Horse racing is one of the most exciting sports, and it is followed by people all over the world. Parimutuel betting has been around for nearly 150 years, and every year, millions combine the thrill of the wager with the adrenaline rush of experienced from a day at the track. Knowing how to “bet the ponies” makes it possible for gamblers to enjoy not only the sport, but also profit from understanding the skill involved with betting on it.
Unlike sports like baseball, football or soccer, horse racing provides instant results and multiple opportunities to bet. Since the racing only lasts a few minutes each, a day at the track can provide gamblers with a series of races, each with its own odds, favorites and winners.
Because so many races occur during the same session, bookies can offer more action, with side bets, propositions and other exotic wagers. Regardless of the type of bet that a gambler finds interesting, he can generally find it while wagering on the “port of kings.”
While there are a number of different possible wagers, all are considered either straight bets or exotic bets. Straight bets generally involve a gambler making a wager on a specific horse with one predetermined outcome. For exotic bets, wagers are often combined, with the finishes by various horses or outcome of several races being blended into one bet.
Because of the variety of bets, gamblers at any skill level can find action that interests them, and they can understand. This explains the broad appeal of betting on horse racing in a number of countries.
For beginners, straight bets are the easiest to bet on and understand. The bookie will offer odds on the horses, and bettors can choose to bet “in, place or show.”A bet to win is exactly how it sounds, if the selected horse wins the race, the gambler wins the bet and is paid based on the odds.
Betting to place or show are similar, but have an added caveat. If betting to place, a gambler only wins the bet if the horse he chooses comes in first or second. When wagering to show, a first, second or third place finish produces a winning bet. Each wager has lower odds, since more winning combinations are introduced.
Exotic bets have a lot more possible wagers, with each one being a different combination of straight bets. Because there are more variables involved, these bets usually have higher odds and bigger paybacks for the winners.