Sports Betting 101 – How to Bet on Horse Racing

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How To Bet on Horse Racing

New to horse racing? Learn how to bet on horse racing for beginners with our easy-to-follow guide. Understand the types of bets, the importance of form and past performance, and the best practices for bankroll management.

HOW TO PICK HORSES TO BET ON

Picking horses to bet on can be a tricky task, but there are a few key factors to consider that can help improve your chances of winning. Here are a few tips on how to pick horses to bet on:

  1. Look at the form and past performance of the horse: One of the most important things to consider when picking horses to bet on is their form and past performance. This includes information such as the horse's previous race results, the track conditions, and the jockey's performance. This information can be found in racing programs, which are usually available at the track.
  2. Study the odds: The odds are a reflection of the horse's chances of winning, and they can provide valuable insight into which horses are the favorites and which are the underdogs. Keep in mind that the odds are not always accurate and that there are many factors that can affect the outcome of a race.
  3. Check the weather conditions: Weather can have a big impact on a horse's performance. A horse that performs well in dry conditions may not fare as well in wet conditions, for example.
  4. Consider the jockey and trainer: The jockey and trainer can also play a big role in a horse's performance. Look for jockeys and trainers with a good track record and experience.
  5. Follow the experts: Following the expert's analysis and tips can be a great way to pick horses to bet on. Many experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the horse racing industry and can provide valuable insights.
  6. Take into account the horse's condition: A horse that is well-rested, healthy, and in good condition is more likely to perform well than one that is not. Be sure to check the horse’s training and medical records.

It's important to keep in mind that there is no guaranteed way to pick winning horses, and that any form of gambling comes with inherent risk. It's also a good idea to diversify your bets and not to put all your eggs in one basket.

WIN, PLACE AND SHOW HORSE RACING BETS

Win- The horse you choose must finish in first place.

Place- The horse you choose must finish in first or second place.

Show - The horse you choose must finish in first, second or third place.

If you bet on a horse to win, place and show, it's often called an "Across the Board" wager. If the horse finishes first, then you will be paid on the win, place and show wager. If the horse finishes in second, you will be paid on only the place and show wager. And if the horse comes in third, then a show wager is paid out. If the horse does not come in the top-three, then none of the bets will be paid.

Learn more about some of the best horse racing bets below:

JOE OSBORNE & BARRY ABRAMS BREAK DOWN HOW TO BET ON HORSE RACING FOR BEGINNERS

BETTING ON HORSES: HELPFUL FACTS

Betting on horses is a popular form of gambling that has a long history and rich tradition. Here are some helpful facts to consider when betting on horses:

  1. Types of bets: There are several types of bets that you can place on horse racing, including win bets, place bets, show bets, and exotic bets (such as exacta, trifecta, and superfecta). It's important to understand the differences between these types of bets and the odds associated with each one.
  2. Form and past performance: One of the most important things to consider when betting on horses is the form and past performance of the horse. This includes information such as the horse's previous race results, the track conditions, and the jockey's performance. This information can be found in racing programs, which are usually available at the track.
  3. Handicapping: Handicapping is the process of evaluating the horses in a race and trying to predict the winner. There are several different methods of handicapping, including speed figures, class ratings, and pace figures. It's important to understand these methods and use them to your advantage when betting on horses.
  4. Bankroll management: Like any form of gambling, it's important to manage your bankroll when betting on horses. This means setting a budget for yourself and sticking to it. It's also a good idea to keep track of your wins and losses and adjust your betting strategy accordingly.
  5. Research and study: Researching and studying the horse racing industry is a great way to improve your chances of winning. This includes reading racing news and analysis, watching races, and following the performance of certain jockeys, trainers, and horses.
  6. Betting online: Many horse racing tracks have online platforms where you can watch live races and place bets. This can be a convenient way to bet on horse racing without going to the track. However, it's important to make sure the platform is legal and regulated.

It's important to remember that horse racing betting is a form of gambling and can be a source of entertainment and fun, but also to be cautious and responsible with the finances. Always bet within your means and never chase your losses.

BEST HORSE RACING BETTING SITES

Updated on: 06/19/2024

HORSE RACING WIN ODDS

How to read the odds.

Ex. Bet $2.00 on a horse at 1/10 to win $2.20

Ex. Bet $2.00 on a horse at 8/5 to win $5.20

Ex. Bet $2.00 on a horse at 20/1 to win $42.00

HORSE RACING ODDS CHART

ODDS (PAYOFF)

  • 1-10 ($2.20)
  • 1-5 ($2.40)
  • 2-5 ($2.80)
  • 1-2 ($3.00)
  • 3-5 ($3.20)
  • 4-5 ($3.60)
  • 1-1 ($4.00)
  • 6-5 ($4.40)
  • 7-5 ($4.80)
  • 3-2 ($5.00)
  • 8-5 ($5.20)
  • 9-5 ($5.60)
  • 2-1 ($6.00)
  • 5-2 ($7.00)
  • 3-1 ($8.00)
  • 7-2 ($9.00)
  • 4-1 ($10.00)
  • 9-2 ($11.00)
  • 5-1 ($12.00)
  • 6-1 ($14.00)
  • 7-1 ($16.00)
  • 8-1 ($18.00)
  • 9-1 ($20.00)
  • 10-1 ($22.00)
  • 12-1 ($26.00)
  • 15-1 ($32.00)
  • 20-1 ($42.00)
  • 50-1 ($102.00)
  • 60-1 ($122.00)
  • 99-1 ($200.00)

HOW TO READ A TRACK SURFACE

DIRT TRACKS

  • SLOW: Footing that is between sloppy and heavy.
  • SLOPPY: Wet on surface with firm bottom.
  • GOOD: Footing that is between fast and muddy.
  • FAST: Footing that is between fast and even.
  • HEAVY: Slower than, muddy.
  • MUDDY: Soaked with water.
  • WET-FAST: Sloppy on top but firm underneath.

