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Betting on Horse racing
Since the first horses were domesticated in Asia about 6,500 years ago people have been betting on who has the fastest horse.  Horseracing flourished during the Roman Empire and became the world's first spectator sport as thousands of fans and gamblers filled the Coliseum to watch and bet on horses.

Horseracing as we know it today probably developed in the early 1700's in England and was further defined by the creation of the English Jockey Club in 1750 at Newmarket.  That organization still has complete control of English horse racing and is the model for the American Jockey Club which was founded in 1894.

Today betting on the Triple Crown (kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont) along with other major racing days like the Breeders' Cup generate annual betting handle in excess of 14 billion dollars.  There are approximately 50,000 races run each year in America with an average purse of about $20,000 per race.  The sport of horse racing depends on the betting.  Betting on horses funds the purses for the races, contributes to organizations for the welfare of the horse and those that work with them, and provides close to $500 Million dollars back to states in taxes from takeout on the betting pool.  Betting on horse racing is legal, and has even been protected further by acts of congress such as the INterstate Horse Racing Act of 1978 that provides for the legal basis of pari-mutuel wagers transmitted between states by way of telephone or other electronic media. If you need some help horse racing software is available to help you find a winner.

Types of Horseracing Bets (Win, Place Show)
Win bet - You are betting on the horse that you think will win the race.  If you liked Big Brown in the 2008 Kentucky Derby and wanted to bet $2 to win on him, you would have walked up to the betting window at the racetrack and said "Give me $2 to win on number 20".  Each horse in the race is assigned a program number for betting purposes. The person working at the betting window will not know the corresponding number of each horse in the race, so make sure to always use the program number that can be found in the track program and not the horse's name.  The program numbers can be found in the race track program, Daily Racing Form, or online at your online betting service. Big Brown won the race, so after you took your winning ticket back to the window you would have received a payout of $6.80 for your $2 wager.  To understand how horse racing odds are determined please visit Horse Racing Odds.
Place Bet - a "Place" bet in horse racing means that you think the horse will finish at least second.  Your Place bet will payout if your horse finished either first or second in the race. Again, using the Kentucky Derby as an example, you could have cashed a place bet on either Big Brown, or Eight Belles in that race.  Big Brown was the winner and paid $5.00 to place, and Eight Belles finished second and paid $10.  Denis of Cork finished 3rd and you would not have collected any money on Win or Place bets on Denis of Cork.
Show Bet - a "Show" bet in horse racing means you think the horse will finish at least third.  You will notice that the payouts for Win and Place bets are usually higher than the payouts for Show bets.  In the Derby, Big Brown paid $6.80 to win, $5.00 to place, and $4.80 to show.
Across the Board - Betting a horse "across the board" means that you are betting a horse to Win , Place, and Show.  If you said "Give me $2 across the board on # 20" it would cost you $6, because you are making 3 bets.  After the race you would receive a total of $16.60 back because all three bets were winners.  Using the chart below you can see that payouts for the 2008 Kentucky Derby.  You can bet to win only, Win and Place, Win and Show, or any combination you desire.  Sometimes people will bet $2 to win and more to place or show since it is easier to cash a place or show bet than a win bet.

Horse Racing Bets Payout Chart (Win, Place, Show)
Program # Horse Name Win Place Show
20 Big Brown $6.80 $5.00 $4.80
5 Eight Belles   $10.60 $6.40
16 Denis of Cork     $11.60
2 Tale of Ekati      
Horse Racing Bets Payout Chart - Exotic Bets
Exacta 20-5 $141.60  
Trifecta 20-5-16 $3,445.60  
Superfecta 20-5-16-2 $58,737.80  
Daily Double 5-20 $24.80  
Pick 3 9-5-20 $732.80  
Pick 4 7-9-5-20 $14,755.60  

Betting on Horses
(Exotic Bets)
Exotic bets in horse racing are considered to be anything other than the normal win, place, show bets. Exactas, Trifectas, and Superfectas are single race bets.  The Daily Double, Pick 3, Pick 4,  and Pick 6 are bets that cover multiple races.  Picking a single winner of a horse race can be hard, but picking the first  4 finishers (Superfecta) or the winners of six consecutive races (Pick 6) is extremely difficult.  Payouts for exotic bets can be enormous!

Exacta Bet - An exacta is a bet where you are trying to predict the horses that win (finish first) and place (finish second) in a horse race.  In the table above, a $2 exacta bet 20-5 paid $141.60.  For a more detailed explanation of exacta betting please read EXACTA BETS.

Trifecta Bet - A trifecta is a bet predicting the first three finishers in a horse race. In the table above, a $2 trifecta bet 20-5-16 paid $3,445.60.  For a more detailed explanation of Trifecta betting please read TRIFECTA BETTING or learn the Trifecta Super System.

Superfecta Bet - In a superfecta you really need a crystal ball.  You must predict the first four finishers in the horse race in the exact order.  In the 2008 Kentucky Derby, a $2 Superfecta (20-5-16-2) paid $58,737.80

Daily Double Bet - A Daily Double is usually a bet made on the first and second race of the day.  You must correctly pick the winner of the the first and second race.  Now, it is common for there to be a rolling Daily Double, which means you could bet on the winner of the 2nd and 3rd races, or 5th and 6th races on a race card. 

Pick 3 Bet - A pick 3 bet is picking the winners of three consecutive races, like the Daily Double it is often a rolling bet that can be made throughout the day.  As with any exotic bet, the payoffs are larger based on the odds of the individual horses that make up the winning bet.  If the winners of the races in your pick three were all favorites, the payout will be relatively small.  If you have a longshot or two in your pick 3 the payouts can be quite large.

Pick 4 and Pick 6 Bet - Increasing the difficulty of the bet by picking the winners of 4 or 6 consecutive races.  The Pick 6 bet payouts can be enormous.  There is often a Pick 6 Carryover which means that nobody correctly selected the winners of 6 consecutive races.  On a pick 6 there is a consolation payout for hitting 5 of 6, and if nobody had a winning (6 of 6) ticket the rest of the pool is carried over to the next day.  It is not uncommon for a pick 6 pool to carry over for several days.  The larger the pools become the more people play, and the payouts can be life changing. The largest pick 6 payouts in horse racing have been over 1 million dollars.

If you are betting for the first time or making a bet on Kentucky Derby 2014, you need to understand all of the sifferent wager types so that you have a chance at winning big money.


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