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Horse Racing

Betting on Horse Racing Online

To put it plainly, to thoroughly learn all the ins and outs of horse racing betting, you’ll have to read many volumes of many books for many years. Horse racing in its modern form has been around for over a hundred years and doesn’t look to be going anywhere. 

It is incredibly popular, incredibly complex, and incredibly difficult to master. That said, here we are going to give you a solid foundation on your horse racing betting journey with a 101 course in wagers and handicapping, the cornerstones of horse racing betting. 

Horse Racing: Tampa Bay Downs-Races

Different Horse Racing Wagers

To Win: This is the most straightforward wager you can make on a horse race. You just have to pick who will win the race outright. If your horse wins, you will collect on your wager.

To Place: Just as with the Win bet, the Place wager is a bet that a horse will finish in first or second. The odds here are not as good as with the Win wager as the horse can win the wager with two outcomes.

To Show: The Show bet is when you want to wager that a horse will finish in the top 3 positions of the race.

Horse Racing Combo Wagers

Across the Board (Win/Place/Show): When you wager on a horse “across the board,” you’re betting on the horse to Win, Place, and Show, giving you several opportunities for a payout.

Win/Place, Place/Show: These wagers are just two bet combinations of either Win/Place and Place/Show.


Exacta/Perfecta: The Exacta is simply the combination of picking the winning horse as well as the second-place horse, in the correct order.

Trifecta: The Trifecta is just like an Exacta, only for the top 3 positions in a race.

Superfecta: The Superfecta wager requires the bettor to pick the first four finishers in the correct order.

Boxing: “Boxing” or “to box” a wager in horse racing is used quite often. However, it isn’t actually a wager in and of itself. When playing any single race exotic, you are trying to pick the correct order the horses will finish, such as with an Exacta. 

If you were to “box” your Exacta, you are essentially picking every order those horses can finish to win the bet. Boxing is just shorthand for placing another wager, so it will cost you twice as much and payout half the amount listed in the Exacta column. 


Now that you know the basic wagers you can make, let’s look at the basic strategy of handicapping. How do you pick a winning horse? How do you place a winning wager? 

Obviously, there are thousands of horse racing theories, strategies, and systems. No matter what your handicapping style is, it’s all going to start one place, The Race Form.

The Race Form

There may not be a book more intimidating upon first glance as a horse racing form. All a horse’s background, splits, times, record, earnings, and on and on are all found within a racing form’s pages, and all provide the clues you are going to need. But how can all this data help?

Start With Easy Comparisons

Obviously, some of the information will stand out immediately. While looking over the horses in one race, compare all their times on similar tracks. 

Compare their finishes when racing at the same level. Look at their earnings. Look at their jockeys. Gathering all of this information will help you understand the form itself as well as horse racing as a whole. 

Start small with the easy comparisons to learn why the favorites are favorites, and the longshots are longshots. From there, you can expand your knowledge.