The popularity of horse betting has two very simple reasons. The first is that everyone immediately understands what it is all about. You bet on a horse and on a placement. Regardless of whether you know much about the sport or not, anyone with a few extra euros in their pocket can place a bet.
But there is also the other side of horse racing betting. Namely, that of the real experts. Such guys know everything about the horse, the jockey, the past competitions and the targeting of the upcoming races. They want to bet on horse races where they can statistically estimate the outcome. To do this, they work with various tricks that we explain in horse betting tips.
Very successful jockey horse duos want to fight for the biggest titles, which is why they use smaller competitions as dress rehearsals. That there then not the best placings jump out, is logical. And the knowledge about it gives an advantage to those who have a real insight.
History of sports betting and betting providers
Of course, it is also exciting to take a historical look at sports betting, which shows that from the 18th century onwards, the subject is closely associated with horse racing betting in particular.
However, the documented origins can be found unimaginably far back, namely in 676 BC, when the ancient Greeks placed bets on the outcome of competitions as part of the 23rd Olympic Games.
In addition to money, other assets were also used at that time, and this has not changed in the private sphere to this day: It is not uncommon for friends to bet on the outcome of a sporting event for a case of beer or the next invitation to the pizzeria next door.
It gets even more interesting when you take a closer look, because even back then there was a kind of live betting: spontaneous bets could be made during the event.
But it was not only the Greeks who shaped the history of sports betting, bets were also placed in ancient Rome – for example on chariot races in the Circus Maximus. With the fall of the Roman Empire it became quiet around the topic. Sports betting experienced a renaissance on the horse racing tracks of Great Britain from the 18th century onwards.
Some of the betting providers founded at the end of the 19th century and in the early years of the 20th century still exist today – including Parimtach, 22Bet or Bet365. Thus, Great Britain is also considered the motherland of sports betting. The market leader Bet365 also has its roots in the British city of Stoke-on-Trent.
Horse betting only for experts?
Should only experts place their tips on horse betting? Not at all, because even novices can make relatively safe bets without throwing money out the window in a figurative sense. That’s the big advantage of horse betting: there are a lot of tricks, but you can learn them quickly, so that a few lucrative wins are also possible.
Of course, everyone wants to grab the big win. The more important it is to understand how horse betting works in detail. Do you always bet on the winner, or are there also typical placement bets, as you know them from racing? Or also: What is the difference between gallop and trotting races? By the way, you should not forget that horse betting is one of the oldest types of betting in the world.
Horse betting simply explained
Tradition and history give horse betting its charm and character. Through the long history, terms have been established, which for newcomers mean an almost impenetrable hodgepodge of technical jargon. That’s why this article focuses on explaining the basic structures and procedures of a horse race, so that everyone can give their tips without having to hide behind professionals.
Before we really get started, here is a brief overview of the terms you should know when dealing with horse betting. Of course, a short explanation is attached.
How do horse betting work – a guide
Those who place horse bets online are, of course, unaffected by the atmosphere on the ground. Nevertheless, the various bookmakers offer appealing platforms where you can get a feel for the atmosphere of horse betting. The most important points to consider when placing horse bets are listed below.
→ What does Open, Started and Final mean?
These three terms describe the phases that should be considered when placing a bet. There is generally a status indicator next to the listing of competitions, which changes depending on the situation.
If you want to place a bet, then only the races that are marked with the term “Open” or “Open” are available for selection. Here the gates of the horse stalls have not yet opened, the starting signal has not yet been given. You can still place your bets at your leisure.
As soon as the race starts and the stalls open, the status changes to “Started”. No more bets can be placed. Only some providers still allow bets to be placed here if you have decided to bet live. A corresponding live stream should then of course be available.
With “Final” or “Final” the races are marked, where the result was confirmed by a race judge. Basically, the time recording is done by an infrared measurement. However, as in athletics competitions, this must be confirmed again by a special referee.
