How to Bet on Horses – Best Horse Racing Bets

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To the first time horse bettor, horse racing betting can appear to be a very confusing venture. There are many different types of bets, options, strategies, and ways to win money, so what is the best way to do it? Without a doubt, it’s best to start with the simple horse bets and work your way up to more complicated betting patterns as you become more experienced. Learn to understand the odds on each horse in any given race, so you can place your bets accordingly. Horse racing is not as simple as a slot machine: quite the opposite, it is very intricate and steeped in a rich history of annual racing events like the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and Triple Crown. The following is a brief guide to different types of horse bets.

Horse Racing Betting Terminology and Bets

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The "Win" bet is picking the outright winner in a given horse racing event. The Win Bet generally pays well, unless there is a run-away favorite who wins the race, in which case your payout would be lower than if a horse with long odds won.


The "Place" bet is picking the runner up, or second place finish, in a given horse racing event. The bet also pays out if the horse wins the race. This bet pays less than a win bet.


The "Show" bet is picking the third place finisher in a given horse racing event. The bet also pays out if the horse "wins" or "places" in the race. This bet is considered safe by many horse betting experts, but don’t expect to win a lot of money: the odds are low and very conservative.


The "Trifecta" bet is picking the exact winner, second place finisher (Place), and third place finisher (Show) in a given horse racing event. One can only bet the Trifecta in one race. Unlike other bets, the Trifecta pays out well if you can pick the right horses. The payout also depends on the odds facing each horse in the race.


The "Exacta" bet is picking both the winner and second place horses, in order, in a given horse racing event. The fact that the horse bettor must correctly predict the order in which the horses finish yields a higher payout.


The "Quinella" bet is picking 2 horses, either of which can be the race winner or second place finisher. Unlike the Exacta bet, the order in which horses finish doesn’t matter. So, if you feel Horse A and Horse B could be the top two, but you don’t know which one will "exactly" win the race, you bet the Quinella instead. This bet does not payout as much as the Exacta, because the order in which the horses finish doesn’t matter.

Daily Double

The "Daily Double" bet is picking the winners of two consecutive horse races. For example, if you feel that Horse 1 will win Race 1, and Horse 2 will win Race 2, you can bet the Daily Double and get a nice payout for both winners. This bet is similar to a parlay sports bet ( in a manner of speaking ).

Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5 or more

The Pick 3 bet is picking the winners of three consecutive horse races. The manner in which you bet is similar to the "Daily double", except you are betting on 3 horses in 3 consecutive races. Likewise, the Pick 4, Pick 5, (or Pick # determined by the track ) is the same except you’re picking 4 winners in 4 consecutive races, or 5 winners in 5 consecutive races, respectively. This is much like a multi-team sports parlay bet.

Why is betting horses online better?

Unlike live horse betting where one must physically be present at a given horse track, online horse betting allows bettors to wager on multiple events at muliple tracks across the country at any given time. This is similar to "Off Track Betting" or "Para-Mutual" horse betting at satellite wagering facilities that are situated far from the actual horse race tracks.

What is an easy winning horse bet?

If you want to make some quick cash, some horse bettors like to bet on races where ther are 6 or less horses competing. Next, once you’ve found a race with 6 or less horses, look for most favored horse with a line known as "odds on", or odds that payout less than you bet. So, for example, if you bet $100 on an "odds on" horse and the payout is $80, you’ll get a total of $180 paid out on your betting ticket. This bet is similar to sports bettors who gamble on the outright "favorite" in a given contest, and because they choose a safer bet, they win less money in return. The basic thought is that if a horse is highly favored to win, and it’s only competing against 5 or less other horses, it will, in the end, be the most likely winner.

What is Virtual Horse Racing?

Quite simply, virtual horse racing is betting on a simulated "video game" horse race on your computer. Like in real life, bettors are given odds on computer generated horse competitors, and bets can be placed just as if you were watching real horses race. The difference is that you’re watching computer graphics compete instead of real, live animals. Click Here for Virtual Horse Racing!

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