Depending on the type of bet you place, you can sometimes win money if it finishes second or even third. But you have to understand the lingo and how to place the appropriate wager to pull it off. Strictly speaking, placing a straight bet means that you're wagering on the horse to win—period.
If it finishes second by a nose, you've lost. But a looser definition says a straight bet is when you wager that a horse will finish first, second or third. That said, several terms relate to different kinds of straight bets that can increase your odds of winning a little money. A winning horse will pay the most on bets that it will finish first. It will pay a little less for place bets and even less for show bets, but it can effectively pay out in three ways—thus the allure of across-the-board bets.
As the name suggests, "exotic" wagers are fancier and more complicated. The speed at which a horse can gallop is affected by the amount of weight it carries. Handicap weights are calculated based on the official ratings published by the British Horse Racing Authority and are expressed in imperial pounds. Horse ratings represent a horse's level of ability in relation to the weight carried and are expressed in pounds lb.
The bigger the number assigned to a horse, the more capable it is considered to be. For example, a horse with a rating of would carry a total weight including jockey, saddle and irons of pounds 10stn. In both Flat and National Hunt racing, there are a series of classifications that are designed to help indicate the prestige, prize money and quality of the race. Both are split into classes from Group 1 — Races of major international importance. Group 2 — Major international races but of slightly less importance than Group 1 races.
Group 3 — Important domestic races. Listed Races — Just below group races. Grade 1 — The best championship races where the weight a horse carries is determined by age and sex. Grade 2 — The weight a horse carries is determined by age and sex but they are also made to carry more for any races they may have previously run.
Listed Races — Just below graded races. After Class 1 races, we then have Class 2 through to 7 which apply to both Flat and National Hunt Racing and are based on a horses handicap rating as follows:. Class 2 — Heritage Handicaps, Handicap rating of , and Class 3 — Handicap rating of and Class 4 — Handicap rating of and Class 5 — Handicap rating of and Class 6 — Handicap rating of and Class 7 — Handicap rating of Before placing your horse racing bets, you need to familiarise yourself with odds.
We'll explain the basics below but for a comprehensive explanation you can read our ultimate guide to understanding how betting odds work. Once you have an understanding of horse racing, the next natural step is to learn is how to read racing form cards. Racingpost cards, for instance, are a good place to start. A horse racing form card, or race card, has a deliberate structure and gives you information about each race. Being able to read a horse racing form card is, understandably, very important if you want to be successful.
Below we explain the different aspects of the card along with other factors you should consider before placing your bets. You can use the image below of a fairly standard online UK racecard as reference. These numbers are always displayed on a racecard in order of the amount of weight the horse is carrying. The smaller number to the right of the horses number represents the draw that the horse has got in the stalls.
The lower the number, the closer the horse will be to the rails which can be an advantage on certain tracks and distances. Below the horses NO. Form runs from left to right, with the oldest races on the left and the most recent on the right. The second column displays the name of the horse along with the shirt known as silks that the jockey will wear. You will also see a number which shows how many days it was since the horse last ran and some abbreviations.
This is the amount of weight the horse will carry including the jockey and the saddle as decreed by the conditions of the race. You may also see some more abbreviations depending on whether the horse is wearing or using any equipment.
This shows both the name of the jockey and the trainer of the horse. If a jockey has a number in brackets to the side of his name then it means he is an apprentice jockey and is claiming a weight allowance. The table below features basic going descriptions along with their abbreviations that you may come across. If you have never placed a bet on horse racing before, especially if you have never placed a bet online before, then the process may seem intimidating.
With that in mind, below is pretty much all you need to know about placing a bet online though do check out our full guide to this for more comprehensive information and tips. Set up an account — This usually requires you to fill in a registration form including details like your name, e-mail, and date of birth. You will also be asked to choose a password for you to log in safely. Login to your account — Use that username and password to log in to your account.
The specifics of how this is done depends on your chosen payment option, but it generally all boils down to providing a few details and how much money you want. If you have ever bought anything online, you should know what to expect here. Select the event you want to bet on — Horse racing events should be easy to find on the sportsbook. There is usually a tab of current live events as well as a list of available sports.
Go there, find the event you want, and select it. Select your market — Same process here but now you are choosing the actual market and horse or horses you want to back. Select them and they should be added to your bet slip. Finish the transaction — On your bet slip you just need to enter your stake , confirm your bet and you are good to go. Hopefully, you have now got a sense of what horse racing is about, and you are ready to approach these markets with confidence thanks to our horse racing guide.
