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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / How to Bet on Horse Racing in 2023: Betting on Horses Explained (+ Best Bookies)

How to Bet on Horse Racing in 2023: Betting on Horses Explained (+ Best Bookies)

How to bet!
Publish Date: 04/29/2022
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
New Mandate Frankie Dettori wins The Paradise Stakes from L Sir Busker Jim Crowley. Ascot Horse Races, UK - 27 Apr 2022

Today we are going to look at how to bet on the Horses

This is the best time of the year for a new gambler to throw his hat in the ring to bet on the horses. The Kentucky Derby is less than two weeks away and today we are going to show you how to bet on the Run for the Roses! Check out the best bookmakers for betting on the Kentucky Derby!

Where to bet on Horse Racing

US Sports Betting Sites for Horse Racing Best Apps for Horse Race Betting, these apps make it even easier to bet on tracks all across the world! It used to be the only way to legally bet was to go to your local track but with advancements in technology, all the races sit in the palm of your hand.

Where to find odds on horse racing

Maybe the most important thing when betting on the horses is getting the best odds on the races.

Odds can very on different sites so it is always a wise idea to check out all of the different odds for the race or races you want to bet.

Check out the top sportsbook bonuses for betting on the Kentucky Derby!

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Types of betting

Straight Wagers

When newcomers first encounter horse racing, the three most common “straight” bets they are familiar with are Win, place, and show. All three of these wagers required a minimum stake of $2 in the past, but they are now available for as little as $1 at most places. Let’s take a closer look at each of these wagers.

WIN This bet, like its name, requires that your selection finishes as the winner of the race. The track will vary the takeout rate for a Win bet, which includes Place and Show wagers. It is usually between 15-20%. The rest is distributed to the Win ticket holders on the horse that placed first. (The Place and Show pools are separate. The Win pool is not included.

Win odds, unlike Place and Show, are easily accessible by looking at the tote board or TV monitors. If you’re using an internet device, your screen will also display the win odds. These odds are often calculated using the horse’s odds. To make winning and finding the right sportsbook even easier we put together a guide rating the top horse race betting sites!

With seven minutes left to post, the #6 horse is the favourite at 8-5 or 1.6-1. You would win $1.60 per $1 wagered and get your stake back if the horse wins. A $2 win bet would pay $5.20.

The payoff for the #4 horse that wins at 29-1 would be a minimum of $60, and up to $61.80 depending on breakage. Breakage, a track that calculates payoffs, is used to round them to the nearest 20-cent increment (10c in New York). This allows for more flexibility than paying exact amounts (e.g. Instead of paying $60.80, a $60.94 calculated payoff would be $60.80.

The level of play received by each horse determines the Win odds. It’s difficult to gauge the difficulty of this wager. However, it is more complicated than Place or Show wagers. You would only bet on the favorite to win each race and you would cash on an average of one out three races. Despite the higher rewards, the average decreases for higher-priced horses. Check out the top new sportsbooks for betting on the Derby!

PLACE Place betting requires that your selection finish either first or second. Although it’s easier than a Win bet to cash, the payouts are usually smaller because the Place pool is divided in two (bettors who place money on the first and second horses divide the pool).

Because they depend on the order in which the horses are run, place odds and probable payoffs may not be readily available to all. Although there are methods to calculate approximate payoffs using the money placed on each horse in the Place pool, it is best to just enjoy the race and not obsess over the math.

SHOW This is the easiest of all three straight wagers to win cash. It requires that your selection finish either first, second or third. It’s the easiest of the three straight wagers to cash. Due to the fact that the pool is split among three ticket holders, the payoffs may be low. The Return on Investment (ROI), if you are betting favorites, can be as low as $1 per $2 wagered. Place bets have similar odds, but it is possible to calculate an approximate return.

Check out the top sportsbooks for betting on Horse Racing!

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Show bets can be very exciting for beginners, especially if they have a low-risk threshold. However, for those who are more experienced than that, the equivalent of pocket money may not be as thrilling.

The race is over and the winners have been announced. What have we won? Based on the graphic above:

$2 win on #1$7.40$4 Win$0$2 win on #3$0$2 Placement on #1$4.00$4 Placement at $2$12.80$2 Placement on #3$0$2 Show on #1$2.80$4 Show, $2$9.20$3 Show on #3$6.20

Straight bets on horses other than these three are losing ones.

For a potential higher return, newcomers may be interested in placing $2 to Place, Win, and Show (or “across the board”) on their horse. The $6 investment made on #1 would have yielded $14.20, $22 on #4, and $6.20 on #3. Yes, it is possible to lose money betting on all horses if your horse finishes in the second or third place and the cumulative payouts are less than $6. Make sure you check out all of the upcoming horse racing odds!

Exotic Wagers

All nonstraight wagers can be referred to as exotic. They are often difficult for newcomers to horse racing to win unless they have amazing beginner’s luck. The EXACTA (picking the first two finishers of a race in exact order) and QUINELLA are the easiest to cash on. This bet does not have wide availability, but it is possible to pick the winners of both races.

It is best to use multiple horses to tackle the Double or Exacta. A $1 Exacta wheel with horses 1 and 2, in first place, and horses 3, 4 and 5, in second place would run $6 ($1 per combination). A $1 Double wheel of horses 1 & 2 in Race 1 would cost $4.

The SHOW PALAY is a popular way to bet on horse racing. This can be done individually or as a group. Let’s say four friends invest $10 each in a Show Parlay. Then they collectively decide which horse to show $40 on. The group will have $80 to spend in the next race’s Show Pool if the horse finishes in top three and pays $4. They will continue to re-bet their winnings until they lose (where the maximum each person loses is $10) or they will choose to stop after spending several hundred dollars.

Although there is some luck involved, it’s a great way for those who aren’t afraid to try horse racing betting without taking on a large amount of risk. This is a great way to make a low risk, low reward Show wager more exciting and can create a lot of excitement for your first horse racing experience. Of course, knowing how to win is the biggest thing of all when it comes to any form of betting. Betting on the horses, especially for the first time is never easy but here at the Grueling Truth, we are here to help you win right from the very start. So we put together a quick guide to help you win Horse racing betting.

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