Horse Racing 101 – Betting Tips, Strategies & Major 2022 Dates

We’re starting today’s course, Horse Racing 101. If you are new to horse racing or are looking to understand more about the beautiful game. Look no further than our betting tips, tricks, and strategies on how to win at horse racing.

This article will not cover all betting types in horse racing, but it will cover the varieties most suitable for the types of gamblers who frequent the sport.

Horse Racing 101 | Wagering Options

There are two great things to know about horse racing: pari-mutuel wagering and wagering options.

Pari-mutuel wagering is simply the fact that you are betting against everyone else’s thoughts and opinions instead of betting against the house/casino/racetracks.

The great thing about this is that the more knowledge you have about the game gives you an advantage over some gamblers. Some are simply betting on the horses’ numbers, names, or color schemes.

The other essential item to note is that the odds are forever changing until the race goes off. This can both help or hinder your payback on the odds, depending on how others also view the chances of your horse winning.

Standard and Exotic Horse Racing Bets

Wagering options are vast in horse racing. You have the standard bets of win, place (first or second), and show (first, second, third) with payouts lowering as you bet the more places your horse can finish.

Win, place and show bets are perhaps the most popular wagers made by those betting the ponies.

You also have other wagers called exotics. These can range from an exacta ( the first two horses in order) to the super-high five (the first 5 in order) in a given race. These odds are multiplied because the number of possible winning combinations is greater. 

You also have multi-race wagering, such as the daily double (back-to-back-races), pick-3 (three consecutive races), all the way up to the pick-6 (six in a row). How you wager says a lot about the gambler you are.

The Stock Option Gambler/Group Bet: Small Percentages Over Time

Betting to place or show at online racebooks is a great way to build a bankroll. Both bets usually have a $2 minimum, and the minimum payout for those bets at more race tracks is $2.20.

Now 20 cents may not seem like a lot, but 10 percent over time can turn into a lot of money. That is only the minimum, by the way, as I’ve seen some place and show payments just as much as win payments some days. 

A fun group wagering guide would be for everyone to pony up a few bucks and see if you can find a horse to go all-in on every race to see how much one group can win at the end of the day. Finding a horse that can win but will definitely compete for the top three placings is pertinent.

Horse racing programs show a horse’s history, and those who can continually finish in the top three are usually a safe bet.

The Rollercoaster Gambler: Highs and Lows

Betting on an exotic wager and/or multi-race wager is thrilling, but boy do they have the highs and lows true gamblers understand. Top horse racing sportsbooks will love to see you coming.

Trying to figure out who is going to finish in order with a horse in first, second, third, or four horses in consecutive order in four races is extremely difficult. However, the payoffs are ungodly at times, with base wagers as low as 50 cents paying out in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The key in these sequences is to do just that: find the key and spread. 

You can box horses (in any order) or key horses to finish in certain places. If you are doing a pick-3 through pick-6, you can spread and include multiple horses in some races. But try and key certain horses and single them to win in one or more races. Maybe you are open to multiple payouts. This helps the tickets cost less and allows you to hedge going into the last race.

If you are new to horse racing, try having fun and betting to win, place, and show. Perhaps you are more of a gambler and are looking for a big payout, try to play a pick-four or pick-five. This is a little advanced Horse Racing 101.

Whatever you choose to bet, make sure you do your homework. Horse racing is a lot like poker, where you take bits and pieces of partial information and include it on what you are betting.

Key Dates for Horse Racing Yearly:

Let’s have a quick look at the dates and information for the 2022 Triple Crown of Horse Racing. Also get some info on The Breeder’s Cup. it will be the last section of our Horse Racing 101.

First Saturday of May: Kentucky Derby for three-year-olds. The biggest day of horse racing at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Find the speed of the race or horses who like to run near the front. Closers rarely ever win here.

Third Saturday in May: The Preakness Stakes for three-year-olds. The second jewel of the Triple Crown usually has a shorter field, and one hopes the Kentucky Derby comes to Maryland to compete. Yet again, find the speed.   

Three weeks after the Preakness Stakes: The Belmont Stakes. The third and final grueling race of the Triple Crown of Horse Racing is the mile and a half Belmont Stakes. I’d suggest horses who skipped the Preakness and can run on the front end here as well.

First weekend of November: The Breeder’s Cup. 10-14 of the best horses worldwide compete in North America for millions upon millions of dollars. Races are restricted by age, sex, and distance, but true champions come to run. 

In these races, try to find prices and try to remember favorites do not win here as much as they do on the everyday circuit.

I hope our Horse Racing 101 has you excited and ready to wager on horse races. Stay here for more information. But if you do want to keep learning about betting, check out Handicapping Tips & Strategies for Betting on Soccer.