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Horse Racing: How To Get Started

Horse racing is probably the oldest sport we have, and it is even more loved now than it used to be. However, while horses are awesome, the betting action is actually what we have to thank for that. 

It is exciting of course, with much suspense and thrills, however, the race is more about the betting action that it comes with, and it is this that has kept the sport so alive for so long. 

Unlike some other sports, horse racing is actually not as expensive, and when it comes to betting it really is not all that bad. A few cents can be put on a horse, but it can pay off very nicely if you are lucky. 

It is one of the simplest ways to bet, and most people will start their betting lives here. You do not even have to have that much knowledge in betting to place a bet on a horse. 

Nonetheless, we will help you get to grips with how it works. If you want to bet on the big races though, you might want to check out this betting guide for the preakness stakes, otherwise stick around, and we will tell you all there is to know to place your first bet! 

A Basic Understanding 

Lets first give you the best understanding of horse racing. It is a worldwide sport, but is most common in the U.K, U.S.A, Australia, and Japan. However, most of Europe and many other places also take part also. 

It is important to remember that horse racing in different places will be different. Racing in the U.K is different from in the U.S. 

While the ways in which they differ are small and barely noticeable on a large scale, they are there, and it is worthwhile to be aware that they are different, having this knowledge can make a massive difference in horse race betting. 

Understanding The Betting

You want to start off being aware of the bets. So, you will want to know that the fundamentals of this sport are not actually all that difficult. You firstly need to know that there are several ways you can wager on a race. 

There are choices that we have missed out, but we will elaborate some more later. These are the most popular bets. 

Fixed Odds Bets

Firstly there are fixed odds bets, these are probably the most popular option for horse race betting. When you place this type of bet you are betting with a bookmaker at odds that have already been determined. 

If your bet is effective then you will be paid off at these odds, and the bookmaker holds your funds if lost. 

Parimutuel Bets

There are no chances in this type of bet and it is quite unique. The payout is determined on the overall amount that has been wagered on the race, and the amount of people who predicted the winner successfully. 

You are taking more of a gamble with this bet type.

Exchange Bets

In this instance, instead of using a bookmaker, your bets will be placed with others at an exchange. This will take some type of practice, but there are some advantages to it. 

Tools For Racing 

You should always be ready to make use of the tools and databases on offer that can help you to gain important information on whichever race you are betting on. Using these FREE services can be very helpful, giving you information to help you choose the best bet. 

Once you have mastered the art of understanding this data, and placing bets in accordance your odds of winning do go up.

Watch Out For The Horses

It is a good thing to be able to spot a good horse. The horses will be paraded around the paddock before the race. Look at its body, behavior, how it interacts with the jockey, trainer, and so on. 

A horse who is well-behaved and looks to be in good shape with a shiny coat is more likely to win than a scruffy horse who is in a bit of a mood.

Understand The Bet Types

We have told you about the main types of bets you can play, but what about the actual bets? 

That might sound odd right? Well, there are different types of bets, but you can also place bets depending on how you think the race will go. It is not always as simple as just picking which horse will win. 

You have other options too. 


This is the one you automatically think about. The win bet, this just means that you are betting that this particular horse will come first in the race. You only win if the horse comes in 1st place. 

When you place this bet, name the horse, which race, and how much, as well as stating ‘to win’.


You can also bet on a place. This means you are betting for the horse to finish in 2nd place. You will win if the horse wins or comes second. You will bet the same way, but instead of saying win, say place.


Show is to bet that a horse will finish third in a race. You will win if they come, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place. To make this bet you say the same as the win or place bets, but remember to say ‘show’. 

Across The Board

You could also bet across the board. This means you are betting all of the above show, place, and win bets. This is why this is also known as ‘Win, Place, Show’. If you were to bet ‘win, and it cost you $5 to make that bet, this would cost you $15. 

If the horse finished first then you win all the above. 

If the horse finishes second, you win a show and place. 

If the horses finish third, you win show money. 

This is a fun way to bet that allows you a win in every case as long as you feel confident in the horse. It is a great bet to place on horses with a great and successful history.

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