Horse Betting Explained

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Betting on horse racing isn’t a complicated procedure. Most often, you place your bet, take your ticket, and tear it up when your bet doesn’t pay off.

The following list spells out the betting procedure step by step:

  1. State the name of the racetrack.
  2. State what number race you’re betting.
  3. State the dollar unit of your bet.
  4. State the type of wager.
  5. State the number of the horse or horses you’re using.
  6. Check your ticket before you leave the window.

The main object of betting on horses is to beat the ‘Oddsmakers‘ or the ‘Odds Compilers’ and win some money. Additionally, placing a bet on your favorite event makes the race exciting and more enjoyable.

Betting is done through Sports books or Sportsbooks (US) and Bookmakers (UK) entities that accept bets. You can bet on the outcome of horse races and several sporting events.

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If you have studied the racing form and looked at the horse, it is time to place a bet. Unlike other forms of gambling, you are not playing against the house when you bet on the horse races. Horse betting is actually a competition with the people around you.

Playing against the other horse betting gamblers as with horse racing is referred to as pari-mutuel wagering. The money that is wagered is pooled, with a separate pool being kept for each type of wager. If you win your bet you get part of the pool. How much depends on how many other people win with you.

There is a basic protocol to follow when you go to the betting window to place a bet. Here is what to say at the betting window:

Track: Tell the clerk what track you are betting on. “Hollywood Park, race 3.”

Amount: Tell the clerk the amount that you are betting. “Five dollars.”

Type: Tell the clerk the type of bet you are making. “Win.”

Number: Tell the clerk the number(s) of the horse you are betting. “Number 5.”

Now put it all together. “Hollywood Park, race 3, five dollars to win on number 5.” That’s all there is to it!

You can bet on any race being run at the track at any time before it is run. Tracks also simulcast races from other tracks. That is why it is important to specify the track where you wish to place your bet. Below is a list of the more common types of bets used in horse racing and sport events.

Straight bet or Single or Win bet. This is the simplest and most common bet. You bet on a winner at given odds. You collect only if your chosen horse is the first across the finish line.

Place. A wager for place means you collect if your selected horse finishes either first or second.

Show. The third horse across the finish line. A wager to show means you collect if your selected horse finishes either first, second or third.

Combination Bet. Combinations cover from two to four horses to win in chosen order.

Pick 3. This wager requires the player to pick the winners of three consecutive races. Some race tracks have a rolling pick 3 which is when the player must pick three races in a row and it continues for the next three races.

Pick 6. This wager requires the player to select the winner of six consecutive races prior to the first race of the pick six. Some tracks place the pick six as the first six races, the middle six races, or the last six races. Many tracks have carry over pools for the pick six that can grow to as high as a million dollars.

Quiniela or Reverse Forecast (UK). A bet placed on two horses to finish first and second in either order.

Perfecta or Exacta or Straight Forecast (UK). A bet placed on two horses but they must cross the finish line in exact chosen order.

Trifecta or Tricast or Treble Forecast (UK). A bet placed on three horses to cross the finish line in exact chosen order.

Superfecta. A bet placed on four horses to cross the finish line in exact chosen order.

Daily Double. Similar to an accumulator you select the winners of the first and second races on that day. You must place your bet before the start of the first race.

Jackpot. Pick six winners in six races to share in a Jackpot prize. The rules and prizes will vary from race track to race track.

Parlay or Accumulator. A multiple bet. A kind of ‘let-it-ride’ bet. Making simultaneous selections on two or more races with the intent of pressing the winnings of the first win on the bet of the following race selected, and so on.

Future. A bet on a future event.

Exotic Bets. Betting on unusual events. Some sports books post odds and take bets on a wide variety of other sports related events and activities. A few others will take bets on just about anything you can think of.

Proposition Bet or Prop Bet. An offer of bets at odds and conditions chosen by the sportsbook, usually on ‘Exotic’ bets.

 

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