Tips for your first time at the horse races

Who doesn’t want to earn a few Pounds and enjoy a wonderful sport with a rich history? If this sounds like you, then maybe you should try horse racing? No, we don’t mean becoming a jockey although you’re more then free to try your hand at that. We mean betting on the races. Yes, this might be something your dad or granddad did, but this doesn’t make it any less fun.

Horse races are an event. Hundreds or even thousands of others will be with you. The atmosphere will be full of excitement, and unlike a football match you don’t have to worry about any rowdy fans spoiling the fun for you or anyone you might want to bring along. Of course, you don’t have to bet on the races either and can just have a good time with friends and family.

If you are interested in betting, then we have some tips for your first time at the horse races!

How Does Betting Work?

Betting is rather simple, and there isn’t much complexity to it. Your betting on the odds of your horse, or horses, winning and depending on the odds stack against them, you can possibly win a big payout. Normally the minimum bet is £2, so with that in mind when you see your horses odds multiple the first number by two, then divide that with the second number and add your two pounds back in.

If a horse has a 1/9 odd of winning, you’re going to end with .22. Add two to that, and you then have £2.22! Well, it’s not much, but that’s because you betted on a horse more likely to win. A 9/1 has less chance of winning, and so on and so forth. Of course, depending on how you bet which we’ll discuss more of in a bit, the betting might be completely different.

For horse races, the money you bet is guaranteed to come back to you if your horse wins. You then will have extra money returned as well, which is the payoff you’re wanting to consider. If your horse loses, then you won’t get paid and you lose your bet. Normally, it’s a safe bet to put in a small bet the first few times your at the races just so you don’t go home broke.

Can You Make It Big At The Races?

Yes, but it’s unlikely. Usually to win big, you need to bet big on a horse that is unlikely to win. Betting big on a horse that is likely to win won’t net you that much of a payout compared to what you put it. Given that the odds are usually stacked based on both the history of the jockey and the horse, a normally lower-ranked horse and jockey won’t exactly win often. But it does happen.

Betting on the underdog can be profitable, although you’ll want to follow their career closely. Take notes on their winning, losing, which races you’ll find them at, etc. When you start to see a pattern, you can start planning your bets more carefully.

Is It True Horse Races Are Rigged?

Unless it’s a very shady race course, no. Rigged racing is illegal in Britain and throughout the world. If you ever hear about a race being rigged in the favor of an unlikely horse, take it with a grain of salt or just ignore it all together. Chances are that “hot tip” is just a scam.

How Do You Place Your Bet? What Type Of Bets Are There?

Placing your bet is very easy. Most race tracks will have totepool kiosks, Betting Rings, and Betting Shops. The payouts will be different depending on where you go, but universally two pounds is the minimum of what you can bet.

Totepool Kiosks And How To Win

Totepools are similar to a lottery. The results are based not on betting against a bookmaker, but instead will be pulled and the payout is based on the amount of tickets sold and are winners. To bet, all you need to do is type in the number of your horse and how much you want to bet. Easy!

Betting Rings And How To Win

Betting rings are you placing a bet against a bookmaker, and you tell them which horse you want to bet on and if you want to bet on “Win” or “Each Way”. We’ll explain that in a moment, so don’t worry. The bookmaker will have their minimum bets listed, as well as maximum bets.

Betting Shops And How To Win

The most traditional way to bet, here you write down on a slip on which horse you want to win, how they’ll win, and which race. After the race you take your slip back and claim your reward!

Types Of Bets

When making your stake, which is essentially your bet, you’ll need to know what type of bet you’re willing to make.

Win Bets

These are simple; does your horse win or not?

Place Bets

Requires your horse of choice to be in either first or second.

Show Bets

Your horse has to be in either first, second, or third. This is the easiest bet, and safest, bet to make.

There are of course more exotic and complex bets, but we’ll save those for later. After all, your first time at the races shouldn’t be all about betting. It should be about enjoying the races! It’s no fun if all you’re interested in winning big and not enjoying the sport and appreciating the rich history behind it.

Always be sure to read up on the horses before placing your bets, and above all else make sure you have fun!

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