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A Beginners Guide to Betting on Horse Racing


With many of the season’s top competitions still around the corner, there are many opportunities for people to get involved with betting on horse racing. But if you’re new to the sport, or just new to betting on the races, you might be confused by the different types of bets and what they mean, you may not even know the difference between free bets and an accumulator. This guide will help you prepare for your first race with a basic overview of the types of bets you can place in the world of horse racing.


The basic premise of odds involves looking at how much money you’ll win in return for your stake if your chosen horse wins. Fractional odds tell you how much will be returned without your stake included, while decimal odds already have your stake included in the overall winnings. For example, odds of 7/1 with a bet of £10 would give you 7 x £10 = £70 in winnings, if your horse won the race, plus your original stake back, so £80 in total. These odds in decimal format would be 8.000, so at £10 for the bet would see you get £10 x 8 = £80.

To Win

There are different types of bets you can place on a horse race, but the most common and the simplest is a to win bet which refers to a single bet on one horse to win. If it finishes first, you get a return and if it doesn’t, you won’t. For newbies to the world of horse race betting, this bet is an easy one to get started with.

Each Way

Another common bet is to back a horse each way which means you’re effectively making two bets – one is on the horse to win and the second is for it to place, which varies depending on how many places the bookmaker is paying out. For most races though, the top three places are paid so you’ll get a quarter of the odds back if your horse doesn’t win outright but places second or third.


For those feeling lucky, the tricast bet is a great option. For this type of bet, punters need to correctly predict the top three horses and the order in which they will finish the race. The rewards for bettors who are successful with this type of bet can be huge, but it requires a lot of skill and luck to correctly guess the three horses and how they will place.

Double, Treble, Fourfold

Multiple bets, such as doubles, trebles and so on, are slightly more complex. For a double, you’re backing two horses in two separate races and in order for you to win, you need to have both bets come in. As the bets become more complex, the process continues – so, for a treble bet, you add another event and back three horses in three separate events, and so on.


A Trixie is a bet which spans three horses running in three individual races. These are essentially a group of bets merged into one which are made up of three doubles and a treble. To win, you need at least two of the three horses you’ve backed to be chosen correctly.