The Types of Horse Racing Bets
You have two categories of bets to choose from when you bet on horses: Straight bets and exotic bets. For a beginner, it’s advisable that you stick with straight bets. They are simple and cheap. You only pick one pony to come in first, second, or third.
The Exotic bet allows you to make multiple bets on multiple ponies in a single bet. Exotic bets are usually much more difficult to win than straight bets; they require a high degree of expertise and knowledge in pony picking, and are more expensive. However, the profit on exotic bets are much more than straight ones.
WIN: You are betting that your pony will come in first place. If your pony finishes in first, you get to collect.
PLACE: When you bet on your pony to “place”, you are betting that your horse will come in first or second. If your pony finishes in first or second, you get to collect. Payoffs for a place gamble is less than a win bet, but you do have the advantage of being able to collect if your pony finishes in the top two positions.
SHOW: You are gambling that your pony will come in first, second, or third. Since you are hedging your wagers, you have a higher chance of winning, but the payoff for a “show” wager is considerably less than a win or place bet.
Where to place your Horse Racing Bets
Multiple Straight Bets
Across the Board (Win/Place/Show) – This is a combination of the WIN, PLACE, and SHOW bets. If you bet on a horse “across the board” you’re effectively wagering the horse to win, place, and show. If the horse wins, you get paid out on all the three bets. What if the horse comes in second? then you get paid on the place and show bets. If the horse comes in third place, you get paid on the Show wager only. Since this is actually three wagers combined, a two dollars wager “across the board” will cost six dollars.
Win/Place, Place/Show– These are simply two wager combination of Win/Place, and Place/Show, respectively. For a two dollars wager, they cost four dollars.
Exotic Wagers – Single Race
Exacta/Perfecta/Exactor – One of the simplest single types of horse racing bets is the exotic wager. The Perfecta is the combination of predicting the winning pony and the second place pony, in order. The proceeds are higher than wagering either of the ponies to win or place betting options.
QUINELLA: With a Quinella wager, you are gambling on two ponies to come in first and second in any order. As long as your ponies finish in the top two positions, you win. So if you staked a two dollar Quinella wager on ponies 1 and 6, you can collect if pony #1 and pony#6 come in first and second in any order. The main difference between a quinella and a box exacta bet is cost: a two dollar quinella wager costs two dollar while a two dollar box exacta wager will cost you four dollars. The payout for a box exactor is usually more than a quinella wager.
TRIFECTA: You bet that three ponies will finish in first, second, and third place in an exact order. If you stake a two dollars trifecta wager on 1-5-7, you can only get paid if pony #1 comes in first, pony #2 comes in second, and pony #7 comes in third. There is also an option of boxing your trifecta wager so you can win if your 3 ponies come in first, second, and third place in any order. Boxing your trifecta will greatly increase the cost of your wager because there are several combinations. So a two dollars box trifecta wager will actually cost you 12-dollars or a one dollar trifecta boxed will cost you 6-dollars.
SUPERFECTA: You gamble that four-horses will finish, first, second, third, and fourth respectively. As with trifectas and exactas, you can box a Superfecta at an additional cost.
Exotic Wagers – Multiple Races
Double– A double is one of the simplest types of horse racing bets that spans multiple races. A double requires the punter to pick the winner in two consecutive races. If there is a double available to bet on, there will be a reminder of it on the first leg of the double bet. The two dollars payout for a double will be displayed on the results for the second race of the wager.
Pick 3/Pick 4/Pick 6– These wagers are all similar to the double bet, only differing in the number of consecutive legs that a punter needs to foretell the winner. The greater the amount, the difficult it is to pick, as well as the greater the payout.
Place Pick All– This wager is similar to a Pick-x wager, except that you need a pony to place (come in first or second) in each leg, instead of to win. With a Place Pick All wager, you must pick a place pony in every leg on the card (usually eight or nine races).
What is an Each Way Bet?
An Each Way bet is basically two bets, one is for the pony to win, and the other is for the pony to place. Because it is two wagers, each way rules suggest that you double your stake. You will receive a profit on your wager if your prediction wins but also if it places. The place part of the wager will always be a fraction of the odds you have chosen, usually 1/4 or 1/5. This is one of the safest types of horse racing bets and useful if you are confident on your selection but know it could place as well as win. The odds would normally have to be bigger for it to be effective.
You should hopefully have a better understanding of the different types of horse racing bets out there now. Choose the type that is more suitable to your type of betting. Do you place larger single bets or are you more speculative and fancy trying out the Double or Pick 3/4 horses hoping for a bigger return? Good luck with your types of horse racing bets that you decide on. Use publications like the Racing Post to check out the daily runners for UK/Irish and USA horse races.