Category Archives: Racehorse Betting

Race Horse Betting – Top 10 Things You Need To Know Before You Bet

Horse racing is a popular sport and placing bets at racetracks has been a fun pastime for many years.  Often, news stations share stories of people who have made hundreds of thousands of dollars with just one small bet.  However, betting terminology used at the track can be confusing for those who are unfamiliar.  Before placing a bet at the track, there are ten things you need to know.

Straight Bets

Win, Place, or Show are known as “straight” bets in the horse race betting industry.  You can bet for a horse to win, to place, to show or to do any one of the three.  If you bet the horse to win, the horse must come in first; to place, the horse must come in first or second; to show, the horse must come in first, second or third.

Daily Double/Rolling Double

These are usually offered during the first and final 2 races of the day.  To win, you must choose the first place winner in any two consecutive races during the day.  In this bet, you only win if both of the horses come in first in both races.

Pick 3/Pick 4

In the Pick 3, the Bettor picks the winner of 3 consecutive races, while in the Pick 4, they pick the winner of 4 consecutive races.  Most tracks have a $1 minimum bet, making these types of races affordable for almost all track Bettors.  However, if one leg of the race is lost, the entire bet is lost.

Pick Six

One of the most difficult bets to win, but with some of the highest payoffs, is the Pick Six.  In this bet, you must pick the first place winner in six consecutive races.  At the 2003 Breeders Cup, there was only one Pick Six winning ticket which paid over $2 million to the winner.  However, betting on this race can get expensive as you must pick six winners at $1 or $2 per pick.  In order to increase the odds of winning, Bettors often choose more than one horse to win, which increases the cost of the ticket. The average price for a Pick Six ticket is $64.


In this race, the Bettor chooses the horse that will come in first and second place in the correct order.


A Trifecta requires the Bettor to choose the first, second and third place winner in the horse race.


In a Superfecta, bets are placed on the first, second, third and fourth places in the correct order.  Like the Pick Six, this type of bet is difficult to win, yet can have very high payouts.  At the 2006 Breeder’s Cup, a Superfecta ticket paid over $100,000.

Boxed Bet

A boxed bet is betting all combinations in a multi-horse wager, such as an Exacta or Trifecta.

Odds of Betting

Odds are a way of showing how likely a horse is to win and what the payout will be if the horse wins.  Basically, odds state that for every dollar you bet, you will get a certain return on that dollar.  For example, if you bet $100 on a horse with 9-2 odds and he wins, you will receive $550 (9/2*100).

How to Place a Wager

In order to place a wager, the Bettor names the track where the horse is running and then states the race number they are going to bet on.  The Bettor then states the dollar amount of the wager, what type of wager it is, such as win, place, pick 3, etc., and the number of the horse or horses they are betting on.  Horse race bets are parimutuel bets, meaning the final payout is not determined until the pool is closed, usually after the race begins.

Race horse betting terms can be confusing, but by learning the various types of bets and the terms used in the horse racing industry, betting can be a fun pastime while visiting the race track.

Blinkers On

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