Horse racing and wagers go hand in hand and horse racing betting is a great way to spice up any day with a boost of excitement. While some players only bet on the big races like the Kentucky Derby, there are horse races happening every single day all over the country that are rife with action.
Horse racing betting is considerably different from wagers on team sports since you are dealing with a field of many horses. New players may find it intimidating to learn how to bet on horse racing because there is so much foreign sounding lingo associated with the sport but you can pick up horse racing odds pretty quickly. Below is a quick guide to racing odds and the different types of bets you can place.
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How to Bet on Horse Racing
The three most common bet types are win, place, and show, which allow you to bet on which horse will finish first, second, and third, respectively. You can also place an across the board bet on a horse to win, place, show, which means your wager will win if the horse finishes in the top 3 but comes with a lower payout.
Players can also bet on the exacta, which is a wager on two horses to finish first and second in order or place an exacta box wager, allowing you to pick two horses to finish first and second in any order. You can also place a trifecta wager, allowing you to pick the first three finishers in order, or a trifecta box, which allows you to pick the top three horses in any order. A superfecta allows you to bet on the first four horses in order.
Horse Racing Odds
The win wager is the simplest one. Lets say you have a horse that is a +500 favorite to win, or 5-to-1. The +500 denotes the moneyline, or the ratio between your wager and the payout. That means your $100 bet would win you $500. This works the same for place and show wagers. Remember that the racebook will take a vig, or a fee for facilitating the bet, which can range anywhere from 5% to 30%.
Along with win, place, and show bets, you can bet across the board on a horse, which allow you to make three different bets on one horse to win, place, or show. So if you’re betting $2 each, this bet will cost you $6 because it’s technically three separated bets.
If you are betting on the exacta, trifecta, or superfecta, the odds of your bet hitting a much lower but the potential payouts are much higher. A winning $2 trifecta bet at the Kentucky Derby can net you more than $8,000.
There are more advanced bet types for more advanced bettors. The pick 3, pick 4, and pick 6 wagers allow you to bet on three, four, or six different races with increasing difficulty and, therefore, higher payouts.
Ultimately the thing that separates successful bettors from the rest of the pack is research. The more you know about the horses and their jockeys, the better prepared you are to predict the outcome.