Horse betting: types and specifics

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Horse betting: types and specifics

It is considered that horse racing betting was the first sport that gave rise to bookmakers. Horse racing originated from England which makes us believe that the first bookmakers appeared there as well. Nowadays, horse racing is still very popular in the aristocratic England, with the British spending billions of dollars in horse racing bets.

Horse racing betting is enjoyed by millions of gambling fans all over the globe. The reason for such popularity is unpredictability that makes it very hard to guess the actual outcome.

Horse racing is a very fast-paced sport. Each race lasts 2 minutes tops. The distance depends on the race type but does not exceed 4 kilometers. A bettor can see the outcome just minutes after placing a bet with a bookmaker. It’s the fast pace of this sport that attracts multiple gambling fans. Another special characteristic is that you can enjoy horse racing betting almost all year round.

Horse racing betting is based on the parimutuel system (totalizer) that remained unchanged over the centuries. This is how a totalizer works: all bets placed are put into a prize pool to be divided among lucky winners. If there is just one winner, they get all the money. If there is no winner, all bets proceed to a jackpot pool. It will keep growing with each race until one lucky bettor wins the entire jackpot.

Horse betting types

Horse betting types are different from betting types used in hockey, football, and volleyball. Below we have listed some basic horse racing betting types.


It’s a most common horse racing bet when you need to select a horse that will come in first. Moreover, you can bet on certain horse NOT to win the race. If your selected horse fails to finish first, your bet wins.


You need to select a horse to finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th in a race. The number of medal places may vary across races. An 8-horse race has two medal places. If a race features 8 to 14 participants, there are three medal places. If the race is run by more than 14 horses, there are four medal places.


You need to predict a horse to come in 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a race.

Double bet

You need to pick the winners of two consecutive races.

Accumulator (Parlay)

Accumulator is a multiple bet. A bettor selects a horse in the first race. If the horse finishes the 1st, your bet wins and your winnings add up to your bet in the next race, and so on. While a Parlay bet may bring you larger payouts, it is way riskier than ordinary bets.

It’s hardly possible to recreate a special atmosphere at the racetrack. But today, with the high-paced development of Internet technologies and innovations, an increasing number of players prefers online horse betting. As more and more gamblers are betting without leaving their homes, this means huge losses and deep discontent for racetrack owners.