Horse Betting Guide For Novalists

Horse racing is the longest-running sport in the world and is extremely exciting. The sport’s biggest event, the Kentucky Derby, is known as “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” for a reason.  The moniker is not just for the race participants but also for handicappers, as where else can bettors make vast sums of money in such a short amount of time.

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Like most sports nowadays, horse racing is a global phenomenon. Horse racing occurs in six of the seven continents and is hosted by over 30 countries. Remember, every jurisdiction has its own horse racing regulations and sets up its unique horse racing odds

 While most racetracks allow on-site betting, handicappers can wager on horses from virtually anywhere on nearly any track. Besides being on-site, bettors can gamble on the ponies at sportsbooks/bookmakers and OTBs (off-track betting parlors). 

Wherever handicappers are located, bets are placed two ways, either via parimutuel betting or bookmakers. In parimutuel betting, gamblers’ money is pooled and shared proportionally once a deduction is made from the pool. Meanwhile, bookmakers “market the odds,” which allow gamblers to ‘lock in’ odds on a horse at a particular time. 

The first thing bettors need to know is that there are essentially three distinct types to gamble on, flat, harness, and jump. Flat racing is the most common worldwide and has a jockey aboard.  The distance of the race varies from 440 feet to two-and-one-half miles. In harness racing, horses pull a sulky with a rider around the track while pacing or trotting. 

Like types of races, there are different breeds of horses, with thoroughbreds and standardbreds being the most common. Thoroughbreds are known for their agility, speed, and spirit, while Standardbreds are docile, easy to handle, and versatile.  Arabian and Quarter horses are the other main racing breeds. 

Select A Race

The first step in the wagering process is to pick a race. This is extremely important, especially if you are interested in making money. All races are not created equally. Race conditions, participants, surface, and distance are the main factors when considering a race. 


No matter the type of racing you are betting on, the horses are either male (colt, gelding, stallion) or female (filly, mare) with ages ranging from 2 years old and upwards. Generally, 2-year-olds only compete against horses their own age while 3-year-olds will sometimes do the same, but they also frequently face older foes. 


There are six different conditions of races, including maiden special weight, maiden claiming or claiming, starter allowance, allowance, optional claiming, and stakes events. Maiden races are for horses who have yet to win a race and are the lowest level of horse racing. Claiming races are where horses can be bought for a certain price, and the condition is the second lowest class.


Starter allowance races are the lowest class where you get some “good” horses to run in. Allowance races are the class where all the best horses run. Meanwhile, Stakes races are for special meets where horses generally have to be nominated, and there is a higher purse than allowance races.   

Choose Type of Bet and Place Said Bet

There are multiple types of bets, including win, place, show, and across the board, which are fundamental. If you choose a horse to win, obviously, they have to come in first for you to collect money. Place means the horse has to finish first or second, and for the show to hit, the horse needs to finish in the top three. Meanwhile, across the board means that there are three separate bets, and you win the amount of the combined money. For example, if your selection finishes first in the race, you get the win, place, and show prize money. 


The more advanced bets are exacta, quinella, and trifecta. With these bets, you pick multiple horses for a single race, and your combination of horses must finish first and second (exacta/ quinella) or first, second and third (trifecta).  


Other exotic bets include daily doubles and Pick bets ( 3, 4,5, 6). These bets are for multiple races on a card where the horse has to finish first.    





I am an author at FullFormX for the past 1 years. I like to share information and knowledge. I love expressing my thoughts through my articles. Writing is my passion. I love to write about travel, tech, health, fashion, food, education, etc. In my free time, I like to read and research. My readings and research help me to share the information through my thoughts.

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