How to Bet On a Horse Race

In the United States, the best part of a horse race for many spectators is the gambling. Bettors do not even need to attend the race they place their money on. Off-site betting parlors accommodate the overflow of people who want to gamble but cannot actually make it to the race. In many places betting on horse races is one of the few legal types of gambling and it is always regulated, usually at the state level. Taxes for the state and fees for the operators take about 12 to 18 per cent of a person's ante and the rest goes into the betting pool.

Betting on horse races involves basically wagering against other gamblers instead of the house. This is called parimutuel wagering. The operator makes a profit by setting up the venue and taking fees for administration and money handling. In this way, it is actually possible for a person who is very well-informed about races to make money; there are no house odds stacked against him. If one bettor can simply predict races better than the others in his pool, he will always take their money.

How to Lay Down Your Money

People who wager on horse races usually have the option of trying to predict if their horse will win, place or show. So, the bettor can try to pick the winning horse or bet on a horse place that is, betting that it will come in first or second. A bet that a horse will show means it will come in first, second, or third. Obviously the bettor has a better chance at picking a horse to show rather than to win, so the payoff is higher for people who correctly predict winners.

Many tracks and off-site facilities offer more complicated wagers, such as, picking the horse to win, place, or show in a series of races, or predicting the three horses to finish in the top three spots. Many of these horse race wagers have complicated rules and their own terminology.

Reading a Tip Sheet

Before the races, plenty of people and companies will sell horse race tip sheets. These contain statistical histories of each horse, his wins, losses, and speed as well as the horse's handicap. That is, each horse in a race must carry a certain specified weight. If the jockey is not heavy enough, the horse will be handicapped - he will have weight added to his load.