It happens often. You’re watching the races, side with your favourite horse and jockey pair, and see them pass the finish line before the others. Betting on horse racing is an easy way to add even more thrill to the game. As a new gambler, placing your first bet may seem intimidating. Yet, you needn’t worry. The ultimate guide to betting on the races below will give you all the confidence to become more than a spectator of this gorgeous classic sport.
- Decide how to bet
There are two ways to bet on horse racing: at the track or online. The former is undeniably the most exciting way of betting. Not only will it place you at the heart of the action, but deciding which horse to bet on while watching the races is priceless, or even playing ITV pick 7 is popular. However, this method is also the most intimidating.
A simpler – and more comfortable – way to bet as a beginner is online. Making deposits and placing bets online is very easy, and some platforms even allow you to practice with virtual money before using real cash.
- Understand the odds
Most new gamblers make the mistake of focusing on understanding payouts rather than the odds when betting. The truth is, you don’t have to know the payouts formula to make a winning bet. You do have to know the odds, though.
They are simpler to calculate than imagined. Watch for the ratio-like numbers on betting boards or tickets – typically 6:1 or 3:5. These numbers tell you what the odds are for a horse to win a certain race. Check the numbers for each horse in the race and pick the one with the highest chances of winning to bet on.
- Don’t place all your eggs in one basket
In other words, don’t bet on one horse alone. Most novice bettors are unaware that they can bet on multiple horses in the same race and increase their chances of winning. For instance, you can bet on the first three horses that have the highest odds.
Betting on multiple horses will lower your potential profits but increase the chances of walking away slightly richer than you were.
- Understand the types of bets
Another essential thing to figure out is what type of bet you should make. There are several popular options:
- Win: The simplest type of bet. You bet on a horse you believe it will win, and if it does, you win too.
- Place: You bet on your horse finishing first or second. Both pay the same, so it doesn’t matter which spot you get.
- Show: Similar to place, but you bet on your horse finishing on one of the first three places.
- Quinella: A multi-horse bet in which you choose two horses to finish on the first two places, regardless of the order.
- Exacta: You choose two horses to come first and second in a particular order.
- Study the race before betting
Is the race held on dirt or turf tracks? Is it raining or sunny? What age and gender do the horses have? Who is the jockey? Some horses perform better on dirt than on turf, others on wet rather than dry tracks, and the jockey’s experience also matters. Learn as much as you can to increase your chances of winning at the races.