Horse Betting

Race BookHorse Betting
Horse betting is a field much more complex than meets the eye.  Horse betting has many aspects of psychological and logical behavior, pure statistic as well as pure luck causing it to be more appropriate to the experienced, mature and mentally stable, though it’s usually the other way around. Horse betting is a field of uncertainties alongside changing odds and statistics that may or may not affect the final outcome of a race and betting. Thorough research, patience and persistence are key features of this game, and if not applied properly the whole thing turns to be just a regular gambling scheme like any other casino gambling. This is a concise horse betting guide.

Handicapping – Determining Your Chances
Handicapping in British horse racing is the old practice of figuring out (more like of an educated guess) by horse betting odds, which horse is more likely to have a chance at finishing first at the end of a race or second and third in other types of betting such as “place” or “show”. Handicapping is a raw and non-accurate statistics and reasoning practice that consists out of many factors. Some are pure quantity statistics of the horse itself such as performance history, like prior winnings losses or disqualifications and how the horse handles turf, dirt, various weather conditions and different tracks and distances, and some are quality factors like the horse’s genealogy, temperament and details regarding the horse’s “barn” (owner, jockey, trainer, care taker etc.). Other factors are just caprices of the gamblers causing constant changes in the track odds since favoring a horse chances to win creates the known situations of “underlay” in which a horse gets good track odds due to public “over betting” on him therefore lowering the possible payout, and “overlay” in which a horse gets poor track odds but the chances for a nice payoff are significantly increased.

Handicapping in horse racing gambling is no easy task, espcially in UK horse courses. It’s recommended that you practice dry handicapping (no betting) for a few months until  you get the hang of it and feel confident enough to handicap and place bet. Even then, it wise to gradually increase your bets as it will teach a lot about handicapping with minimum losses and more importantly, it will give you a proper perspective of how your handicapping skills progression and your betting behavior characteristics. Don’t forget to keep up with latest updates and horse racing news as additional handicapping sources.

Placing Your Bets – Pari-mutuel Betting and Different Types of Bet Placing
The Pari-mutuel betting system was introduced in horse race betting nearly 100 years ago when most countries banned off track bookies and the reins were put in the hands of local governments or organized and trusted booking agencies. The Pari-mutuel betting system was invented by Catalan impresario Joseph Oller in 1867. In this system, all bets are placed in a pool of betting from which the “takeoff” (usually 20% and no more than that) is removed in favor of track expanses and government taxes. The payoff is then divided among winners according to track odds calculations. When placing your bet, you should take all factors of track odds in account. Track odds form out of experts’ analysis, public betting, and mere speculations. In the Pari-mutuel betting system you find chances and odds of winning such as 1:2 which doesn’t mean a horse has a 50% or one in two chances of winning but that a horse’s higher chances of winning lower the edge and the payoff since this horse receive many bets and the money has to be divided among many bettors. On the other hand, a horse with 25:1 chances mean that not many bettors place their bet on him and in case he wins they also get the betting money that was placed on lower stakes higher odds bets.

There are three main types of horse race betting: Straight, Exotic and Future.

Straight Bets

Straight bets are the most common bets and hold the more moderate track odds. In this bets you decide whether you place your bet as “first”, placing a bet on a horse to come first, “place”, placing a bet on a horse to come first or second or “show”,  placing a bet on a horse to come first, second or third. The more options you have for the race’s final outcome the higher the odds and the lower the payoff.

Exotic Bets
Exotic bets come in two types: Vertical and Horizontal.
Vertical bets are multi horse bet in a single race. You can place an exacta, which is two finishers in order, trifecta, which is three finishers in order and superfecta, which is four finishers in order. Two other type of exacta are quinella in which order has no significance, and exacta box in which a number of horses is picked and all possible options of an exacta including these horses are covered. Horizontal bets are bets wide across different races. The bettor choose how many races to bet on, daily double, pick 3, pick 4 and pick 6. Stakes in these types of bets are very high and so payoff is high.

Future Bets
Future bets is placing a bet on future events based on prior races. This type of bet is not recommended at all since it doesn’t practice Handicapping and so should be avoided.

Remember! Before you even step into the nearest racebook and before engaging any gambling activity, especially horse race gambling, take a minute and think it thru. Are you built for it? How comprehensive is your knowledge of horse racing and horse race betting?  Can you handle the pressure and the adrenalin that sometimes causes judgments clouding?  Do you have sufficient funds to finance horse gambling? Can you manage a proper bankroll to support your activity in the field? Ask yourself these questions and search for horse race betting tips before you enter this world of horse racing gambling.