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A Guide for Horse Race Betting Newbies

A Guide for Horse Race Betting Newbies
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Gambling comes in all forms for people who like to take risks and feel the excitement. If you are a beginner who wants to explore a more strategic and adrenaline-pumping experience, then horse racing might be the one for you!

As exciting as horse racing would be, watching live horse racing during a pandemic is discouraged. Punters may not see them live, but the thrill of betting is still possible through online live streams and betting platforms, which is perfect for first-time bettors.

I know you may be eager to place your bet now, but before that, here are some pointers you have to keep in mind about horse race betting.

Terms to be Familiar With

Horse race betting is an exciting activity to get involved with, and it is twice the fun for first-time bettors. However, as a newbie to the sport, researching and learning are included in that experience. Your next wager might be the right combination of strategy and a dab of beginner’s luck to amplify your chance at winning. 

Please take note of these terms as you may encounter them more often.

Horse handicapping

In horse racing, handicapping is an essential element. It pertains to giving advantages or disadvantages to the horses based on specific factors. These may include the jockey’s experience and the number of races, the trainer, or the horse’s ability and breeding. This way, more level of competitiveness can be expected from the race.

It is crucial for newbies and experienced patrons alike to know about horse handicapping because this is how you will plan which horse to pick and what kind of bet you will place. You should also note what kind of betting combination you will make.

Some tips on handicapping betting are: looking for alternatives to the favorite, knowing what type of handicap is given, the type of track, and the horse’s performance from its last run.


Carryover is a phenomenon in horse race betting that usually happens when a betting pool in a particular number of races does not have any winners in a day. It raises the amount of the prize pool, which can garner millions. The multiple bets that have accumulated will then be carried over the next day, hence the name carryover.

Having more info on horse carryover will help you choose what type of bet you will place on your horses. Some best carryovers occur with picks like the Pick 4/5/6, Pick 5/6 Jackpot or Super Hi 5 Jackpot.

horse racing
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Types of Bets

There are two types to consider in horse race betting. These are the straight wagers and exotic wagers. 

Straight Wagers

It is recommended for newbies to try out with straight wagers first. For this type of wager, you only bet on one horse. It offers a minimum amount to wager while giving you a decent payout in return if you win. These include:

  • Win – This wager allows you to pick a horse that will come first. If you guess it correctly, you win.
  • Place – This wager bets on your horse to come first or second. You win if your horse is within the top two.
  • Show – With the show wager, you bet that your horse will come in first, second, or third. This wager has a higher chance of winning but has a lower payout than win and place wagers.
  • Across the board – This is also known as combo straight wager since you place multiple bets in one. You are betting that your horse will come in first, second, and third. If the horse comes first, you will get the money for the win, place, and show; if in the second, you get the place and show only; if it comes in third, you only get the show money. This wager is expensive and is not lucrative.
  • Win /Place, Place/Show – Much like the across-the-board, you are placing bets with a combination of two wages. The rules to win are the same as across-the-board. 

Exotic Wagers

These wagers allow you to bet on multiple horses in one go, which gives you more chances of winning. However, these wagers are more complicated than straight wagers.

  • Exacta – this wager is betting on two horses that’ll come in first and second in order. You can also do a box exacta so that your horses can come in first and second in any order, but it will cost you more.
  • Quinella – This wager lets you bet on two horses to come in first and second in any order, too. The only difference between a quinella and a box exacta is that the former is cheaper. The latter is more lucrative.
  • Trifecta – Trifecta wager is betting on three horses to come in first, second, and third in exact orders. You can also box a trifecta to win if your horses come in order, but it will cost more.
  • Superfecta – Lastly, you can bet on four horses to come in first, second, third, and fourth with this wager. You can also box your horses which also increases your cost.

Time to Make Your Bet

Horse race betting can be overwhelming for newbies, but once you get the hang of it, it is guaranteed that you will win while having fun. 

So, whether you’re betting on Kentucky derby online or other horse racing events, remember some of these tips to have the best betting experience. 

  • Research ahead of time about horse racing events in your area. Nothing beats a prepared and well-rounded punter.
  • Do some experiments by making different kinds of bets. Betting on multiple races is good, too but try to limit yourself.
  • Lastly, have a fund plan before you do any of this! This way, you can manage your cash very well and how much you will bet.

Final thoughts

Horse race betting is a kind of gambling that will test your predicting and mathematical abilities. Unlike other forms of gambling, it does not rely on luck as much! So before you get excited about picking which is the fastest horse to bet, have a read on this guide to help yourself.

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