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Standard Horse Racing Bets

Standard Horse Racing BetsMaybe you wonder how it is possible for a sport with such a long history like horse racing not only to be still practiced but to enjoy impressive popularity in different parts of the globe. While its dynamics and diversity are very well perceived by lots of fans, a major role in this relation is played by the sport’s intrinsic interconnection with gambling. In its modern form, horse racing relies primarily on the sports betting industry, as it provides a significant percentage of funding for the sport. Many racetracks simply could not function without the financial support coming from on-site and online bookmakers.

The essence of horse racing presupposes the availability of various bet types, some easier to place and others requiring experience in sports betting and good knowledge of the discipline. They are generally divided into two categories – standard horse racing bets and exotic bets. The distinctive feature of straight bets is they involve a single horse in a single race and are statistically more likely to be successful. The present article will explain everything you need to know in order to create a sound betting strategy.

There is some discrepancy in the names of the standard horse racing bets around the world. In the US they are Win, Place, Show, and Across the board, while in most other regions straight markets are called Win, Place, and Each-way.

Win Bet

Win BetNeedless to say, this is the most frequently placed bet as it is extremely simple, you just need to predict which particular horse will win the race. The wager is successful if the competitor crosses the finish line first and is a losing one in case of any other outcome. The win bet comes with the most lucrative eventual payouts among all standard horse racing bets which is due to the fact it is the hardest to correctly predict.

When punters perform straight bets, including the win option, their potential loss or profit is determined by fixed odds offered by the respective online bookmaker. You can see it just by clicking on the button for the particular event. A new window will open and although bookmakers have different interfaces, in most cases the table header for the Win betting market will look like this:

No.Horse NameTrainer/JockeyAge/WeightFormCurrent Odds

These are the main pillars on which to build your forecast. Some top-notch online sportsbooks go even further and publish a short summary for the upcoming race comprising some key findings regarding the top favorites and their rivalry so far. The provision of statistical data about each horse is advantageous for betting enthusiasts since they do not need to lose time looking for it.

It is worth keeping in mind that when practicing pari-mutuel betting things look quite different. Odds are not fixed like in the general case but fluctuate as the prize pool depends on money coming until the last moment. After the morning line odds are published punters start to place their bets and thus force the numbers in one direction or another. For example, if many bettors place their money on a particular horse, its odds will considerably shorten.

Place Bet

Place BetIf you need a greater dose of certainty and you can put up with less favorable odds, then the horse racing Place Bet is just for you. It again involves only one horse but this time allows punters to predict if it will finish in first or second place. This is a wonderful opportunity when your competitor of choice has an equally strong opponent and you are afraid to back it with a win bet. The chosen horse still has to perform well, but with the place bet you leave a little room for a mistake. This betting market allows bettors to support a horse and guarantee some, albeit minimal, profit if it fails to win.

Show Bet

Show BetThe standard horse racing bet that has the lowest degree of risk is the Show Bet as it covers the first three positions thus giving more chances to make a correct prediction. When does it make sense to place such a wager? The more competitiveness a race comes with, the harder it is to judge which of the horses with similar abilities and achievements will emerge as the winner. The horse’s form line can tell you what type of performer your chosen competitor is and help you decide if it is worth placing a show bet. A horse without a win in the last five races but with constant Top 3 positioning is a much better choice than a horse with two wins accompanied by a few dramatically law classifying. In other words, it is not that much crucial to find a competitor with superb qualities but one that repeatedly performs well.

To get an idea of the extent to which the odds of these three main straight horse racing bets differ, see the following table of actual data from the Haydock race in the United Kingdom.

L’Incorrigible (Mr Thomas M O’Brien (3))
Betting marketOdds
In Top 22.056
In Top 31.375

Each-Way Betting System

Each-Way Betting SystemThe each-way betting method enables punters to combine two standard horse racing bets on one ticket. The mixed wager almost always comprises a Win bet and either a Place or a Show bet on equal cost. If the selected horse wins, you will receive a return for both stakes. If it finishes in second or third place, only the place part of the each-way bet will bring you a payout. Sometimes it is possible for the place bet to cover more positions but this depends on the willingness of the bookmaker and the number of participating horses. For example, you cannot expect 4th place to be included if the total number of horses is also four.

Before deciding whether to place an each-way bet or not, you need first to make sure you will at least break even in case your selection places. Carefully check the odds to avoid ending up losing money if place betting odds are too unfavorable.


ConclusionBefore you start real-money betting on horse racing, there should be no obscure issues, whether you do it on the track or through an online betting platform. We advise you not to rush and initially simplify betting to its basic elements. Standard bet types are an excellent place to start as they focus on a single horse. After gaining some experience you can easily continue with higher-paying, but also riskier types of bets. You can learn more about them in the next part of our guide, so let’s move on.