Horse race betting can look daunting to the uninitiated and has the added issue of leaving you with a massive loss of money if you don’t get it right.
But with the right knowledge, gambling on horse racing with Timeform can be a lot of fun and a great money-maker if luck is on your side.
Types of Horse Race
There are two types of horse racing in the UK and Ireland.
With flat racing, horses either run in a straight line or around a curved track and the winner is the first one past the post.
With National Hunt racing, there are obstacles and jumps which have to be negotiated around the track.
The latter can also be separated out into hurdles and steeplechases, which determines if there will be open ditches, fences or water jumps.
Types of Bet
The terminology associated with horse race betting can look overwhelming but understanding the different types of bet will ensure you’re not wagering on the wrong thing.
These are the most common types:
A win bet is the simplest and most common bet, where you bet on one outcome and you back the horse to win the race.
This is another hugely popular form of betting and there are two bets involved here – one going on the horse to win and the other going on it to ‘place’, the meaning of which can vary according to the type of race or number of horses.
It usually means that your horse will finish in the top three, however. The place aspect of the bet pays out at a fraction of the main odds, but it’s usually 1/4.
With a single bet, you back one singular event, which can be to win or an each way bet
There are various types of multiple bet, with a double as the simplest and the Goliath as the most complicated, which includes 247 separate bets encompassed by a single wager.
With a double, you back two separate events, but both need to win for you to succeed.
Multiple bets are also known as accumulator bets, but you may also hear the term fourfold, fivefold and so on, depending on the number of selections you’re betting on.
With this, you pick the top three horses in the correct order, with successful punters making huge wins with this bet.
How to Bet
Betting is where the excitement of horse racing lies for many, and if you’re a beginner then you’ll likely be new to betting in general.
The odds are what determine the likelihood of a win and are usually displayed as fractions in the UK, so odds of 5/1 would mean that for every £1 you bet, you’d gain £5 back, plus your original stake, if your chosen horse wins.
If a horse is a favourite to win, then the odds will be stated as ‘odds on’ which means that the number on the right (your stake) is bigger than the left, showing your profit.