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Types of Horse Racing Bets

New to betting on horse racing? Totally confused when it comes to Grand National odds? If the answers yes to either simply take a look at our guide to betting on horse races below.

We've put together some information that should help you understand about all of the different types of horse racing bets that bookmakers offer and also how horse racing odds work.

Plus, don't forget to take advantage of all the free bets that the bookmakers offer new punters if you're think of placing a bet on this years Grand National - the race that stops a nation.

popular Horse Racing Bets

Check out the various horse racing bets that are popular at most bookmakers.

Win Bets
A win is where you select a horse to win, it can also be referred to as ‘on the nose’.

Place Bets
With this type of bet even if your horse doesn’t win, you're still in with a chance. You can select a horse to be placed, this means your horse needs to finish either 1st, 2nd or 3rd.

For races with 5-7 horses, your horse needs to finish 1st or 2nd. For a race with only 1-4 horses, there is no place betting.

In a handicap race with 16 or more horses running, your horse can finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th.

Remember though, the place odds will be a fraction of the win price. This is normally a quarter or a fifth of the odds quoted.

Each Way Bets
An each-way bet is basically two bets, one bet on a win and one bet on a place.

This doubles your chances, so if your horse wins the race you get the return back from both bets, but if your horse places (2nd, 3rd, 4th) then you only receive the return from your place bet.

If you place a bet of £5 each-way bet then the cost would be £10, £5 for the horse to win and £5 for the horse to place.

Therefore, if you horse won at odds of 4-1, you would get £20 plus your £5 stake back for the win and £5 (a quarter of the odds) plus your £5 stake back for the place bet.

Straight Forecasts
The straight forecast bet means that you have to select the 1st and 2nd placed horses in the exact order. This bet is valid with three or more horses running.

This bet has also been referred to as an Exacta bet.

Place Pots
In the first six races of a meet, you have to select a horse to be placed in each one. It requires you to complete a place pot-betting coupon to place a bet.

Remember, the more horses you choose in a race, the more the bet will cost.

Horse Racing Betting Odds

Sometimes referred to as the price, odds are used to show the estimated probability of a horse winning a race. Whatever this probability is, this is what the bookmaker will lay his bets on.

Odds aren’t this straightforward though. To understand horse racing betting odds means that you must be aware that prices can be odds against, even money or odds on.

When it’s likely your horse will win the race, odds are against.

This is where the bookmaker will offer a return of your bet, which is more than double the amount staked for a winning bet.

For example, if you stake £5, a winning bet at 2/1 (pronounced two-to-one) will return £10 plus your original £5, making £15.

The evens bet is just that - even. The bookmaker will offer you a return which is double the amount staked for a win bet, so if your stake is £5, then you will get £10 back.

If your horse is expected to win, odds on is what the bookmaker will offer.

The return could be half the amount staked for your bet. So, if your £5 bet wins at 1/2 (two-to-one on) you get £2.50 back, plus your stake, making you £7.50.

Sometimes, people refer to odds as long or short. This is replacement of the odds being fractionalised.

Odds that are long, for example 100/1 (hundred-to-one), show that the horse is unlikely to win the race, while short odds like 2/1 (two-to-one) mean the horse has a great chance to win, and the returns on your horse racing betting chances are therefore a lot lower.