How Does Horse Racing Betting Work?

How Does Horse Racing Betting Work

It is always important to research before making any bets in general, but with horse betting specifically there are a few key components to every race in which you should look into before placing your bet. First you must choose the race you want to bet on; some of the most famous annual horse races include the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Stakes, and the Preakness. Horse betting can be done either in person or online, but is very commonly enjoyed in person at the race, mainly for the social aspect. The second choice you must make when betting on horse racing is the type of bet you want to make.

Straight Wagers

There are three types of straight wagers that can be placed when participating in horse racing betting: place betting, show betting, and win betting. Each type of wager is separated into its own pool of money, which is then divided up into individual amounts for the betters that have won at the end of the race. In order to place a straight bet, you must place a minimum of two dollars on the wager.

Place Betting

Place betting is all about the final 'place' in which the horse that you have chosen finishes in. These bets are constrained to either first or second place overall, and they tend to earn bettors smaller amounts of money because they are not as risky as win betting for example. In order to win a place wager and earn your money back, the horse that you have selected must finish the race in either first or second place.

Show Betting

Show betting is based on the top three horses to finish the race. This means that this is the safest bet to make, out of the three types of straight bets, because there is more room to make mistakes. That being said, the payoffs for these bets tend to be much lower than other types of bets, so show bets are a great place to start off horse race betting if it is your first time.

Win Betting

The third type of straight wagers is known as 'win betting' and it is the riskiest bet out of the three that an individual can make. This wager is the riskiest because the original horse selected by the better must place first overall at the end of the race, otherwise you will not win the bet, and no earnings can be collected. Because this is the riskiest bet to make, the potential payoffs are much higher than those of a show bet.

Exotic Wagers

Exotic wagers include any wager that is not considered a straight wager, and therefore does not fall under one of the three types of bets above. These wagers tend to be better for more experienced horse racing bettors, not because they are more difficult to learn, but because they require more research and expertise in the field of understanding horse racing and who to bet on. There are three main types of exotic bets and they can be referred to as Exacta, Quinella, and Double bets.

Exacta Bets

Exacta bets are similar to place bets in the idea that you are trying to predict first and second place. The difference is that with exacta bets, the bettor must pick the top two finishers in the exact order in which they finish that particular race. Similar bets known as a trifecta wager and a superfecta wager, follow the same guidelines as an exacta bet, however, they include the top third and fourth place horse. This means that the better must not only select the correct top three and four horses to finish the race, but they must also select the correct order in which they finish.

Quinella Bets

Also known as an exacta box, quinella bets are much more rare. These are not as commonly bet on or available because they are based on the selection of two horses finishing in first or second. Therefore if you select the two horses in which you believe are the best, if they both finish in the top two, no matter the order, you will win the bet. This is a less risky bet because you have a higher chance of winning it since it is not as focused on the order in which each horse finishes, rather the selection of the top two horses.

Double Bets

A double bet refers to the combination of selecting the winner of two races in a row. This horse selected can be different, but in order to win a double bet the better must select the horse that finishes first one race after another consecutively. Therefore, the competitors of the two races are different, so it is very hard to win this bet, putting the value of the payoff on the higher end of horse bets.


What is the best bet to make in horse racing?

Technically there is no single best bet that an individual can make in horse racing. That being said, show bets are a great place for those that are just getting into horse racing betting and aren't willing to lose a ton of money. For those that are more experienced, both win wagers and double wagers are much more difficult, but therefore can provide the better with the highest monetary returns.

How do you bet on horse racing?

Horse racing betting can be done either in person at a race or online. No matter the location you choose to bet from, there are a variety of straight and exotic bets that can be made on any race. That being said, all horse racing betting is based on the actual horse races themselves and the rankings at the end of each race.

What is horse race betting called?

Horse race betting as a category does not have any particular name or phrase to it. That being said, each individual type of bet that can be made on different horse races have their own names and the sport of horse race betting uses its own unique terminology.

Can you make money betting on horse racing?

Like any sport, the possibilities of making money from bets are endless. That being said, if you can win money, you can also lose money, and a lot of it if you get too carried away with it. Making money from betting on horse racing is all dependent on the type of bet you decide to make and if your prior selections comply with the different qualifications each individual bet you make.