Strategies for Betting on Horse Racing
This article gives strategies for betting on horse racing. It explains how to bet to win,
place, show, the daily double, etc. It includes some of the mathematics needed to calculate how much each bet will cost.
Strategies for Betting on Horse Racing
The easiest way to bet is win, place or show. A win bet pays if the selected horse comes in first. A place bet pays if the selected horse comes in first or second. A show bet pays if the selected horse comes in first, second, or third. The payoffs of those three are highest for win bets because they only payoff if the horse wins. But betting to show is a very good way to win money for anyone who isn't trying for an exotic payoff. The win, place, and show bets have traditionally always had a minimum bet amount of two dollars.
The daily doubles pay if the selected horses come in first in two consecutive races. The daily double was just the first two races for many years. Recently it has increased to every race on many race days. The major stakes races like the Breeder's Cup are examples. One idea for the daily double is to pick one horse to win in the first or second race, and then wheel that horse with several other horses in the other race. The mathematics is the number of horses in the wheel times the amount bet, which is usually a minimum of two dollars for daily doubles. For example, one horse in the first race wheeled with five horses in the second race is 1x5x$2=$10. Several horses can also be chosen for each race. The mathematics involved is the number of horses chosen in the first race times the number of horses chosen in the second race times the amount bet. For example, if someone chooses two horses in the first race and four horses in the second race, he will have to pay 2x4x$2=$16. He can also choose one horse with three horses and another horse with four horses. The mathematics is 1x3x$2+1x4x$2=$6+$8=$14.
An exacta pays if the horse selected to win and the horse selected to place come in that exact order. An exacta box "boxes" the horses so that either horse can win or come in second. The quinella is an exacta box for a single ticket price. One strategy is to choose one horse or more to win and wheel it with one or several horses to place. It will cost the number of horses chosen to win times the number of horses chosen to come in second times the amount bet. One dollar exactas are becoming more and more popular. Years ago the minimum was $5. An example of the cost of a ticket is if two horses are chosen to win and three to come in second for a one dollar exacta, it will cost 2x3x$1=$6. An exacta box is calculated by the number of horses boxed times the number of horses boxed minus one, times the amount bet. For example, a three horse two dollar exacta box is 3x2x$2=$12.
The trifecta pays if the selected horses come in first, second, and third in that exact order. One dollar trifectas are also gaining popularity. One idea is to select one horse to win and wheel it with several other horses to come in second and third. For example, if one horse is selected to win and wheeled with three other horses to come in second and third, a one dollar bet will cost 1x3x2x$1=$6. A trifecta box is calculated by taking the number of horses chosen times the number of horses chosen minus one times the number of horses minus two. For example, a one dollar trifecta box for five horses will cost 5x4x3x$1=$60.
The superfecta has recently been increased to all races with enough horses for a chosen minimum. The ten cent superfecta has increased the number of horses the average horse player can choose when available. The superfecta pays if the horses chosen come in first, second, third, and fourth in that exact order. A one dollar superfecta box for six horses costs 6x5x4x3x$1=$360. The ten cent superfecta for the same combination will be $36.
The exotics like the pick six and pick nine only pay if the winners of all races are chosen. Multiplying the number of horses chosen for each race times the amount bet gives the cost of the ticket. For example, if two horses are chosen for the first two races, three for the fourth race, two for the seventh race, and three for the ninth race, it will cost 2x2x3x2x3x$2=$144 for a two dollar bet. The place pick all pays if each horse comes in first or second for each of the designated races.
Using tip sheets by major handicappers can win a lot of money. They can be bought at any racetrack for four or five dollars. Online, picks can be bought for ten dollars, although some cost one hundred dollars. Free picks are available too.
Which horse will win a given race depends on several things. How well the jockey has been doing the past few weeks is very important. His experience in horse racing also has to be taken into account. The trainer should be treated in the same manner. And whether or not the trainer and jockey are a “winning combination” can land a long shot. Foreign horses do best in turf races because their home course is always on the turf (grass). The post position is also important because some post positions win more often than others. The percentages of wins by post position can be found in the program. Whether or not the horse has gone the distance can eliminate many horses. One good idea is if the horse has gone only distances farther before, if it does well at the point of the end of the race, it could easily do that well for that race.