When Betting on Horse Racing – Should You Get Odds When You Bet or at the End?

The excitement of the Kentucky Derby and the horror of the Abu Dhabi Desert Storm coincide this month as we gear up for what will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting races of the year. One of the biggest draws of this year’s Kentucky Derby Festival is the plethora of bet options – with one-off bets, teaser bets, trilogies and multiples available. Whether you’re a complete novice or a seasoned punter, there’s something for everyone. But one thing remains constant – the line between winning and losing is razor sharp. So while excitement levels are high across the board, keep your wits about you.

The Basics Of Place Bets

A place bet is where you place a wager on the final resolution of a racing event without taking sides in the actual game. In other words, if you place a bet on one of the horses to finish first, second or third, your money will be returned to you unchanged if any of the three horses finish in that order, or you will lose the amount you staked (minus a small fraction paid as commission).

To put it into practice, let’s say you’ve staked £10 on the winner of the Derby. The horse in question, Ho Chi Minh, is placed second. Now you have two choices: you can either leave with £8.33 (you’ll lose £1.67) or take the other horse, Iceman, and get back £10 (you’ll win £1.67).

The beauty of place bets is that you don’t have to be right. You’ll never lose money on a place bet, so long as the event you are betting on comes to an end in a finish that makes sense for your money. If you are correct in your prediction, you’ll earn money, and if you’re wrong you won’t lose it.

Why Bet On The Race Finishing Order?

Whether you’re a seasoned punter or a complete novice, one thing you’ll invariably do when betting on horse races is look at the race’s result. And when you do, you’ll see that in most cases the order in which the horses finish is pretty much irrelevant. Sure, in some cases it can make a difference, but for the most part it’s all about which horse runs the fastest. In fact, in most cases speed wins the day. The only thing that can hurt your return on investment is if two or more horses run equally fast, in which case it becomes a battle of agility and determination, and you might lose money on the side you chose.

When you compare that to taking a side in the fight, where you can potentially lose money no matter what, the smart bet is to keep your distance and stay on the safe side. Even in cases where you’re certain one of the horses will win, it’s usually better to sit back and let the chips fall where they may. After all, you can never tell which horse will prevail in the end – it’s always a crapshoot.

One last thing – if you’re thinking of placing a wager on the winner of the Kentucky Derby or any other horse race, be careful with the amount you’re staking. Most bookmakers will give you odds of 18/1 or higher for the winner of the Derby, so it’s highly likely you’ll be rooting for them to lose. In other words, get ready for some heartache – if you want to place a bet, do so at the very least a couple of days in advance.

There’s a reason why horse racing is one of the most popular sports to bet on – it’s the fact that the line between winning and losing is incredibly thin. So long as you do your homework and pick a good bookmaker, you can’t go wrong. Just make sure you’re aware of the different types of bets available and the implications of each one.