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What you need to know about placing a horseracing bet

When it comes to placing a horseracing bet online, it can often appear to be a surprisingly convoluted process, at times shrouded in a degree of mystery. Newcomers in particular find that the online process is often quite confusing. Especially when you compare it to visiting a bookies and filing in a bet slip which is simple. However, there is no reason to worry, as once you know how it is actually straightforward. All you need to do is have a look at a form card and follow these quick tips.

Knowing your odds

One of the most important things you need to understand when it comes to placing bets on horse races are the actual odds you will be betting on. Knowing what exactly the odds mean can prove to be the difference between winning big and wasting a sizeable amount of cash! In horse racing, the odds are expressed as fractions. For example, if a particular horse is given the odds of 2/1, this means that if that horse wins the race, a £1 bet will return £2. Often, these odds will be expressed as a fraction of something other than 1. For example, you might get given odds of 11/4, which means a £4 wager will return £11. Knowing what odds are being offered is a great indicator of who the bookies think is likely to win the race. Being able to spot an underdog in the race by looking at the odds on offer means, you can potentially find some very lucrative betting opportunities.

Picking a bet type

With this understanding of the race odds in mind, you next need to choose your bet type. A simple win or lose bet is not the only type of bet placed on horseraces, although it is the most common. Here are some examples of popular bet types placed on horseraces:

  • Win/On the Nose/Single: One bet on a particular horse to win a race.
  • Place: You bet that your horse will either come first or second—this is less lucrative than a straight ‘win’ bet.
  • Show: You bet that your horse will come in first, second, or third place.
  • Each Way: A win bet and a place bet on that horse to win the race, or to finish within the places stated.
  • Doubles: Two selections for two different races, the winnings will be double the odds of the horses times each other.
  • Trixie: Four bets in total made up of three doubles and a treble. You choose three selections for this bet type.
  • Yankee: Four selections are made, and 11 separate bets are placed.
  • Head to Head: You bet on one horse against another.

These are just a sample of some of the types of bet available, and they might vary from bookie to bookie. They are worth considering, however, as the pay off with some of them can potentially be huge. Also, keep in mind that bookies will each offer different odds so shop around before you place a bet.

Getting the most out of the experience

Betting on horse races is an incredibly enjoyable experience, whether in person or online. However, beginners can often get overwhelmed or carried away by the whole experience. Here are some tips that will help maximise your overall enjoyment:

  • Check the dress code: Racecourses often host special days such as ladies days or racing festivals. During this time dress codes are in force, so before you go check it out. Otherwise, a smart casual approach is encouraged.
  • Don’t bet on all races: Don’t feel compelled to bet on every race! It’s perfectly acceptable to sit the odd race out and take in the atmosphere.
  • Set a budget: To try and maximise your time at the track, set yourself a budget and stick to it. Do not blow through your winnings all at once, take your time and enjoy the races!
  • Listen out for tips: When you are at the races listen out for tips from punters who look like they know what they are doing. Often someone in the crowd will have some good insider tips.