Horse racing betting: a guide to different bet types

Horse Racing Betting

Amateur punters, or those new to the horse racing game, might be slightly intimidated by the sheer number of different types of bets available to the modern punter. But what do they all mean? We’re here to help!

Scroll down for our comprehensive guide to what the different types of bets are for those betting on horse racing!

Win betting

Often referred to as betting “on the nose”, win betting requires the selected runner to finish 1st in a race. When betting on the tote, win betting dividends are only paid out after correct weight has been declared, whereas several online bookmakers these days pay out the punter on fixed odds betting so long as their horse was first past the post. ‘Protest payouts’ have been increasingly popular with bookmakers to protect the punter from their horse being demoted in a protest.

  • Fixed odds: Fixed odds betting means the price taken on your chosen runner is the price you will be paid out at if it wins, regardless if that price fluctuates after your bet has been placed.
  • Tote: Tote betting is a form of parimutuel betting, where all bets of the same type go into a pool. The odds are dependent on the amount of money wagered on each runner, with the final dividend determined by dividing the total win pool by the number of dollars placed on that outcome. The dividend is shared by the number of winning combinations in the pool and winners will share the percentage of the pool payout in proportion to their winning stakes.
  • Best tote: Best tote means you’ll get the best price of the three totalisator operators (S-TAB, NSW TAB and UTAB).
  • Top Tote Plus: Top tote plus guarantees you the best of the three totalisator operators (S-TAB, NSW TAB and UTAB) or the official starting price. Top tote plus is particularly popular with punters who wager in the final 30 minutes of betting when options such as Best of the Best and Top Fluc are no longer available.
  • Top Fluc: Top Fluc means you’ll receive the top fluctuation of the odds for your selected runner in the final 30 minutes of betting with on-course bookmakers, as declared by the Australian Prices Network (APN). Top Fluc bets are usually required to be placed more than 30 minutes before the start of the event.
  • Best of the best: Some bookies offer the ‘best of the best’ product, which gives you the highest dividend of the three totalisator operators (S-TAB, NSW TAB and UTAB) or the Top Fluc. Bookies that offer best of the best require you to place your best at least 30 minutes before the start of the event.
  • Starting price: The Starting Price is an average of the on-course bookmaker’s prices taken at the start of each race.

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Place betting

Place betting is a wager placed on a runner to finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a race. If a field has less than eight runners, then place bets will be paid for the 1st and 2nd horse across the line. In the scenario where the original field size was eight runners and one runner was a late scratching, the first three runners across the line will be paid out for place bets.

Each way betting

Each way betting involves one wager on the selected runner to win, and another wager on the selected runner to place. For example, a $50 each way bet would have a total stake of $100, consisting of a $50 win bet and a $50 place bet.

Lay betting

Lay betting is a bet type that is completely unique to Betfair, and involves betting on an outcome not to happen. If you are placing a lay bet on a runner in the Win bet market, you are betting on that runner to lose the race. Further, if you are placing a lay bet on a runner in the Place only market, you are betting on that runner to finish out of the first three.

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Exotics

Exotic bets involve more runners and more risk, but offer greater odds as a result. There are several types of exotic bets, which we’ve done our best to cover below!

  • Exacta: 1st and 2nd in correct order, with the odds determined by the tote.
  • Quinella: 1st and 2nd in any order, with the odds determined by the tote.
  • Duet (Quinella Place): A popular option in Hong Kong betting, which involves selecting any two of the first three placed horses in any order.
  • Forecast: Similar to an exacta, a forecast is 1st and 2nd in the correct order, but the price offered is fixed.
  • Trifecta (Trio): 1st, 2nd and 3rd in any order.
  • Double trio: 1st, 2nd and 3rd in any order in two races at a particular meeting, as nominated by the TAB.
  • Triple trio: 1st, 2nd and 3rd in any order in three races at a particular meeting, as nominated by the TAB.
  • Six Up: 1st or 2nd in six races at a particular meeting, as nominated by the TAB.
  • Boxed trifecta (Tierce): 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the correct order.
  • First four: 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in any order.
  • Boxed first four (Quartet): 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the correct order.
  • Running double: Where you select the winner of consecutive races at a particular meeting.
  • Daily double Where you select the winner of two races at the same meeting, as nominated by the TAB.
  • Treble: Where you select the winner of three races at a particular meeting, as nominated by the TAB.
  • Quadrella: Often referred to as the ‘quaddie’, this requires you to select the winner of each of the four selected quaddie legs at a particular meeting, often the last four races on the card.
  • Big 6: A Big 6 requires you to select the winner from six nominated races.

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Multi bet

A multi bet involves combining a number of selections into one bet, effectively multiplying your odds, where all legs of the bet must be successful.

Parlay

Parlay betting involves multiple legs and consists of a set number of combinations for each type of bet. Some people prefer a parlay instead of a standard multi bet because if some legs are successful, you are still able to be paid out a dividend based upon the amount of successful combinations.

  • Trixie: Three legs that have four different bets: 1 x 3-leg multi, 3 x 2-leg multis.
  • Patent: Three legs that have seven different bets: 3 x single bets, 1 x 3-leg multi, 3 x 2-leg multis.
  • Yankee: Four legs that have 11 different bets: 1 x 4-leg multi, 4 x 3-leg multis, 6 x 2-leg multis.
  • Lucky 15: 4 legs that have 15 different bets: 4 x single bets, 1 x 4-leg multi, 4 x 3-leg multis and 6 x 2-leg multis.

Same Race Multi

Only recently introduced by several online bookmakers, a same race multi allows you to select multiple runners to win, and/or finish within the top 2, 3 or 4 in a race. For example, a same race multi may consist of one runner winning the event, and another runner finishing in the top four. If both are successful, the punter is paid out.

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Jockey challenge

A fixed odds bet that involves selecting the jockey who will accrue the most points throughout a meeting, with points awarded to jockeys who finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in a race.

Futures betting

A long range bet on an event, where bookmakers often offer greater odds due to the higher risk involved in betting so far out.

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