Horse race betting: DECODED
As long as people have raced horses men have been betting on them. What was once an
unsophisticated system of wagers has developed into a complex system of odds. With these
new developments it has become possible to have all the fun of sports betting and chances of
huge proﬁts. In Horse Race Betting: DECODED we'll explore all the ways to make bets and get
an edge on the house.
Before we can get into the techniques that will help you dominate the betting arena ﬁrst we've
got to make sure we're all on the same page. Here we will cover all the bets you can place, how
to place them, and what you need to know to get started.
Betting on horses is typically quite simple. Usually you place a bet, hold your ticket close as
your horse almost wins, then throw your ticket at the incompetent jockey who lost you the race
when things go wrong. But, if you know what you're doing, you bring your ticket to the window
and collect your "hard earned" winnings.
To place a bet walk up to the window and tell them:
1. The name of the racetrack.
2. The number of the race you're betting on.
3. How much you wager.
4. The type of bet (you can bet on a horse to win, place, or show or on a combination of horses
to perform in a combination of ways).
5. Tell them the number of the horse or horses you are betting on.
6. Double check that everything is right on the ticket you were given.
When you're at the tracks you're going to need a few things. Along with an umbrella and
sunscreen to endure the elements make sure you're ready for the race.
Get a program. A racetrack program features information on all the horses and their jockeys.
Make sure you have the daily racing form (DRF). The DRF features a breakdown of all the past
performances of any and all horses in the day's races. It also features articles and handicapping
information all assembled by DRF staff.
Next you simply must have a copy of the public handicapper selections. If your track is covered
by off track betting (OTB) then the local paper will hire a handicapper Ronald daily horse
Finally try to track down handicapper tip sheets. These are published by other handicappers at
the racetrack and can give you even more of an inside scoop of what is going on in the races.
Oh and be sure to bring binoculars for all those quick ﬁnishes.
So you're betting on a race and you want to know how much you're about to win. Here's a quick
reference to help you. It's built with standard £2 bets.
Odds £2 Payoff Odds £2 Payoff Odds £2 Payoff
1/9 £2.20 8/5 £5.20 7/1 £16.00
1/5 £2.40 9/5 £5.60 8/1 £18.00
2/5 £2.80 2/1 £6.00 9/1 £20.00
1/2 £3.00 5/2 £7.00 10/1 £22.00
3/5 £3.20 3/1 £8.00 11/1 £24.00
4/5 £3.60 7/2 £9.00 12/1 £26.00
1/1 £4.00 4/1 £10.00 13/1 £28.00
6/5 £4.40 9/2 £11.00 14/1 £30.00
7/5 £4.80 5/1 £12.00 15/1 £32.00
3/2 £5.00 6/1 £14.00 16/1 £34.00
Before you even think about picking a horse you need to get to know the kinds of bets you can
make. You have options from simple bets on a single race to predicting the winning horses for 6
consecutive races. This table begins to give you your options:
Bet type: Chances of winning Explanation and
Suggested play -
Show Very good If your horse is ﬁrst,
second or third you get
a payout, marginal
Place Good If your horse is ﬁrst or
second you get a
payout, better return
Win Average Your horse must take
ﬁrst, payoff depends
Quinella Average Your horses must ﬁnish
ﬁrst and second in any
order, the standard play
is to box three horses
£2 quinella box for three
horses costs £6
Exacta Hard Your horses must ﬁnish
ﬁrst and second in an
exact order, a riskier bet
that can pay a little or a
lot depending on the
£1 exacta box using
three horses costs £6;
£1 exacta box keying
three horses costs £6
How to win:
• Every racetrack has a television simulcast with a commentator who handicaps between
races. Pay attention to what he says, you might pick up a hot tip.
• The top ten riders win rough 90% of the races in any given meet. Typically safe bets.
• Favorite horses win roughly 1/3 of the time, but have a low payoff.
• The morning line, despite popular belief, isn't who the racetrack oddsmaker believes will win.
It's who the racetrack oddsmaker believes the public favors to win. A solid betting method is
Trifecta Very hard Your horses must ﬁnish
ﬁrst through third in an
exact order, can be
expensive if played with
£1 trifecta keying one
horse to win over three
horses costs £6; £1
trifecta keying two
horses win over four
horses costs £12
Superfecta Extremely hard Your horses must ﬁnish
1st through 4th in the
order you predict, very
hard to bet unless you
have a sizable bankroll;
big payoff possible
£1 superfecta keying
one horse to win over
four horses costs £24
Daily double Hard Your horses must win
two consecutive races;
chance for a nice payoff
with mid-priced horses
£2 daily double using
two horses in each race
costs £8; £2 daily
double keying one
horse to three horses
Pick 3 Very hard Your horse must win
three consecutive races;
it's a daily double plus
another race; the £1 unit
makes it affordable
£1 pick 3 using two
horses in each race
costs £8; £1 pick 3
keying one horse with
three horses in two
other races costs £9
Pick 4 Extremely hard Your horse must win 4
consecutive races; its a
chance for a huge
£1 pick 4 using two
horses in each race
Pick 6 Statistician's lottery Your horse must win 6
consecutive races; very
expensive to play; huge
payoffs possible; a
home run bet
£2 pick 6 using 3
singles with two horses
each in the other three
races costs £16
Chances of winning Explanation and
Suggested play -
to put a couple bucks on horses going off at odds two to three times higher than its morning