Betting On Horses For Beginners

People have been betting on horse races since the early 1600s. Betting on the outcome of a race can be fun as well as lucrative for the bettor, and the good news is that it’s easy to do.

Below is our guide to learning the basics and getting started.

How To Place A Bet

Placing a bet is easy when following these steps:

  • Indicate the name of the racetrack.
  • Indicate the number of the race you’d like to wager on.
  • Indicate how much you’d like to bet.
  • State the type of bet you’d like to make, for example on a single horse winning the race, a show, or a combination of horses finishing in a specific sequence.
  • Be sure to check your ticket before leaving the window. This is also important when placing an wager.

The Betting Tools You’ll Need

For an enjoyable day at the races, you’ll need a few basic tools. These include a pair of binoculars, sunscreen, an umbrella, and also the following:

  • The racetrack program. Just like the program you’ll find at a baseball or basketball event, the racetrack program contains all the information you’ll need to place a winning bet. Included will be info on the horses, trainers, jockeys, and owners.
  • Public handicapper selections. Most racetracks will publish handicapper selections in a local newspaper in the area. These can be very useful when choosing your bet and market.
  • The Daily Racing Form. This document contains all the data of past performances of the horses about to race on the day.
  • Handicapping tip sheets. Contains daily selections made by handicappers at the racetrack itself.

Different Types Of Bets

Horse racing lends itself to an enormous variety of bets.

Below is an explanation of some of the most popular wagers:

  • The place bet. In order to win, your horse must finish either 1st or 2nd.
  • The win bet. This bet makes for a slightly more average chance of winning, as for this bet to succeed, your horse must be declared the outright winner of the race.
  • The quinella bet. For this bet to be successful, your horses must finish 1st and 2nd, and in a specific order that you yourself must determine.
  • The exacta bet. Slightly harder than the quinella bet, a winning exacta bet means predicting which horse will finish 1st, and which 2nd.
  • The superfecta bet. With this bet, you’ll predict which horses will finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. While this is a more difficult bet, the payoffs are huge when winning.
  • The daily double bet. With this bet, your horses must win two consecutive races.

Helpful Hints

  • Don’t always go for the favourite to win the race. Statistics show that the favourite will only win the race around 30 per cent of the time. Instead, do your research, and get acquainted with the concepts of value and selections.
  • Get familiar with horse racing terminology. Examples include race comments, good rating figures, easy last time out winners, change in class, weight, and bouncing back.