What You Need to Know about Horse Betting in 2024

horse betting in 2024 image

📖 Published on: February 27th, 2024

✍️ Updated: March 1st, 2024

⏳ 11 mins read


Do you ever wonder how people get into certain hobbies? The precision of some hobbies also baffles me at times, and then I remember that sometimes it’s because of tradition, and other times I realize it’s because of sheer influence.


Some people often consider the idea of horseracing to be completely archaic and sometimes barbaric, but for horse lovers, understanding how a simple horse can bring about life-changing wins can make all the difference in getting into the hobby. Needless to say, horse betting has historic origins that make an impact on modern-day sports betting.


Read on to get a tighter grasp on the history of horse betting and horse racing, how to bet on horses successfully, and other tips you might want to know before placing your first bet on the cute pony you saw on TV the other day. There’s certainly more to it than just who runs the fastest, but even I know you know that. So, without further ado, here’s what you need to know about horse betting in 2024.


Horseracing and its Origins

The history of horse betting has been colorful and filled with immense influence across different parts of the world.


The Greek Olympics

 It might not be so surprising that people loved horses even as far back as the Olympics. From 700 to 40 B.C., horses were staples in the Greek Olympics. The sport eventually became highly regarded in further regions in Asia, Persia, and Arabia.


Medieval England


When it became even more popular in medieval England, professional riders took it upon themselves to use these horses to showcase their speed when attempting to impress customers. Charles II, for one, awarded the first cash prizes to the victorious jockeys in what is now called the King's Plate Races. This period, notably during Louis XIV's reign, is when horse racing betting first emerged.


Organized Horse Racing in the US


In the US, Long Island was the place to be when race tracks were built in the 1600s, marking the start of organized horse racing in the West.


Prizing Commences


Cash prizes were introduced to the betting structure in England, where professionals rallied to compete in the King’s Plate events, which were, as you already know, introduced by Charles II. If you think a special event for horses wasn’t enough, the ‘racing purse’ was created for racers and bettors alike. Knights had to race with their horses for three miles, and whoever won would receive 40 pounds in their racing purse.


Fast forward to the mid-1800s, when the US joined the French and English, who began giving prize money for horse racing. The Belmont Stakes, one of the most renowned races in the world, offered millions of dollars in cash prizes for winners.


A Surge in Breeding, Training, and Technology


As expected, the more popular horse racing got, the higher the demand for unspoiled, spotless breeds that contributed to the global industry. International competitions and grassroots training for both horses and jockeys changed the world of horse betting in the modern world. With new technology changing the way the race operates, online betting for horse racing and live streaming took the sport to new heights.


How to Win at Horse Betting


Now, you might not come from a background of cowboys or horse-loving Brits, but understanding the thrill of the game and learning how to win at horse racing can be valuable. Let’s break down the types of wagers that you can place in horse betting.


Straight Wagers


You can only bet on one horse with a straight wager but still have promising chances of enjoying your winnings.


  • Win: This is the optimal bet on a horse who you think will finish first in a race. If you follow the trends, there’s always a horse that’s a crowd favorite where the win bet is considered a sure win. But, if you want to shake it up a bit, betting on the third or fourth-best horse who then turns out to win will give you higher returns.
  • Place: The place wager is another solid betting choice to use if you’re confident about a specific horse. This is observed to have been used when the first or second horse takes the cake.
  • Show: This is a wager placed on either the first, second, or third horse in the race. This means your payout might be less than the place or win bets since you are circling bets.
  • Across the board: Also known as the ‘combo straight wager.’ To bet the board is to go all in for win, place, and show bets. A three-in-one bet is more expensive than separately betting on the aforementioned.


How to Win at Horse Betting image


Exotic Wagers


With exotic wagers, you can boost your potential profit by placing bets on many horses simultaneously.


  • Exacta: This is where you place two bets, the horse that comes first and the one that comes second, in that exact order. These types of bets are lucrative and a favorite bet made by many horse handicappers.
  • Quinella: A bet placed on two horses that comes first or second in any order. The best thing about the quinella bet is that as long as your first two horses make it to the finish line, you can make a profit.
  • Trifecta: From the name itself, this bet is made on three horses where you choose which ones will finish first, second, and third in the exact order. You have the option to box your trifecta, which will help boost your chances of winning since there are multiple combinations to consider.
  • Superfecta: A bet on four horses that will finish first, second, third, and fourth in a certain order
  • Daily Double: A common bet offered by most tracks where two races are featured and where you will have to choose a winner for both races. Other variants will let you bet on three or four horses for three or four wagers.


Horse Betting Strategies You Should Know: How to Bet with Tact


Now that you know the long-winded history of horse betting, along with its basic principles, we can dive into some strategies you could try when placing wagers on your top picks while ensuring you profit one bet at a time.


Utilizing a Key


When we say ‘key,’ what it actually refers to is the act of choosing a horse to win one race but also using the same horse as the basis of your other wagers. This might seem a bit complex for a newcomer to racing, but once you get the hang of it, the strategy will slowly unfold into promising results.


As cliche as it may sound, the key to using a key pick is confidence. This means that when you are certain about the outcome of a particular race, you can utilize this tactic to increase your chances of winning money from horses finishing behind the leader or from horses in other races later in the day. Patience is also a big factor here since you would need to keep track of the other races within the day or even the week.


Utilizing a Key image


Placing an exacta or trifecta wager is a typical application for a key. You would then be able to pick the race's top horse, followed by two or three more horses, in any order, to place second and third.


Going Dutch or Dutching


Going ‘Dutch’ in horse racing is a bit more risky but not a surprising way to get ahead of the game. Betting on multiple horses in one race aims to spread your stake across different race horses while ensuring the return won’t be any different once your horse wins. Here’s a table to break down the idea:


Horses Odds of Winning Percentage of bet ($100)
Horse 1 30% $43.48
Horse 2 25% $36.98
Horse 3 20% $19.57


Let's say you have a stake of $100 for all three horses. As displayed on the table, depending on the odds for your chosen horses, you will then have to find a way to divide it across the three horses, wherein your return comes back evenly if either of your horses wins. Alternatively, you could lose your $100 wage if all three horses don’t win; at the end of the day, it’s how you bet that counts, right?


Do it like the Yankees did


A technique known by many as the "Yankee Bet" is picking four horses and betting on several combinations, such as doubles, trebles, and an accumulator. Let’s say you bet on at least two out of the four horses, and they actually win or place. You’ll have made a profitable return. The more horses that win on your lineup, the higher the payout.


Don’t be swayed by the allure of this strategy since it does seem to abide by the idea that “the more, the merrier.” In reality, it’s important to do a deep dive and conduct a proper analysis of your chosen horses and their respective jockeys.


Going the Extra Mile


As far as horses go, the further you should go too as a newbie in horse betting. Simply knowing how to bet the breakdown of the race and understanding the odds of each horse may not be enough. It’s vital to follow the races as intently as possible and observe common winners and their performances from past races.


Horse betting can be an exciting venture for gamblers who enjoy the thrill of watching horses run and making money off of it. While it could be a solitary experience for jockeys and horses to race, the collective embrace of horse racing fans and horse bettors watching their picks win can be a priceless memory.


Explore the possibilities of winning in the big leagues with our sportsbook and sports betting guides at GambleSpot today.


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