If you are considering betting on the horses for the first time, you deserve a big welcome to the world of horse racing. For close to a century and a half, horse racing has been delighting gamblers throughout many parts of Europe, Asia, South America and North America. In the U.K., horse racing has a rich tradition as home to some of the most spectacular racing venues and famous historical racehorses in the world.
If you are already familiar with online sports betting and how to bet on sports, you should find the transition to betting on horses easy on the brain. If you are new to any form of online sports betting or gambling, the following information should help you feel confident when you are ready to bet on your first horse.
A Guide for How to Bet on Horses – Where to Begin
Before you can place a bet, you need to identify where your bets will be accepted. If you are lucky enough to get the opportunity to visit a top horse racing venue, you will find plenty of on-track bookmakers who will take your betting slip.
Since it’s not always practical or convenient to make the trek, you should have no problem finding a quality dedicated horse racing betting site or online sports and race book, with which you can open an account, make your initial deposit and get a free bonus bet in the process.
Types of Bets
Traditionally, horse bettors have been able to bet on horses to Win, Place (to come in first or second) or hit an Exacta or Forecast (picking a first and second place finisher in the correct order). Throughout the years, racetracks and bookmakers have devised a variety of what is referred to as exotic wagers. In Europe, bettors can wager on Quinellas or Reverse Forecast (picking two horses to finish first or second in any order), a Trifecta or Tricast (picking the first three horses in the exact order of finish) and Omni-Swingers (picking two of the first three finishers of a race in any order).
At international horse racing venues, bettors have access to multi-race bets such as the Double (picking the winner of two consecutive wagers), the Pick-3 (picking the winner of three consecutive races) and the Pick-4 (picking the winner of four races in a row). Some tracks also include a Pick-5 and a Pick 6. For bettors that want to take a shot at the big dollars, there’s also a Superfecta (picking the first four finishers in the same race, in the exact order of finish).
For the record, exotic wagers often offer big payouts for small investments. However, they are difficult to hit, which accounts for the big bonuses.
In the U.K., most Win and Place bets are made at fixed odds as determined by the bookmaker. The odds are determined by the amount of money being wagered on each horse in a particular race with the favorite being the horse with the lowest odds. Exotic wagers are usually determined by pari-mutual wagering pools with the racetrack taking a small portion of the pool as the track’s “commission.”
For new horse bettors, 25-1 odds might look attractive from a pure wagering standpoint, but the odds usually reflect the horse’s probability of winning the race.
For the most part, Win and Place wagers require a minimum bet of £2. Exotic wagers typically have a lower minimum of £1, though its important to remember that most exotic wagers can include multiple horses in each part of the wager, which will calculate out to larger bets. For instance, a bettor might bet a Double with three horses in the first race and 3 horses in the second race. If the minimum bet for a Double is £1, the better will have to pay £9 or 3 x 3 to cover all the possible combinations.
You are now equipped with enough information to start wagering on horses without doing so in the blind. It is advisable that you start by wagering small amounts until you learn how to handicap races and get more proficient at picking winners.