How Does Betting On The Kentucky Derby Work?

How Does Betting On The Kentucky Derby Work

Types of Bets

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most popular sports events for gambling every year. There are a variety of bets you can place at a horse race, ranging from simply choosing the winner to picking the first five horses correctly. Below we break down the different bets you can place on the Kentucky Derby.

Standard Bets

For standard bets, there is a place bet, a win bet, and a show bet. A win bet is the most straightforward out of the three. If you place a bet on a horse that wins the race, you win the bet. It is as simple as that. The horse must win the race for you to win the wager. The second is a place bet. A place bet is where you can cash a ticket if the horse you bet on finishes in the top two of the race. You win the wager if the horse finishes first or second. The last bet is the show bet. The show bet is won if your horse finishes first, second, or third. It is the greatest chance of winning but also the lowest payout of the three standard bets for a horse race.

Exotic Bets

There are multiple types of bets that are referred to as exotic bets. These bets are for betting on two or more horses. These bets include Exacta, Trifecta, Super High 5, Superfecta, and Quinella.

  • Exacta Bets: Requires you to select the top two finishers of the race in the correct order.
  • Quinella Bets: Required to select the top two finishers, but they can come in either order.
  • Trifecta Bets: Requires you to pick the top three finishers of the race in the correct order in order to win.
  • Superfecta Bets: Requires you to select the top four finishers in the race in the correct order to win.
  • Super High 5: Requires you to select the top five finishers of the race in the correct order to win.

Any of these bets can be “boxed,” which means the horses do not need to come in exact order. However, the payout for “boxed” bets will be lower than straight bets.

How to Place a Bet

The first and most important step in placing a bet on the Kentucky Derby is figuring out which horse or horses you want to bet on. You can do this based on research on previous races, the overall favorite picks to win the Derby, or just by which horse you like the best. You can place a bet in person at the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday of May or at an off-site location. To do this, go to the window where the teller is waiting. For online betting, you can bet up until moments before the race begins. When going in person or online, you will have the option of the kind of bet you want to place and how much money you want to put down.

How the Prize Money Works

For betting, prize money depends on the amount you bet and the type of wager you place. The formula for figuring out winnings is to multiply the amount of the bet times the horse's odds, then add back the original bet amount for the total payout. For example, if you bet $2 to win on a horse whose odds are 10-1, you would end up winning 2x10, then adding the amount that you placed, $2, so the total payout would be $22. More experienced bettors may place a higher amount than casual bettors. The higher amount you place for a bet, the higher the reward could be. In other terms, the higher the risk, the higher the reward. However, with this, there is a greater chance you will not win any amount at all.