There are few more potentially profitable sports in the world to bet on than horse racing. Therefore, it should come as little surprise that there are an extremely high number of markets available to bettors when it comes to the sport.

Many of the leading sportsbooks generally cover all the markets that bettors wish to find, while even those sportsbooks with a small selection will still cover the simple horse racing markets. However, here, you can find out about all the different kinds of horse racing wagers available to bettors online.

Straight Bets

According to TwinSpires, the most common way to place wagers on the racing action is through the straight bets option. The win market is the most common of these, with bettors able to put a stake on a horse, and the returns would be awarded to your account if the selection is correct.

Meanwhile, place betting is another extremely popular option among gamblers, as this will see bettors able to bet on a selection that will finish in the first two, or three, depending on the field size.

However, the returns for this market are generally shorter given that there is a better chance of a runner finishing in the first three than winning the race. In the U.S., there is a slight difference, as place betting will only cover the first and second, while the show bet will cover the first three places.

Exotic Bets


One of the most common ways to bet on each individual race is by utilizing the Exotic markets that are available. These often rely on something slightly different depending on the market that you are wagering on.


Exacta bets will require the punter to predict the first two horses passed the post in the correct finishing order. Therefore, if you select a horse to finish first in an Exacta and it finishes second to the horse that you placed in that position, then the stake would be lost.

However, bettors also have the option to wager on an Exacta Box, which would cover all possible finishing positions for the horses selected. This option also enables bettors to select more than two horses, but the returns will be worked out by the winning horses and their odds.


The next step up from an Exacta is the Trifecta. Here, the bettor will need to predict the first three horses’ homes in the correct order. This is one of the more challenging markets to land returns, especially in races with bigger fields.

Once again, there is the option to wager on the Trifecta Box. Bettors can include three or more horses on this market, and they will be paid out as long as three of the horses are selected to finish in the first three positions.


The final finishing position-related Exotic is the Superfecta. This is a wager that would take a lot of preparation, as bettors will need to correctly predict the finishing order of the first four runners home. Returns will only be awarded if the bettor successfully predicts the winner, runner-up, and the horses finishing in exactly third and fourth.


However, there is a Superfecta Box option, which enables bettors to pick at least four horses to finish in any order. However, the returns are awarded based on the final odds of the runners.

Alternative Exotics

One of the alternative betting Exotic markets is the Quinella. This is extremely similar to the Exacta Box, as the bettor will wager on a runner that will finish either first or second in any given order.

Pick 6 Betting

Horse racing betting in the United States has evolved over time, and one of the more enjoyable bets available is the Pick 6. This will likely run over a card at a given track, and bettors will simply need to predict six winners from the six races shown.

The returns from this wager will be paid out based on the pool of players, while there are also alternative Pick 3, Pick 4, and Pick 5 markets available with the leading sportsbooks.

Parlay Betting

Parlay betting is exceptionally popular with bettors on basketball, American Football, and ice hockey. However, it can also be very lucrative with horse racing players. Here, bettors can select at least two horses to join together in a longer bet, but all selections on the parlay must be correct in order to get returns from the wager.

An alternative option that has proven to be very popular with horse racing bettors is available on offshore sportsbooks, as Lucky 15s cover a wide selection of markets. This bet will consist of four selections, and a $1 bet on each line will cost $15, covering all possible wagers. That means that bettors will be paid out if just one horse wins, while all possible doubles, trebles, and the four-fold are also covered.

General Horse Racing Rules

Like most sports, there are specific rules that come with betting on horse racing. One of the key factors that bettors should be aware of is that bets are void if a race is abandoned. Some sportsbooks will also give the stake back on a selection if they are declared a non-runner after declarations.

Bets aren’t settled until the official announcement has been made following the weigh-in. Finally, minimum and maximum stakes are dependent on the sportsbook that you are playing with.

Horse Racing Betting Tips

Unlike other sports, there is a lot of information that bettors must study before making their wager on the horse racing action. This includes looking at the form of all the runners involved, examining whether they are on a long winning streak and whether their best form comes over a certain distance or a specific track.

Extra attention to detail should also be drawn on the form of the jockey and trainer, with connections in an excellent form likely to continue their winning habit. Finally, the figures for each runner should be examined, as those with proven figures over the track and distance will likely stand a better chance of a repeat performance.