Horse racing is not just a sport. Some horse races may be purely for sport – but the better half of them are for a different purpose: gambling. Betting on horses is a major form of gambling, and it is a main form through which profits are earned in the field of horse racing. Placing bets on horses participating in a horse race basically means to wager a certain amount of money on the probability that a particular horse will win a particular race. This is done at gambling stations (which are usually located on or close to the racing track itself), where the gamblers can stake their money on their chosen horse.
Conversely, gamblers can also place their bets at bookmarkers. Also known as turf accountants or bookies, these are organizations which are not essentially located at the venue itself, and allow gamblers to place bets on horses according to previously agreed-upon odds. Agreed-upon or fixed-odds basically means that the amount one wins is usually predetermined before placing the odd (i.e. before you bet, you already how much you can make from a certain bet if you win). The opposite of this is pari-mutuel betting: here, the amount one stands to win is not predetermined. The amount is instead decided from all the bets that are placed in favour of all the probabilities prior to the start of a race, therefore, it is impossible to predetermine a set amount beforehand. Pari-mutuel betting is normally state-regulated, and it is the only form of betting allowed in countries where gambling is otherwise illegal. Like bookmarkers, these state-regulated facilities are not necessarily located on the venue of the horse racing news today itself.
Betting usually is of three basic types:
• To win – this is the simplest form of betting. Also called a straight bet, it is where the individual bets on one horse to come in first place.
• To bet – in this type of bet, the individual stakes on his horse to either come in first, second or third place. Depending on the total number of participants, the number of places the individual can bet on varies (i.e. if there are few participants, the individual can only bet for first place or second place; if there are many participants, the individual can bet up to the fourth place).
• To show – in this type of bet, the individual bets on the horse to finish first, second or third, regardless of the number of participants. Accordingly, this is usually the easiest type of bet, and the one with a lower pay-off.
When placing bets, gamblers can avail themselves of free horse racing tips.
Based on the favourites picked by these free horse racing tips, the gamblers can know which of the horses are more likely to win, and accordingly place their stakes. Of course, not all gamblers pick the favourites, and sometimes, there are instances where the tips are completely wrong, and different horses win the race. Thus, as it can be seen, a major part of horse racing is not the sport itself – but the gambling activities that accompany it.