Horse Racing

How to Bet Horse Racing

Horse racing can be tons of fun. In fact, it is a really unique date with lots of entertainment value. The good thing about the track is if you can’t get out but love to bet the horses, it can come to you through the online sites. This article will deal primarily with bettors going to the track. We hope you enjoy this and remember to practice good bankroll management.

Let’s take a look at the many different types of wagers and the difference between straight wagers and exotic wagers:

The most basic wager is the straight bet. You simply pick one horse and bet it to come in either first, second or third. At most tracks, the minimum straight bet is $2. One thing to remember is that straight bets involve one horse.

Exotic wagers allow you to bet several times on multiple horse in a single wager. Exotic wagers are generally much more difficult to win than straight wagers, require an advanced degree of skill and knowledge in horse picking, and are more expensive. However, the payoffs on exotic wagers are much greater than straight ones.

Straight Bets

There are several off shoots on the straight wager. The first in to bet to WIN. This means you expect the horse to win the race. If you bet the one horse to PLACE you betting that it will come in either first or second in the race. The amount you receive on a win is less than just a win bet. Now if you still aren’t sure, you can bet the horse to SHOW. This wager is for the horse to finish first, second or third. You have a higher chance to win, since you are hedging your bet but the payout is much less than the other two bets.

There are other bets such as the Across the Board wager.  When you bet across the board, you’re betting your horse to win, place, AND show. An across-the-board bet is what’s called a “combo straight wager” because it’s three different bets (win, place, AND show) in one. Because it’s three bets in one, an across-the-board bet is more expensive than a simple win/place/show wager.

For example, a $2 across-the-board wager will cost you $6, because you’re making three $2 bets. If your horse comes in first, you get the win, place, and show money. If your horse finishes second, you get place and show money. If your horse comes in third, you just get the show money. Across-the-board bets aren’t usually a good wager because they’re expensive and have less profit potential.

Maybe you would like the win/place, place/show bet in which you are making multiple wagers in one bet. In this scenario, you are hoping for your horse to win and place. If he ins, you get the money for both win and place. If he finishes second, you collect just the place money. In a place/show bet, you’re betting that your horse will place and show. If your horse finishes second, you collect the place and show money; if he finishes third, you just get the show money.

Because you’re placing multiple wagers on your horse in a single bet, a win/place and place/show is more expensive. A $2 win/place bet will cost you $4 because you’re betting $2 that your horse wins and $2 that your horse places.

Those are the straight wagers and there are many ways to become successful.

Exotic Wagers

One thing I want to mention early on is that exotic bets can become expensive. They are much harder to win and require a lot of research into the handicapping of the horses.

Let’s start with the Exacta. In this bet you are wanting two horses to come in first and second in the exact order. If you place a $2 bet on horses 4 and 7, you can collect the bet in one case only. They have to finish in that exact order. If you want to “box” those two horse you are saying it doesn’t matter which order they finish as long as it is first and second. Boxing a bet costs you double as a straight exacta bet.

With a Quinella bet, you’re betting on two horses to come in first and second in any order. As long as your two horses finish in the top two spots, you win. So if you placed a $2 quinella bet on horses 1 and 6, you can collect if horse #1 and horse #6 come in first and second in any order. I hear you now, “What’s the difference between a quinella and a box exacta? Both let you win if your two horses come in first or second.” Cost is the biggest difference: a $2 quinella bet costs $2 while a $2 box exacta bet will cost you $4. The payout for a box exacta is generally more than a quinella bet, that’s why.

Let’s get even fancier with our wagering and consider the Trifecta. With this bet you are picking three horses to come in the exact order that you determine on your betting card. Again, you can box a trifecta but the cost of this type of bet becomes much more expensive.

There’s even more. The Superfecta goes another step further with the bettor wagering that four horses will finish, first, second, third, and fourth in an exact order. As with exactas and trifectas, you can box a superfecta at an additional cost.

There are more options out there but that really belongs in the arena with professional handicappers.

Ready to Bet

Ok, you are ready to make your first wager but now are unsure what to do. It is really simple but you need a bit of the track jargon to get it done. It would be best when at the track and a bit unsure what to do next is use the human tellers and not the machines. The tellers will be fast, courteous and correct in handling your bet.

Take your money to the window and few minutes before post time and be ready. Don’t be that guy! You know, the one not ready and held up the others trying to place their bets. When it is your turn here is the script you should use: “Belmont, race five, $2 to win on #7.”

What did you just say? You told them the racetrack (Belmont), the number of the race that day at Belmont (5), the amount you wish to wager ($2), the type of bet you want (win) and the number of the horse you are betting on (7).

Hand them your money and take your ticket. Be sure to check it for accuracy and keep it safe. If you win the bet, you will need it to collect.

You did it. Now you know what to do when placing a bet. Remember to always practice good bankroll management when betting. Good luck in betting the horses.

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