How to Bet on Horses

If you are new to the world of betting on horses, you are in for a special treat. The pageantry and excitement of placing bets on horses is second to none. Imagine being able to bet on a event sports event every 10 minutes and getting the results within minutes.

Kalashani Lad ridden by Darren Gauci wins the Ladbrokes Up For The Challenge Handicap at Ladbrokes Park Hillside Racecourse on November 16, 2016 in Springvale, Australia. (John Donegan/Racing Photos)

If you are already familiar with online sports betting, you will find online wagering on horses to be quite similar. In fact, should you happen to have a regular betting account with Sky Bet, you will find many Sky Bet Promo Code that offers exciting ways to get more value out of your wagering dollar.

Types of Bets

Whether you are betting at the track or with an online bookmaker, you will want to be familiar with the types of bets that are available. Here’s a reference guide that explains each type of bet.

Note: The terminology may differ from one country to the to the next, so you may see two words with one definition. The first is used in North America and the second in Europe and Australia.

Win – The horse must win the race.
Place – The horse must come in first or second
Exacta or Forecast – Picking the first and second place horses in the correct order.
Quinella or Reverse Forecast – Picking the first and second place horses in any order
Trifecta or Tricast – Picking the first three horses in the correct order
Superfecta – Picking the first four finishers in the correct order
Omni-Swinger – Picking two of the first three horses in any order
Daily Double – Picking the winner of two consecutive races
Pick-3 – Picking the winner of three consecutive races
Pick-4 – Picking the winner of four consecutive races
Some tracks also include a Pick-5 and a Pick-6
Parlay or Multi – Picking the winner of multiple races that are not necessarily consecutive


The Betting Odds and Payouts

In the U.K. and Australia, Win and Place bets are typically made at fixed odds as determined by the on-track or online bookmaker. The odds are a reflection of the amount of money being wagered on each horse with the horse having the most action set forward as the favorite of the race with the lowest odds.

All other bets are called exotic wagers. The payouts are determined by complicated calculations from a pari-mutual pool. All bets are made into a pari-mutual pool where the track’s takeout (commission) is removed and the rest is distributed among all winning betting slips for the specified type of wager.


Wagering Limits

Whether at the track or online, Win and Place wagers require a minimum bet of £2. Exotic wagers are usually lower at £1. It’s important to remember that most exotic wagers can include multiple horses in each part of the wager, which will calculate out to larger bets. For instance, a bettor might bet a Daily Double with two horses in the first race and 3 horses in the second race. If the minimum bet is £1, the better will have to pay £6 or 2 x 3 to cover all the possible combinations.

Now that you are familiar with betting terminology and wager types, you are ready to buy a form guide and learn more about handicapping and picking the right horse.

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