We are pretty sure horse racing doesn’t come to your mind when you are thinking about gambling in a casino. However, all you have to do is to visit a casino that allows off-track betting for you to change that perception. There are several casinos around the United States that offer customers full-service horse racing betting experience. And the good thing is that you won’t have to deal with the smell of horse manure or even leave the comfort of the casino. Yes, casinos can be very luxurious and comfortable.
Another good thing about betting on horse racing is that it’s available throughout the year – from January to December. No matter the weather conditions or season, there is bound to be a race about to start somewhere. In this article, we’ll be talking about horse racing extensively and how you can be a profitable bettor in the niche.
Identifying The Different Format Of Horse Racing
We’ll forgive you for thinking horse racing doesn’t come in different formats. After all, a horse is a horse, right? No, all horses aren’t the same as there are different breeds of horses. And the different racing formats showcase the abilities of a specific breed. Below is the different format of horse racing:
The thoroughbred racehorses you see today are the result of low tech, slow-motion engineering project that has been in the making for literally hundreds of years. As a result, these horses exhibit incredible speed, agility, stamina, strength, and healing ability. As a bettor, your task is to identify the horses that have these attributes in abundance, then capitalize on it.
Thoroughbred racing is the most popular format of horse racing in the world. As a result, we’ll be focusing on them more in this article. There are a number of thoroughbred events in the US with the Triple Crown and the Breeders Cup among the most popular.
Standardbred horses feature in Harness racing. This breed differs from the thoroughbreds in the fact that they are stockier. And this is a tradeoff for speed and agility as the standardbreds are generally less fiery than the thoroughbreds. Drivers have a part to play in harness racing as they guide the horse from inside a two-wheeled cart behind the horse.
While harness racing isn’t as chaotic as thoroughbred racing, it’s less popular. Although, this format still has a good following in North America.
Quarter Horse Racing
This category of horse racing is all about speed, speed, and speed. As a result, this breed of horses are built to be fast and then to reach their top speed quickly. This makes speed and acceleration two of the biggest strengths of quarter horses. There is a tradeoff for their speed as quarter horses have lower endurance than either thoroughbred or standardbred horses.
Quarter racing is sprints, allowing the horses to make use of their superior speeds.
Horse Racing Betting – Inside The Race Book
You might probably be wondering why you should even consider betting on horse racing. The answer is simple. Horse racing is one of the few games available in a casino where the house doesn’t automatically have an advantage. The race book, or officially the race and sports book, is the area of the casino reserved for horse racing betting. You place your bets here, then sit to watch the races.
So, how do you navigate around the race book and make bets? We talk about that below.
Betting Windows: The name alone should tell you this is where to place your bets. You are free to place a bet on any race until one minute before the race begins. If you are a winner, this is where you’ll be collecting your winnings.
Scratch Sheets – You’ll find the list of the day’s races and horses here. Use them to make your bets.
Television Monitors – You get to watch the race as it happens through television screens in the casino. By using the technology, Simulcast, casinos can broadcast horse racing from the tracks in real-time.
Tote Board – Basically an electronic display that shows several information – available race tracks, race start times, name of horses running, and so on.
Understanding Your Horse Racing Betting Sheets
You have to understand your racing form and scratch sheets before making a bet. A casino employee will be willing to explain anything you don’t understand. But overall, it’s easy to understand the betting sheet.
The top of the horse racing form usually displays the name of the track as well as the time and date of the race. You should note that horse racing generally doesn’t have a specific starting time. After the start of the first race on the schedule, other races will take place approximately every 30 minutes.
There is also the critical bettor information which may appear to be a random collection of letters and numbers. But it will make sense to you when you know how to interpret it. Other information includes the length of the race, the racetrack’s official abbreviation, and the entry qualification. There is also a section that displays the weight of the horses. Experienced bettors usually put the weight of horses into consideration. Too much weight may reduce the speed of a horse.
Placing Your Bets
It’s all action and adrenaline in the race book as visitors rush to the betting window to make their bets before the races begin. Then, they sit back and watch the action unfold as the race begins.
Understanding The System Horse Racing Utilizes
Unlike slots and craps, the odds of horse racing aren’t fixed meaning you can’t calculate your winnings in advance. In fact, the odds change until a minute before the race begins.
The amount you win is dependent on how other bettors wagered on the race. So what the casino does it pool all the money wagered on a particular race. Then the casino distributes it (after taking their cut of course) among the winners. So the more people bet on a horse, the less the payouts.
Sticking To Straight Bets
The most popular type of bet people use in horse racing is the straight bet. Here, you are betting on a horse to finish first, second or third. There are commonly three forms of straight bets:
Win – The horse you are wagering on must come first.
Place – You win if your horse comes first or second.
Show – You win if your horse comes first, second or third.
There is also the option to play exotic bets which are bets that involve more than one horse.
This is the first part of our article on horse racing. The second and concluding part with follow soon and there you’ll learn more about exotics and handicapping. So keep an eye out for the second article!