Horse Racing Bets Explained

Are you new to betting horse racing online? The process of betting can be a bit overwhelming. Having horse racing bets explained will make you a better handicapper and increase your chances of winning. There are only a few simple things to understand.

The Essence of Horse Racing Betting

Bets made on horse racing are different than bets made on other sports. Instead of competing against the house, you will be making wagers into a pool. All of your fellow bettors are betting into the same pool. The winners share the entire amount of the pool minus what the track deducts for expenses and breakage.

This type of horse racing betting is called parimutuel. The word actually means betting among ourselves. There was a time long ago when it was also common to bet on horses with bookies. In that case, the player would be betting against the bookie. The bookie could manipulate the odds in their favor to make sure all their bets were covered. A bookie can only succeed when they win regardless of the outcome.

Betting Pools Set the Odds For Horses

The beauty of the parimutuel system is that it automatically calculates the correct odds for each horse in a race. A horse’s odds are determined by how much money has been wagered on a specific horse. The betting public is essentially responsible for determining the betting odds on a horse.


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The more money that is bet on a horse, the lower the odds. The less money bet, the higher the odds. When there is more money in the pool, odds tend to increase as a whole. Smaller pools tend to have lower odds. This is why the smart bettors like to play the races on the biggest days in horse racing. The Triple Crown series and other racing events attract lot of bettors, and not all of them are informed. They are making ridiculous bets and that is good for you.

The fairest way to assign odds is by this system. This also contributes to the fact that horse racing can be beaten. It is somewhat easier for bettors to assert and edge when they are given odds determined by the betting pools. Smart bettors will have determined their own odds on a horse and know beforehand what they will accept.

Basic Types of Horse Racing Bets

Having horse racing bets explained next requires us to look at the basic types of bets that are available in horse racing. There are two basic types: straight bets and exotic wagers.

The straight bet is the oldest bet in horse racing. It is a bet that requires the bettor to back one horse in one race. The most common examples of straight wagers in horse racing are the win, place, and show bets. At many tracks the minimum wager for these bets is $2.

Next are the exotic wagers. Exotic bets are ones that combine more than one horse or multiple horses and races. A few examples of exotic wagers in horse racing would include the exacta, trifecta, and superfecta. The Daily Double would also be an exotic bet.

There are bettors who only make straight wagers, and punters that only bet exotics. Some players like a combination of both. Your own strategy will be determined by things like the amount of risk that you are willing to accept on a single bet. As a rule, straight wagers require you to accept less risk in exchange for a modest return. Exotic wagers offer the promise of more profit, but they are harder to win.

Betting At a Live Race Track

The betting experience at a live race track is a little bit different from making horse bets online. Most who have attended a live race track have fond memories of standing in line at the betting windows and not so fond memories of those windows slamming shut before a bet could be made.

Today there are still windows at most live race tracks. There are also electronic ticket machines which allow you to make your own ticket and receive it after you insert the necessary money. In either case, you will need to know the horse you are betting on, the type of bet you want to make, the race in question, and the amount of your wager.

It is common courtesy to have all of this information available when you approach the betting window. The tellers have to deal with many people in a short period of time. They need to keep the lines moving so that the most people can be served. Do not slow down the line and cause others to be shut out.

Horse Racing Bets Explained – Online Racebooks

We believe that there is a trend now of moving toward betting horses online. When you join an online racebook you will notice that the betting process is more streamlined and efficient. A graphic interface allows you to point and click the selections and bets that you want to make.

The systems used for online horse betting are compatible with mobile devices as well as computers. The are also intuitive, walking bettors through the process of making a wager. If help is needed, most online racebooks have a customer service department that is available with live chat 24/7.

Something else that is important to understand about horse racing bets online is the connection to betting pools. The bets that you make will be a part of the main pool that is offered on the track. You will be getting the same odds as you would when you bet horses live.

This brief guide to horse racing bets explained should give you the information you need to make basic bets without difficulty. We suggest starting with one of our recommended online horse betting sites. You can make bets right from home, and you’ll also get a nice welcome bonus added to your first deposit.  Read the Bovada racebook review, Amwager review, BUSR review, BetUSMybookie review and others.  All great choice if you are in the US. 5Dimes review for folks anywhere!

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