Horse racing is an ancient sport, and although there is no universal timeframe, most experts consider that it appeared in its modern form in the 18th century. Even though there is much uncertainty around the origins of the sports, watching how horses make a mad dash to the finish line has been a well-preferred pastime for people in many parts of the globe for years.
Not only did horse lovers start to enjoy watching races but the thrills and spills of the sport began to attract the attention of gambling enthusiasts as well. Horse racing is among the most thrilling sports available out there, all the more so when one has money riding on the race winner. The drama of the tight races at the finish line can undoubtedly keep the audiences on the edge of their seats, which is the reason why horse race betting is unlikely to lose its appeal any time soon.
The way punters place bets on horse races has significantly evolved over the years, and even though this form of gambling lost some of its following in recent decades, today, it is easier to place your bets than ever before. There is a reason why betting on horse races has captivated audiences for hundreds of years, and if you are a newcomer to the sport, this guide will help you gain a good understanding of it and how to properly bet on it.
What Types of Horse Races Are There
Today, horse races continue to attract a considerable amount of attention, and the slew of horse race styles undoubtedly adds to the appeal of the sport. As it turns out, many punters are unaware of the scope of the sport and the categories races fall into.
- The best known and the most widely available type of horse racing is flat racing, where the horses gallop between two points around the track.This style of horse racing is the most popular one for a reason and breeding is one of the things that make it stand out from the crowd. Interestingly, the horses are trained on flat and, on most occasions, round tracks. In most cases, they take part in races for the first time when they are around two years old and retire before they reach a two-digit age.Yet, the interest in thoroughbred horses is the greatest when they are three years old, and this is when they take part in some of the most prestigious races around the globe. The jockeys undoubtedly play a major role during such races, but the role of the trainers should not be underrated either. Gambling enthusiasts should remember that there is not just one type of thoroughbred horse races as the distance, surface, and classifications might vary.
- Harness racing is yet another well-known type of horse racing, which might not garner as much attention as thoroughbred races but the spectator and betting interest it enjoys is still rather impressive. With this form of horse racing, the horses are not responsible exclusively for their own weight and the one of the jokey because they race at a specific gait while pulling a two-wheeled cart, which is also known as a sulky. In most cases, Standardbreds appear during such races, and these horses can be either trotters or pacers. One of the most followed harness races is the Breeder’s Crown series.
- Jump racing is also referred to as steeplechasing or National Hunt, and the races include obstacles horses and the jockey need to overcome. Such races enjoy the greatest following in France, Ireland, and the UK. The smaller obstacles horses need to overcome are also known as hurdles, while the bigger ones are called fences. When steeplechase races are concerned, the obstacles the horses need to overcome might include water, ditches, and fences.Normally, the horses will progress to races with longer distances and more challenging obstacles as they get older.
- Endurance racing is another major type of racing, which puts the endurance of the horses over long distances or long periods of time. The length of the races varies considerably, and while the shortest distance might be around 10 miles, the longer ones might reach up to one hundred miles.
- Quarter horse races are not as popular as the above-mentioned types of races, and what makes them stand out is that the speed of the horses is what matters. Because of this, the duration of such races is rather limited.
Other less popular types of horse races include maidan racing, stakes racing, graded stakes racing, allowance, and claiming racing.
Ways to Wager on Horse Racing
It is interesting to point out that unlike other sports, the legality of wagering on horse races has not been a hot topic in so many jurisdictions as it has generally been accepted in many parts of the globe.
Getting started with horse race betting is unlikely to be a challenge for gambling enthusiasts, provided that they take their time to learn the nuts and bolts about the sport and the ways to wager on it.
- Fixed-odds betting – this is the most chosen way to wager on horse races, and it involves placing a bet at the odds the bookmaker has introduced. If punters’ pick is correct, they get a payout according to the odds and the staked amount, and if their bet loses, the bookmaker will collect the original stake.When punters go for this way of wagering on horse races, they will know what their potential returns will be at the time of making their wager. Yet this might not always be the case as, on certain occasions, gambling enthusiasts will be required to take the starting price, which is to say that they will place their bets at the odds that are introduced when the race starts and not at agreed odds. The odds format bookmakers tend to use in order to introduce odds for horse races include decimal, fractional, and American odds, but some betting sites might offer other options as well.
