How To Bet On Horse Racing

Photo credit: Karim Rezk / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

The simplest way to bet on horse racing is to pick the winner, but that’s not always the easiest thing to do.

Fortunately, you have many different options if you want to bet on horse racing.

William Hill horse racing

Here are the most popular ones:

Pick the winner

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If your horse crosses the line first, you win your bet. Your winnings are based on the horse racing odds, which can be displayed as either a fraction or a money amount.

Picking a winner out of a field of 10-plus horses isn’t very easy, so be sure to check out our list of things to look for when betting on horse racing before you take the plunge.

Place or Show

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If you’d like to place things a little safer, you can bet on a horse to place (finish in the top 2) or show (finish in the top 3).

Your winnings won’t be nearly as big with the place or show bet, since you’ll be sharing a prize pool with other people who bet on any of the other top-finishing horses as well.

Combination Bets

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Unless you pick a longshot and it wins, you won’t get rich quick betting on horses to win, place or show.

If you want to shoot for the big payout, try the quinella (pick the top two horses in any order), the exacta (the top two horses, in order) or the trifecta (the top three horses, in order).

The superfecta (the top four horses in order) takes things a step further and pays a huge amount.

Boxing Your Bets

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Trifectas and superfectas are extremely hard to win, so an option you have is to box your bets.

Boxing your bets basically means betting on every possible combination, so you’ll have to risk a bit more but you drastically increase your chances of winning.

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Another way to shoot for the quick score is to bet the daily double (pick the winners of two consecutive races), Pick 3 (pick winners of three straight races), Pick 4 (pick winners of four straight races) and so on.

Just remember, the bigger the payout, the harder it is to win. The Pick 6 (picking winners of six consecutive races) would probably pay off your mortgage but if each of those six races features 10 horses that all have an equal chance of winning, your odds of picking six winners in a row is 1 in a million.

We recommend you make your larger bets on the win, place or show wagers, and sprinkle some small bets on the longshots.