Horse racing was once a popular sport in America. People would listen to horse racing on the radio and stop whatever they were doing to hear it. Some thoroughbreds were just as popular as the NBA and NFL stars today.
The popularity of a day at track has declined due to the proliferation of entertainment and sports options, but it is still thrilling to watch your horse cross the finish line with your hands raised with your winning betting slips in your fists. It is hard to beat an afternoon spent at the track watching talented athletes compete.
The odds and betting system can be intimidating and confusing if you’ve ever watched a race on a track or even seen it on TV. It doesn’t have it to be. You can easily understand the odds and place your bets like a professional with just a few basics.
These days, bets at tracks are taken either by clerks at the betting windows or electronically at machines. True race enthusiasts still love to interact with the window clerks, who are often characters that enhance the race-day experience. However, the terminology is the exact same for both.
First, horses are identified using a number in the track program or Daily Racing Form. Both can be bought at the track. The Racing Form and the program contain information about each race. This includes data such as the length, purse, and type of horses running. It also shows how each horse performed in previous races. The Racing Form has more detail, but it can be saved for later. These numbers represent the order in which the horses were placed in the starting gates. You can use the individual numbers for identification of the horses you wish to bet on.
The second step is to determine the bet amount. For each wager, the minimum is usually $2. You can win more if you place more bets. However, beginners should start small to get comfortable with the system.
The third is the type bet. It can be confusing for beginners because of the many variations. The basics are easy. Horses pay bettors if their horses finish first, second, or third. Also known as Win, Place, and Show. Bettors who bet on a horse winning will also receive a payout if it finishes second or third, but at lower amounts. Bettors who bet that the horse would place third also get a second-place finish. The easiest three bets to make are Place, Win, and Show. These bets are on horses finishing first, second, or third.
Let’s say that you wanted to place a wager on the horse No. You wanted to bet the minimum amount on the horse listed as No. 4 in the program. The order of the bet is as follows: type of bet, amount, and horse. soi keo You would then tell the clerk that you want to place a $2 wager on No. To win, you would need to bet 4
These are the basics.
There are several variations to consider. You would place a wager on the horse finishing first, second, or third. This is called “across-the-board”. It is three separate wagers so it would cost $6 to place the minimum $2.
Also, you can wager on the first and second horses. This is called an exacta wager. This is a straight bet but you have to identify two horses. For example, “I’d love a $2 exacta, Numbers 4, and 5.” Sometimes, you may like two horses and not be able to decide which one should win. You can “box” an exacta so that the horses can finish in any order. At the ticket window, you can say “I’d love a $2 boxed exacta with Numbers 4 and 5. It would cost $4 because it is actually two bets.
A trifecta is a wager on which horse will finish first, second, or third. A boxed trifecta of $2 would cost $12, as it actually consists of six bets. Trifecta wagering is not allowed in all races.
The odds of winning a successful bet depend on how much the race goes. These are posted on both TV screens and electronic boards at the track. Although the odds may seem complicated, they are actually quite straightforward.
Before the early 1900’s wagers were placed at tracks by bookmakers who set their own odds. After the Civil War, horse racing boomed and there were 314 tracks in America. Criminal elements were able to penetrate tracks due to the rapid growth in horse racing without any regulator. Antigambling sentiment led nearly all states to ban bookmaking. By 1908, there were only 25 tracks left.
Pari-mutuel wagering was invented in 1865 by Joseph Ollers in France and saved horse racing. Instead of betting with bookmakers horseplayers bet against each other by pooling their wagers. The winners then divide the pool after the racetrack subtracts a percentage. Pari-mutuel wagering was legalized in many states, with a portion of the cash stake.
In the beginning, mechanical calculators (also known as “tote board”) kept track of the odds. The odds were calculated by multiplying the total amount placed on other horses by that horse’s odds. Computers can perform this task in split-seconds.