- Pari-mutuel betting – Pari-mutuel betting is also known as tote betting, and what sets it apart from fixed-odds betting is that this time, no odds are used. The payouts are based on the number of punters who have correctly predicted the horse that has won the race, what their original stake is, and the total amount the bookmaker has taken in stakes. When gambling enthusiasts place their bet, the staked amount goes into a pool for each race. The pari-mutuel companies can be either regional or worldwide, but there are also such that are only available at specific racecourses.
- Exchange betting – exchange betting on horse races does not involve placing bets at sports betting platforms but striking wagers with other punters instead. In order for punters to go for this way of placing bets on horse races, they will be required to use the services of one of the betting exchanges available out there.In simple terms, gambling enthusiasts will be required to pick the race they wish to bet on, set the odds, and the bet they want to make. Then, their wager will be matched with another user of the exchange who wants to place the opposite bet.One of the main reasons why gambling enthusiasts prefer exchange betting is that, if they prefer, they can lay a horse in a race. This is to say that they will place a bet that the horse will not win the race, which is not possible with fixed-odds betting.
Most Common Types of Horse Racing Bets
Placing a bet on the race they are watching will make the experience even more gripping, but before they put any funds at a stake, punters should make sure that they have a proper understanding of the various bet types they can select from. Generally, the bet types punters can place on horse races fall into two main categories that include exotic and straight wagers.
Place, win, and show bets are considered the traditional horse race bets, but punters will be given a choice from a slew of unique bet types, including trifecta, superfecta, quinella, and so on. When exotic bets are concerned, they cover several horses in two races at the least. This is not the case with straight bets, as they cover a single horse in just one race.
- Place Bets – place bets are single bets that are placed on a horse that will finish first or second in the competition. Thus, the odds of winning will be slightly better when compared to win bets, for example.
- Win Bets – the bet type most punters prefer to stick to when betting on horse races is the win bet, and it is easy to see why. In order for win bets to hit, punters need to correctly pick the horse which will come first in the race.
- Show Bets – show bets are single bets on a horse to take first, second, or third place in a race, which translates into even greater chances of making a correct pick. Yet, the increased chances of placing a winning bet come at the expense of the payouts punters will be offered, and when compared to place and win bets, show bets pay at the lowest rate.
- Quinella Bets – when placing a quinella bet, gambling enthusiasts will pick the top two finishers in the race, no matter their final placing. Quinella bets are not as widely available as the above-mentioned bet types, and normally, such bets are available at the major betting platforms where wagering on horse races is available.
- Exacta Bets – placing an exacta bet involves wagering on the horses that will take the first and second place in the race. Since punters will be required to guess the exact order in which the horses will finish the race, which is to say that exacta bets are not at the least easy to win. The massive payouts punters will snatch if their picks are correct can go to explain why this bet type is so appealing.
- Trifecta Bets – trifecta bets enjoy great popularity among daring punters because when placing such a wager, they will be required to pick the first three horses to finish the race in correct order. Obviously, such bets are exceptionally hard to win, but the higher risk punters need to take is made up for by the whopping payouts trifecta bets offer.
- Superfecta Bets – placing a winning superfecta bet is a true challenge because gambling enthusiasts need to guess the top five finishers in the race in their exact order. Predicting the correct order of the first five horses in the race is indeed a very difficult task, meaning that this bet type might not measure up to the requirements of risk-averse punters.
- Daily Double Bets – in order to place a daily double bet, gambling aficionados need to pick the winners of two races in a row that are added to the Daily Double program. These exotic bets are preferred by punters, because the payouts they offer are juicier when compared to the returns win bets offer.
- Pick 3 Bets – when making a pick 3 bet, gambling enthusiasts will build their ticket to hit three races in a row. In order for them to get a payout, punters should have the winners of all the three races, which makes it exceptionally challenging for such bets to hit.
- Pick 4 Bets – this bet type undoubtedly increases the stakes because gambling enthusiasts will need to guess correctly four consecutive winning stallions. Even though adding so many horses to their ticket will cost punters more funds, the huge payoffs they will potentially bag is the reason why such wagers are so well-liked.
