 and 5 means you can only win if horse #2 comes in first and horse #5 finished second. Exacta wagers are quite popular among skilled horse handicappers or punters simply because of the huge payouts involved.

There is also the case of “boxing” your exacta bet which means your two horses can end the track in any order in the top two spots and you will get your win. But boxing and exacta will cost punters twice the amount of the straight exacta bet. So a $3 box exacta on horse 2 and 5 will cost the punter $6.

QUINELLA: A quinella wager means the punter is betting on two horses to come in first and second in any order. So, as long as your two selections get to finish the race in the top two spots, you win. If you place a $3 quinella bet on horse 2 and 3, you can win this wager if both horses finished the race first and second in any particular order.

From the looks of it, a quinella doesn’t have any difference from a box exacta right? The difference between a box exacta and quinella does not lay in the style but rather, the cost of the wager: A €3 quinella wager will cost just $3 while a €3 box exacta will cost you €6. But why would you want to bet more on the box exacta when you can always go for the cheap quinella? Well, you already know that answer and that is because the box exacta’s payout is more generous than the quinella wager.

TRIFECTA: This is when you bet on three selections to come in first second and third in a particular order. More like the Exacta wager, only, this time, with the inclusion of a third horse. So, when you place a €3 trifecta wager on selection 2, 4 and 5, you can only secure yourself a win when horse #2 comes in first, horse #4 comes in second, and horse #5 comes in third.

Just like the Exacta wager, you can also “box” your trifecta so you can secure a win when your selections come in first, second and third with no regards to order. You could see a potential increase in cost when boxing your trifecta wager considering the number of combinations.

SUPERFECTA: Just as you’ve guessed, in this type of wager punters can bet on four horse to finish first, second, third, and fourth in exact order. And just like trifectas and exactas, you can always box your superfecta bet at an increased cost. The minimum bet of trifectas is commonly 10 cents which makes it even more attractive to punters, beginners or skilled.

There are more ways you can bet on horse racing, but above are a few you should first familiarize yourself with considering you are still a beginner.

Now that you understand a little regarding different types of bets in horse racing, we will be taking you through things you need to consider before placing your wager on your selection. Many things can affect the outcome of a horse race. Here are five things you should consider before that wager on your selection.

Type of Race
The type of race you are watching probably has a big impact on all the horses racing. In most times, horse trainers will be seen going for a specific type of race but the lengths and ground involved are pivotal to the potential outcome of the race. Some horses are just trained and built for some races than others.

This is one of the most important things to watch out for when betting on horse racing. So before making a bet on a particular horse, you should always check out the recent form of the horse you wish to place your bet on. You need to make research on the last few races and make a comparison to its opponents. Knowing and understanding this will help you in a long run in betting on horse racing.

Not only do you need to watch out for the type of race and the length of the track, but also taking into consideration the condition of the track. You need to understand how soft or firm the track is, as there are horses built for these type of conditions while others just perform terribly on it.

Jockeys always play a pivotal role in the result of a race, if not the most vital. A bad jockey will, in most times, achieve a horrible result for a favourite, so it is quite important to watch out for the jockey. You should also check out the form of the jockey before placing the wager on the horse.

Number of Horses
The higher the number of horses means your selection has a significantly less chance of securing a win. Punters should always proceed with caution when there are more horses involved and their bets should be revised. You should know when to change a Win wager to a Place wager should the situation call for it.

As you walk the path of betting on horse racing, we have two tips for every beginner;

Always set a budget: This is probably one of the most important things you should keep in check as you wager on horse racing. If you think there is a possibility of getting carried away while betting, then you should always bring in a budgeted amount of cash for betting. Once it’s finished, you can always go home. Make that a habit.

Don’t bet on every race: You don’t have to bet on every single race you see in the program. You should analyse all races in the program but bet only on some of them. Betting on every single race could be detrimental to your wallet when you don’t win every single wager you made.

End Note
Horse race betting is one of the most ancient types of betting in the world. While it is mostly acknowledged to be the sport for kings, it is quite fun to play and interesting to watch. For beginners, consistent betting on horse racing will surely improve your knowledge of the ancient sport.

And when you gamble on horse racing, always remember to gamble responsibly.