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Dec 28, 2016

Horse Races - Methodology for Dummies, Types of Races and How to Win

Watching horse racing is a terrific experience and chance to peek into a wonderful world of high-level sports. There is a lot of tradition and history behind horse races, and they are a great opportunity to spend your time with family and best pals, watching amazing animals perform at their best.

But some people are not satisfied with only watching – they would like to take an active part in what’s going on the track. With a free admission and small minimum bets, you don’t need to be an oil magnate to place bets, while your payout may be rather impressive.

How to Bet On Horse Racing

As surprising as it may seem, even those who have started visiting the racetrack as kids hardly know how to bet on horse racing. Most often, people have no idea how to bet on horse races and simply pick the one with the name or color they like. No need to say this is a rather unreliable strategy and unless you are satisfied with watching your horse come last, it is recommended to learn a thing or two about horse racing.

The art of betting is not very hard to master if you trust your intuition, aren’t afraid to experiment and take the cue from your more experienced friends. There is excessive information concerning betting tools and strategies, and you need to prioritize the data and figure out what particular techniques work for you. There is no definite method of winning a race, so you need to try different combinations, make notes and review them on a regular basis. However, your first lesson on how to bet on a horse race should start with learning the types of bets.

Types of Horse Racing Bets

There are two groups of wagers you may choose from – straight and exotic wagers. When you only start making your way into the world of horse racing, stick to straight wagers, because they are cheap and simple. Just pick one horse to finish the cross line 1st, 2nd or 3rd. The most common straight types of horse racing bets include a win, place and show wager.

The win bet is the easiest one – you pick one horse to come in first, and if it does so, you get the money. The place bet requires you to select a horse that will cross the finish line first or second. Provided your horse finishes 1st or 2nd, you get less than in the case of the win bet, but your chances to cash in are better. The show bet gives you the highest chance to win as your task is to choose a horse that finishes 1st, 2nd or 3rd.

There is also the so-called combo straight wager, also known as the across-the-board bet. As suggested by its name, it combines the three bets mentioned above, meaning it is also more expensive than a single win, place or show bet. When you place across the board, you choose one horse to come first, second or third. If it finishes first, you collect win, show and place payoffs. If it finishes 2nd, you get place and show payoffs. If it finishes third, you get the show payoffs.

After you have mastered the beginner level, it is time to expand your horizons and take the next step. The exotic types of bets in horse racing are more expensive, as you bet on multiple horses, and require good knowledge and much experience, but they also offer bigger winnings.


To place this bet, you pick a pair of horses that will get to the finish line 1st and 2nd in the appropriate order. Placing a box wager – select two finishers of the race regardless of the order — is also an option.


With a quinella bet, you pick a pair of horses to finish 1st and 2nd regardless of the order. As long as they are top two finishers, you win. Similar to the exacta bet, there is a difference between these wagers, and it lies in cost. The quinella bet is cheaper than the box exacta, but it also has smaller payouts.


You pick 3 horses to come in 1st, 2nd and 3rd in a certain order. You can also place a box trifecta and get payouts if your three horses finish the cross line 1st, 2nd and 3rd regardless of the order.


When you place a superfecta, you pick 4 horses to finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in a precise order. You can also box the superfecta and win if your four horses finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th in any order.

How to Pick a Winning Horse

Though good old luck is still the major factor to make you a loser or winner, there are several issues you should consider when handicapping your horse. With hundreds of books, websites and magazines dedicated to teaching you how to pick a winning horse, there isn’t nevertheless one solid opinion on what makes a top finisher, yet few basic tips will give you a feeling of control over the situation.

Read the race day programs and pay special attention to the statistics of the horses participating in the race. Though long lines with baffling numbers will give you a hard time at first, learning to use the program data will enable you to place smarter bets.

Gain insight into race classes and see how this or that particular horse moves through classes throughout the year, as such a shift is directly related to their performance. Get to know the horse’s performance on different surfaces and take a look at the jockey’s performance, as well. This information is also provided in the program, and you may see what jockey-horse pairs have a good chance of becoming the top finishers. Each horse has the odds of the victory, and the one with the lowest odds is a favorite of the race. You're not forced to pick it, but considering the statistics it’s never a bad idea, especially if you’re a beginner who has recently started betting on horse racing.

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