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How to Bet on Horse Racing: Tips and Advice
by - 6/5/2013

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Mine That Bird shocked the world at the Kentucky Derby by winning as a 50-to-1 lonshot. The horse was ridden by Cavin Borel.

Horse racing can be one of the most entertaining ways to sports bet. You pick a horse, place a bet, and watch them race. If you are a bettor that has not gotten caught up in the excitement of the Triple Crown races, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes — the majors of horse racing — then you have not only missed out on three of the most exciting sporting events around but also the opportunity to take some money from the sportsbooks. In this article we will give you tips on how to bet on horse racing.

Horse racing can seem like a complicated sport, and it could be very daunting for a beginner to walk up to a racebook and place a bet. Nowadays all online sportsbooks offer horse racing lines, but even then, if you are a beginning bettor, looking at the Bovada lines might seem like reading a book in a foreign language. For those bettors that are new to the sport of horse racing, or those that just need a refresher on the basics, here is a quick beginner’s guide to wagering on the horses.

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Types of Bets - Straight Wagers

Horse racing wagers are generally separated into two categories: straight and exotic wagers. Straight wagers are bets on a single horse, while exotics wagers are bets placed on multiple horses in a single race to finish in a certain order. Straight wagers are the most common types of bets but pay out at lower rates than exotics wagers, which are similar to parlays in other sports.

Win: a win bet is a wager where you bet on a horse to win the entire race. And, of course, if the horse wins, you will be paid out in the corresponding odds that the horse was giving before the race.

Place: a place bet requires your horse to finish in either first or second place in order for your wager to in.

Show: a show bet requires your horse to finish in either first, second, or third place in order for your wager to win.

Across the board: an across the board bet is a wager that combines all three straight wagers — win, place, show. If your horse wins, you win all three bets. If your horse places second, you only win two bets. And, of course, if your horse places third, you only win one bet.

Types of Bets — Exotic Wagers

Exacta: requires you to pick the exact order of the first- and second-place finishers in a single race. If the horses you pick finish in the opposite order, you do not win your wager.

Quinella: requires you to pick the top-two finishers of a race, but unlike the exacta, they can finish in any order.

Trifecta: this wager requires you to pick the top-three finishers of the same race in the exact order.

Superfecta: is exactly the same as the previous wagers, except that it requires you to pick the top-four finishers of the race in the exact order, of course.

Daily Double, Pick 3, Pick 4: these wagers are multi-race bets that require you to pick the winners of two through six separate races. The gambler decides the number of winners that he wishes to wager on. And while any of these wagers is difficult to win, a Pick 6 will payout much more than a Pick 3 or Daily Double.

Now that you know a little more about horse racing and how to actually wager on the sport, you might as well jump right in and try to find a profitable situation to bet on during the next Triple Crown race. Figuring out what to wager is the easy part. Actually trying to handicap a horse, well that a whole other conversation. Good luck, and remember to bet wisely.

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