When you place a bet at a bookie’s, you are making a wager on the outcome of a sporting event. When betting on horse racing, you are usually placing your bet on the ‘line’ which is the agreed price for the winning horse. You may also choose to lay ‘total’ which is the cumulative total of all the bets placed on the event. Let’s look at the odds before, during and after the event to see how these terms work and what situations you may find yourself in when using them.
The Outcome Before The Event
If you were to bet on a football match, you would want to know the outcome before the game started. Similarly, if you were to bet on a horse race, you would want to know the outcome before the event started. Fortunately, this happens quite often so you don’t have to worry about missing any updates regarding the event you are betting on. Bookies and news outlets will publish the line as soon as possible after the event, if the event was scheduled for today then the line would be published after midnight tonight to give you enough time to place your bet.
This is quite different from other sports where the outcome can be determined well in advance. For example, if you were to bet on the Superbowl, you would want to know the result before the end of the season so you don’t miss out on any potential rewards. While you can’t affect the outcome of the horse race, you can bet on whether the Patriots or the Falcons will win the championship game and, in the case of the Superbowl, you are actually placing a bet on which team will win. This is known as a ‘pick’ or ‘prop’ bet and you can learn more about them here.
The Outcome During The Event
Just like in the example above, you would want to know the outcome of a horse race as soon as possible. However, sometimes you may find it difficult to do this during the event itself. This is due to a variety of physical limitations that may prevent you from getting to a computer or mobile device to see the outcome of the event. Fortunately, there are ways to get this information without being present at the racetrack. During a horse race, there are usually two types of lines, ‘early’ and ‘late’, that you need to be aware of. The early line is the most current estimate of the outcome of the event and the ‘late’ line is the final result. The ‘late’ line is not typically published until after the event so you have to make sure to check the ‘early’ line instead to see what the final outcome is. After the event is over you can use resources such as LookSmart to quickly get the final result.
The Outcome After The Event
Just like in the example above, you would want to know the outcome of a football game as soon as possible. However, sometimes it can be difficult to get this information even when you have a perfect memory and you don’t miss a game. In these cases it is beneficial to lay ‘total’ on a horse race instead so you can get an accurate idea of the final result. After the event, you can use resources such as LookSmart to get an idea of how the race went and what your earnings were. If you win, you will automatically be paid for the bet along with any other winning bets at the same racetrack. Bookies also provide winnings reports which you can use to verify your earnings after the event.
Making Sense Of It All
In simple terms, the line is the price at which you can place a bet on a given event and the total is the total amount of money you will win or lose based on the outcome of the event. When you place a bet on a horse race, you are usually placing your bet on the line because you want to wager on the outcome of the event. You may also choose to lay ‘total’ in the case where you think the outcome of the event will defy expectations and you want to make sure you do not lose your entire investment in a single bet. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
The line simply means the price at which you can place a bet on an event. This may differ from the ‘public line’ which is often found at a sportsbook or bookie site and is the price at which everyone is allowed to bet or it may be different from the ‘room line’ which is the price established for a particular bookie or establishment to wager on an event. You will usually find the public line given first with the establishment line following in case there is a discrepancy. In the case of public betting, you will also find the ‘lay’ or ‘take’ option available, which means you don’t have to bet on the outcome of an event but you can either ‘lay’ (entrance fee is non-refundable) or ‘take’ (refundable entrance fee) a wager.
The total simply means the total amount you are wagering on an event. For example, if you were to place a $100 bet on a horse race with $150 in winnings, your total wager would be $250. If the race was a tie, you would win your $100 back plus any winnings from successive bets. You do not need to keep the entire $250 in winnings because the $100 is what you wagered and the rest is what you won. This is known as a ‘push’ in the industry and the $100 that you placed is called a ‘marker’ or a ‘busta’.
In most cases, you will find total bets placed after the event is over so you can’t place a total bet until the event is finished. When you do place a total wager, you need to do so before the event starts or else you will have to refund all the winnings. Bookies provide a clear guide on when to place a total versus a line bet here.