When it comes to horse betting, knowing what the odds are going to give you is something very important to understand. Odds can be fairly easy to figure out. For instance, 2/1 odds give you back your bet times two, plus your bet. So if you bet $3, it’s (3X2)+3. On a 2/1 bet, then, if you bet $3 you would win back $9; a more simple way to figure it out is that it you will get back three times your initial bet. Remember, however, that your initial bet must be subtracted from your winnings before you figure out how much profit you made.


As a beginner, it’s a good idea to start placing your bets at a betting window. This may seem silly, but interacting with a human being will give you more comfort than a machine. If you are not entirely familiar with all the jargon, a human who is can help guide you through it if you make a mistake.


There is a sequence that you must follow when placing your bet. You must tell the betting agent first the racetrack, then the race, how much you are betting, and the number of the horse you are betting on. This will allow you to be clear about what animal you are actually betting on and will avoid confusion.


After you have placed your bet, you will receive a ticket, which will be your proof that you placed a bet. If you lose this ticket, it doesn’t matter if you win the race. Always keep it in a safe, secure location and know where it is for easy access, so that when you win you aren’t rifling through your bags looking for it.


Keep your betting amounts low. Because you are a beginner, you don’t have the skills that are necessary to pick winners consistently yet. In order to avoid major losses at this point in time, place only small amounts. It will give you the sting of loss when you make a poor choice, but not so much that it will cripple your bank account. In fact, the most common number for betting on horses is $2. It’s a nice number to cut your teeth on, and it’s comfortable number for continued betting after you’re more seasoned.


There are three types of bets that you make when betting on horses. The first is “Win.” This is very straightforward, in that you are betting that particular horse will be the first across the finish line. The second type of bet is “Place,” or that your horse will either be first or second. The third type of bet is “Show.” With show bets, you are betting that the horse will be the first, second or third across the finish line. As a beginning bettor, show is the safest bet, and it is the easiest way you can accustom yourself to the world of horse racing.


This is only a very brief overview of some of the things you need to know when betting. Always do your research, and it’s a good idea to avoid betting a few times just to make sure you know what the horse track is all about first.

Peter McCabe