Tips to Place a Bet in Horse Racing

July 11, 2018 1:05 pm74 commentsViews: 134

Contrary to popular belief, spending a day at a horse racing track and making a few bets doesn’t mean blowing an entire paycheck. In fact, horse racing is one of the least expensive professional sporting events to attend. Most tracks offer free admission (and sometimes parking), food and beverage costs are comparable to other professional sports venues, and all it takes is a small $2 minimum bet on a horse in each race to get in on the excitement. Once the gate opens, anything can happen. Just like any other sport, you can go and watch a race and cheer on the field or you can place a wager online on your favorite horse. That is useful if you have an eye on the winner and you have $2 at least, but you cant go on the racecourse. Many people think that the best way is to be there on the racecourse, but with new era and technology development, you can enjoy and cheer from anywhere. For all betting lovers there are some basic rules and even newbie in horse betting can learn how to bet.

Basic Horse Racing Wagers – Win, Place and Show

Win, place or show simply means first, second and third place. The most basic bet in horse racing is $2 to Win. And obviously, if the horse finishes first, the bettor collects the win money. Many experienced racetrack ‘punters’ will often bet their choice to both Win and Place; two bets, at a cost of $4. If the horse manages to win the race, the bettor collects both the win and place money. If the horse only finishes second, the bettor collects the place money – often enough to cover the cost of the bet.

Betting Across the Board

It’s also common to bet “across the board” meaning the bet has been placed on the horse to Win, Place and Show – three bets for a total of $6. Again, if the horse wins, the bettor collects all of the win, place and show money. If the horse runs second, place and show money is collected, and if it runs third, only the show money is won.

In terms of strategy, the lower the odds on a horse, the less common it is to bet to win, place and show, simply because if the horse only finishes third, the show money may not cover the $6 bet.

However, it is possible to bet a horse just to place or just to show. The absolute safest bet in horse racing is $2 to Show on the favorite (horse with the lowest odds). Statistics have shown that the favorite finishes “in the money” – first, second or third – roughly 66 per cent of the time. That $2 Show ticket may only pay $2.10, but even 10 cents is a profit.

What are Exotic Wagers – Exacta and Trifecta Bets

Exotic wagers are simply different betting combinations involving multiple horses. An exacta (sometimes called exactor) wager is one in which the bettor picks two horses to finish first and second in that exact order. This is also a basic $2 bet, although many tracks do offer a $1 exacta.

A good strategy is to “box” an exacta; that is, the bet is essentially placed twice with either horse finishing first or second, at a cost of $4. Often experienced bettors will box the favorite with a second horse they like that carries higher odds. If that horse wins and the favorite finishes second, the payout will be higher than if the favorite were to win.

A trifecta is similar to an exacta, except the challenge is to pick three horses to finish first, second and third in exact order. Again, the horses can be boxed, and a $2 straight trifecta will cost $12 dollars when three horses are boxed. Although a trifecta is a very difficult bet to win, the payoff can be quite large, particularly if horses with high odds finish in the money.

Understanding a Horse’s Odds

In order to enjoy gambling at the track, it helps to have a basic understanding of how the odds are calculated. Horse racing operates under what is called a pari-mutuel system, which essentially means that all money bet on all horses in the race goes into a pool, and those who hold tickets on horses that win, place or show divide that pool money once the results are official.

Individual horses’ odds are calculated based on how much of the money in the pool is bet on that horse to win. The horse with the most money bet on it to win receives the lowest odds, the horse with the second most money bet on it to win receives the second lowest odds, and so on. It is therefore the betting public who decide collectively which horse is most likely to win the race, ie; the favourite.


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