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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 fun, not for the sport itself but for the fact that you can bet on it. While it’s true that there are people who love the thrill of it, most people only participate in it for the betting.

That said, if you’re new to horse racing, then you’re in luck. Today, we will talk about the basic types of bets you can make in horse racing.

Horse racing has a lot of terminologies, and if you’re confused about some of them, then we can’t blame you. However, you won’t need to memorize all of them to improve your betting.

But there are specific terms you need to know first if you want to know what you’re doing. 

In horse racing betting, there are two main categories of bets: straight bets and exotic bets. Read on to learn more about what they are and which one you should bet on.

Betting Basics - Straight Bets

Straight bets are the easiest type of bets you can wager on. They’re great for beginners as they can help them get the taste of horse racing betting. If you’re a newbie and getting to grips with betting basics, you should start with straight bets as they are straightforward and easy to understand.

Win Bet: The easiest bet you can wager on is the win bet. Moreover, it has the highest betting odds. If your chosen horse wins the race, then you win as well.

Place Bet: You will be betting on a horse that will either win first or second. Since you’re betting on two finishes, the odds are slightly less than the win bet.

Show Bet: This one has the lowest odds of all straight bets. This is because you will be picking a horse that you think will finish in first, second, or third.

Across the Board Bet: This is the mother of all straight bets. When you say to the teller that you’ll bet $2 across the board, you will be wagering on all three previous bets, which will cost you $6.

If your pick wins first, you’ll win all three bets. If it comes in second, you will win the place and show bets and so on. You can also make different combinations across the board like win/show, place/show, etc.

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Betting Basics of Exotic Bets

This is where it gets quite complicated. Exotic bets allow you to bet on multiple horses in a single wager. Of course, this makes it much harder to win than straight bets, making it popular to veteran punters. However, this type of bet has the highest payout and is the most expensive, making it a high-risk, high reward.

Exacta: To place an exacta bet, you must pick two horses from the field of starters and bet on them together in a chosen order. If the two horses win and you bet them in the correct order, you win the exacta bet.

For example, you picked number 4 and number 7, with seven coming in first then 4. If this comes true, you win.

Trifecta: The trifecta bet is similar to the exacta bet, only that it comes with three horses. You choose three horses that you think will win in the correct order.

Superfecta: This is like a trifecta, but with four horses. This one is arguably the hardest among the exotic bets but also has the biggest payout.

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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