What is a racecard?
Most betting providers have a racecard available for all participants in competitions. This contains a statistical listing of the form of the horse. Sometimes these data are even extended by successes of the jockey and the trainer team. The more detailed the racecard, the more precisely the horse and jockey can be analyzed for their qualities.
But you also have to be able to read the racecard. It consists of letters and numbers, which are lined up according to a certain system.
To explain the system, the following invented racecard serves as an example. It carries the identification: 458/0BU-3F2/015. What does this mean? Information is given by the corresponding legend:
1-9: the horse achieved this rank in the respective races
0: the horse finished outside the Top Nine
P: Pulled Up (the horse finished the race prematurely)
R: Refusal (the horse was rejected by the jury)
F: Fall (the horse fell)
B: Brought Down (the jockey has been thrown)
U: Unseated Ride (arrived at the finish line without a jockey)
– : Change of year
/ : Session change
So for our example it means that the horse reached the first session three times with jockey and on the places 4, 5 and 8 (458/0BU-3F2/015). After the session change, the horse first reaches only one place beyond the top nine, before dropping the jockey once and also arriving at the finish without a jockey. So a rather used session (458/0BU-3F2/015). However, after the session change marked with “-” things got better, finishing 3rd, then in the next race the horse fell, only to finish 2nd in the following race (458/0BU-3F2/015). After another session change, the horse again failed to reach the top nine, to finish 1st and 5th after that (458/0BU-3F2/015).
If you now take a close look at the racecard of the starters with this knowledge, you will quickly recognize the real favorites. An evenly good field is therefore always a safer bet than betting on a rather mixed constellation, as seen in our example.
→ What is the difference between gallop and trotting races?
Gallop races are the classic form of horse betting. “Gallop” is the fastest gait in horses. Therefore, these races are also basically carried out without obstacles, these competitions are also called flat races. Gallop races are the most widespread in Europe, at the same time these competitions are also always characterized by surprises. Since it depends exclusively on timing and full power, less on skill, more or less everyone can win here.
Trotting races are more technical, it depends more on the interaction between jockey and horse. Mostly these races are equipped with obstacles, which means that there are also jumps and the like. However, there is also the version with a sulky, which adds another, more complicated component to the race for the jockeys. What all trotting races have in common is the gait trot, which may not be changed. If the horse changes from trot to canter, it is disqualified. Usually trotting races are held several rounds. This makes it more difficult for the horse and the jockey, as one and the same running style must be maintained permanently.
What types of horse racing are there?
Gallop and trotting races, sulky and steeplechase competitions – is that all? No, of course not. Horse racing offers a wide variety of races to bet on. The most important ones are briefly explained below in addition to the types of races already listed:
→ Pass races: In this race, only the “pass” type of running is allowed. The horse’s legs must touch the ground in a line. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.
→ Tölt race: Only the running type “Tölt” is allowed. This is characterized by the fact that it is a running without a hovering phase. The rhythm is here, of course, the horses are disqualified if they do not “tölt” cleanly.
→ Cross-Country: As the name suggests – this is a type of natural obstacle racing. Here the horses have to cross rivers, jump hedges, etc.
→ Equalizer race: The field of participants should be set up as evenly as possible. For this reason, strong horses are equipped with weights, so that all have equal chances to win.
What can you bet on in horse racing?
Practically speaking, the range of bets on horse racing is immense. This should not deter beginners, because there is a suitable betting option for everyone. The following is a detailed list of the types of bets available.
→ the win bet
Whether favorite or favorite horse – with the victory bet you simply bet a certain amount on the possible winner. This bet is immediately understandable for everyone and does not need a more detailed explanation. If the horse you bet on wins, you get your stake back, including the odds. If the horse loses, the stake is also lost.
→ the place bet
Place betting is not about guessing the correct rank of a horse. Instead, you place a bet on a horse that you believe will finish among the top three. If you are right, you get your stake back including the odds. The odds are somewhat lower due to the higher chance of winning than with the win bet.
