Understanding the Dynamics of Horse Betting

Magical (Séamie Heffernan) on her way to winning the Longines Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. Credit: Horse Racing Ireland (HRI).

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Horse races are events where people gather to enjoy a day out in the sun socialising, enjoying a picnic and viewing some magnificent animals in action.

They also present the audience with an opportunity to bet on their favourite horses and make some extra money. Betting on horse races started as far back as the 1600s and continues to be a popularly enjoyed activity. If you are stepping into the horse betting world here are a few things to help you along the way.

Win, place and show bets

There are a few basic bets in horse betting that are most commonly placed during races. Beginners are encouraged to go through BetPop racebook and give these bets a try before moving on to the more complex ones. The first of these straight wagers are win bets.

Win bets are pretty straightforward since you bet on the horse you expect to come first in the race. If the horse does win, you get your payout.

You bet that a particular horse will come in at either first or second place in Place bets. If this happens, you can collect your winnings less than what you would have received at a Win bet.

In the case of a Show bet, the horse you bet on must place first, second or third. Since this bet gives you better odds of winning, the payout is much lower than that of the last two bets.

Across the Board bets involve betting Win, Place and Show on a horse. This means that you will be paying the amount for each bet, usually thrice the amount you would have bet otherwise. If your horse wins Across the Board, it means that it came first place and you won all three bets. If it is only second, you will get back your Place and Show amount, and if it comes third, you will get your Show amount back.

Exotic bets

Exotic bets come with more significant profits and involve single bets made on multiple horses simultaneously. These bets might require you to spend more, and it is also harder to win, so only get started with exotic bets once you earn the skills needed for picking out the winning horses.

Exacta bets involve placing wagers on two horses to come in at the first and second place respectively. The payouts are often pretty big, and so this bet is popular among seasoned horse race bettors. If you box an exacta bet you will get paid if the two horses come first and second in either order. But the price you must pay for a boxed exacta is often double the price of a normal one.

In a Trifecta bet you place your wager on three horses you expect to come first, second and third in a specific order. You can also box a trifecta bet, but the amount you pay will significantly increase since many more combinations can be made out of three horses.

A Superfecta bet involves placing a wager on four horses of your choice to come in at first, second, third, and fourth places. Just like the other two bets, you can also box a Superfecta bet.

A Quinella bet is similar to a boxed exacta bet in which two horses must come first and second in any order. While Quinella bets cost less than boxed exacta bets, their payoutsare also smaller.

Understanding horse racing odds

Let us now understand horse racing odds. Odds describe the money that you will get back in terms of the money you bet if the horse you bet on wins.

If the odds of a horse are given as 9-2, and you bet on that horse, for every $2, you will get $9, a total of $11. If the odds listed are equal, such as 1-1, you will get a profit equal to the money you wagered, doubling your investment. The odds listed beside each horse will tell you if it’s the favourite or not. Favourite horses come with lower odds. If a horse is not expected to win by a long shot, its odds will increase, bringing up the payouts.

So, before you place your bets, you must understand how to handicap or pick the right horse. You can do this with the help of race-day programs, researching upon the past race results of the horses and jockeys, or even observing the horse’s temperament before the race begins.

Summing up

There is a specific format for placing your bet on a horse. When you get to the bookie, you place a bet by saying the racetrack, the number of the race, the wager amount, the bet type and finally the horse’s number.

When you start out on the racecourse, do not stress yourself out and only place smaller bets. Learn more about the horses, jockeys, and the racecourses before you start making bigger exotic bets.

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