Types of Horse Racing Bets for Beginners

The world of sports betting is a hard place to break in to if you’re new to the scene, and it can take some time and patience before you’re betting alongside the professionals. It’s difficult simply because it’s one of the oldest pastimes in the world, and has plenty of time to grow and evolve into the delicately complex industry that it is today.

Horse racing betting is no different, and is, in fact, arguably the most intimidating type of sports betting to get involved with, especially for newcomers. One of the most daunting challenges lies in the huge number of bets that are offered by bookies.

While a lot of these bets start out reasonably simple to use and understand, they quickly grow in complexity to the point where you need to start keeping track of what kind of bet you use and its progression.

For those new to the horse race betting industry, there are some bets that are advisable to start out with before moving on to the more complicated ones. These are the types of bets you can expect during your first foray into the horse race betting world.

The Straight Wager

These are the most basic kinds of bets that you will come across, and are the perfect way to learn more about race betting and how it works. As the name suggests, these are bets that you simply take out on a horse participating in a race, believing that it will cross the finish line first.

These are bets common across the sports betting industry as a whole, and are also the cheapest kind of bet you can take out, in general.  This is the place to start for a new punter, and will allow you to move on to the more complicated wagers available.

Place Bet

Similar to the straight wager, this is a bet that is place on where the horse will finish in the race as opposed to the horse finishing first overall. The odds tend to be better for this type of wager.

Each Way

This is a combination of the previous two, where you either bet on the horse winning, and if not, where the horse will place on the finishing roster.


Slightly more complicated, this involves wagering on two horses to finish in any order, as long as they are in the top three position. This is where some research into the horses and events can begin to pay off.


Similar to the swinger, with the difference being that you’re betting that the two horses you pick will come in specific places in the top three, usually the first and second place.


Bet on the winners of two consecutive races that are stipulated as double events together.


Betting on the positions that three horses will finish the race within the top three positions – far more risky, but with much better odds.


The same as the Trifecta, but betting on four horses instead of three.