→ the place twin
This betting option builds on the place bet. However, you don’t just have to bet one horse correctly, which has to finish in the top three. But even two horses. Thus, the odds are higher than with the place bet, because at the same time, of course, the risk increases. It is unimportant which place under the Top three the two tipped horses take. The main thing is that they are in the top field.
→ the handicap bet
Some may know the handicap bet from classic sports betting. For example, in soccer, favored teams are sent into a duel with lower-ranked teams with a goal deficit, which increases the odds. But in horse racing, the handicap bet works completely differently. Namely, very strong horses are given weights for the new year based on their performance in the previous season. This is to achieve equality of opportunity. Logically, this also increases the odds, as a handicap is imposed on the superior horses. In trotting races, for example, the horses also start on less favorable tracks or from the second row, and thus have to cover a greater distance.
→ the finish bet
The last three heats of a race day are tipped with this bet. The meaning behind it is quite simple. The organizers want to prevent people from leaving the races too early. Here you have to guess the winners of the last three races of a race day correctly – it is obvious that this will result in a relatively high profit. At the same time, however, it is also very unlikely to guess the correct winner three times in a row.
→ Ita & Trita
These two bets make it possible to bet not on the winner of a race, but on second and third place! Ita refers to second place, while Trita refers to third place.
→ the outright bet
Outright bets are placed on the final result of an entire series of competitions. It is therefore a kind of long-term bet. Of course, it is difficult here to anticipate a complete course of the season. Therefore, outright bets should not be played by beginners. An example of an outright bet is which jockey will get the most wins within a certain interval (a series).
The combined bets:
Two-man bet – in this bet you bet on the first and second places, and it is also important that the order of finish is correct.
Triple bet – analogous to the double bet, you bet on the first three places; it also depends on the correct order of the finish.
Foursome bet – analogous to the twosome and threesome bet, here you bet on the first four horses, including the correct order of finish
Win-Place-Show bet – in this combination bet you bet three times on the same horse. Win” means that the horse will finish the race as the winner. Place” indicates that the horse will finish 1st or 2nd. And “Show” designates the successful third place. The highlight of this bet is that you can make a really high profit. If the horse finishes in 1st place, all three individual bets Win-Place-Show win. The odds or stakes are therefore added together. If the horse finishes in second place, place and show still win. If the horse only finishes in third place, the win from the show bet still remains.
Each-Way bet – this bet is similar to the Win-Place-Show system. One bets that the horse will either rank and at least rank three. So if it “only” finishes in 2nd or 3rd place, you still get paid a profit
Bank horse – if you are sure that a certain horse is guaranteed to finish on rank 1, you can use it as a bank horse. On a combination ticket, the horse is marked as a bank horse, which increases the odds of the other horses you bet on. However, if the bank horse does not succeed in running in 1st place, the entire stake is lost.
What are group and list races?
If you click through the various competitions on the bookmakers’ websites, you will also discover the designation of group and list races. The difference between these competitions is quickly explained, namely the strengths of the participants differ.
In the group races, basically the strongest starters are used. Thus, the groups are divided into three classes. The typical counting system is Roman numerals, i.e. I, II and III. The allocation to the groups is done according to the following principle: depending on the prize money, the tradition of the competition and the actual performance level of the starters, the horses are divided. Group I is the group with the most successful horses, so to speak the king group.
List races are now more or less an additional Group IV. This is because, in terms of performance and success, they are below those of Group I-III. Listed races serve as a springboard for young horses to attract international attention. Closely connected to the list races are the Blacktype races already mentioned in the Mini-Glossary. The aim of the breeders is to obtain one of these bold entries in the list races. This increases the value of the horse and also its reputation enormously. In the run-up to a season, therefore, a great many list races are held, which for many unknown horses represent the springboard to a successful career.
