Horse Race Betting- The Basic Things You Need To Know About Horse Race Betting


Horse race betting is very popular in America. This is impressive because the sport itself comes 26th regarding its popularity. The bitter truth about horse racing is that people don’t really like the sport. The only reason why most people watch horse racing is that they want to stake on it. Statistics show that about 80% of people that watch the sports bet on it, although some people don’t take the bet seriously. They tend to bet with little cash just for social entertainment, they really don’t care about winning. Well, this article is meant for bettors who are serious about winning. In this article, we will be discussing tips for horse race betting, types of horse race betting, and some basic things about horse racing that every bettor should know.

Terminologies Used In Horse Race Betting

For you to have a better understanding of what horse race betting is all about, you need to get familiar with some terminologies used in the sport. Below are some terms used and what they denote;

●  Win bet

A win bet represents a bet on a horse to win a race.

●  Place bet

Place bet, unlike win bet, represents a bet on a horse to either finish first or second in a race.

●  In the money

In the money is a term used to address a horse that finishes 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.

●  Show bet

Show bet represents a bet on a horse to finish 1st, 2nd or third. Show bet is simply seen as a bet on a horse to finish the race in the money.

●  Exotic bet

Any bet other than win, show or place bet is termed exotic bet. Exotic bets often require multiple combinations. Some types of exotic bets include; pick 4, pick 6, exacta, trifecta.

●  Daily double

This term is used to represent a winning bet for two consecutive horse race events.

●  Exacta

Represents a bet in which the bettor predicts the top two finishers of a race. The finishers must be picked in the exact order.

●  Overlay

An overlay is used to represent horses with odds greater than their winning potential. As a bettor, it’s advisable to look out for overlays during horse betting because the higher the odds the higher your winnings.

●  Underlay

Underlay depicts horses with odds lesser than their winning potential. You should always try as much as possible to avoid placing bets on underlays.

The Types Of Horse Racing Bets Available

Horse racing bets are of two categories:

  •       Straight wager
  •       Exotic wager

Straight wagers are less complicated and very cheap, and this is why it’s highly recommended for beginners. The wager basically involves placing win bets, show bets, or place bets. Bettors can stake as low as $2 when dealing with this kind of wager. Exotic wagers, on the other hand, are a bit complicated because it involves betting on multiple horses in a single wager. Unlike straight wagers, exotic wagers are not easy to win. Sound knowledge about the sport is needed for a bettor to make it big from exotic wagers. The minimum bet in the exotic wager is way higher than straight wager and so is the payoff. Let’s go deeper into the concept of straight wager and exotic wager.

Straight wager

You recall that unlike exotic wagers, straight wagers allow bettors to place bets on only just one horse. Here are some of the bets available under straight wagers;

➔ Win
In this type of bet, you’ll be allowed to place a bet on a horse to win the race. If the horse wins, you win the bet.

➔ Place
Payout of place bets are lesser than that of win bets and this is because place bets give the bettor two options. Place bet involves betting on a horse to either finish first OR second. This type of bet when compared to Win bet, has a higher chance of winning but a lower payout.

➔ Show
This kind of bet has a higher chance of winning because it covers three outcomes. You’re betting on a horse to either finish the race first, second OR third. Of course, payout in this kind of bet is lower than the payout in win or place bets.

➔ Across the board
An across-the-board bet is sometimes regarded as a combo straight wager, this is mainly because it comprises three different types of bets; win, place, AND show. This kind of wager is the most expensive of all kinds of wagers that have been discussed. Why is it expensive? Well, the reason isn’t far-fetched. An across-the-board wager consists of wagers of three types of bets and as we’ve discussed earlier, the win, place, and show bet cost $2 each, so technically a stake on all three possibilities will cost $6. So while a Win bet costs $2, an across-the-board bet will cost $6.

Exotic wager

Exotic wagers help bettors increase their winning potential because it allows bets on several horses in a single bet. This wager requires a high level of concentration and knowledge about the sport. The types of bets available in this wager include;

➔ Quinella

In this type of wager, you are allowed to place a bet on two horses to finish the race at specific positions. For example, you can bet that horse 1 and horse 6 will finish the race at the 2nd and 4th positions. Although quinella wager is difficult to win, it comes with a huge payout if won.

➔ Trifecta

A trifecta wager is similar to the quinella wager. The only difference between the two wagers is that the Trifecta wager has to do with predicting the final positions of three horses instead of two as in quinella. A trifecta wager when compared to a quinella wager, comes with a larger payout but a lesser winning probability.

➔      Superfecta

In a superfecta wager, you can bet on four horses, predicting their final positions. Superfecta wagers give the largest payouts of all exotic wagers. Professional bettors are advised to go for superfecta wagers because it has a very good payout. The winning probability of this wager is very low, and this is one of the reasons why beginners are advised to stay away from this wager.

Tips For Horse Race Betting

Wagers on horse race betting aren’t as easy as wagers on other types of sports. The tips below will not guarantee your win in horse race betting, but they will increase your chances of winning.

●  Do your homework

Do thorough research on a horse race event before wagering on the event. Racing forms are available online, and they will aid your research. These forms give information about the history of the horses involved in the race. Racing forms will not tell you which horse to bet on, but they will give you a comprehensive profile of the horses involved in the race. Make sure you do your homework before betting on horse races.

●  Explore bets

Don’t restrict yourself to only one type of bet, try to explore all kinds of bets available in horse racing. Win bets might not work for you but place bets might. Restricting yourself to only one type of bet reduces your chances of making more profits.

●  Shop the odds

Shopping the odds is also a good way to make profits in horse betting. Bookmakers have different odds for a particular betting market. After making your selection, try to shop the odds of the market. Check different bookmakers and compare their odds for the market, the bookmakers with the highest odds for the market is the one you should work with.


Horse race betting has proven to be very difficult for beginner bettors. However, beginners who are committed to winning and are very good at doing research and following strategies, will not encounter issues in horse race betting.


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