How to bet on horse racing
Horse racing is a bit of fringe market when considered alongside the other more popular betting markets in North America. While the Triple Crown is a marquee event (and it’s Canadian equivalent!), you might have found yourself haphazardly making a punt on a three-team parlay on an NFL weekend. In the following section, we’ll run through all of the various types of bets on offer.
Win or Each-Way
In terms of frequency, most horse racing bets are straightforward “win” bets. Like any bet, you’re picking a single runner from the field to finish first. While it might seem an obvious bet, it’s hotly debated whether or not this strategy is most optimal for bettors looking for long-term success.
Each-way betting is a specialized bet where bettors earn a return if their selected runner finishes second or third in races that feature eight or more competitors. You’ll also find that in handicap races of 16 or more runners, bookmakers will payout winnings to bettors whose runners finish in the top 4. It’s common to find bookmakers offering enhanced odds for selected races and payout winnings all the way down to the fifth-place runner.
Returns are generally calculated at one-fifth of the odds in non-handicapped races and a quarter of the odds in handicapped races.
It’s not unheard of to hear about bettors winning large sums of money in horse racing while only risking a small stake in a betting style that resembles conventional parlays. In Horse racing, the multiple or accumulator can range from anything as simple as a two-horse bet to seven or eight hours accumulators. Like a parlay, the logic follows that if even one of your selections fails to earn a result the entire accumulator is void.
Outside of accumulators, there is a wide variety of special bets that allow you to link horses together in doubles, triples, and accumulators. It’s a wild ride and takes a lot of consideration and a strong stomach. Here’s a few examples:
- The Patent is a special bet that links three horses in three singles bets, two doubles bets and a triple bet, totalling 7 bets.
- The Yankee is a special bet that combines four horses in doubles bets, a triple bet and a four-horse accumulator totalling 11 bets.
- If you’re feeling a bit of patriotism, the Canadian is a five-horses bet in 26 combinations.
- Finally, the Heinz is a special bet that features six horses in 57 combinations.