We know a dead heat from athletics. If two sprinters cross the finish line at the same moment, the photo finish decides. However, if two opponents in a horse race actually cross the finish line at the same moment and no first place can be determined, this is called a dead heat.
For the odds, this means that you only get paid half of the possible winnings. Provided that one has tipped one of the two winners. The odds are therefore halved. But don’t worry, a dead heat is very rare. Actually, one horse always has a clearly recognizable lead.
How do the odds come about in horse racing?
Unlike the usual sports betting, there are two different odds systems for horse betting. Either you bet on the odds of a bookmaker, which the bookmaker calculates and which are already fixed days before the competition.
The second way: The odds are calculated according to the so-called totalizer principle. This means that the bettors bet among themselves and no bookmaker appears as an independent, odds-making authority. The advantage of totalisator providers is that they automatically support equestrian sports. A percentage of the stakes is paid out to breeders and organizers.
Important difference to classical betting odds of bookmakers: Some of the totalisator odds are not fixed until the start of the race! There are odds tendencies, which can also be seen in totalisator bets. However, the final odds are only fixed when the race starts. This has the following simple reason: Since you are not competing against one bookmaker, but against all bettors who are interested in the race, each bet also influences the odds. Thus, depending on the basic strength of the horse, the odds can change significantly early on. Real favorites, however, usually remain relatively constant with a clearly discernible tendency.
Totalisator bets therefore give a direction in which an odds could change. This can still change significantly on the betting day, so it is always practical with this principle if you are familiar with the genre. Thus, smart bettors combine the racecards with their own impression of the day’s form and analyze how the field of participants looks. There are various tricks to react to fluctuations in the odds. In short: Since one can influence the odds of the other horses, this is tried again and again. So if you know your way around, you can react correctly.
What are the betting odds on horse racing?
Enough theory – now it’s time to place some bets! But what are the options? Once again, the answer is very extensive. Because there are different types of odds that you can bet on. All of them have their advantages. Therefore, we explain them briefly and concisely below:
Pre-quota / Pre-day quota: as the name suggests, these odds are already announced one day before the actual competition – but they can still change.
Daily odds: Similar to the pre-odds, the daily odds are already known before a race, usually on the morning of the race day. Here, too, the odds can still change up to the race.
Start odds: What looks strange at first glance, has its meaning. At the time of betting on the starting odds, these odds are not known. The bookmakers announce the odds only at the start of the race – but then you can no longer bet. So you “blindly” bet on an odds, at best on a favorite, then the actual ones are not so surprising.
Fixed odds bet: Unlike its predecessors, this odds is not variable. The name of this principle already indicates what it is – a fixed price.
Now one or the other tipster will wonder how to place his bet. After all, if most of the odds are changing all the time, you can never be sure which tendency is the right one. This is quite correct, but there are also corresponding expert tips on the bookmaker sites, also called NAP.
In addition, you should look at the contingency odds and always keep them in mind. This quota refers to the win bet and is constantly recalculated. The tips of the other bettors can be read from it – this gives you a feeling for which horses most bettors see as favorites. Basically, the following rule of thumb applies: The lower the contingency odds, the more likely the other bettors see the horse winning!
How is the profit calculated in horse racing?
Now follows an example of how the winnings are calculated from the odds in horse racing. Don’t worry, the system is very simple. Assuming a stake of €10, if the odds are 50:10 and the tip is correct, the winnings will be €50. To get the net profit, you just have to subtract the bet you made from the profit. 50 € profit – 10 € stake results in a net profit of 40 €.
Online horse betting – our conclusion
If you want to bet on horse races, you can do so at various betting providers. It is always important to rely on reputable bookmakers. In our horse betting tips, we have already addressed it: It is important to familiarize yourself with the content. Because there are various betting markets in horse betting, which is why you should really get to grips with the matter. But with a little time, you will quickly understand how horse betting works.