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Horse Racing Betting Jargon Explained

Steven D. Thompson


Horse racing is a fun sport activity that many people enjoy. For some individuals, horse racing is more enjoyable when they place bets. Like other forms of sports betting, there are some unique betting jargons you'll come across when engaging in horse betting. If you intend to make the most returns from horse betting, then you must expand your vocabulary to include as many horse betting terms as possible. To help you out, this article contains a selection of the most important horse betting terms you should learn. 

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Table of Contents

    General Betting Terms

    There are certain terms in horse betting used in other sports like football. These are the easiest terms to learn, and this knowledge will be handy when you decide to try out other types of sports betting. Here are some of the general betting terms to note: 

    • Bookie: This is the bookmaker. This can be a company or a person with the necessary license to accept bets and provide odds. 
    • Favourite: This refers to the selection – a team, player, or horse, that many people fancy to win a match. The favourite is the market leader and has the shortest price or odd. 
    • Odd: The odd is the price on a selection. You can have an odds on or odds against. When a bookmaker offers an odds on, it means your chances of winning the bet is high, but the return on the winnings will be less than your stake. Odds against refers to an instance when the odds are higher than the evens, and a winning bet will pay out higher than your stake. 
    • Stake: This is the amount you bet on a horse in a race. If you have an account with a bookmaker that you fund with a certain amount of money, the stake is the maximum amount that will be deducted from your funds if you place a losing bet. 
    • Punter: This is the individual, bettor, or customer placing a bet. 
    • Return: The return is the amount you will receive if your bet is successful. 
    • Banker: A banker is a bet that bettors believe has a certain outcome. It is a form of safe bet that a bettor will usually add to a multiple bet to boost their hand. 
    General Betting Terms General Betting Terms

    Common Bet Types in Horse Racing

    There are certain types of bets like accumulators, Dutch bets, and more that are common in sports betting. However, horse racing betting has some unique types of bets that you must learn. The learning process may be tough, but it makes your life as a horse bettor much easier. 

    Standard or Straight Bets: These are the basic bets in this sport. They include: 

    1. Win Bets: You select a particular horse that will win the race. 
    2. Place Bets: The horse you pick can come in first or second for you to win. 
    3. Show Bets: A show bet gives room for your horse to finish as the first, second, or third. 

    Exotic Bets: These bets include vertical exotics and horizontal exotics. The vertical exotics require you to pick the order in which the horses finish a race. Popular vertical exotics include: 

    1. Straight Exacta: To win this bet, you must pick the horses that will finish first and second in a race in the correct order. 
    2. Straight Trifecta: Here, bettors must select the first, second, and third-place horses in the right order. 
    3. Straight Superfecta: This bet requires the first, second, third, and fourth finish in the correct order. 

    The horizontal exotics are bets that require bettors to correctly predict the winners of consecutive races. This prediction must be made before the first race in the selection begins. Common horizontal exotics include: 

    • Daily Double: You must pick the winners of two consecutive races. 
    • Pick 3:ntify the winners of three consecutive races. 
    • Pick 4: indicate the winners of four races.
    • Pick 5: Select the winners of five consecutive races. 
    • Pick 6: Select the winners of six consecutive races. 

    What are Combinations in Horizontal Exotics? 

    From the earlier explanation, you understand that the horizontal exotics require you to pick the winners of consecutive races. There are instances where bettors are sure of the winner in the first race but have difficulties selecting the next race winner. 

    To solve this problem, most popular bookmakers in the UK offer the combination option. For a daily double bet, the combination can be 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, and so on. A 1-1 implies the number 1 horse in the first race and the number 1 horse in the second race. 1-2 indicates the number 1 horse in the first race and number 2 horse in the second race, and so on. 

    Although combination bets cost more money, you get a payout if any of the selections win. 

    What is a Quinella?

    Another common name for a Quinella is a "dual forecast" or "reverse forecast". This is a type of bet that allows bettors to select the horses that will come in first and second place in a race regardless of the order. 

    Each Way in Horse Betting

    This is a type of bet that gives bettors a chance to place half of their bet on the horse to win the race and the other half for the horse to place from first to fifth (this depends on the bookmaker). The calculation of the payout varies depending on the outcome of the race. The payout for your selection winning the horse race is always more than the payout for a place. 

    What are Accumulators and Folds?

    An accumulator is a type of bet that consists of more than selection. You get the chance to pick two or more horses when placing a bet. An accumulator bet has a close relationship with the fold. 

    Fold refers to the number of horse selections in the bet. For instance, if you place an accumulator bet with five horses, this is a five-fold bet or a bet. You can refer to this as a single bet with five legs. 

    In an accumulator bet, losing one bet means you lose the entire bet. If one of the horses in your selection becomes a non-runner, then the bet is downgraded. In the example above, a non-runner causes the bet to become a four-fold bet. 

    Popular Terms Among Bookmakers

    When you visit a bookmaker for the first time, they might try to overwhelm you with various terms you don't understand. To avoid this, you should learn the terms below: 

    1. Non-Runner: A non-runner is a horse that is originally slated to run a race but is withdrawn for one reason or the other. 
    2. Cash Out: Cash Out is a feature many bookmakers offer players on their platform. This option is often available on accumulator bets and allows you to withdraw your winnings before all races are completed. This feature is useful in situations where you determine that the outcome will differ from your initial assessment. 
    3. Partial Cash Out: The partial cash out is another option that allows you to withdraw a part of your winnings and leave the rest to continue. With this option, you can secure a part of your winnings while still attempting to get more. 

    What is Rule 4?

    Rule 4 is a rule that applies to winning bets whose outcomes have been impacted by a non-runner. By invoking Rule 4, a bookmaker can recalculate the payout for a win. The method of readjusting the payout is usually fair, but you should understand that your returns will be lower than your initial expectation.

    Rule 4 is essential in horse racing since a non-runner increases the probability of other horses in the race-winning. 

    Void Bets in Horse Racing Betting

    A void bet refers to a situation in which your bet is cancelled for one reason or another. This occurs very often, and there are several reasons why a bet may become void, such as: 

    • Postponement
    • Non-runner
    • Error (mechanical or human)
    • Abandonment

    Go through the race day program

    The program offers excellent information such as the history of horses and statistics. You'll need to go through the race day program often to get better at reading it.


    Assess the previous performance of a horse on the surface type

    Race tracks can have turf or dirt surfaces, and certain tracks have artificial surfaces. The performance of each horse will vary depending on the race track surface. You can find information regarding the past performances of a horse on different surface types on the race program.


    Check the odds

    The odds of a horse winning a race is determined from past performance, but this isn't always a correct indicator. Nonetheless, picking the favourite horse is often the right decision. This is not the best method, but it is the easiest method to handicap a horse for beginners.


    Enjoy the view of the paddock

    Watching horses in the paddock gives more information than you would expect. A keen eye will help you identify certain behaviours that give you an insight into how the horse will perform during the race.


    Determine the previous race class of the horse

    It is common for horses to be pushed up a class, but this may indicate that they will be outclassed in the current race. The race day program provides all the details you need regarding the previous class of the horse.

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