Horse Racing - Betting Guide

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Horse racing has been around in South Africa for over 200 years, with records dating back to 1797! And with that said, so has betting on horse races. With popular races like the J&B Met, the Durban July and many others taking place all year round, this sporting event is unique in that it isn't seasonal bound.

Horse racing also has some straight forward bets (winner for example), but also has some interesting variations and combined bets that, to the beginner, can be very confusing. So lets delve right in and try to clear up any confusion that might exist on horse race betting.

  • Straight Bet

    A straight bet (also called a single or win bet) is a bet that is placed on a single horse to win the race that it participates in.

  • Show

    The show bet pays out when the horse the wager was placed on finished either first, second or third.

  • Place

    Very similar to the show bet, but only pays out if the horse finishes first or second.

  • Combination Bet

    This bet covers between two and four horses to finish in a certain order in a race.

  • Pick 3 / Pick 6

    This is probably by far the most well known bets of horse racing. The outcome of either 3 (Pick 3 bet) or 6 (Pick 6 bet) races are wagered upon before the start of any of the races. Quite often if there is no winner of this bet, the prize pool is carried over till the next race day. This could then imply that the prize pool could quite easily become hundreds of thousands of rands.

  • Quinella

    Also known as the Reverse Forecast. This bet is placed on two horses to finish first and second in either order.

  • Perfecta

    Also known as an Exacta or Straight Forecast bet. This bet is almost the same as the quinella, but now the exact order of the two horses wagered on have to be predicted.

  • Trifecta

    Also known as Tri-cast or Treble Forecast. This bet is placed on three horses to finish the race in the exact order that they are chosen.

  • Superfecta

    This bet is placed on four horses to finish the race in a specified order.

  • Daily Double

    Similar to the Pick 3 and Pick 6 bets, but only two races are bet on. Usually the first two races of the day.

  • Jackpot

    Similar to Pick 6. A wager has to be placed on the outcome of six races.

  • Parlay

    Also know as an Accumulator bet. With this bet a single wager is placed on the outcome of multiple races. The winnings after each race is then placed on the next race in a "let-it-ride" fashion. To win a parlay bet, all the outcomes of the various races wagered upon have to be correct.

  • Future

    As the name suggests, bets are placed on races that will take place later in the year. Usually better odds are given early in the year for a specific race, and if you are knowledgable or just feel confident, these bets will provide you with better payouts than on the day.

These are just some of the most popular bet types that most sportsbooks offer. If you keep an eye out, some strange and unusual bets also surface from time to time with excellent odds.