How to Place a Wager on a Horse Race

Horse races have been attracting many fans for years, and everyone watching them always has a favorite. When they first became popular, people had lots of fun trying to guess the winner of the race. However, this quickly turned into the opportunity to earn some money, and fans from all over the world, including Americans, started placing real-money wagers on horse races.

Back in the day, it was very easy to bet on these events. All you had to do was pick a potential winner and place your money on the chosen horse. However, the betting system has evolved over the years, and now, it consists of certain steps a bettor should follow.

If you want to learn how to bet on horse racing, don’t leave this page, as you can find a clear summary of the whole process below.

Bet Types

Before you start thinking about the betting process, you must learn the fundamentals of betting on horse races — the bet types. Apart from picking the winning horse, there are many other options you can go for.

Here are the most popular horse racing bet types you should memorize before you start placing your wagers:

  • Win — This is the classic bet everyone has heard of. If you opt for this one, you will be betting on a specific horse to win the race.
  • Place — You are betting that your horse will run over the finish line first or second.
  • Show — The show bet gives you even more freedom. By placing this bet, you’ll be guessing that your horse will finish first, second, or third.
  • Across the board — Just like the show bet, this one also incorporates three bets. However, it offers a bigger winning potential. With this one, you’re actually allowing your horse to win, place, or show, but instead of paying only one, you’ll be investing in all three options, as if they were individual bets. For instance, if a single bet is $3, you’ll have to bet $9. However, depending on the way the race ends, you’ll collect a particular sum. If a horse wins, you’ll get the money for all three bets. On the other hand, if your horse finishes second, you’ll collect the money for place and show wagers. Finally, if your horse finishes third, you’ll only collect the winnings from the show bet.
  • Quinella — Quinella bet allows you to bet on two horses to finish first and second. You don’t have to guess the correct order in which they cross the finish line.
  • Exacta — Just like the quinella bet, exacta enables you to bet on two horses to come first and second. However, the horses will have to end the race in the exact order you’ve said they would.
  • Trifecta — You can also bet on three horses and win money if they finish in the exact order.
  • Superfecta — If you’re a skillful bettor, there’s the superfecta bet, thanks to which you can bet on four horses crossing the finish line in the exact order you’ve predicted.

Also, exacta, trifecta, and superfecta bets can be boxed, which will slightly loosen the rules and let your horses end the race in any order. However, bet boxing will increase the cost of your original bet. However, it will increase your winning chances at the same time.

Placing a Bet

Now that you know what horse racing bet types there are, it’s time to learn how to place a bet. The process is pretty simple and it requires the following information:

  • Racetrack name
  • Race number
  • Amount of money you want to invest
  • Bet type
  • Program number of the horse you support

In practice, your bet should look like this — Kentucky Downs, race five, $3 place on #3.

Since you can’t place a valid bet without these details, it’s best that you carefully go through the race program and write everything down. What’s more, you can grab the Daily Racing Form and see how the competing horses have performed recently. This way, you’ll have the time to come up with your bet free from any pressure. Afterward, you’ll get to place it within seconds.