A Look at the Different Types of Horse Racing Odds


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It can be a bit confusing walking up to the betting cage at a local horse racing track or trying to bet on a race online.

There are many different types of horse racing bets and odds - win bets, place bets, show bets, exotic bets and more.

The ins and outs of understanding the horse racing betting odds.  In photo:  Going for the win!In this article, we will look to break down the different types of horse racing odds for you, so that you have a better idea of what is going on when you place your first bet.

*note: if you are looking to bet on the horses, we have personal experience with Bet365, which you can access by clicking on the link above.


To start, the more common type of horse racing bet is simply a win wager.

This means that if the horse that you bet on wins the race, you win your bet.

So, if you are betting on "Cable Town" to win at 3.20, you would win £220 for every £100 wagered if Cable Town wins the race.

Next up - the place bet, which will have slightly worse odds than the win bet.

With the place bet, you win your wager if your horse finishes in 1st OR 2nd place.

So, if you bet on Cable Town to "place" at 2.05, you would win £105 for every £100 that you wagered.

There is also the show bet, which will pay off if the horse that you choose finishes in 1st, 2nd OR 3rd place in the race.

So, we have the win, show and place bets.


Now, let's look at the more exotic wagers that you can place when betting on horses.

To start - the exacta bet, which pays off if you select the top two finishing horses in the race in the correct order.

So, let's say that you pick Cable Town to finish in first place, and Lakota Blaze to finish in 2nd place.

If the race finishes up this way, you would win a sizeable bet.

With the trifecta bet, you are selecting the top THREE horses AND the correct finishing order.

With the first four bet, you are selecting the top FOUR horses AND the correct finishing order.

With the quinella bet, you are selecting the top two horses, though it doesn't matter the order in which they finish.

These are some of the more common exotic wagers that you can make on horses.


Next up - antepost betting.

With antepost betting, you are placing a wager ahead of time on a horse race, without being assured that your horse will be taking part in the race at all!

This will give you better odds, though there is more risk as there is always a chance that your horse won't be able to participate due to injury.


Lastly - what do these horse racing odds mean? What does a number like 2.05 mean?

In horse racing, odds under 2.00 mean that something is a favourite to win.

Anything over 2.00 means that they are an underdog.

2.00 is considered a coin flip.

To figure out how much you will make from a wager, multiply the odds by the total amount of your wager, and subtract your original wager. This will be your profit.

So, if the odds for a horse are 4.00, you would make the following amount if you bet £100:

£100 x 4.00 = £400
Minus £100 bet

Equals £300 in total profit


This article should give you the basics to understand horse racing odds so that you can make your first bet.