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Horse Betting: A Quick 101 Guide

Coming to terms with the different betting options that you have when you first start out in the world of sports betting, can certainly be intimidating to say the least. Horse race betting can get super complicated from an outsider’s perspective, and that is why it is super important to start off slowly when it comes to selecting the betting types that you will use to make a wager. However, this is where you can put aside your misunderstandings that you have when it comes to horse betting from here on end, and get it right each and every time.

With our quick 101 guide, you will be putting wagers on even the most exotic horse racing betting odds out there. Continue reading to get all the latest information on horse betting and change your style completely. You will be betting on the Grand National and the Royal Ascot before you know it.

How to place a wager on a horse race

When you choose to bet on a horse race, it is not the ‘doing’ part that is difficult. Often it is understanding the background behind the betting and knowing how and when it is necessary that can be difficult to grasp at first. You will find that the skill of knowing when it is necessary to bet is what will develop through time and determination, as not every bet will be a successful one, and that is something all professional gamblers will be aware of. You cannot win them all, unfortunately. So, you need to make betting decisions that work out for yourself in the long term essentially.

The process of placing a wager is pretty simple and it goes through in a step-by-step process, just like the way we have listed below:

  1. Clearly state and select the write the name of the racetrack down on your betting slip.
  2. Include the number race that you are betting on.
  3. Write the exact amount of what you are betting.
  4. Pick the type of wager you will be using i.e. single horse win or combination.
  5. Select the number of the horse that you are using.
  6. Check your ticket and make sure all the information is correct before you leave the betting office.

Extra facts for betting on horse racing

  • You have to remember that before each and every major race, the simulcast commentator will handicap between all the major races. You need to make good use of that information and pick up on certain tips to aid you with your bet moving forward.
  • Usually, it is the top ten riders within the standings that actually win in the races 90 percent of the time and during the meet.
  • Usually, it is the favourite horses picked by bookmakers that win 33 percent of the time. The payoff is much lower than the underdog selections, however, due to it being a bigger risk overall.
  • The morning line is not about who the odds maker actually likes or is leaning towards from the racetrack, it is really the prediction on what the general public will pick and bet on. Usually, pro bettors will create betting overlays to make sure that they are betting on multiple horses at once, making the chances of winning much higher than the morning line set out.
  • In the build-up of a horse race, make sure to follow through on the activities of the horses that have caught your eye. This will allow you to have a rough estimate of how you think these horses will perform in the coming big race you will bet on. Usually, minor injuries or fallbacks can be a huge indication of how they will perform in a big race. All professional horse betting enthusiasts will always keep up to date on all the media and race reports leading up to a big race. It is a good habit to have.

Types of horse racing wagers you can make

There are multiple betting options that are available for all betting levels and below we have listed each variation with an explanation of what it is and how to bet on it with a set bankroll of £100 for example.

Show bets

A show bet is a great beginner bet to select as the chances of winning are higher than exotic betting variations. To land a win on this bet, the horse you pick must finish with at least a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place finish. This gives you three times as much chance of winning, then picking on horse out of all options. Usually, the payout from this bet is modest, but if you have £100, expect to pay at least £6 for your wager.

Place bets

Place bets are good betting types to go for, if you are looking to win. To land this bet as a winning selection, your horse needs to finish in a 1st or 2nd position. The payout on this one is better than the previously listed show bet. Expect to place £5 out of your £100 bankroll on this one.

Win bets

Win bets are exactly as they sound, you need to pick the horse that wins the race in question. While this doesn’t have great leeway with the selection and placing, the payout is considered average, in comparison to the other bets we have listed above. Expect to place a wager of £4 from a £100 bankroll on this betting type.

Quinella bets

A Quinella bet is a wager that can only be won if your selected horse finishes in either a 1st or 2nd place finish. Either of the finishes will give you a full payout, and to play this only requires a small amount of around £2/3 from a £100 bankroll. Payouts are pretty average and you can call this a medium levelled bet to try, and therefore a good move up from beginner betting types.

Exacta bets

An Exacta bet is one where the horses you select must finish in the exact order of 1st and 2nd place. This is definitely more challenging than the Quinella bets, and can certainly payout quite a lot if you get it right. In addition to it being a difficult payout to get, you will therefore expect to pay less for this, as it is less popular. From a £100 bankroll, usually, only 1% is required, making it usually a £1 wager on that basis.

Trifecta bets

This bet is a pretty hard one to nail, as to get this your horses must come from 1st place to 3rd place and you must get it all exactly right. This can exceed more than three horses but it does get pricier to do so. As you can probably imagine, this bet is extremely hard to nail, but the payout is exceptional if you happen to get it right.

Superfecta bets

Similar to the Trifecta, this betting type entails horses that finish from 1st place, all the way to 4th. This again must be exactly right, and in the specific orders. If you miss out on even one of the placings, you will lose this bet, unfortunately. You can understand why this one is insanely impossible and very difficult to get, spot on. It happens sometimes though.

Daily Double bets

This bet entails you picking horses that win for two consecutive races. While picking one winning race and horse may seem super difficult, it guarantees a nice payout if you happen to get it right twice!

Pick 3, 4, and 5 bets

While this bet can share the same concept, they are three different bets technically. The difference between all three is the number of horses you bet on. For example, on the Pick 3 bet, you will need to have picked horses that win 3 horse races consecutively after one another. The same applies with Pick 4 and 5 bets, however it will be 4 or 5 won races consecutively instead.