How To Bet Horses

Understanding how to bet on horse racing is a key to making playing the ponies both fun and profitable. There is a wide array of betting optional available today; from low risk wagers like Show betting all the way to making what could be a life changing score by hitting a Pick 6.

Horseplayers need to know the difference between all of the different wagering options that are available, and which bets match up best with their bankroll.

The most traditional of wagers are the Win, Place, and Show bets. A Win bet is simply a wager on one horse, and if that horse wins, the wager is a winner. A Place bet is cashed when the horse selected runs either first or second. A Show wager is one of the most low risk wagers in horse racing. As long as the horse selected runs first, second or third, the wager is a winner.

The Exacta wager involves selecting the top two finishers in a race in exact order. A Quinella wager is similar, except they can run in any order as long as they finish in the top two spots.

A Daily Double wager is similar to an Exacta wager, except instead of attempting to select the top two finishers in a single race, the Daily Double involves selecting the winners of two consecutive races. Most tracks offer rolling Daily Double wagering, meaning a new wager can start in nearly every race.

A Trifecta wager involves selecting the top three finishers in a race in exact order. That is tougher than hitting a two horse wager, but the windfalls can be large.

Horseplayers looking for a big score also look to a Pick 3 wager, which involves selecting the winner of three consecutive races. Most tracks now offer at least one Pick 4 wager as well. In the Pick 4 a horseplayer must select the winner of four consecutive races. It is not easy, but payoffs can be in the thousands.

Futures wagering is available each February through March on the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.  Selecting the Kentucky Derby winner three months in advance can have its rewards!

There are also many free horse racing contests to supplement your wagering action.