TURF TRACKS

  • FIRM: Dry turf.
  • GOOD: Firm turf with some moisture.
  • YIELDING: Very wet that is deep.
  • SOFT: Plenty of moisture and substantial give.
  • HEAVY: Deep and often waterlogged.

SYNTHETIC TRACKS

A synthetic surface is mostly considered fast regardless of weather condition.

TYPES OF RACES

Horse racing defines races into certain categories. The more quality of horses running in a specific race will determine the status of the race. Here are the basic races for horse racing.

  • Maiden: This is a race that is exclusive for horses that have never won a race. A term often used "broken its maiden" is given to a horse when they win.
  • Claiming: This is a race that is often broken into levels by price. Owners who enter horses in these races understand that their horse can be claimed by another stable.
  • Allowance: This is a race that is very similar to claiming races except the horses cannot be claimed or sold to another stable. These races normally have set criteria for each horse involved.
  • Handicap: This is a race that is designed to put equal horses against one another based on their records, weights, etc.
  • Stakes: This is a race that puts the highest class of horses against one another. Handicap and stakes races offer the largest purses of all the various types of races.

PONY BETTING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

How to Bet on Horse Racing
(Getty Images)

Pony betting, also known as pony racing, is a form of horse racing where small horses, typically Shetland ponies, race against each other. While it is not as popular as traditional horse racing, it can still be a fun and exciting way to bet. Here are a few things to keep in mind when betting on pony racing:

  1. Check the rules and regulations: Different tracks and organizations may have different rules and regulations for pony racing, so it's important to familiarize yourself with them before placing a bet.
  2. Know the ponies: Just like traditional horse racing, it's important to know the ponies, their past performances, and their jockeys.
  3. Be aware of the track conditions: Just like with horse racing, the track conditions can have an effect on the pony's performance. Be sure to check the weather and track conditions before placing a bet.
  4. Look out for promotions: Some tracks may offer promotions or bonuses for pony betting, so be sure to take advantage of them when available.
  5. Place bets responsibly: Pony betting can be a fun and exciting way to enjoy the races, but it's important to remember that it is still a form of gambling and it's important to bet responsibly.

It's worth noting that pony betting is not as common in North America as it is in other regions, and it could be hard to find races or betting opportunities. It's also important to consider that pony racing is not as regulated and safe as regular horse racing, and it may not be suitable for all audiences.

FAQ - HOW TO BET ON HORSE RACING FOR BEGINNERS

In this section, we’ll answer common questions from players regarding how to bet on horse racing.

IS BETTING ON HORSE RACING LEGAL?

Yes. In fact, betting on horse racing is a historic form of gambling in a vast amount of states in the US. Its legal status predates modern sports betting legislation in most of the country. In many cities and towns across America, horse betting is almost a cultural institution.

There’s also a great number of racetracks around the nation, built during the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of these tracks have been in continuous usage for well over a century. It’s an unusual exception to America’s rather strict betting laws.

WHERE CAN YOU BET ON HORSES IN THE US?

You can bet on horse races in the vast majority of the US. Over 41 states have legal horse race betting markets available. Many of these states feature online and pari-mutuel horse race wagering. Other states require gamblers to visit the local track or off-track betting parlors.

It’s easier to list states where horse race betting isn’t legal than the other way around. States where horse betting is against the law include Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Texas, and Utah.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO BET ON A HORSE RACE?

That’s subjective. It depends on the specific player in question, their preferences and gambling style, among other factors. Generally speaking, it’s smart for inexperienced gamblers to avoid the more exotic wagers or parlays. Straight win, place, or show bets are ideal for newcomers.

HOW DO I KNOW WHICH HORSE TO BET ON?

To know which horse to bet on, look at its form and past performance, study the odds, check weather conditions, consider the jockey and trainer, and follow expert analysis.

WHAT BET PAYS THE MOST IN HORSE RACING?

In horse racing, exotic bets such as the trifecta, superfecta and Pick 6 generally offer the highest payouts, but also require more difficult selections.

WHAT IS THE SAFEST BET IN HORSE RACING?

The safest bet in horse racing is usually a win or place bet, as they have better odds and require less difficult selections.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY HORSE DOESN’T START THE RACE?

That’s up to each betting operator, as defined in their rules. However, in most cases, it depends on the horse.

If the horse is withdrawn before the race begins, it’s deemed a “non-runner,” and your stake is returned. However, if the horse makes it to the starters but refuses to run, you would then lose your entire stake.

CAN I BET ON A RACE AFTER IT ALREADY STARTED?

Yes, you can. Betting on unsettled, ongoing horse racing events is called live betting. This form of wagering is wildly popular in racetracks and online betting sites across the country. Please note that live betting odds can shift as rapidly as the race unfolds.

It’s also worth noting that not all states with legal horse betting allow for live betting. In some states, only pre-match pari-mutuel wagering is allowed.

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