Benny Ricciardi offers a “How-to” Guide for the world of Horse Racing!
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When you are part of the #EliteMafia, you also grab a bottle of Grey Goose and we make a party out of it. If horse racing is going to be the only game left in town, we are going to teach you guys how to make money betting on it and have some fun in the process.
Where to Bet on Horse Racing?
You have a bunch of options here, but I would highly recommend getting a horse book and not using your normal sports betting outlets. Sportsbook does not cater to horseplayers, so many only offer some fixed odds bets. Rarely are the odds offered better than those you can get through being part of the Pari-mutuel pool through a horse book.
Here are some of the major ones that may or may not be available in your state. I live in NJ, and we have to use www.4njbets.com, which is operated through TVG. I think New York residents also have to use an NYRA sponsored site to bet horses online, but I’m not 100% sure of that since I don’t live there. The ones listed below are some of the top books available in many states, and I included the link so you guys can click through to sign up.
How to Bet on Horse Racing?
Win – Will pay out if you have the horse that comes in first place
Place – Will pay out if the horse you pick comes in first or second place
Show – Will pay out if your horse comes in first, second or third
Note: The payouts are biggest for hitting a win bet and get infinitely smaller for place and show. A typical favorite might pay $4.50/$3.20/$2.40 for Win/Place/Show on a $2 bet. That means, for every $2 you bet on the horse to WIN, the payout was $4.50 for a $2.50 profit. On every PLACE bet, the horse paid $3.20 for a $1.20 profit. Remember, you win a PLACE bet if your horse comes in first or second, so two people could bet different horses and both win. Paying out two winning horses means less money for each of the winning bettors, as we have roughly twice as many. Still over a 50% profit, so not horrible. The SHOW bet wins you $2.40 on a $2 bet for a $.40 profit. It’s a win, but you won’t get rich SHOW betting.
These are bets you make on any one specific race. The outcome of which is determined by the finishing order of the horses in that one particular race.
Exacta – This will pay out if you have the top two horses finishing any race in the correct order
Trifecta – This will pay out if you have the top three finishers in any race in the correct order
Superfecta – This will pay out if you have the top four finishers in any race in the correct order
Daily Double – This will pay out if you correctly pick the winner of two consecutive races
Pick 3 – This will pay out if you correctly pick the winner of three consecutive races
Pick 4 – This will pay out if you correctly pick the winner of four consecutive races
Pick 6 – This will pay out if you pick the winner of six consecutive races
The Pick 6 is the mother of all horse racing wagers and the one that draws the biggest prize pools and winning tickets. The technology and data science guys putting in tickets that cost thousands of dollars to play are the ones playing in that arena, so stay away as a casual horseplayer. The daily doubles, pick 3 and pick 4 are the ones you guys should be going after. Tracks usually do not offer all three of those wagers on the same race. Typically, they offer at least one of the three on every race but the last one (You can’t have a DD or pick 3 if you don’t have another race after it).
How Do I Place a Bet on Horse Racing?
Whether you are live at a racetrack or betting online, you need to make sure you get the right wager you want. Most horse books offer multiple tracks, and each track has 8-12 races with 5-12 horses in each race. They will not always offer every bet type on a race, but typically, you will be able to make Win/Place/Show bets, exacta’s and tri’s, and one kind of horizontal multi-race wager on every race. So here’s the checklist you need, whether at a betting window or making the wager online.
- Race #
- Bet amount
- Type of bet
- Horse number
Example: Aqueduct, Race 5, $5 Win 7 or Gulfstream Park, Race 4, $2 exacta 1,7
Straight v. Box
One thing that tends to confuse new bettors is how much it costs to box something and why. A straight EXACTA means you are betting that exact finishing order. A $20 EXACTA 5,7 means you bet $20 that the 5 was going to come in first and the 7 in second. If the 7 comes in first and the 5 comes in second, you get nothing.
Now, if that same person was to have boxed the 5 and 7 instead of making a straight wager, they would have cashed that bet, whether it was the 5 in first with the 7 in second or vice versa. The difference is, if they wanted to spend the same $20 as the guy who played it straight and lost, they would have had to make a $10 EXACTA BOX 5,7. What that tells the cashier or the computer program you are betting with is you want $10 on the 5,7 finishing order and $10 on the 7,5 finishing order. Effectively, you made two $10 bets, one on each outcome.
For the sake of our example here, let’s say both the 5,7 and 7,5 combo would pay the same $10 per $1 bet. The first bettor would win $200 ($20 bet times $10-1 payout) if the race ended up 5,7. The second bettor would only win $100 because his box effectively gave him two $10 bets. His $10 bet on 5,7 won, but his $10 bet on 7,5 lost, so he only gets half as much in a payout.
On the flip side, if 7,5 was the order of finish, then the first bettor with all $20 on 5,7 would have lost. The second bettor who did box his play also lost his 5,7 bet for $10, but he won his other $10 bet on 7,5 for $100. Boxing allowed him to cover more combinations, but what he gained in coverage, he gave up in profit potential.
TRIFECTA BOX Example
So, a Trifecta Box is even more expensive to pay for, as you have a lot of combinations to cover. A 1,2,3 Trifecta box is actually six bets. You would be boxing all combinations of those three numbers so that any finish with those three horses in it would win you one of those bets. It would get you finishing combos of:
1-2-3, 1-3-2, 2-1-3, 2-3-1, 3-1-2 and 3-2-1
By definition, here you would have five losing bets, although, the payouts for a Trifecta tend to be $20-1 or better. So even with losing five or the six bets, you still end up with a big profit overall.