Beginners Guide to Horse Race Betting

Horse racing is a sport which has been enjoyed for hundreds of years; from Norse mythology to chariot racing in Roman times, horse racing has always been inextricably linked with gambling. As a result of this people are willing to pay vast sums for a horse which they think can make them money. Indeed it would be accurate to say that the breeding, buying and selling of race horses plays an important role in supporting the gambling industry as a whole. Along with football, online horse racing betting accounts for a large proportion of bookmakers business such as Totesport.com.

When it comes to placing a bet on a horse there are several ways this can be done. A few of the more common ways to place a bet are standard betting and spread betting. A standard bet is the most simple and involves choosing a particular horse to back for which the odds appear attractive. A more complex form of betting is called spread betting which has increased in popularity in recent times; this is similar to buying and selling shares on the stock market. The idea is to accumulate a certain amount of points which are attributed a fixed value by the spread betting company, this is usually a favourite of more adept gamblers.

Punters have various options for spread betting, these include gambling on the ‘favourites index’ where you can gamble on the amount of favourites which will win at a particular meeting; or the jockey index – which works the same way, allowing punters to gamble on jockeys rather than the horses.

Depending on where you are in the world, horse racing can take slightly different forms – one of the most popular forms is Thoroughbred racing, and this is the form which is most prevalent in the United Kingdom. What distinguishes one type of horse racing from another is the breed of horse involved; broadly speaking these can be separated in to four different groups; Thoroughbreds, Standardbred, The Quarter Horse and the Arabian.

Thoroughbred horses are bred to be able to traverse intermediate distances at a very fast pace and can be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds – breeding and racing thoroughbreds can be a lucrative business. The distance of Thoroughbred races can vary, but they are usually between five and twelve furlongs; a furlong roughly equates to about an eighth of a mile. Something which sets horse racing in the UK apart from the rest of the world is the stringent rules on whipping the horse to make it go faster; in the UK jockeys are not allowed to raise their whip higher than their shoulder to prevent them hitting the horse too hard.

The important thing to remember when placing a bet on a horse is that you are more likely to be the beneficiary of a payout if you bet with the crowd. Bookmakers try and lure you into making bets on horses which are less likely to win by giving you odds which result in huge payouts, as they are certain that these horses or series of outcomes won’t happen.

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