Horse racing is a great sport to get into if you are new to online betting. The reason behind that is that there aren’t all that many markets to bet on. The sport includes a few basic ones and then adaptations of those, each of which will mention below, but it’s not going to blow you away by any means.
Compare that with the likes of football where you often get 200+ for each game, and the difference is huge. With horse racing, you can slowly move away from the mainstream markets, as you get more confident. But, you will still need to apply a good betting strategy to each market, of which you can grab from our Horse Racing Betting Strategy article.
Throughout this article, we will be looking at different bets that you can make for horse racing. It’s worth noting that whilst the majority of bookmakers will offers these markets, there may be some discrepancies between them, so it’s well worth targeting the bigger players, as these guys tend of offer that little bit more choice.
The single bet is the most popular when it comes to horse racing and that’s likely because it’s the easiest to understand. Basically, all you are doing is placing a bet on the horse that you think will win that race. If they do win the race then your bet will successful, if they fail to win the race then your bet will lose.
The only thing to really note here is the odds that you take for that bet. You will get two options when placing a single bet, including:
- Current Odds
- Starting Price
The current odds will be the price displayed by the bookmaker at the time that you make your bet. This will be a fixed price and it will instantly display the returns you will get for your stake amount.
The starting price, often referred to simply as ‘SP’ will be the price that you take on the horse just before the race starts and the market closes. This means that you when you place your bet on SP, you don’t take the current price. Instead, you wait and see what the odds are when they are usually published after the race has been completed or sometimes just after the race starts.
The second most popular bet is that of each way betting. Many people get confused as to how this works, but in reality, it’s a very simple process and one we will break down for you.
The first thing that you need to note is that you are essentially placing two bets for this: A bet to win and a bet to place. This means that your stake will be split into each bet. For example, if you bet €10 each way, your total stake will be €20 as €10 will go on the horse to win and then €10 one the horse to place.
The win part of your bet will be placed at the odds taken at the time of placing your bet. The each way bet will be a fraction of those odds and will pay out if a horse finished within a number of positions in the field. The most common payout for these bets is for the horse to finish within the top 3 places and it then pays out ¼ of the odds. These rules will change depending on bookmaker, size of the race and how many horses are running.
Let’s run through a quick example:
You place a bet on Brown Bear Each Way in the 2.00 at Limerick. You want to place a bet of €25 Each Way, which in turn brings your total stake to that of €50. Brown Bear is priced at odds of 10.00 and the Each Way terms are paying out ¼ of the odds and 4 places. Brown Bear goes on to win the race, so let’s see how the payouts would work.
- 1st part of the bet is €25 to win at odds of 10.00, which would pay out €250.
- 2nd part of the bet is to place in the top 3, which it does. Now we need to ¼ the odds, which changes to 2.50 (quarter of 10.00), with our second €25 bet paying out €62.50
As we can see, the full returns for this bet will be €312.50. The thing to note here is that even though the bet pays out on the win market, it still qualifies for the place market.
Let’s use the same example but assume that Brown Bear finished 3rd. We know that the each way maker is paying out the top 3 places, so we do qualify for a return.
- 1st part of the bet would lose as the horse failed to win the race
- 2nd part of the bet would win at ¼ odds, paying out €62.50
Place betting has a similar theme to that of each way betting, but in fact with this, you only have one bet and not two. With place betting you are betting on the horse to finish within a certain number of places within the field. It doesn’t matter if they finish first or 3rd – the payout for each result will be the same.
Some bookmakers will call this market ‘to place’ and it’s important that you make a note of how many places they are paying out. This variable will be decided on the size of the field. For races with less than 10 horses, they will usually pay out 2 spots and race with more than 10 you can expect see 3+ places played. If the number of places paid isn’t clearly stated by the bookmaker, then it will usually be the same as the places paid in an each way bet.
Accumulator bets work the same in horse racing as they do in any other betting market. You are able to combine several horses to win their respected race in order to get an increased payout. The more selections that you include in your betting slip, the higher the odds on offer.
It’s worth noting that with horse racing you are only able to use this betting market with the Single Bet and not the Each Way bet. To work out the odds of the accumulator, you simply multiply the odds of each horse to create the accumulator price.
Forecast betting is another popular bet within horse racing. All you do for this is choose the horses that will finish both first and second in the race. The horses must finish in these exact positions for these bets to be successful.
The Reverse Forecast is picking two horses to finish either first or second. This means that the order in which they finish is irrelevant, as long as they are finishing in the top 2.
Tricast works very much in the same way as forecast, exact for this you need to select the position of the first three horses. As you can imagine, the difficulty of this is quite high, so the odds that are paid out for this bet are usually favourable.
Again, you can mix it up and include a Reverse Tricast where instead of choosing fixed positions for each horse, you simply choose three horses to finish anywhere in the top 3 places.
Full Cover Betting
Full cover betting is another popular bet type for horse racing and it’s where you cover a number of bets across a number of different races. For example, you may include the results from 6 different races and you get a return you will need at least two of those bets to win. Even if the other 4 horses fail to win, you will still get a return. These bet types are great if you are looking for a bit of longevity to your bets and even can include massive rewards if you start to string together winners.
The Yankee is probably the most popular of the full cover bets and with this you are will be choosing 11 bets that are based across 4 selections. You have 6 doubles, 4 trebles and an accumulator of all 4. Your stake is spread equally across each bet.
The Lucky 15 bet has, you guessed it, 15 different bets that spread across 4 selections. They include the all the same bets from the Yankee, but also include the 4 single bets, as well.
The Canadian is sometimes referred to as the Super Yankee and includes 26 bets from 5 different selections. With this, you get 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-folds and an accumulator.
The Heinz has 57 bets in total and with it you get 6 different selections involved. The bets are broken down into 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four folds, 6 five folds and an accumulator.
The Super Heinz takes things up another notch with 120 bets in total from 7 selections. The bet types are 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five folds, 7 six-folds and an accumulator.
Finally, the biggest cover bet you can place is called the Goliath. You need to select 8 bets for this and with there are a massive 120 different bets involved. The bet is broken down into 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 four-folds, 56 five-folds, 28 six-folds, 8 seven-folds and an accumulator.
The Ante Post allows you to bet on races at least a day in advance of when that race is taking place. The price that you are given is a set price from that bookmaker and is often larger than that of the Starting Price of that horse. This is mainly down to the fact that until the horse goes down to stall the bookmaker is guessing on the ground that they will be running on and even the official line-up that the horse could be racing against.
The biggest downside to Ante Post betting is that should your horse fail to start the race for whatever reason, you bet wont be void and it will lose. This is contrary to that if you placed the bet on a normal betting market on the day, as if the horse failed to start they would be classed as void and in turn, you would get your stake back.