The Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships are one of the biggest horse racing events of the year. Handicappers love these events because they offer the chance to make good money. Before you bet, you should know a little about the Breeders’ Cup minimum bets. You will be required to spend a minimum amount when you are betting these events at your favorite online racebook.

What Are Minimum Horse Racing Bets?

It is common for most horse racing tracks in the world to have a minimum horse racing bet. In most cases the base wager is $2. This has been the case for many years. Those who bet the minimum are often referred to as $2 bettors. Each track is able to establish their own minimums within the guidelines of a racing commission.


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At the Breeders’ Cup there will also be a minimum wager that is imposed for bettors. On most straight win, place, or show wagers this bet is $2. The minimum can be lowered according to the different types of bets.

The Purpose of Minimum Bets

It might seem that the creation of a minimum bet in horse racing is somewhat arbitrary. There is actually a purpose behind these minimums that goes beyond random determination. Having a benchmark or baseline is necessary to determine the odds that are offered on each horse in a betting event.

Betting on horse racing is accomplished through a parimutuel system. This means that bettors wager into common pools. The winners of an event are paid from the money that is bet into each pool. Therefore, the money that is bet into a pool is ultimately responsible for determining the odds that one will receive on their bet.

When you see the odds for a horse listed on a tote board, these represent the return for every $2 that is wagered minus the takeout and breakage. If the horse that you wager on is listed at odds of 4-1, you would receive your original $2 back plus an additional $8 minus the takeout and breakage that is removed from each pool to support the track.

Pool betting for exotics that involve more than one horse or one race is also geared around the betting minimums. When you see the pool totals and the approximate Will Pays that are listed on the tote board or video screen, you are seeing Will Pays that are based on a $2 minimum wager.

Betting the Minimum at the Breeders’ Cup

The question for many bettors will become, can you make money at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships betting the minimum amount? You can make money, but the process might be slow if you are only betting low odds horses at $2 to win. It will be even lower when you are making the minimum bet to place or show.

You can make efforts to maximize your profits when betting the Breeders’ Cup if you make higher wagers. Or, you can use exotics to boost your chances to win a lot with a little. You can make a minimum $2 wager on a Pick 6 during the Breeders’ Cup and maybe have the chance to win a life-changing sum of money. That number has been six figures for some lucky bettors.

If you are going to take the approach of horse betting the minimum at horse racing during the Breeders’ Cup, then you will need to seek out horses that have higher odds. Betting favorites can be an especially poor choice during the Breeders’ Cup. They do not win enough, and often it is more difficult for the betting public to determine the favorite because the competition is much tougher.

Lower Minimums for Breeders’ Cup Exotics

There is one type of bet during the Breeders’ Cup where you may notice that the minimums are lowered. This sometimes happens with exotic bets that are designed to draw in a lot of betting interest. Examples include the special Pick 6.

In many cases there will be an option to bet these exotic races for $1. The thing you must remember is that the portion of the pool you are competing for is directly affected by the size of the minimum wager. Let’s look at an example.

Suppose that the Pick 6 pool has taken in $1,000,000. The returns for this pool are based on a $2 bet. Therefore, when you see the potential returns or the payoffs for the exotic bet listed you will need to cut that number in half. Your $1 bet is allowed to receive half of what the bet would return if you were betting $2.

Some race tracks will show the return for a $1 bet anyway. It has become more popular to do this in recent years. But there are plenty of track which still require you to understand how Breeders’ Cup minimum bets work.

Proper Bankroll for Minimum Betting

Any discussion of minimum bets for the Breeders’ Cup should include a discussion of betting bankrolls and how they apply to this event. We have always taken an approach that you should have a bankroll of at least 50X the betting minimum. If you are facing a minimum $2 bet, this means that you will need to have $100.

Many handicappers will tell you that $100 won’t get you very far when you are betting the Breeders’ Cup at an online horsebetting site. You can go through that amount very quickly because the event is spaced over two days. What many bettors have happen is that they are able to bet the first day but have insufficient funds left for the second day. The second day is when most of the bigger betting events will take place.

There is a way that you may be able to increase your bankroll when you play the races at an online racebook. Many of these online racebooks that we recommend will give you free bonus cash when you sign up for your account. All you have to do is make a qualifying deposit. Some will match that deposit up to a certain amount.

Now is the time to get ready for Breeders’ Cup betting. Sign up today and you’ll also get early access to the past performances and other tools that you need.

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