What is HAPPENING?!
We are in strange times with the NBA, NHL, Soccer, March Madness and nearly every other sport canceling or postponing events. With each major sport taking precautions on spreading coronavirus, many sports fans are left wondering what’s left to wager on. Horse Racing has continued to race daily while the other sports are on hiatus. To the casual sports fan that isn’t sure where to start, let me give you a basic run down on Horse Racing and a general idea how to bet it.
Horses have been involved in purposes of sport since 4500 BC. From there, it evolved to chariot racing for ancient Greeks and Romans. Fast forward to the mid 1600’s when horse racing first started out in America, mainly quick sprints. Today, horse racing is beloved by people across many countries. It can seem daunting when you first start trying to decipher a racing program or deciding to bet based on a horse’s name or color silks. The most crucial part of betting on horses that differs from most other sports is that the odds will change until the gates open. In traditional sports you can place a bet on a team at 5/1 odds and the payout will be at those odds. In horse racing, it’s a very fluid pool that changes based on dollars put in on the win bet. For example, a horse that is 3/1 in a program can be bet down as low as 1/9 odds. If you bet the horse to win in the morning when it shows 3/1 and the horse is bet down and goes off at 1/9, your winning amount will be calculated at 1/9 odds. The odds change based on the publics win bet dollars divided by the win pot. Now that the crucial element of understanding where the odds are determined, you’re asking how do I pick winners. Well, it takes some time to get used to reading programs and understanding everything that is given to you. Most horseplayers get a program and it’s like being given the answers to the test before you take it.
Like everything, this is live sports (with animals!) and anything can happen. However, programs will always show you each individual horse wins, places and shows (first, second and thirds). If the horse has racing history, it will tell you where the race was, what type of race (class), the speeds at certain marker points and position of the horse, if the race was ran on turf or dirt, condition of surface, distance of the race, order of finish and any notes that may be important. This is all the crucial information in unlocking which horse will win.
The speeds will tell if the horse likes to run out fast early (leaders/speed/pressers) or save its speed for late (closers/plodders). Some horses have consistent speed (midpack/stalker). When you look at each horse and the type of race they run, you can form a generic idea of how the race will go. If there’s too much speed, a speed duel will normally happen, and it opens the door for midpack and closer types. If there’s one speed horse, sometimes they will go the distance gate to wire if no one presses them to burn energy. These speeds are compared with distances the horses run and where they get tired. In the end, it’s just a math puzzle of speeds and distances.
Types of bets:
· Win – Your horse must win the race in order to win this bet.
· Place – Your horse can come 1st or 2nd, but you will be paid out of the 2nd place pool of money.
· Show – Your horse can come 1st, 2nd or 3rd, but you will be paid out of 3rd place pool of money.
· Exacta – Pick the correct (exact) order of finish for 1st and 2nd place.
· Trifecta – Pick the correct order of finish for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.
· Superfecta – Pick the correct order of finish for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place.
· Pick 3/4/5 – Pick the winning horse in 3, 4 or 5 consecutive races.
The most common bet is the win bet. Everyone loves to pick the winning horse. Exotics are where you will get the most return for your money, but also spend the most on the bets.
If you find yourself looking for action, please stop by the Bet Karma Discord Chat. We have a pony chat dedicated to free users that we use to discuss upcoming races as well as further teach people how to bet on horses. My official plays are in the premium horse channel on for paid subscribers to the horse or MVP package on BetKarma.com.