What Does Across the Board Mean In Spors Betting?
by Doc's Sports - 10/2/2014
Across the board is a phrase used most commonly in betting on horse races. You can make three possible straight bets in horse racing. A win bet means you are picking a horse to finish first. A place bet pays off if the horse finishes first or second. A show bet is when you pick a horse to finish in the top three. Obviously, the harder a bet is to win the more it pays, so the payoff is bigger for a win bet than a place bet, and both are bigger than a show bet. When you bet a horse across the board you are using slang to make the same sized win, place, and show bet on the same horse. If you bet $20 across the board on Secretariat, for example, you would have made a $20 win bet, a $20 place bet and a $20 show bet. You could win all three, or just two, one or none depending on where the horse finishes.
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An across the board bet is fast and easy to make. It is also rarely a good idea. Really, it just doesn’t make much sense. If the horse finishes third you lose two of your three bets. The show bet is a winner, but the payout is only rarely big enough to cover your losses. Most times you have lost money even though you cashed the winning show bet. On a strong favorite it’s even possible that you would not break even if the horse finished second and you won your place and show bets. The place and show bets don’t effectively hedge your win bets - or at least not nearly as well as would be ideal.
Even when your horse does win, the majority of your profits will come from the win. The money bet to show doesn’t really carry its weight. In most cases there are other ways you could use the money you bet on the place bet and especially on the show bet to significantly increase your potential winnings without dramatically increasing your risk. At the simplest level, if you think the horse is likely to win then you are better off betting more to win, or perhaps to place, than you are betting to show. If you think the horse is only likely to finish third - or you think that that is a reasonable likelihood - then perhaps the win bet isn’t the best choice. If you do like the horse to win then chances are good that there is another horse that you would be better off betting to win, place or in an exotic like an exacta than you are betting to show.
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