Here is a short guide to understanding horse racing betting types and odds:
Types of Horse Racing Bets – The Win
A win is where you are selecting a horse to win, sometimes referred to as ‘on the nose’.
Types of Horse Racing Bets – The Place
Even if your horse doesn’t win, you are still in with a chance. You can select a horse to be placed, and in general this means your horse needs to finish either 1st, 2nd or 3rd. For races with 5-7 runners (horses), your horse needs to finish 1st or 2nd. For a race with only 1-4 runners, there is no place betting. In a handicap race with 16 or more runners, your horse can finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th.
Remember though, the place odds will be a fraction of the win price. This is normally a ¼ or a 1/5 (quarter or fifth) of the odds quoted. Also, the place bet is only available at the racecourse with the Tote.
Types of Horse Racing Bets – The Each Way Bet
An each-way bet is two bets, one on a win and one on a place. This doubles your chances, so if your horse wins the race you get the return back from both bets, but if your horse is placed (2nd, 3rd, 4th) then you only receive the return from your place bet. If you place a bet of £2 each-way bet then the cost would be £4, £2 for the horse to win and £2 for the horse to place. Therefore, if you horse won at odds of 4-1, you would get £8 plus your £2 stake back for the win and £2 (a quarter of the odds) plus your £2 stake back for the place bet.
All high street and on-course bookmakers offer each-way betting, but it’s worth checking their boards before you bet.
Types of Horse Racing Bets – Straight Forecast or The Exacta Bet
The straight forecast bet means you have to select the 1st and 2nd placed horses in the exact order on all races. This bet is valid with three or more runners. It is also occassionally referred to as an Exacta bet on some bookmaker sites.
Types of Horse Racing Bets – The Place Pot
In the first six races of a meet, you have to select a horse to be placed in each one. It requires you to complete a place pot-betting coupon to place a bet. Remember, the more horses you choose in a race, the more the bet will cost.
Types of Horse Racing Bets – The Scoop 6
Usually made on the Saturday races, where race goers and TV viewers are asked to find the winners of six selected TV races.
Types of Horse Racing Bets – The Stake
Making a stake is the amount of money you are prepared to gamble.
Guide to Betting Odds
Sometimes referred to as the price, odds are used to show the estimated probability of a horse winning a race. Whatever this probability is, this is what the bookmaker will lay his bets on. Odds aren’t this straightforward though. To understand horse racing betting odds means that you must be aware that prices can be odds against, even money or odds on. Here are horse racing betting odds explained.
When it’s likely your horse will win the race, odds are against. This is where the bookmaker will offer a return (what you’ll get back) of your bet, which is more than double the amount staked for a winning bet. For example, if you stake £1, a winning bet at 2/1 (pronounced two-to-one) will return £2 plus your original £1, making £3.
The evens bet is just that – even. The bookmaker will offer you a return which is double the amount staked for a win bet, so if your stake is £1, then you will get £2 back.
If your horse is expected to win, odds on is what the bookmaker will offer. The return could be half the amount staked for your bet. So, if your £1 bet wins at 1/2 (two-to-one on) you get 50p back, plus your stake, making you £1.50.
Sometimes, people refer to odds as long or short. This is replacement of the odds being fractionalised. Odds that are long, for example 100/1 (hundred-to-one), show that the horse is unlikely to win the race, while short odds like 2/1 (two-to-one) mean the horse has a great chance to win, and the returns on your horse racing betting chances are lower.