How To Bet On A Horse

The Breeders’ Cup is here, so get smart on playing the ponies.

Safe bets are for squares and grandmas. Peter Rotondo, the VP of Media and Entertainment for the Breeders’ Cup, says go big, go weird, or go home!

Do the Math

Take a good look at the racing form. Solid trainers and jockeys will win 20–25 percent of the time. Look at the horses’ past performances, especially the distance they’re running.

The Basic Bet

“Across the board” is betting  to win, place and show. If the horse wins, you get paid three times. The odds vary based on how other people bet; the only payoff that’s clearly set is for the win: 5-1, for instance, pays $12 on a $2 bet.

Get Fancy

Try an exacta box bet, where you pick the first- and second-place horses; that way you win regardless of who comes in first or second. If you want to increase your chances, for a few extra bucks, put three horses in the exacta box. To win, just two of the three horses have to finish first and second. Make one of the three a long shot and you’ll have a chance at a sweet payout.

Get Fancier

The superfecta requires you to pick the top four finishers. You can place this wager for as little as ¢10 in most places, but you could actually win thousands.

Roll the Dice

Play the Breeders’ Cup Pick Six, where you pick the winner for six races in a row that are designated by the racetrack. The pool is about $3 mllion to $5 million. It’s a lotto type bet, but the payoff is huge.

The Breeders’ Cup runs November 2–3.

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