If you’re completely new to horseracing, it can be exciting to bet on the horse that looks the most interesting or has an eye-catching name. However, if you’d like to maximize your chances of winning, it might be better to learn a bit more about this fun activity. With that in mind, here is a short guide that will teach you all you need to know about betting on horseracing.
The appeal of horseracing
For starters, if you still haven’t seen the appeal of horseracing, you might like the fact that watching a race is almost always guaranteed to be fun as you’ll watch majestic animals do their best to win. Plus, if you decide to watch the race in person, you’ll spend plenty of time in the fresh air and you won’t spend much money, if anything at all, to enter the racetrack.
Finding the right provider
Although visiting a racetrack and witnessing all the glory in person is a unique experience you should have at least once in your life, it’s simply not always possible to go to one, especially if you don’t live near one. Fortunately, nowadays, you can easily watch races online and bet on them too. However, before you place an online bet, it’s vital that you do some research on the providers and ensure they are trustworthy.
For example, you want an operator that has a license to organize horse betting online, a wide array of bet types, and different payment methods to make the deposits and withdrawals easy. In case you’re not sure what to look out for, you can also find online review websites that list various pros and cons of each provider and help you make the right decision.
Learn some lingo
Before you start placing bets, however, it’s a good idea to learn some racing and betting lingo. For example, banker refers to a horse that is guaranteed to win while green is an inexperienced horse. Female horses up to about four years of age are called fillies and those that are older are mares. Younger male horses are referred to as colts and castrated ones are geldings. In case there is a handicap weight assigned, it is called a lead.
In terms of bets, price is the odds that a bookmaker places on a certain horse while the horse with the shortest odds is the favorite. Some sportsbooks offer fixed odds, which means that there are no payout fluctuations. If you see SP written somewhere, it stands for Starting Price, i.e. the official odds of a horse.
Familiarize yourself with how odds work
When it comes to odds, you might be familiar with how they work if you’ve bet on some other sport before. The odds can be presented in three formats: American, decimal, and fractional. Odds are the chances that the bookmaker gives a certain horse to win. You can use these to see who the favorite is and make the best decision regarding your bet. If you’re feeling brave, you can place a wager on an underdog and win big, for example.
Understanding types of bets
Once you’ve found a reliable operator and familiarized yourself with some of the lingo, you want to learn a bit more about the various types of bets that you can make. There are two categories to choose from – straight and exotic wagers.
Straight bets are quite simple and great for beginners and professionals alike. They entail fewer risks and require fewer skills. One straight bet you can opt for is the win bet, meaning that you are betting on a horse to win the race. You win if you’re correct and lose if you’re not. Then, there is a place bet, which is not as rigid. You can bet on a horse to finish first or second, while a show bet includes the first three positions. Moreover, there is also the across-the-board wager that combines the three above-mentioned bets and allows you to collect the bet or combination of bets that correspond to how the horse you backed performed.
On the other hand, there are exotic wagers that bookmakers also offer. These combine several selections into one bet and often require a strategic approach. As they entail higher bets, they also come with greater payoffs. For instance, the forecast bet means that you have to guess which horses will end up in first and second place in the correct order. Then, the reverse forecast bet is when you don’t have to specify the order as long as the particular horses are first and second. The same goes for the tricast and reverse tricast bets, just regarding the top three horses, and superfecta and reverse superfecta – the first four positions.
Of course, you also want to learn a bit more about the horses and jockeys that are taking part before you place your bets. Read up on them online, find the right operator and make an informed bet for a fun time.