Horse racing betting explained

For centuries, wagering on the ponies has always been a majority of people’s pastime activity. There’s nothing thrilling like watching the horses coming fast down the backstretch with your horse attempting to push up the outside to make a last-minute charge for the lead. Dirt flying, jockeys jockeying, fans shouting at the top of their voices – it’s truly amazing. Have you ever had a chance to experience that live? If not, you need to try your best and visit the track even once. You’ll love it.

If you happen to have been to the racetrack before or not, you must be aware that sports wageringand horse racing go together like jelly and peanut butter. In case your desire has always been to get into the action but you aren’t sure on where to start from, then you are on the right place. This guide walks you through everything that you need to know so that you get a good head start when it comes to wagering on the ponies. Let’s set the ball rolling.

Yan Zhylinski
Yan Zhylinski
Horse racing betting explained

How to Wager on a Horse Race

Wagering on a horse racing isn’t a complicated undertaking as you may think. More often, though, bettors place their bets, take their tickets, and tear them up if their bets don’t pay off. But should you be lucky or skilled, you’ll have to take your ticket back to the window to collect your winnings. Below is a list that spells out a clear wagering procedure that you need to follow systematically.

  1. State the full name of the racetrack.
  2. Clearly state what number race you are wagering.
  3. State the amount of your bet.
  4. State the type of wager.
  5. State the exact number of horse or horses that you are using.
  6. Ensure to check your ticket before leaving the window.
Horse Race

Wagering Tools You’ll Require at Horse Racing Events

Along with your umbrella (or sunscreen), there are a few items that may come in handy when you are at a racetrack of your choice, wagering on the ponies. You may want to carry binoculars to enable you see your favorite horse crossing the finish line, though the tools listed below tend to be more useful, especially if you want to increase your chances of winning:

  • Racetrack schedule: Like a program at a basketball game, it consist information on all the players. In this scenario, the players are trainers, jockeys, horses, and the owners.
  • The Daily Racing Form: It consist of information of past performances of the entire horses on schedule to run on the day’s program in addition to informative articles on horse racing and matters concerning handicap wagering on such events.
  • Handicapping tip sheets – These are more of daily selections. They are selections that handicappers publish at the racetrack.
  • Public handicapper selections – Should your racetrack or off-track wagering get some coverage by the local newspaper, a handicapper may get payments to make daily horse selections.

Odds with a $2 Minimum Payoff for Horse Racing

Do you intend at placing bets on horse races and have a desire to know how much your winning bet will give at the end of the event? First, let’s assume that you are wagering using dollars as the currency of your choice. Fortunately, many bookmakers that have horse racing under their menu of services allow their customers to bet using dollars.

Now, to effectively calculate your $2 win price, you’ll have to take the odds of the horse that you want to wager on and then multiply the first digit by 2. Divide the result that you get by the second number, and then go on to add $2. It’s as simple as that. The following is a better explanation that consist of a list of payoffs at several odds for some quick reference:


$2 Payoff


$ Payoff


$ Payoff

















































How to go about making Show Parlay Bets on Horse Races

If you happen to be with a group of friends and you are all wagering on horse races at some racetrack, a fun and an exciting way to bet on horse races is to try show parlay bets. This way, you’ll ensure that everyone in the group is involved. But how does it work? It’s simple. Have every participant ante up $10 (or an equal amount of money that all of you agree on), and then pool the money. Thereafter, each person in the group gets to pick one race and a single horse to bet to show. Now, place the first bet, and if you happen to win, parlay the funds on the next horse and race. Here, you may realize a quick profit. For example, in case four people begin with $20 and each bettor gets to win a$3 show price, it means that you’ll have a total of $101 after four races!

Wagering on the Ponies: Helpful Facts to Consider

If you happen to be at a racetrack wagering on horse racing events, your greatest intention is to put yourself in the best position where you can enhance your chances of winning, right? If so, the following are some crucial facts and stats that can greatly help you to beat the bookies.

  • There’s always a television simulcast commentator at every racetrack that handicaps between the races. If you listen carefully, you can pick up some good offers and tips to wager on.
  • Top 10 riders in the jockey standings mostly emerge victorious close to 90 of races run during the meet.
  • The morning line is not always who the racetrack oddsmaker prefers in the race. It’s his or her prediction regarding how the public may end up wagering on some upcoming race. If there’s a no-brainer way of betting on overlays, you may have to play a couple of bucks on the ponies that go off, preferably at odds two to three times higher than its initial morning line.
  • Mostly, favorite runners tend to win 33% of the time, however at very low profit margins or payoffs.

Different Types of Horse Racing Bets (and Your Chances of Winning)

When it comes to placing bets on ponies, before placing a bet on a horse of your choice, you need to make a sober decision on the type of bet that you want to place. Here, you’ll notice that there are quite a number of bets to choose from as explained in the table to follow:

Type of bet

Chances of winning

Explanation & expectation

Suggested plays –Based upon a $100 bankroll-



Your horse has to finish 1st, and the win odds determine the payoff

$4 per horse



The horse that you wager on must finish 1st or 2nd, and the payoffs are better compared to show

$5 per horse


Very good

The horse you bet on has to finish 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. The payoffs here are modest

$6 per horse



The horses have to finish 1st and 2nd in the exact order. It’s a riskier bet that could pay a little or a lot, depending on the odds of the horses

$1 exacta box that uses three ponies cost $6



The horses have to finish the race 1st and 2nd in either order.

$2 quinella box by using three ponies do cost $6


Very hard

The ponies must finish the race 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the exact order

$1 trifecta ticket costs $6


Extremely hard

The ponies have to finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. It requires a sizeable bankroll

$1 superfecta keying one horse to emerge victorious over four horses will cost

Daily Double


The horses that you wager on have to win two consecutive races. There’s a chance for a good payoff, especially with mid-priced horses

$2 daily double by use of two horses in each race cost $8

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