Kentucky Derby Betting Guide for Beginners


The Kentucky Derby is the biggest horse racing event of the year and undeniably the quickest. The horse racing event is referred to as the “Fastest Two Minutes in Sports.”

This time of the year, expert handicappers are enticing fans with information such as picks, wagers, and more. Kentucky Derby betting can be pretty overwhelming, so it’s better if you take a little step back and realize that betting can be fun and stress relieving as well as profitable.

Choose a Horse to Root for

The first thing you should have considered by now is picking your winning favorites for the Kentucky Derby. However, this is a tough decision. So how do you decide?

Racehorses have different qualities and personalities on and off the racetrack. One of the horses bred is the Thoroughbred. Thoroughbreds are a bit hot-blooded and love to be doted on and fed with carrots, apples, and peppermints. Some flashy racehorse may catch your attention, or maybe a humble plain horse might be more your type. Many racehorses have markings, and it’s one reason why they stand out, like a gray blaze or star on their heads and even spotted legs or feet.

It is a good idea to pick a horse that you feel has a good chance of winning. In a horse race, a seasoned off-track bettor appears to be much more than the features. Factors to look for in a horse such as Stall/Gate Position, status from the previous races, performance after the last race, horse’ previous distance and course wins, jockey and trainer data, and the official ranking.

How to Bet on the Kentucky Derby

There are a lot of ways to place a bet on the Kentucky Derby. Betting can be at an off-track betting location (OTB), your local racetrack, or even online through credible sites. Look for reputable sites that offer standard wagers, exotic and multi-leg wagers with a racing card within the Kentucky Derby. Keep in mind that one of the major points to win some money is choosing where to place your bet.

The usual Kentucky Derby bets are the basic bets such as Win, Place, and Show. These three wagers commonly offer the least risk and are often recommended to beginners. The next level of betting of regular basic bets is the exotic bets.  Exotic bets place a wager on more than one result, whether it is betting on one or more than once race or betting on finishers in one race.

Exotic bets are more complicated and need more knowledge and luck to win. Exotic bets include multiple horses in a race or multiple races.

The Basics of Kentucky Derby betting: Types of Bets

If you are looking to bet on the Kentucky Derby but don’t know how below are the types of bets that are ideal for beginners.

  • Win betting – a bet placed on a horse to finish first place. It’s as simple as it gets. You bet on the horse you think will win first place.
  • Place betting– When you bet on a horse to race, your horse must finish first or second. This type of betting has two different opportunities for winning, but your win will be smaller than win betting because there’s lesser risk involved.
  • Show betting – a bet placed to finish in the money either third or better. A show bet gives you three ways to win, and the payout will be less than a place betting or win betting.

Betting Strategy

There are a variety of bets available that bettors are given limitless opportunities to win. Often, people bet on the Kentucky Derby and just pick the horses that are best-looking or bet on a horse that has an appealing name or a name that resonates with them. For novice bettors, the best bet is if you study the previous performance of the horses involved. You can find that information in the race program available at the track or through online sources.

One of the important things you should focus on betting on is the distance of the race. Most of the horses have never run a long race. As a result, look for horses who have consistent wins that get stronger at the finish line.

To Sum it Up

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most popular betting races in the United States, and its popularity is equivalent to the Super Bowl in horse racing events. There are various wagering opportunities, but beginners should keep it simple until they learn the ins and outs. Win, place, and show wagers are the best wins for now and should be enough for the first try into the betting field.


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