There are a number of alternative ways to bet on the horse racing results and in this article we will outline betting on a win (a straight bet) and betting each way.
When bookmakers post odds on a horse, these are a statement of the ratio between the stake and the wager that the bookmaker will pay out should a bet on the horse winning prove to be successful. Thus if the odds are quoted as being 5 to 1 then if £1.00 is wagered on a winning bet the punter wins £5.00 and his initial stake is returned; that is he receives in total £6.00.
In the UK just about all live bookmakers quote odds in this fashion, though when it comes to betting through the internet you will find that odds are often quoted as decimals. Decimal odds implicitly take account of the fact that the initial stake is returned so decimal odds of 5.00 would return £5.00 on a successful bet rather than the £6.00 that is returned in conventional odds.
Bets can also be each way bets. With an each way bet the initial wager is divided into two. Half of it is bet on the horse winning at the stated odds and the other half is placed on the horse being placed, which is finishing either second, third, or sometimes fourth, at reduced odds. The details of placed bets depend on the bookmaker and the number of horses competing in the race, but they are often offered at 25% of the odds offered on a win.
To see how this works consider that a £6.00 each way bet is placed on a horse that has fractional odds of 8 to 1. The bookmaker will put £3.00 on the horse to win and £3.00 on the horse being placed. If the horse wins the punter receives £18 for the win and £6.00 for the place plus the return of his original stake so he would collect a total of £30.00.
If the horse was placed, the win bet would be lost along with the £3.00 stake and the punter would receive just the winnings on the place bet along with the place stake which is in total £9.00. Thus it is apparent that it is only worth making each way bets on horsed that are priced with favourable odds.
However you choose to bet, we hope you found this introduction useful and wish you the best of luck!