There are few sports more popular in the world to bet on than horse racing, and in terms of quality and frequency of big races; Australia is up there with the very best.
It is not just the racing either, with online bookmakers offering a variety of options to make betting on the horses both a fun and engaging experience.
This article will run you through the popular bet types, how they work and the best way to go about putting one on.
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Types of betting at Aussie online bookmakers
Win: A win bet is the method of selecting a horse to finish overall first in a particular race. The bet, which is also known as putting a bet ‘on the nose’, is the most popular wager in horse racing.
Some bookies offer a “first past the post” feature which allows you to cash out as soon as a horse wins the race, even if it is later disqualified. Other things to look for when placing a win bet include any feature race day specials and top tote plus.
Place: A place bet offers lower odds than a win bet, but gives investors three possible chances to get the money.
The place bet pays out on any horse that runs first, second or third, but if your horse is the winner of the race, you only get the place money – not the money you would get for a win.
Place money is invariably substantially less than the horse’s win price.
Each Way: The each way bet, is essentially a win and a place bet together on the one bet slip.
An each way bet is having money on both the win and the place (always the same amount) and is typically placed to ‘cover your bases’ and is especially prevalent in the bigger races where there are many winning chances.
Duet: A duet bet requires you to correctly select two of the three placegetters in any order.
It should be noted that duet bets are only available in races with eight or more horses.
A successful duet bet will pay three Dividends for the following combinations:
• 1st and 2nd
• 1st and 3rd
• 2nd and 3rd
The best ways to place a duet bet:
Single Duet – a single duet is a good way to go if you believe that you have two runners that will definitely finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a race.
Boxed Duet – the boxed duet is a safer way to take a duet if you like three or more runners in a race. You can place any number of runners in your boxed duet, as it will cover all combinations of 1st, 2nd and 3rd, but dividends diminish with every additional runner.
Quinella: Quinella betting is picking the horses that will finish first and second in the race in any order.
A quinella typically pays much more than just the simple win bet, and with this specific type of bet you can select multiple horses to finish in the top-two positions, however, this does affect the overall amount that you win.
For example, a one dollar bet on two horses will give you 100% dividend (meaning if it pays 56 dollars, you will get 56) but adding additional horses, whilst boosting your chances of winning significantly cuts into your profit margin. Adding a third horse while not upping your initial investment will cut your dividend to 33%.
Exacta: The exacta bet is similar to the quinella bet in that to have a winning dividend; you need to pick the first two horses in the race.
Where it differs from a quinella though, is that the exacta has to place the horses in the exact order in which they finish – hence the name exacta.
Given you have to select the order of the horses rather than just selecting any two runners, the dividend is invariably significantly larger than a quinella bet.
Trifecta: To make a successful trifecta bet, investors must select the first three horses in the race in order.
Invariably in the bigger races you will see what is called a boxed trifecta which is three or more horses selected to finish in the top three places, but in any order.
Each additional horse you add to a boxed trifecta diminishes your overall dividend percentage.
Another popular bet within the trifecta frame is the mystery trifecta which just means you choose your outlay, and the bookmaker will randomly select three horses.
The trifecta bet is the big one you want to get, other than the first four it is the biggest dividend you can get out of any one particular horse race.
The 2014 Melbourne cup had a trifecta payout of $2,202.40.
First Four: The first four bet requires you to select four horses in the race that you believe will finish first, second, third and fourth in order.
The boxed bet applies here too, but unlike the quinella and trifecta bets, the amount that is deducted once you add a fifth horse into the bet is huge, with a 10 dollar first four bet with five horses only giving you a 8.3% return.
Jockey challenges: Throughout the year, and throughout a race card, a variety of online bookmakers will offer a market on which jockey will accumulate the most points.
Points are accrued by coming either first, second or third in a race, with a winner getting three points, second getting two and third getting one.
It always pays to see what jockey is in form, what stable he rides for and the calibre of horse the jockey is riding.