How to Bet on a Horse – Horse Racing 101

Horse Racing 101 just in time for the Cheltenham Festival

For those of you who don’t know a thing about horse racing but would like to know, we happily put together our Horse Racing 101 series, a comprehensive list of terminology, summary of horseracing wagers and other handy tit-bits for the newbie horse racing better.

With the Cheltenham Festival 2016 coming next week, we will be focusing on day to day updates of the races and betting odds suggestions for a truly fun experience in betting on horses. Horse betting is a great past-time and actually is one of the most fun activities in gambling in the UK.

Horse Racing 101 – Looking at Your Horse : The Paddock

Guideline to First Entry of Horse Racing 101

  • Handsome Horses
  • Tricky Terms
  • Breaking Bets
  • Wicked Wagers

If you are curious about the horse’s appearance vs. the most likely unique and quirky name, the Paddock is the place where horse racing betters can get a good look at their horse of interest. You can sometimes get a good sense of the jockey as well, should he accompany the horse in the ring.

It is there the horse will reveal its temperament therefore in turn, helping you chose your horse. Keeping an eye out on if it is skittish or sweaty is good. It generally indicates the horse is nervous, or anxious. What to look for is more a tactile horse, proud even, with a happy light and excited disposition, not a nervous and scared one.

Choosing the right horse is a tricky affair

Is your horse a winner? (Photo: Mirror UK)

Horse Racing 101 – Tip 2: The Art of Betting. Or at least Understanding Even a Fraction of What the Terms Mean.

So, just as a precursor it is good to know that betting on horses is different than most forms of gambling. The act of “playing against the house” when betting does not factor into horse betting. In essence you are betting against other bettors or wagers of the race. As there are many different types of wagers, then you bet on the wager you wish.

We are getting a little ahead of ourselves here. Basically, you bet against bettors, right? And, that money that you bet? Well, that goes into a pool of money. And depending on the wager you bet on, that wager, has its own pool of money. You win? Then you get a piece of the pooled money, and the amount all figures into how many people win alongside you or in the same wager. Make sense? Read that again. Horse betting actually gets simpler as you experience it more.

Horse Racing 101 – Tip 3: How to make a Bet

Be Clear and Look the Clerk in the Eye With Confidence

Nah, it isn’t that serious, we are just trying to beef up your confidence. It is actually quite fun. When making bets, anywhere really but we will say for betting in the UK, there is an energy and a charm all around when betting on horses. Everyone is excited, this is an event not just a task. Tell the clerks the TRACK you want to place your bet, the AMOUNT (whatever takes your fancy) and tell them the TYPE of bet (further explanation below). THEN tell them the NUMBER of your horse (just to confirm that you are indeed talking about the right horse.)

There are also Self-Automated Mutuels, a.k.a., (SAM) which are touch screen machines where bettors can make their bets and avoid the clerks altogether. These machines will take all bets, wagers and so on. Though should you win, you will receive a voucher from the machine and go to the clerks anyway, so up to you in your decision of betting. We think that for newbies it is maybe more helpful to talk to the clerks who could help you along.

If you cannot make it to the tracks, have no fear! The internet has loads of options for online betting from abroad. Well you don’t even have to be abroad, you can even bet online from the comforts of your own home.

Remember when betting on horses: TRACK, AMOUNT, TYPE, HORSE NUMBER. Now you are on your merry way.

Horse Racing 101 – Tip 4: The Million and One Bets to Choose From. Which is Which?

Straight bets:

Just betting on one horse and that horse, does one thing: win, place and show. Very easy, low risk and betting on horses can go as low as (or lower than) £1.

Win: Winning bet if horse comes in 1st

Place: Win bet if horse comes in 1st or 2nd

Show: You win something if horse comes in 1st, 2nd or even 3rd.

The Daring and Exotic Betting:

For the more risky type of better. If you want an opportunity to turn your small bet into beaucoup bucks, the Exotic bet allows the wiggle room to do so.

Exacta: Well a bit of telepathy or you know the horses well (or they have a good rap) this is when you bet and select the horses who will win exactly in the 1st position and 2nd position.

The Trifecta: Same as above except you need to call the 1st, 2nd and 3rd winning horses in that order from start to finish.

Superfecta: The steroid of the other “fectas”, this one is getting all 4 places correct. Meaning 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th places.

to win to place or daily double, there are a lot of choices

Think carefully! There are a lot of ways to bet… (Photo: Ladbrokes)

The even stronger of UK betting offers:

Yeah, horse betting in the UK is pretty crazy stuff. They love it and they do want to give their customers a run for their money and make it as exciting as possible.

Daily Double: Ok, so, basically this means that you have to pick the winner of two consecutive races but, BEFORE the first race of the two has begun. Daily doubles usually are at the start or the finish of the racing day or on the race card (there are race cards that are given online as well for the Cheltenham Festival 2016).

Pick 3: Same as double, but you have to bet on the winner of THREE consecutive races. Placing bets has to be done before the first race.

Pick 4: Same at Double and 3 but this time you bet the winner of literally FOUR consecutive races. All bets placed before the first. Pretty high rolling betting.

Head to Head (or H2H):

Lastly, this is not always allowed in horse betting but pretty common in UK horse betting. Essentially, you bet on two horses in a race, or to better understand, it is like a race within a race. You state which of those two horses is going to beat the other. So, if the horse you want to finish before the other, does win, then you win. But the horse doesn’t have to win the actual race with all the other horses, just over the second horse you chose that would be beaten. Make sense? It will. After two or three times, it is easy-shmeezy.

So that is pretty much what we can give you for the first in the series of Horse Racing 101.

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