Are you wondering how to watch horse racing like a pro? Well, then you’ve come to the right place.
Without any background knowledge, the race track can seem like a confusing place filled with numbers, binoculars, and screaming fans. But with a little assistance, you can learn the intricacies of racing and how to make informed bets.
Read on for the best horse racing fact guide so you’re prepared before the starting gate opens.
Types of Bets
The basic betting terms you should know are win, place, and show. These are called straight bets as opposed to exotic bets, which are a little complex for a beginner’s guide.
A win is betting your horse will come in first place. A place is betting your horse will come in first or second place. A show is betting your horse will come in first, second, or third place.
If the horse fulfills your bet after the official order to finish, you win money. And while a place or show may be safer than a win, the payoff is lower.
Become a Handicapper
Handicapping is the process in which you choose a horse to bet on. And while this often requires lots of effort and research, it is a good way to make informed bets. Here are some basics.
To become a good handicapper, you should study the history of the horse, jockey, owner, and trainer. You can find all this in the race day program along with other important information.
Before the race, watch the horses in the paddock (an enclosure for the horses). Note which ones seem healthy, well-rested, and calm. Because even if a horse is favored to win, they may be having a visibly off day.
You’ll also want to look at the odds, which are given for each horse. The favorite horse has the lowest odds, so if you bet a win on this horse, it will pay off 33% of the time.
And if you’re worried about cheating that could skew the results, the new horseracing integrity act works to prevent doping and ensure fair racing in the US.
How To Place a Bet
None of this information is useful if you don’t know how to place a bet. Here’s how you do it.
Go up to a teller (preferably a human teller) with your money already in hand. The minimum wager is usually $2 in the US. In this order, say the name of the track, how much you’re betting, the type of bet you’re placing, and the horse’s program number.
Keep your ticket safe because if you win, you’ll need that ticket to obtain your money.
Did You Enjoy This Horse Racing Fact Guide?
While you may not be an expert handicapper just yet, this horse racing fact guide is sure to get you started. And whether you’re placing a win or playing it safe with a show, you’ll have fun and maybe even cash in. Now head to the track and place your bet!
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