- Pick 6 Bets – the pick 6 bet is among the toughest bets punters can place while wagering on horse races. Depending on the race and the pool of bettors, gambling enthusiasts might snatch a staggering payout if all picks are correct. What punters should consider, however, is that in order to place such bets, they will need a bigger bankroll.
- Goliath Bets – Goliath bets are unboundedly not suitable for the faint-hearted punters because they are made of 247 bets placed on eighth selections on different events. Making such a bet means that gambling enthusiasts will place 28 doubles, 56 fivefold accumulators, 56 trebles, 70 fourfold accumulators, 28 sixfold accumulators, 8 sevenfold accumulators, and an 8-fold accumulator. In order for punters to get a payout, at least two of the selections they have added should hit. Punters should remember that placing a Goliath bet requires a bigger bankroll.
What Betting on Horse Racing Online Involves
Punters who are keen on wagering on horse races can place their bets in several ways as they can do this over the Internet, at the race tracks, or at off-track facilities. If they prefer to place their bets at the track, gambling enthusiasts should remember that races will only be held on certain days of the week and at certain times of the year.
Off-track facilities are no longer as popular as they were in the past because, to a large extent, online betting has overtaken the industry, which makes sense considering the greater convenience.
While placing their bets online, punters will be provided with a wide variety of betting options to decide between. Live betting is an option, which has gained much traction not only among gambling aficionados who are keen on wagering on horse races but among fans of other sports as well. If gambling enthusiasts do not feel like traveling to the nearest track or they just want to have a flutter on a race, which takes place in another part of the globe, this option will certainly appeal to them. Besides, some betting platforms will even give punters the opportunity to watch live streams of the races, thanks to which they might feel as if they are rooting for their horse at the track.
Virtual horse race betting has also started to pick up steam in the past few years, and as it seems, what appeals most to punters is the opportunity to place their bets around the clock. Virtual horse races are simulations of real races, and as with standard races, punters will be allowed to place their bets prior to their start. Today, virtual horse races offer several real-world racing formats as most of the time, gambling enthusiasts can select from races with different distances, flat running, and harness racing, among others.
No matter which way of betting on horse races punters will pick or whether they want to use their computer or portable device to place their wagers, the steps they need to follow will be the same. Once punters have picked the race they want to have a flutter on, they should decide which horse or horses they will bet on and what wager type they will go for. When they add the preferred races and horses to their bet slips, punters will be asked to decide if they want to place straight-up bets or if they want to go for one of the exotic wager types instead.
Depending on their selections, punters might be able to see their potential returns. Before they confirm their decisions, gambling enthusiasts should also enter the promo codes if they have such. Before they place their bets, gambling aficionados should also make sure that they have added the preferred selections and that they have entered the bet amounts correctly.
Tips to Consider when Wagering on Horse Racing
Successful horse race betting is not as challenging as some gambling aficionados might consider, especially if they take their time to enhance their knowledge about the sport. First and foremost, in order for punters to make the most out of their betting session, they should have a good understanding of value. If the goal gambling enthusiasts have set is to make money, they should learn to assess the probability of bets winning as accurately as possible.
The ability to manage their bankroll correctly is also a key to a fruitful betting session. Practicing good money management is a must for punters who want to improve their performance. What they need to decide is how much and how often they will add funds to their gaming accounts, and what portion of their funds they will put at a stake.
Of course, setting an overall budget is also something gambling aficionados should not forget to do. Speaking about the bet sizes, if you are a newcomer to wagering on horse races, it is advisable to stick to smaller bet amounts until you get more confident in the decisions you make.
It might seem like an obvious piece of advice, but the best way to get an idea about the current form the horse punters want to bet on is to watch as many races as possible. Additionally, punters should spend some of their time inspecting statistics and news as this information will help them make informed decisions.
Betting on every race is among the most common mistakes up-and-coming bettors tend to make. Sticking to this approach is unlikely to bring punters the desired results for the simple reason that they will not have enough time to make well-informed decisions.
No matter how lucrative returns parlay bets offer, punters are advised to steer clear of them until they gain enough experience. Such bets are unsuitable for beginners because each leg they add to their multi-game bet should win, which is to say that getting right about all selections will not be a walk in the park.