If you’re new to horse racing or sports betting in general, the whole industry might be intimidating to you. However, once you have a grasp of the basics, making bets at the horse tracks is pretty simple. In this article, we’re going to give you a few basic pointers on how to make wagers on horse races.

How to Place Bets on Horse Races

Beating the odds set by odds compilers or odds makers is the main goal of horse race betting. To do this, you must place a bet through horse racing betting sites, sportsbooks in the US or bookmakers in the UK.

Placing a bet is easy. First, you have to reach your bookmaker or sportsbook either in person, by going online, or by making a phone call.

Next, select the event you want to bet on and wager some money on it. Note that selections vary depending on the odds available. And, there are many you can choose from and in many combinations. So, to increase your chances of winning, always examine the odds before placing a bet.

Types of Bets

Simple Bets: The first and simplest bet you can place on horse racing betting sites or by phone is the straight bet (win or single bet). It involves betting on a horse to win a race and you collect only if it does. The next is the place bet where you collect if your horse wins the race or finishes second. Finally, there is the wager to show. With this bet, you collect if your horse wins the race or finishes in either the second or third position.

Combination Bets: These bets involve selecting two to four horses to finish in a specific order. The first is known as Pick 3 where you pick the winning horse in three consecutive events. A variation of the Pick 3 bet is the rolling Pick 3 which includes a further three consecutive races. Next is the Pick 6. With this bet, you pick the winner of the first, the middle, or the last six consecutive races.

There is also the Quiniela (Reverse Forecast) where you select two horses to finish first and second. With the Perfecta (Straight Forecast) these two horses must finish in a specific order. In the Trifecta (Treble Forecast) and Superfecta, three and four horses respectively must finish in a chosen order. To play the Daily Double, select the winners of the first two races.

But to get a share of the jackpot, you must bet on the winners of six races. Other wagers like the Parlay (Accumulator) involve making multiple selections but with a twist. The winnings of the first race are placed on the second, and so on. Thus, the potential for winning big is high in the Parlay.

With the Future bet and Exotic bet, you bet on a future event and unusual event respectively. The last bet is the Prop (Proposition) bet where the bookmaker or sportsbook sets the odds for you to bet on.

Practical Examples

To place a bet, say the amount you intend to wager followed by the name of the bet, horse, and race or races you want to bet on. Let us start with a Daily Double where you bet on the winner of the first two races. For instance, you can say “£3 daily double on 2 and 4 in the Grand National”. If it is a Quinela where you pick the first and second horses in a race, say something like “£5 Quinela, numbers 3 and 4”. A 4-3 or 3-4 win in either race wins you money. Do this for all the other bets.

UK Bets

In the UK, a Patent is a combination of three bets which total to seven. For instance, three singles, three doubles, and a treble. A Yankee is four selections totalling eleven while a Super Yankee involves five selections which add up to twenty-six bets. And then there are Each Way bets which have different odds depending on the number of runners. They include 2-4, 5-7, and over 8 runners. In addition, Each Way bets have two handicaps for 12-15 and over 16 runners.

Thoroughbred versus Purebred

You will hear the terms thoroughbred and purebred a lot on a race track. A thoroughbred is a horse noted for its running ability while a purebred is descended from the same breed. The former is usually registered in a stud book whereas the latter may or may not be registered. An asterisk * before a horse’s name indicates that its owner imported it from another country.

It will thus have a parenthesis ( ) with the country’s abbreviation after its name; for instance NZ for New Zealand. If the horse is foreign bred but not imported, there will be an equals sign = in front of its name.

Horse race betting is not as difficult as it seems. You only need to understand the basics of betting, the types of bets, and terminologies such as thoroughbred and purebred. Once you have these basics covered, placing bets at your local race track or online should be a breeze.

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