To the uninitiated, the sheer variety of bet types you can make in horse racing is utterly confusing. Whether you want to play it safe, have a wild punt or opt for something more ‘exotic’, there is a bet type for you! Below, we provide you with an overview of your betting options in horseracing along with a short and (hopefully) clear explanation.
This is the most basic bet and one which all punters understand; it simply means you place a bet on a horse to win the race. If it finishes second, third, fourth etc., you lose the bet. So if you place £10 on Vautour at 3/1 and it wins, you receive £40 for a total profit of £30.
This is a favourite of punters seeking value and is often used for horses with long odds. When you bet Each Way (e/w) you are actually placing two bets; win and a place. Typically, the ‘place’ portion of the bet pays out at 1/4 or 1/5 of the odds depending on the race and number of runners.
The number of placed positions available also depends on the total runners in a race:
- No e/w Betting: If there are 4 runners or less.
- First 2 Places: If there are 5-7 runners.
- First 3 Places: If there are 8+ runners.
- First 4 Places: If there are 16+ runners.
For example, if you bet £10 e/w on Cue Card at 8/1 in a race with 13 runners and the bookie offers ¼ odds on a Place, you are betting a total of £20 (£10 win and £10 place). If Cue Card wins the race, you end up with a total of £120. £90 comes from the win part of the bet and £30 comes from the Place (2/1 is ¼ odds).
If Cue Card finishes second or third, you receive £30 for a profit of £10; you win nothing if it finishes fourth or worse.
On the Betfair Exchange for example, you can place a bet on a horse to Place only at the assigned odds. You win nothing extra if the horse ends up winning the race.
This is a relatively straightforward bet; it involves betting on two horses and both bets must win in order to get a return. Like all multiples, it is a high risk bet but it also carries the potential for big returns.
This involves betting on three horses to win; again, all horses must win to get a return.
This is the term given to a bet where there are 4+ selections. Once more, all bets must win in order to get money from the bet. It is rare for punters to bet on accumulators in horseracing given the long odds available; these bets are generally associated with football where punters select a number of heavy favourites and back them all to win.
Full Cover Bets
Horseracing punters tend to choose one of the following bets in lieu of accumulators as they enable you to win money even if one or more of your selections fails.
Punters tend to enjoy placing Trixie bets as it involves making 3 selections for a total of 4 bets; the full bet includes 3 Doubles and 1 Treble. However, at least 2 of your horses need to win in order to get a return.
For example, if you bet on horses A, B & C, your selections are AB, BC, AC or ABC. The potential winnings are huge if you take a chance on longer odds horses.
A Patent bet involves 3 selections and has 7 bets in total. It is basically a Trixie bet with 3 singles included. You only need one horse to win for a return but it is an expensive bet; if you want to place £10 on each outcome, the total cost is £70.
This bet is another punter favourite and involves 4 selections for a total of 11 bets; 6 doubles, 3 trebles and 1 four-fold. You need a minimum of 2 horses to win in order to get a return; if 3 horses win, the return can be significant.
As the name suggests, this is a total of 15 bets. It is basically a Yankee bet with 4 additional singles.
This bet is sometimes known as a Super Yankee and consists of 5 selections for a total of 26 bets; 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-folds and 1 five-fold. You need at least 2 horses to win for a return.
Again, this is self explanatory as a Lucky 31 gives you 31 bets from 5 selections; it is essentially a Canadian with 5 additional singles.
This bet is named after the slogan for H.J Heinz Company which states it has 57 varieties. As such, the Heinz bet involves 57 bets across 6 selections; 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, 6 five-folds and 1 six-fold. It is a monster of a bet but we’re not done yet!
This is a Heinz bet with 6 additional singles to bring it to a total of 63 bets.
This involves an unbelievable 120 bets across 7 selections; 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, 7 six-folds and 1 seven-fold.
This is the Big Daddy of multiples and involves 8 selections; 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 four-folds, 56 five-folds, 28 six-folds, 8 seven-folds and 1 eight-fold. It comes to a grand total of 247 bets!
The bad news is that even a £1 Goliath costs £247; the good news is that you may be able to purchase a new house if all 8 selections win!
For fun, I went to find out the total winnings from a £1 Goliath bet (total stake = £247) at the following odds; 2/1, 5/2, 3/1, 11/4, 6/4, 9/4, 9/2 and 4/1. The total return was a cool £247,971.94 if all 8 horses won!
You can find out the potential returns for the bets mentioned above on this Free Bet Calculator.
You rarely hear about this particular bet but it involves 9 selections; 36 doubles, 84 trebles, 126 four-folds, 126 five-folds, 84 six-folds, 36 seven-folds, 9 eight-folds and 1 nine-fold for a total of 502 bets!
If you don’t fancy a £247 bet, you can mix n’ match to reduce your stake while still enjoying the possibility of a big win. For example, you could pick 4 horses and perm all the possible doubles; in this instance, you would be making 6 bets.
Another example would be choosing 8 selections but instead of going for a Goliath, you could decide to choose doubles and trebles only; this makes 84 bets instead of 247.
Forecast bets are extremely tricky as they involve predicting the exact finishing order in a race; usually the first 2 or first 3 places. The returns are calculated by computer software that looks at the starting price of the runners; the amount is usually declared to a £1 stake.
This is a basic bet where you try to predict the winner and runner-up in a race.
This is a handy bet if you fancy two horses but don’t quite know the order they will finish in. A Reverse Forecast involves predicting the winner and runner-up in any order; it is effectively two Straight Forecasts; BA and AB so it is 2 separate bets.
This involves 3 selections with any 2 of the 3 to finish as winner and runner-up in any order; this is a total of 6 bets.
This is a very difficult bet to win as you are trying to predict the horses that will finish first, second and third in an exact order.
This involves picking 3 selections to finish first, second and third in any order for a total of 6 bets.
Hopefully, your head will stop spinning for long enough to go and pick your favourite horseracing bet. Best of luck!