Betting does not need to be rocket science. Keep it simple by choosing a horse using a trendy name. Or one that is wearing your favorite color. But if you’re the analytic type who wants to think about a horse’s racing history, learn how to read a Racing Form and try your hand in handicapping.
Placing Your Bet
The easiest way to place your wager or bet is at the counter. Let the teller know the following information:
The racetrack (recall, you can wager on races at other tracks)
The race number
The dollar amount you want to bet The Kind of wager Your horse’s amount Ex. “In Santa Anita, third race, five dollars to win number two.”
Kinds of Bets
There are many kinds of bets. But let us start with the basic ones:
Win, Place and Show.
Win — If your horse finishes 1st, you win $$.
Position — If your horse finishes 1st or even 2nd, you win .
Show — If your horse finishes 1st, 2nd or 3rd, you win .
Exotic Bets or Combination Wagers
Across the board Three equivalent Win, Place and Show bets.
If your horse finishes 1st, you win all three stakes.
If your horse finishes 2nd, you win the Place and Show bets.
If your horse finishes 3rd, you win on the Show bet.
Exacta — Pick two horses in one race. If they finish 1st and 2nd, in exact order, you win.
Quinella — Pick 2 horses. If they finish 1st or 2nd, in either order, you win. Also known as an Exacta Box.
Trifecta — Select three horses. If they finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd, in exact order, you win.
Superfecta — Select four horses. Should they finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th, in exact order, you win.
Daily Double — Two specific races make up the Daily Double. Pick 1 horse in each race. If they finish 1st in both races, you win. You need to make your bet before the first race.
Pick 3 — Similar to the Daily Double, however for three consecutive races.
Pick 4 — Much like the Daily Double, but for four consecutive races.
Pick 6 — The biggest bet you can make. Decide on the winning horse at six races. Should you win, you win big.
If nobody picks all six winners, those picking 5 from 6 will split 30% of the Pick Six pool. The remaining 70%”takes over” to the next racing day, and will continue to do so each day until someone properly chooses 6 winners from 6 races.
Watch and Win
After placing your bet, watch your horse run. If your horse comes in the cash, sweet! But do not intend on purchasing a private jet just yet. Wait until the race was declared”official”. Collect your winnings at any window.
Automated Betting Machines
Once you’re familiar with placing stakes, you can try using one of those self explanatory, automated machines. These simple machines are offered at every track and supply simple directions about the best way best to bet or collect money out of a winning ticket. Easy peasy.

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