How To Bet at the Horse Track

For example: “For race 3 I want to bet $2 on horse number 7 to win.”

A day at the track is a ton of fun. Most prefer to make this bet for horses they don’t totally trust.

If you are at the off-track betting facility then you will also need to indicate the location (which horse track) of the race.

The ‘win’ bet is simply that: a bet to call the winner of the race. To make a ‘win’ bet at the track you’ll need to give the teller this information: race number, horse number, type of bet, amount of bet. The following will outline the most basic bets you can make at the track.

Things You Will Need

Most off-track betting facilities offer $2 dollar straight bets. Very few dedicated professionals throughout the country can count on handicapping horse races as a source of income.

Basic Bets

A day at the horse track is a great time. Win bets will be worth the risk if the odds are a little higher.. If you are going to place a ‘win’ bet I highly recommend you check the odds to make sure the payout will be worth the risk. Knowing how to bet properly makes a day at the track even better. It’s important to remember that odds given are mostly for ‘win’ bets. For the risk, that’s really not much of a payout. At most racetracks they make the ‘place’ & ‘show’ bets visible on the scoreboards. For instance, if you choose the favorite to win and the horses odds are 2-1 that means you will get $2 or every $1 you bet. Good luck!

Tips & Warnings

Remember to begin betting with small amounts of money to help get an idea of the odds, payouts and chances of winning.



Also, betting on horse races is only meant to be recreational. Again, this bet will not pay much when the odds are too good. If you bet the smallest amount allowed ($2) your payout will only be $4. If you go to the race track it is likely they will offer 5 & 10 cent bets on more exotic wagers. If your chosen horse has 7-1 odds and you make a ‘place’ bet you will not get 7-1 odds if you win. This bet won’t pay much unless your horse has long odds. You can have fun betting at the off-track facilities, especially if you go with a group. When I use the ‘place’ bet, it’s typically for horses with longer odds.


Making a ‘show’ bet means you are predicting the chosen horse to come in either first, second or third. Like the ‘place’ bet, you need to make sure the odds you get are specifically for a show bet. You will only win this bet if your horse places first in the race. If you fully understand these three basic bets you’ll be prepared. However, I highly recommend visiting your nearest horse track since the live experience is unmatched in it’s excitement.

When you make a ‘place’ bet you are predicting the chosen horse to come in either first or second place

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