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Horse Racing Betting Basics

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Horse Racing Betting Basics: Types of Bets You Can Wager On

Horse racing is an exciting sport, but for many people, the real thrill lies in betting. If you're new to horse racing, the numerous terminologies and types of bets can be overwhelming.

However, understanding the basics is crucial and can help you make informed decisions when placing your bets. In this article about horse racing betting, we'll provide an overview of the two main categories of bets in horse racing: straight bets and exotic bets.

Betting Basics - Straight Bets

Straight Bets

Straight bets are the simplest type of bets you can make in horse racing. They're perfect for beginners who are just starting to learn the betting basics. These bets involve wagering on a single horse to finish in a particular position.

Win Bet

The win bet is the most straightforward bet you can make. You select a horse to win the race, and if it finishes first, you win the bet. The odds for the win bet are typically the highest betting odds since it's the most challenging to predict.

Place Bet

With a place bet, you're betting on a horse to finish either first or second. Since you're betting on two positions, the odds for a place bet are slightly lower than the win bet.

Show Bet

A show bet is the easiest of all straight bets. You're betting on a horse to finish in the top three positions. Since the odds of a horse finishing in the top three are relatively high, the payout for a show bet is the lowest of all straight bets.

Across the Board Bet (the mother of all straight bets)

An across the board bet is essentially three bets in one. When you place an across the board bet, you're betting on a horse to win, place, and show. 

This bet is the most expensive of all straight bets since you're effectively placing three bets at once. However, if your horse wins, you'll receive a payout for all three bets. If your horse finishes second, you'll receive a payout for the place and show bets, and so on.

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Betting Basics of Exotic Bets

Exotic Bets

Exotic bets are more complex than straight bets and involve predicting the outcome of multiple races. These bets offer higher payouts than straight bets but are also riskier.

Exacta Bet

An exacta bet involves selecting two horses to finish first and second in the correct order. Since the chances of predicting the exact order of finish are relatively low, the payout for an exacta bet can be significant.

Trifecta Bet

A trifecta bet requires selecting the first, second, and third-place horses in the correct order. This bet offers even higher payouts than an exacta bet but is also more challenging to win.

Superfecta Bet

A superfecta bet is the most challenging of all exotic bets. You're required to select the first four horses to finish in the correct order. The odds of winning a superfecta bet are low, but if you do win, the payout can be substantial.

Boxing Exotic Bets

If you think about it, picking the right horses in the correct finishing order  can be a challenge. It’s certainly hard.

But what if you can pick the correct horses no matter if they finish in order or not? You can do that with boxed exotic bets. 

A box itself is not a type of bet but more of a strategy. Exacta, trifecta, and superfecta are designed for the punter to guess the horses and their place in a single race.

What you probably don’t know is that you can either make them straight or boxed.

For example, if you pick a straight exacta, you need to have the correct horses and their order of finishing to win. But if you make them boxed, the bet won’t require you to have them in order.

As long as you have the right horses, you win.

Let’s look at an example. Suppose you picked numbers 2 and 5 with two coming in first, then 5, for a straight exacta. In a straight exacta, the horses should be correct, and they should finish in order according to your bet.

However, in a boxed exacta, you just need 2 and 5 winning the race together to win. 

Boxing bets cost a lot more because your combination allows you to make more bets. So, if you’re thinking of betting on multiple horses but don't want to guess which order they finished the race, boxing might be for you.

Final Words

The types of bets above are just some of the bets you can wager on in horse racing. Of course, there’s a lot more, but those have their own rules and higher requirements for experience. 

There are also strategies you can learn along your journey as a horse racing bettor. There are a lot of resources you can use to give you a winning edge, like the racing forms, live horse racing odds and more.

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