How to bet on horse racing: Kentucky Derby gambling guide
So, you watch this Kentucky Derby thing once a year, and it looks interesting and all. You are also known to place a bet once and a while, maybe when you're down in Vegas on a trip with the boys, girlfriend or wife. You're not averse to gambling, but you've never bet on a horse race in your life and the only thing you know is "Win, Place, Show".
You want to bet on the Kentucky Derby, or any other horse race? Below is everything you need to know but was afraid to ask.
First things first, it's entirely legal to wager on horse racing through the internet in the United States; you don't have to be at the track, OTB or Vegas. I know, I know, there's that internet gaming act passed a decade or so ago that rained on the parade. Horse racing is an exception to that law and is a completely legal method of on-line gambling in this country. What's the catch? The state you live in must permit such wagering to take place, and not all do. Most states do allow on-line wagering on horses (called ADW - Advance Deposit Wagering ) which can be done through a variety of companies - TwinSpires.com. TVG.com. Express Bet.com. and DRFBets. are just a few of the U.S.-based companies that are licensed to provide ADW services. If your state permits you to bet through an ADW, you are free to bet the ponies from the comfort of your own home on your computer or mobile device.
How do you know if your state allows you to bet through an ADW? Simply go to one of the licensed ADWs and try and sign-up; if you live in a state where it's illegal (like Hawai'I or Georgia), you won't be able to create an account. if you can. well, it's time to fund the account and get down to the business
of playing the horses. If you can't. well, call a friend who lives in a state that can.
Okay, with that little bit out of the way, let's take a look at the betting lingo and the types of wagers one can make on an equine athlete. Below is the smorgasbord of wagering opportunities offered by Churchill Downs on Derby Day:
WIN: A bet on a horse to win (if you don't know this you probably shouldn't be betting)
PLACE: A bet on a horse to finish either 1 st or 2 nd .
SHOW: A bet on a horse to finish either 1 st. 2 nd or 3 rd .
Those are the standard bets that everybody is familiar with. They are simple, straight forward, it's easy to calculate the cost, and they are easy to make. Where things start to become more complicated is with what are known as the exotic bets. Below are the exotic wagers offered by Churchill Downs this weekend:
EXACTA: A bet picking the 1 st and 2 nd place finishers in a race.
TRIFECTA: A bet picking the 1 st. 2 nd and 3 rd place finishers in a race.
SUPERFECTA: A bet picking the 1 st. 2 nd. 3 rd. and 4 th place finishers in a race.
DAILY DOUBLE: A bet picking the winners of two races, usually two consecutive races.
Wagering on horses is done via pari-mutuel wagering, a system of wagering where each player is betting against other players, not the house. The track takes a percentage of the total pool (usually 15 to 20%) and the rest of the money is paid out to all players that hold the winning tickets. The odds represent what percentage of the total pool each horse is receiving. The total generally adds up to more than 100% because it includes the track take. Below is an odds-percentage conversion chart for typical odds in horse racing.