The first horserace track in America was built on Long Island, New York in 1665 and ever since then folks have been betting on horse racing. Today every sanctioned horse racing track also has sanctioned betting. For anyone who can’t make it to the track, there are satellite betting sites known as OTB or Off Track Betting that are located in several cities. And where ever there is legalized gambling, there will be a sports book center which will let you bet on any race.
Betting on horse races means you’re utilizing parimutuel betting. Essentially this is where all the money bet on a particular race is pooled together. The winning amount is determined by the odds that have been calculated by this pool of money. The more money bet on a particular horse means the odds are closer to being even which means a simple pay out. But a longshot bet means that the odds are against the horse winning and therefore the payout is bigger.
You can bet to win, place or show. Making a “win” bet means your horse will have to come in first place. A “place” bet allows the horse to be either first or second. A “show” means your horse needs to be at least first, second or third. Betting “show” is the safe bet which comes with the least amount of payout. Each set of races on a given day also has different betting combinations which allow you to pick winners in different races and increase the payout amount if your horses come in.
There are many other factors that go into determining how to bet on a horse race. First of course would be which type of race will it be? Different horses run at different lengths. Most tracks are oval shape and vary the lengths depending on the race. There are also quarter horse racing which is running a quarter of a mile straight out with out any turns. A handicap race puts all the horses at the same level by adding different weights to the horses.
A good racing form will provide the information of a horse’s pedigree and jockey’s performance. These can all be factored into your betting strategy as well. Of course, there is also the time test method of random picking by name but that is truly a longshot!