Betting does not have to be rocket science. Keep it simple by choosing a horse with a cool name. Or one that is wearing your favourite colour. But if you’re the analytic type who wants to consider a horse’s racing background, learn how to read a Racing Form and try your hands at handicapping.
Placing Your Bet
The easiest way to put your bet or wager is in the counter. Allow the teller know the following information:
The racetrack (recall, you can bet on races at other tracks)
The race number
The dollar amount you need to wager The type of wager Your horse’s amount Ex. “In Santa Anita, third race, five dollars to win number two.”
Types of Bets
There are many kinds of bets. But let us begin with the fundamental ones:
Win, Place and Show.
Win — If your horse finishes 1st, you win $$$.
Position — If your horse finishes 1st or 2nd, you win $$.
Show — If your horse finishes 1st, 2nd or 3rd, you win $.
Bets that are exotic or Combination Wagers
Across the board — Three equivalent Win, Place and Show bets.
If your horse finishes 1st, you win all three bets.
If your horse finishes 2nd, you win on the area and Show bets.
If your horse finishes 3rd, you win on the Show wager.
Exacta — Pick two horses in one race. Should they finish 1st and 2nd, in exact order, you win.
Quinella — Pick two horses. Should they finish 1st or 2nd, in either order, you win. Also Called an Exacta Box.
Trifecta — Pick three horses. Should they finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd, in exact order, you win.
Superfecta — Pick four horses. If they finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th, in exact order, you win.
Daily Double — Two special races compose the Daily Double. Pick 1 horse in each race. If they finish 1st in both races, then you win. You need to produce your bet before the first race.
Pick 3 — Much like the Daily Double, but for three successive races.
Pick 4 — Similar to the Daily Double, however for four successive races.
Choose 6 — The largest bet that can be made. Pick the horse in six consecutive races. Should you win, you win big.
If no one picks all six winners, those picking 5 from 6 will split 30% of the Pick Six pool. The remaining 70%”carries over” to the next racing day, and will continue to do so daily until someone properly chooses 6 winners out of 6 races.
Watch and Win
See your horse run, after placing your bet. If your horse comes in the money, sweet! But don’t intend on buying a private jet only yet. Wait until the race has been declared”official”. Collect your winnings.
Automated Betting Machines
Once you’re familiar with setting bets, you can try using one of those self-service, automatic machines. These simple machines are available at every track and supply simple directions on the best way to wager or collect cash from a winning ticket. Easy peasy.

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