But to do so, you will need to know what you can bet on. Here, we are going to break down the two main categorisations of horse racing bets alongside the actual markets. These are thus called because they are the most straightforward option here. That makes them perfect for those of you who are just learning the ropes.
Here are some examples of horse racing straight bets. To Win Bet — Exactly what it sounds like, back your preferred horse to win the race. They win, you win. Place Bet — Increase your chance of winning with a place bet. Here you win if your selected horse finishes in first or second place. Show Bet — Same as a place but here your pick can finish up to third place. Each Way Bet — A slight variation on the place bet here you are essentially putting on two bets , one to win and the other to place, meaning there are different pay-outs for each result.
Also known as exotic bets, system bets are a great deal more complicated than their straight bet equivalents. They are, as the name suggests, a systemic, strategic approach requiring a wide number of different bets. Because they are so convoluted and because the number of bets involved often means they require high stakes , they can seem intimidating.
However, when you break them down, they are quite easy to understand once you get used to the concept. With that in mind, check out some of the most popular system bets out there. There are a range of different wagers you can place when it comes to horse racing.
Below we'll explain each in detail. The UK is one of the best places in the world to bet on horse racing. Check out our detailed sports events calendar to find out when each race takes place. The Champion Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race, open to horses aged four years or older, that runs on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival.
The race is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run over a distance of about 2 miles during which there are thirteen fences to be jumped. The race goes off over around 3 miles and includes eighteen hurdles to jump. The Guineas Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race in the UK that is open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. It is one of Britain's five Classic races and the first to run each year.
The race goes off on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket over a distance of 1 mile and it is scheduled to take place each year in late April or early May. The race is run on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket over a distance of 1 mile and is open to three-year-old fillies. It is run at Epsom Downs over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs and it is scheduled to take place each year in late May or early June.
It is the second oldest of the five Classic races and the third of Britain's five Classic races to be held during the season. Often called Blue Riband of the turf, the Derby Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race in England open to three-year-old colts and fillies. It is run at Epsom Downs Racecourse over a distance of one mile, four furlongs and 6 yards on the first Saturday of June each year. It is Britain's richest horse race, and the most prestigious of the five Classics.
Established in , the St Leger Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race that is run at Doncaster and open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. It is run over a distance of 1 mile; 6 furlongs and yards takes place each year in September. The St Leger is the oldest of Britain's five Classics and the last of the five to be run each year. Horse racing is hugely popular the world over and UK bookies will offer prices for you to make a bet on some of the world famous races going off around the globe.
These include, but are in no way limited to, the following :. It is a metre race for three-year-olds and over and is held each year at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria as part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. The race normally runs on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival.
The race is an American Grade I stakes for three-year-old thoroughbreds and goes off over a distance of one and a quarter miles at Churchill Downs. It is run at Longchamp in Paris over a distance of 2, metres and takes place each year on the first Sunday in October. After the Epsom Derby, the race is generally considered to be Europe's second most prestigious horse race.
There are a lot of different things that can affect the result of a horse race. Here are five examples to help get horse racing betting explained more thoroughly and to get your critical thinking going. The kind of race you are watching has a massive impact on all the horses involved.
Usually, horse trainers will stick to a certain kind of race but the lengths involved in particular will impact the results of the race. To put it simply, some horses are better suited to some races more than others. Some horses are specialists in certain conditions, while it can spell disaster for others. Perhaps the most important thing to know in terms of getting horse racing betting explained, and before making a bet, is the recent form of the horse in question.
In other words, how did their last races go compared to the others? Knowing this and correlating it with conditions and race types is a really strong foundation of knowledge for smarter betting. Always remember that the horse is not out there alone. There is also the jockey to consider. They are a vital part of the result. On many occasions, a bad jockey has led to a terrible result for a favourite, so it is something to be considered deeply. You should view the form of the jockey just as you view the form of the horse.
This one is simple. If all other things are equal, more horses mean your pick has less a chance of winning. More horses also mean more caution, at least to a wise bettor. It may be worth changing a win bet to a place bet, for instance, should the circumstances suggest that is the wisest course of action.
When it comes to getting horse racing betting explained, it is worth pointing out that while you can understand much of how horse racing works simply by watching a few races, a deeper knowledge of how horse racing works can only serve to make you a better bettor. Plus, we have some interesting facts to enhance your appreciation of the sport of kings.
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