What if there was a way in horse racing that you could miss the mark and still win when horse betting? Many people see horse racing betting as a game in which you are either right or wrong with no middle ground. Making flexible horse bets in horse racing can allow you be close to picking a winner and still win a bet even though the horse you chose did not cross the finish line first. Here’s what you need to know about horse racing’s flexible bets.

What Are Flexible Bets in Horse Racing?

Horse racing betting is not always an exact science. Sometimes it requires a certain amount of intuition and guesswork. To be truthful, all horse racing betting is an educated guess. Most people believe that you are either right or wrong at betting horses. That’s not always true.

The flexible bet in horse racing can be defined as a bet in which you are allowed to be wrong and still win. Let’s explain. Some horse racing bets will pay you when the horse that you have chosen runs either second or third. Others will give you the opportunity to use more than one horse on a betting ticket.


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When you use these types of bets in horse racing you are giving yourself an extra chance to win. Sometimes you may have to spend a little bit more money to make the bets. Other times they may cost the same as a standard win wager.

Let’s now take a look at two of the most common flexible bets in horse racing today.

The Place and Show Bets

Horse racing is a game that involves many types of bets. There are exotic wagers which combine horses and races, and there are straight wagers like win, place, and show.

Place and show betting in horse racing are available at every major race track and every online racebook. They are among the simplest types of wagers that you can make. They are also inexpensive compared to many other types of bets. But what horse racing fans love is that these bets are flexible in nature.

When you make a bet to place, the horse that you have chosen only needs to finish second or better for you to collect your bet. When you bet to show, the pick only has to finish third or better. So, you do not need to necessarily need to pick the winner of a race. You only need your horse to finish second or third to collect the specific bet.

Spreading for Flexibility

Another type of flexible horse racing betting is something known as spreading. When the bettor uses spreading it means that they are using more than one horse in a betting combination. Obviously, this type of strategy is used more in exotic wagers. There would be no need for spreading if you are making horse racing bets that only require a wager on one horse in one race.

Let’s use an example to demonstrate the concept of spreading in a race. The bet we will be using as an example is the Pick 3. We have chosen it for simplicity. The Pick 3 requires you to pick the winner of three consecutive races in a row.

When betting this race, you can use one single horse in each race if you want. This increases the level of difficulty, though. When you are spreading you simply use more than one horse in each leg of the race. This increases the cost of the ticket, but it also gives you a better chance to win.

Spreading can be used as an effective strategy when you are playing any type of exotic wager. This includes the aforementioned Pick 3, Pick 4, and Pick 6. You can also use spreading in bets like the superfecta, exacta, and trifecta.

Is Flex Betting in Horse Racing a Good Strategy?

There is a debate when it comes to flexible bets in horse racing. Some people think that these bets are a waste of money. Other people think that it is a waste of money to play the bets without a flexible strategy. Looking at all the specific types of wagers is beyond the present discussion, but we can single out a couple of plays to take an overall look.

Place betting on even-money or odds-on favorites is perhaps the only bet in horse racing which has been shown to return a flat bet profit over time. While it can be a profitable strategy, the problem is one of patience for most bettors. Betting horses to place and making any serious money can take a long time for the simple fact that the payouts are not high.

Show betting, on the other hand, is almost always a waste of your bankroll and your time. Why? The returns do not justify show betting. You may only make pennies on the dollar with your bets.

Now is a great time for you to try your hand at flexible horse racing betting. All you need to do is sign up with one of our recommended online racebooks. You can make your flexible bets in horse racing right from the comfort of your own home with a phone or tablet. Check our Bovada racebook review, Twinspires review or even our Betamerica review. All great choice if you are in the United States of America. 5Dimes review for folks outside the U.S. such as Canada and Europe!

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