Equestrianism is one of the most beloved pastimes all over the world, and for the lovers of this noble and ancient sport, there is a lot of betting options to choose from. Most common type of betting on equestrianism in Europe is to bet at fixed odds, meaning that odds are known in advance and you can easily calculate your potential winnings.
In the US, the more common way to bet is called pari-mutuel betting. In this type of betting, a money is being pooled and shared among the winners. Odds cannot be known in advance because they depend on the number of bettors and winners.
In the US, the most common bets are for a horse to win (i.e. finish first), to place (finish first or second) and to show (finish first, second or third).
Lingo is a bit different in the UK: instead of place and show you can bet each-way, placing two bets on the same horse, one that the horse will win and second that it will place. The exact terms of the each-way bet depend on the bookmaker, but the general rule is that if your horse wins you win both bets, and if it finishes second you win the second half of the bet at odds around ¼ of the odds for the horse to win.
In addition to these simple bets, there are also more exotic and riskier bets, that can potentially lead to huge winnings. These include exacta and trifecta, where the bettor must select two or three winning horses and the exact order in which they will finish the race. You can also bet on accumulators, placing bets on the outcome of multiple races at the same time, for example by picking the winner of three separate races.
You can bet online, via a land-based bookmaker, or on the site. Live betting is another exciting option that combines the excitement of being at the race track with the greater variety of options offered by online bookmakers.
As you can see, understanding the odds is crucial for betting successfully on horse races. Odds can be expressed either as fractions or as decimal numbers. Fractional odds are calculated by taking the number to the right representing your stake and the number to the right to represent your winnings if you bet the amount on the left. For example, if you bet at odds 4/1, you can win four for everyone you bet plus your original bet. Decimal odds are much easier to calculate, because you simply need to multiply the decimal number by your stake to calculate your potential winnings.
Study the history with the jockey, with the surface, and whether the horse recently changed group. Observe the horses before the race: do they look nervous, are they sweating a lot, do they look depressed? Chose a horse that looks calm but energetic. This will give you useful clues and soon you will start noticing patterns that will help you make better predictions. Most importantly, have fun!