The Sport of Kings can trace its roots as far back as 4500 B.C., with modern racing tracing it
lineage to the 12th century, when knights of the British Empire brought back Arabic stallions that
were crossbred with English mares producing a class of horse with a remarkable combination of
speed and endurance, known today as the thoroughbred.
As the sport evolved to being more professional during the reign of Queen Anne in the early 18th
century, racetracks were constructed and offered purses, or prize money to the winner of the
events. All along being inextricably associated with gambling.
Today the activity generates a worldwide market worth of around $115 billion.
So how do you get your hands on just a little of that money?
Well, for starters horse betting is a bit different from other gambling types. Horse betting has
different bets, has entirely different odds and a unique way of displaying them. Even if you are a
pro at gambling, you will need to read some basics of horse betting to be successful, as even the
best professional handicappers pick winners only about 30 percent of the time.
So you’re probably asking, how can I win? You can, and big if you follow some simple rules and
First, you’ll need to get your hands on a racing program. You can pick one of these up at the
track for a couple of bucks, or, if you wagering from home, you may want to subscribe to the Daily
Racing Form or check out the tracks official web site for free daily programs.
Reading a program for the first time may seem mystifying, but once you find out what all the
numbers and symbols mean, you'll be handicapping with the best of them.
The race description and purse is shown just before the individual past performances, so you
can get an idea of how this race compares to the past. The past performances begin with name,
post and their morning odds. Below this is the owner, followed by the silk color of the jockey, and
the name of the jockey along with their record. This record is at the current meeting, followed by
statistics for the entire year.
To the right of jockey's name, you will find the age of the horse, breeding information, sire's stud
fee, trainer's name and statistics, weight of the horse, lifetime record, monies won lifetime, and
running lines, which goes over the horses last ten starts.
Below that, you will find any recent workout activity, trainer statistics that apply to the race and the
trainer's record with the jockey.
If it sounds like a lot of information and it is. Personally, I tend to look at comparable conditions
and see how they have fared. Sure, someone could be a loser on paper, but the few flashes of
greatness might have similar conditions as the race I am betting that particular day. Are they
switching surface conditions? Is the jockey who rode the horse on other wins the same jockey
riding him/her today? The variables are endless, so my advice in the beginning is to focus on a
few things you feel are important and use that as a starting point.
Once you’ve digested all of your reading material and have decided on your pick, you will need to
determine the type of wager you want to throw down.
First, there is the straight bet that allows bettors to choose the horse they think will win (finish
first), place (come in first or second), show (a place bet plus the third position), or across the
board wagers (to bet on that a horse will take any of the first three places). These are pretty
Next, there are the exotic betting wagers. These are the exacta, quinella, trifecta, and superfecta.
With an exacta, bettors bet the two horses to finish first and second in exact order. Exacta betting
is a favorite among skilled handicappers and can provide some very lucrative payoffs for as little
a $2 wager.
The quinella allows you to bet two horses to finish first and second in either order. As long as
your two horses finish in the top two positions, you win. Quinellas generally, but not always, pay
less than exactas, but give the bettor a little more leeway.
My personal favorite is the trifecta. Trifectas can produce huge payoffs on occasion and allows
the bettor to wager on three horses to finish first, second and third in exact order. A $2 straight
trifecta pays off only if the final order of finish is the same as you have predicted. However, a
popular wager among many horse racing fans is a $1 trifecta box of three or more horses. A $1
trifecta box of three horses costs $6 but includes six possible winning $1 combinations. The box
pays off if your three selections finish in the top three positions in any order. The superfecta is a
trifecta plus the fourth horse to come to the finish.
Finally, the daily double bet requires a bettor to predict horses to finish first in two races. It’s
kind of like a two-game parlay. These types of wagers can, and do produce excellent payoffs,
particularly when favorites fail to win.
Keep in mind it’s perfectly safe to make your wagers early and lock in your odds. In horse betting,
it's forbidden to make bets on scratches, the horses that have been withdrawn from races. When
you bet on a late scratch, your wager will be given back to you in most cases.
So are you ready to start making money?
Exacta and trifecta boxes are offered at most online betting sites like the partners on our web site
and racetracks as $1 wagers. The minimum bet for a quinella is $2. Superfectas are offered at
some racetracks for as little as .10 per combination. For example, a .10 superfecta box including
four horses would cost you $2.40. Of course, a lower wagering amount normally means a lower
payout. If a $1 superfecta box pays off at $100, a $0.10 Superfecta Box would pay $10.
Betting on horseracing is much more than just slapping down your hard-earned cash and hoping
for the best. It's one of those rare sports in which if you spend the time to understand you can
reap financial benefit. You're not betting against the house, you're matching wits with fellow
horseplayers just like yourself.
So what are you waiting for?
Now that you have read through our horserace betting basics, incorporate a few of our
handicapping tips, pick a horse and place your bet.
Also feel free to purchase our monthly horse racing packages from the best horse racing picks service Coopers Pick. To get your winners over the phone please call 1-888-730-2667