If you happen to find yourself in Florida and want to do some betting, why not try horse racing and poker? At Tampa Bay Downs you can actually do both. The horse racing track that is famous for the Tampa Bay Derby and other famous races has added a poker room to its facilities. Here is what you need to know before you make a visit.

Horse Racing at Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs has long been one of the most popular horse racing tracks in all of Florida. It hosts a regular racing schedule each year in addition to a number of prestigious horse races like the Tampa Bay Derby.

Located in Tampa Bay, this horse racing track attracts many top horses, jockeys, and trainers. It is a favorite of trainers based in cold weather climates. They can move to Florida for the winter and enjoy comfortable weather before heading back east or north for the summer and fall.

Tampa Bay Downs has a vigorous live racing schedule. Four to five days each weeks there are live races. On each given day there are feature races which can include stakes events. The crowning event of Tampa Bay Downs is the Tampa Bay Derby. This event is one of the qualifying events on the Kentucky Derby trail. It is restricted to three year old horses. The winner earns points that are used to qualify for entry into the Kentucky Derby.

Many quality race horses are bred in Florida, and these horses compete at the track in state-bred racing events. Those who follow the local circuit can find many excellent betting opportunities by tracking the progress of certain horses. Handicappers that focus on a certain circuit often have an edge because they are more familiar with specific horses, jockeys, and trainers.

Poker at Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs has chosen to embrace a popular trend in Florida by adding a live poker room to its facilities. Those who visit the race track are now able to play poker and bet horses at the same venue. Many bettors have indicated they like this combination.

At the Tampa Bay Downs poker room individuals can play many types of poker. At the top of the list is Texas Hold ‘Em. This is by far America’s most popular poker game. There are also games like Omaha and Razz that are sometimes played at the poker room.

Poker tournaments are sometimes held at the track. These can be very lucrative for the player who is skilled at poker. In all poker tournaments a cash prize is the top award, but some tournaments also offer entries into the World Series of Poker and other events. There are also special promotions that sometimes combine poker and horse racing to give players a chance to win money on both.

Why Poker and Horse Racing Are Good Together

When you think about how horse racing and poker are conducted, having the two of them available in one facility makes perfect sense. Both of the games are designed to allow bettors the opportunity to play against one another instead of against the house.

In horse racing this type of betting system has a name. It is called parimutuel wagering. The term actually comes from France where it was used many years ago in the earliest days of horse racing. It literally translates to โ€œbetting among ourselvesโ€ and reflects the pool system of wagering.

In poker players are also trying to beat one another. The house is only involved to the extent that it takes a rake from the games to cover its expenses and make a profit from spreading the game. That is different from the sort of gambling that one is used to finding in a live casino.

In fact, the nature of betting in Florida horse racing and Florida poker is what allows them to exist. The state gambling laws in Florida have long prevented casino games except under very specific circumstances. For example, only tribal groups can receive a license to operate a full casino in Florida.

Which is Better? Florida Horse Racing or Florida Poker

This is sure to become a subject of debate among bettors in Florida. We think there is some advantage to each of these. If you are in Florida and plan on visiting Tampa Bay Downs, we give both the racing action and the poker action our highest recommendation.

With that being said, horse racing in Florida has been around a bit longer. Poker rooms are still growing, and the state has a lot to learn about what it takes to operate a successful poker room. The action just seems smoother on the horse racing side.

Can I Bet Horses and Play Poker at Tampa Bay Downs Online?

At the present time there is no official online version of Tampa Bay Downs. If the current trend in the United States holds up, this could change very quickly. More and more states are legalizing online casinos. The states now realize that there are revenues to be gained from online gambling.

Online poker is found at select poker rooms, none of which are currently available in Florida. But, when it comes to horse racing betting you are in luck. Most online racebooks include Tampa Bay Downs on their list of race tracks.

AmWager might be a good choice if you want a reputable online racebook for betting the races at Tampa Bay Downs. This racebook has a good reputation, provides fast payouts, and even gives bettors access to free handicapping tools. You can even get a nice welcome bonus when you sign up, and the betting menus are available on mobile devices.

If you are lucky enough to visit the track, take some time to enjoy the watch live racing while you play a few hands of poker at Tampa Bay Downs. You could wind up being the next big winner from this Florida horse racing and poker facility.

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