Horse racing is often seen as a small gambling market in the modern world. While it may pale in comparison to the large markets that football and American football offer, it still brings in a large number of customers to bookmakers, especially in European countries. What options does horse racing offer to gamblers? Let the Betting Veteran inform you of the ins and outs
horse-racing betting

The Betting Veteran is often called a myth. But you have to ask yourself, would a myth be banned from every bookmaker in Europe? Some say he won an accumulator with an infinite number of teams on it. Some say he won an accumulator with just one game won. All we know is that he is the Betting Veteran and he is here to help.

Horse racing background

Horse racing is a sport that has been practiced by almost every civilisation in history. Although it was carried out with chariots in early Greek and Roman civilisations, it still had the basic goal of the horse racing of today: aim to get to the finish line before your opponent. Horse racing has taken massive strides in the 2,500 since then. With far more safety regulations brought in, in addition to removing chariots and the intended violence of the spectacle, horse racing is currently a spectator sport that offers almost unique excitement. It offers flat races across a track as well as steeple chases that involve jumps. As previously mentioned, horse racing is a large market for gambling, with a worldwide spend of over $100m wagered every year.

 Horse racing terms 

Ante-post – this is when you place your wager ahead of the day of the race.

Banker – this is a term that is used across the board with many sports. This is a term for the favourite in a particular race.

Course specialist – this refers to a horse that has won on a particular course, or at the very least set a good time on it.

Furlong – an old measure that means 220 yards.

Handful – a colloquialism for a horse that has odds of 5/1.

Odds on – this means that the odds give a return of less than the stake, such a 1/5 or 1/9.

Photo finish – when a race is particularly close, a photo taken as both horses passed the finishing post will be used to determine the winner.

Pulled up – this is when a jockey will pull on the reigns of their horse in order to bring it to a stop.

Stewards – these are the people who are in charge of enforcing the rules of the race. If there is a problem with a race, then there can be a Stewards Enquiry to solve the issue.

Types of pre-race bets

There is a wide range of pre-race bets on offer to gamblers for horse racing. The most popular for gamblers who visit the track is tote betting, or parimutuel betting as it is sometimes known. This is when the odds are decided by how much is placed on each horse for the race. The winnings are then divided up between whoever backed the winning horse in accordance with how much they placed on that horse. This is less common with online bookmakers, but there are online bookmakers out there who offer tote betting. Due to the potential of more customers taking part, this can offer larger winnings, especially on popular races.

The most popular type of bet for all forms of horse racing is the each-way bet. This means that you are placing half of your stake on your horse to win and then the other half to finish above a certain position in the race. The race needs a minimum of five horses to offer an each-way bet, with the more horses involved increasing the number of places that pay out. For example, a race with nine runners would pay out on first, second and third. This means that if your horse finishes first, then you will win your wager at the full odds you placed it at, and a second or third place will pay out at ¼ the odds you placed it at. Allow the Betting Veteran to explain each-way betting in more detail for you.

If you place a £10 each-way bet on a horse with odds of 12/1, then this means that your total stake will be £20 – £10 on the horse to win and £10 on the horse to finish in the top three. If your horse wins, then both wagers will win. This means that you will receive £130 for the horse winning – £120 winnings and your £10 stake returned. You will also receive winnings for your horse placing – this pays out at ¼ of the odds. So your second half will pay out £40 – £30 winnings and your £10 stake returned. This means that for a first-place finish, you will receive a total of £170. If your horse finishes second, then only the second part will pay out – so for your £20 wager, it would be a £40 return.

Types of in-play bets

While it may seem hard to believe, there are in-play bets available on horse racing. While very rarely offered at brick-and-mortar bookmakers, there are a large number of online bookmakers that offer this service. In order to carry out an in-play bet on horse racing, a gambler must be incredibly fast. This means that a very fast internet connection is needed as well as fast reactions.

Horse racing in-play betting tends to be very different from in-play betting on other sports. This is because there are very few markets available to gamblers – a horse either wins or loses. Because of this, it means that gamblers have to pay close attention to what is happening during the race. An example could be a jockey beginning to push their horse to speed up – this could be a sign that they are about to make a break for the front. When this happens, it could be time to place a wager on that horse to win if their odds are set at a good level.

As mentioned though, this requires sharp eyesight, fast reflexes, and a very fast internet connection. However, it can have much better rewards if players manage to carry it out effectively. The increased odds that will be on offer can lead to much better returns. 

Accumulators or singles?

There is a wide range of accumulator options on offer to gamblers with horse racing. Some of the accumulator options have also made their way into other sports betting, but they originated with horse racing. There are the simple double and treble, which as their name suggests is choosing two or three horses respectively, for different races – your bet wins if all of your choices come in. This offers the benefit of an increased return on your wager, but does have the added risk of your wager losing if just one of your choices does not come in. The increased profit that is on offer needs to be weighed up with the amount of risk with which you are comfortable.

As well as these two standard accumulators, there are also a number of special accumulators on offer. The most famous variation would be the Yankee. This is when you choose four horses for different races – the Yankee will then place every combination of double, treble and the four-way accumulator. This places 11 bets in total and will divide your stake by 11 in order to work out the stake for each individual bet. This means that as long as two of your horses come in, you will get some kind of return, though that is no guarantee that you will make a profit.

Similar accumulators for more selections are the Super Yankee for five horses, which places 26 bets; a Heinz for six horses, which places 57 bets; a Super Heinz for seven horses, which places 120 bets; and a Goliath for eight horses, which places 247 bets. As with all accumulator wagers, it is important to weigh up how much risk you are willing to take and whether the increased return is worth the higher chance of losing your stake.

Analysing the stats 

Stats in horse racing are different from most other sports. Instead of covering things such as minutes where certain events happened and form across the last ten games, it will cover race history and a horse’s success on certain types of tracks combined with the success of certain jockeys. Despite being different from other sports, the stats still offer an important insight into placing wagers. While it does not guarantee success, it certainly increases the probability if you analyse the stats and decide how to place your wagers from your analysis.

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