Types Of Horse Racing Bet
There are many different ways to bet on horses, and we set out here the most common types of bet. (See also our general guide to different types of sports bet.)
Betting to Win – A straight bet where you back a horse to win the race outright.
Betting Each Way – A bet each way is effectively two bets. Half your stake is a straight bet on a horse to win. The other half of your stake is a bet that the horse is ‘placed’. There is more detail in our guide to each way betting.
If your horse wins, you win on both parts of the bet. If it is placed, you will lose the win part, but win the place part of the bet. The odds on a place will be a fraction of the ‘win’ odds.
What does ‘place’ mean? It is where the horse comes first, second, third, fourth, etc. The number of places depends on the number of runners (horses in the race). If there are eight runners, there are usually three places. Twelve runners may mean four places, etc. In big races, such as the Grand National, some bookmakers may offer up to seven places. A great opportunity to profit!
Accumulators – These are doubles, trebles, etc., where you choose a horse to win in more than one race. You have to win each element of the bet to win overall – if any element loses, the entire bet is lost.
Obviously this makes accumulator bets hard to win, but they often tempt bettors due to the big payouts available.
Lay bets – Lay bets are possible only on betting exchanges. The idea is that you bet that a horse will not win. If it does not win – so you win your bet – your profit is the stake of the losing bettor, i.e. the money backing the horse to win.
The other side of a lay bet is where you lose, i.e. the horse you have layed does win the race. You are the bookmaker, and so you have to pay the backer the stake multiplied by the odds you offered.
Rule 4 Deduction – This is a deduction from the odds of a winning (or placed) horse where horses are withdrawn from the race. It reduces the odds, and therefore the return you get from your bet.
The basis for the deduction is that your horse has a better chance of winning the race without the non-runner. So your odds should be reduced accordingly.
The amount of the rule 4 deduction will depend upon the odds of the withdrawn horse at the time it was withdrawn. So a rank outsider would not have any deduction – it was unlikely to have much impact. But if the favourite is withdrawn there would be a big deduction.