Horse racing betting

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Horse racing is a truly international sport with hundreds of betting websites servicing punters’ every demand. Billions of dollars are wagered annually around the world on events as diverse as the Melbourne Cup to France’s big day, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

No wonder they call it the sport of kings.

Horse racing takes place 24 hours a day, seven days week all around the globe. If you are not finding a race on in Australia at Flemington or Randwick you will be sure to see something eventuating at Royal Ascot in England or Fontwell Park in South Africa. Such is the reach of the sport.

This article will take you through the absolute basics of the Sport – how to place a bet, the best places to put one on and the advantages to doing so.

Best bookmakers for betting on horse racing

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Now more than ever, placing a bet online is not only simple, but vastly outweighs the hassle of going down to the local and placing a bet that won’t even get you top value.

With the online landscape ever-changing, online bookmakers are in constant competition to get you to place bets with their company. This means you’ll be the one who benefits with better odds and promotions constantly being offered.

Some of the popular countries to bet on the horses include Australia, England, France, USA, Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany and South Africa.

Each of these countries are governed by different laws and have different bookies for punters to bet with on the horse races. For instance, in Australia there are many corporate bookmakers regulated and forced to abide by certain restrictions. Some of the bigger bookmakers in Australia include Sportsbet, BetEasy, William Hill and Bet 365.

In the USA horse racing is huge but the murky laws surrounding online betting mean there is limited options for sports bettors wanting to punt on the horses. Unless you are from certain states in the USA, you will have to bet with an offshore sportsbook. There are several options Cups Betting recommends.

Another country with plenty of options for horse racing fans is United Kingdom with many of the same bookies in Australia, also offering betting in this country. William Hill and Bet 365 both do a lot of business in the UK.

Races not to be missed

Horse racing in Australia and beyond is extremely popular, as with most sports there is varying levels of talent in each event or race. Some races carry with them extreme prestige and the best stables around the world chase these races with relentless enthusiasm. Here are some the team at gets excited about.

  • Prix De L’arc de triomphe:
    France’s premier weight for age race and one of the richest in the world. Carries great tradition and prestige among some of the highest profile race horse owners in the world.
  • Melbourne Cup:
    The Melbourne Cup holds a place very close to our hearts at this website. Some of us dream of riding the winner, others owning the next Makybe Diva. When it comes to racing and punting it is unparalleled in the world.
  • Caulfield Cup:
    Another huge Aussie race and the future race at the famous Caulfield race track in the suburbs of Melbourne. Has had some famous runnings and some even more famous names win it. The big bets roll in on the Caulfield Cup.
  • Cox Plate:
    Some claim it is the strongest race in the world in terms of talent, others laugh that claim off. either way it’s a hell of a race and definitely warrants plenty of attention from the world’s biggest punters.

Types of bets in horse racing

One of the most intimidating aspects of betting on the horses is identifying which betting type is for you and how to go about doing it. Some bets are self-explanatory, while others require clarification as to how many horses you can select, the order in which you do it or whether or not you can box several runners in without losing too much on your overall dividend.

Follow this simple how-to guide and all your questions will be answered.

Bets on single races

  • Win: A win bet is the method of selecting a horse to finish first in a particular race. Affectionately known as putting a bet ‘on the nose’ – the win bet is the most popular wager in the horse racing industry.To complement the popularity of the win bet, the ‘first past the post’ guarantees, plus top-tote plus and feature race day specials and it is easy to see why placing money on an outright win is the punter’s preferred method.
  • Place: A place bet offers lower odds than a win bet, but gives investors three possible chances to get the money.Place money is typically significantly smaller than the horse’s win price.The place bet pays out on any horse that runs first, second or third, but if your horse is the winner of the race, you only get the place money – not the money you would get for a win.
  • Each Way: The each way bet, is essentially a win and a place bet moulded together, however, rather than having two separate transactions, it is placed as a single ‘each way’ bet.An each way bet is having money on both the win and the place (always the same amount) and is typically placed to ‘cover your bases’ and is especially prevalent in the bigger races where there are many winning chances.




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  • Quinella: Quinella betting is picking the horses that will finish first and second in the race in any order.This differs from an exacta bet, which is still selecting the top two horses in the race, but also picking the exact order in which they finish.A quinella typically pays much more than just the simple win bet, and with this specific type of bet you can select multiple horses to finish in the top-two positions, however, this does affect the overall amount that you win.For example, a one dollar bet on two horses will give you 100% dividend (meaning if it pays 56 dollars, you will get 56) but adding additional horses, whilst boosting your chances of winning significantly cuts into your profit margin. Adding a third horse while not upping your initial investment will cut your dividend to 33%.
  • Trifecta: To make a successful trifecta bet, investors must select the first three horses in the race in order.Typically in big races you will see what is called a boxed trifecta which is three or more horses selected to finish in the top three places, but in any order, but as explained earler with the quinella bet, the more horses you add, the less of a return you will receive.Another vastly popular bet within the trifecta frame is the mystery trifecta which just means you choose your outlay, and the bookmaker will randomly select three horses.The trifecta bet is the big one you want to get, other than the first four it is the biggest dividend you can get out of any one particular horse race. The 2014 Melbourne Cup had a trifecta payout of $2,202.40. Not bad if you can get it!
  • First Four: One of the more self-explanatory bets that include multiple horses, a first four bet requires you to select four horses in the race that you believe will finish first, second, third and fourth in order.The boxed bet applies here too, but unlike the quinella and trifecta bets, the amount that is deducted once you add a fifth horse into the bet is huge, with a 10 dollar first four bet with five horses only giving you a 8.3% return.However, this is offset by the huge amounts you can win with a first four bet. The 2014 Melbourne Cup first four paid an astronomical $18,884.

Bets on multiple races over a card

  • Double:
    The double bet is simply picking two winners of two separate races over a card. For the most part, this will be dictated by the bookmarkers themselves, and is usually referred to as ‘the daily double’.

    Typically this bet will have punters selecting a few runners per race, but for the most part, given it is only two-races, investors will not look to include too many runners per race as their overall end payout will be significantly smaller.

  • Treble:
    Just like the double – only in threes!

    The treble is the process of selecting three winners over three consecutive races. Again, which races these are will be dictated by the bookies themselves.

    As there is an additional race involved, the overall payout of a treble significantly increases, and will be substantially bigger if a long shot gets up in any of the three races.

  • Quaddie:
    The most popular bet you will hear about, and no doubt you’ve overheard a punter or two lament the fact they missed only one leg on their quaddie.

    Quaddie is picking four successive winners over four races. It is without a doubt one of the hardest horse racing bets to land, and while the odds are always dictated by the amount the winners of each race pay, the payouts are usually quite big.

    Due to how hard it is to select four winners over four races, a ‘field’ bet is often the tactic of choice used by punters putting on a quaddie bet. A field bet just means any horse in the race can win, and is essentially used in a race where you cannot find an overall standout horse to bet on, so you include the entire field just to keep yourself alive for the next race.

  • Jockey challenge:
    The jockey challenge bet is placing a wager on who you think will ride the most placings throughout the allotted day at the races.Points are allocated for coming first, second or third, with points accrued throughout the day being tallied up and the winner being the rider who accumulated the most points on the card.