How to Bet on Horses

Kentucky Derby: May 1, 2021

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The main objective of betting on horse races is to make a big profit quickly. However, it is not easy to place winning bets all or most of the time. Not only do you want to win big on your current race, you also want to develop a strategy for long term success. The most important of success tips for horse race betting is that you should have a good understanding of how it all works. 

Different Types of Bets 

Never start betting before doing some groundwork about what is involved in this. Race horse betting is not as simple as you think mainly because of the variations in the bet type. The most common types are: 

Win: You place a bet on the horse that you believe is going to win. If you are new to horse betting you may be unfamiliar with the strengths and weaknesses of various contenders. The best strategy is to place this type of bet, concentrating on one single race, reviewing the favorites for first place thoroughly and then placing your bet. As you grow more familiar with different race types and horses, you can move on to more complex betting types. 

Each way: There are two components to this bet. The first is for a horse to win. The second is for the horse to be ‘placed’. If your horse is placed you get a percentage of the odds. 

Double: A twin bet on two horses running different races. If both win you get paid. Similarly, you can go for trebles or choose four, five or more horses in as many races. This involves considerably more familiarity with various races and contenders.

Forecast: You predict which horses will come in first and second place, respectively. A reverse forecast is also possible, wherein you  predict the horses that will come in either first or second place, either one taking either position. 

There are several other bet types that you will get familiar with once you enter the ‘arena’, so to speak.  

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The Concept of Odds

The odds tells you how likely you are to win your bet. In each race, the horses are listed by name and next to this are listed their winning odds. The horse that most people think will win, that is, the crowd favorite, has the lowest odds. 

Here are your beginner’s success tips for horse race betting based on odds:

  • The favorite to win gives you a winning bet 33% of the time
  • If you like slightly better odds, you can place a bet on the favorite to place (in first or second position), this gives you a 53% chance of winning.
  • Place a bet on the favorite to show, that is, come in first, second or third, and you have a 67% of winning your bet.    

Another of the most important tips for betting on race horses is that you should quickly learn how to read and glean the most significant information from the toteboard. This is where you will see the odds listed for each horse. It also tells you what you should pay to get a specific profit from betting on each horse. For example, 10- 6 means that you stand to win $10 in profit for every $6 bet you place on the contender. Remember that most tracks have a $2 minimum bet so make your bets accordingly, paying attention to the odds and you can make a good start for a beginner at the racing track. 

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