Popular Horse Racing Bets

Race for the prize of the "Den molodegi" in Pyatigorsk,Northern Caucasus, Russia.

There can be no denying that horse racing and betting go hand in hand. From the punters in the paddock to the bookies on the billboards – every aspect of the sport is influenced by gambling. If you are a planning a trip to the racetrack or are going to watch a horse race on television, the chances are that you will placing a bet. But if you are new to the sport, you might find some of the terminology a bit baffling, so let’s take a look at some of the more popular types of horse racing bets.


This is the one bet that everyone understands and almost certainly the first type of horse racing wager that anyone places. All you need to do is pick the winner of the race – easy right?

Place Bet

Most bookmakers will give you the option to bet on a horse finishing in the Top 2, Top 3 or Top 4. If you are not convinced that your pick is a winner, this bet is a good compromise. If your place a Top 3 place bet and your horse finishes 1st, 2nd or 3rd, you win.

Each Way

An Each Way bet is essentially two bets in one. Half of your stake is a Win Bet, the other half is a Place Bet. The type of Place Bet will depend on the number of horses in the race but is typically Top 3. The Place Bet will pay out at a fraction of the Win Bet price and is normally 1/4 or 1/5 of the odds. In larger races, each way bets may pay out for the top four or five places. Remember, this is basically two bets, so €5 each way would require a total stake of €10.

Without Favourite (W/O)

In races where there is a clear favourite, you can place a bet that takes that horse out of the equation. Instead you are betting on who will win from the rest of the field. If the favourite wins and your horse is second, your horse is the best of the rest and wins the race.


A Forecast bet requires you to predict which horses will come first and second in a race. There are several types of Forecast bets available including:

  • Straight Forecast: predicting the first two in the correct order.
  • Reverse Forecast: predicting the first two in any order. This essentially two bets covering both permutations.
  • Combination Forecast: pick three or more horse to give multiple combinations of Reverse Forecast possibilities. The more horses you pick the more chances you have of winning. Each possibility is split into a separate bet, so the more selections you add, the more your stake will increases.


A Tricast is similar to a Forecast but bet requires you to pick the top three finishers in the race. There are two main Tricast bets:

  • Tricast: predict the top three in the correct order.
  • Combination Tricast: predict who will come first, second and third in a race (in any order). A combination Tricast can include three of more selections; the more horses you select, the more bet combinations you have. For example, six selections would result in 120 bet combinations.
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