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Horse Racing Betting Guide

Horse Racing Betting Guide

Most Horse Racing fans and actual racegoers enjoy a day out at the racecourse. But when it comes to placing a bet, they often don't know how to select a winning horse and what type of bet to make. Information in newspapers and form summaries in the race card can be confusing so here are a few tips on selecting a horse and placing a bet.

Checking the "Form"

Form is an indication of a horse's past performances and is an important factor. So too is the weight he's carrying. Studying form from newspapers and the race card can assist in picking winners but it's also worth actually having a look at the horses in the parade ring before the race, to see how they're looking.

A shiny coat, bright eyes, forward-pointing ears and an alert manner is what you're looking for. How does the horse move? A relaxed forward stride is ideal. A heavy sweating horse can be an indication of nerves, but some horses do perspire a lot. Also don't be put off by blinkers or visors, which are worn to help channel the horse's concentration during the race.

Try to watch each horse as they canter to the start - you're looking for an easy flowing motion, rather than jerky, hesitant movements.

Placing A Horse Racing Bet

Having made your choice of horse, how do you decide on a bet? You can choose one of three ways to bet:
~ On the totepool
~ With a bookmaker
~ In the racecourse betting shop


The totepool operates on a pool basis. All the money bet in a particular race or pool is shared out amongst the winners, once the totepool's percentage has been deducted. You place a bet at the totepool counter on the number of the horse you've selected and receive a ticket which you exchange later for your winnings.
The difference between Horse Racing Betting with totepool and a bookmaker is that at the moment of making your bet with totepool you cannot know for sure what your return will be should your bet win, since the final amount in the pool (and thus the amount to be divided) is not known until the race has started.

Horse Racing Starting Prices

Horse Racing Starting Prices

The starting price is a key element of horse race betting. There are several bookmakers at the course who take bets and market forces determine the starting prices of horse in a race. Bookmakers generally like to be consistent with the prices they offer. However, they make slight adjustments to prices to attract or discourage interest in a particular horse.

As the race is about to begin starting price reporters examine the prices on offer from the on course bookmakers. There is usually more than one SP reporter and it is their job to report an industry standard starting price. This starting price is relayed to the off course bookmakers who settle all there starting price bet at this industry wide agreed price.

Starting price horse racing bookmaking refers to the taking of bets at fixed odds. This is different to the totaliser form of betting whereby the operator declares a dividend based on weight of money invested. Tote bookmakers have a profit margin written into the declared returns so that element of risk doest not exist with this type of operation.


Win -You bet on the horse to win the race. Place your bet on the horse to be be placed - first or second in races of five, six or seven runners; first, second or third in races of eight runners or more; first, second, third or fourth in handicaps of sixteen runners or more.

Totepool Horse Racing Betting

Exacta (Perfecta) - In races of three or more runners, you pick two horses to finish first and second in the correct order.

Trifecta - You pick three horses to finish first, second and third, in the correct order in races of eight runners or more.

Jackpot - You pick the winners of the first six races at the designated Jackpot meeting.

Placepot - You pick horses to be placed in each of the first six races (or to win any race with fewer than five runners).

Quadpot - You pick a horse to be placed in each of the Quadpot races (usually races 3-6).

Scoop6 - You pick the winners of each of six nominated Saturday TV races.


Bookmakers are found in the Tattersalls/Grandstand and paddock and Silver Ring/Course Enclosure. You can place a Win bet which means that if your horse wins, you do; if it doesn't, you don't. If there's a dead-heat for the win, you receive half what you would have received for an outright win.

You can also place an each-way bet - one to win, and one for the same horse to be placed (that is, to finish in the first two in races of five or more runners, the first three in races of eight or more runners, the first four in a handicap of sixteen or more runners).

It's a good idea to study the bookmaker's boards displaying the odds of each horse and select the best odds on offer before placing your bet. The bookmaker will give you a printed ticket (your receipt) with the horse, price, stake and the odds of your bet.


Online Horse Racing Betting

Horse racing betting comprises a significant percentage of online gambling wagers and all the major internet bookmakers, betting exchanges and sports books offer a wide variety of horse racing betting markets. It is now possible to bet on every race through many websites and the variety of bets available has increased.
The internet has now given rise to the opportunity to bet on more international racing.

This has developed alongside the emergence of subscription racing channels that show racing from all over the world. You can now see live pictures of about 60 races from the States on channels like At The Races The online bookmakers can now offer odds on all the major international racing festivals from around the world and live TV pictures has led to increased turnover and interest. You can now bet on international races like the Melbourne Cup, Breeders Cup, Japan Cup and Dubai Festival.

Live Horse Racing Betting

Even the briefest five furlong race is a source of live betting interest. The operators have the technology to accept bets in a few seconds and prices can fluctuate as the race develops. National Hunt or jump racing provides an excellent medium for in-running horse race betting. Races are run over longer distances and the shape of the races can change more significantly than for flat-racing. A horse can be well in front with one obstacle remaining. If the horse fails to clear the obstacle the whole shape of the betting market changes. This can be expensive for backers but a source of great delight for layers.

The Racecourse Betting Shop

Betting in a racecourse betting shop is very similar to betting in any off-course shop. A variety of bets are on offer. As in an off-course betting shop, you fill in a slip and hand it over together with your stake. The slip is receipted and you are given a duplicate, which you return to the counter for paying out should you be a winner. In the racecourse betting shop you can bet in smaller amounts than with a bookmaker.

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