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Horse Racing Systems: How To Bet On Horses

Updated on September 7, 2011

Horse Racing Systems: Handicapping 101

Everyone has horse racing systems to help them pick the winning horse. Some may be based on early speed, some systems are based on class changes and yet others are based on moves made during previsous races. And then there are the lucky ways to pick horses when you just bet on names or number. Go figure!

Before you figure out which one of the best horse racing systems work, you need to know the basic terminology you'll here trackside.

Basic Terms of Horse Race Betting:

  • Exacta - Horses that come in first and second exactly in the order you bet.
  • Perfecta - Horses that come in first and second exactly in the order you bet.
  • Trifecta - Horses that come in first, second and third exactly in the order you bet.
  • Superfecta - Horses that come in first, second, third and fourtch, exactly in the order you bet.
  • Win - You win if the horse comes in in first.
  • Place - You win if the horse comes in first or second.
  • Show - You win if the horse comes in first, second or third.
  • Daily Double - Pick the winner of two races in a row. Traditionally the first two races of the day but many tracks run continuous daily doubles.
  • Across The Board - The bet is on the horse for win, place and show.
  • Parlay - When you put all the winnings from one horse race and bet it all on a second horse race.

Horse Racing Systems
Horse Racing Systems

How To Bet On Horses

Is it possible to make money at the racetrack is a question many handicappers have asked themselves for years and the answer is simply: Yes! However in order to win at the racetrack, one must put many hours into studying the horses, getting to know the jockeys, getting to know the trainers and much more. If you are not dedicated to the game of horseracing than you probably won't make money profitably regardles of which one horse racing systems you use. Unlike casino games, horse racing involves betting your skill and knowledge of the horses against other people, and the racetracks take a percentage of the money bet. There are many different types of horse racing systems to help you win at the track and although they won’t work all the time, they are profitable.

Some of those winning horse racing systems are:

  • Look for overlays. They are the biggest, most profitable way to make money in this game. An example is, look for horses that are 20-1 that you think have a one in 10 chance to win. If you bet 2 dollars on that horse 10 times and they win one out of 10 like they should, you will bet 20 dollars in those 10 races and collect 40 dollars the one time the horse wins. Even if a horse is 2-1 and you think they will win 50 percent of the time, you will make money.
  • Only bet races where you like a horse a lot, if you go to the track an bet every race, you will for sure be a loser most of the time.
  • If you are new to the track and don’t really know how to handicap than I would recommend either reading up on it, or just betting the trainers. Trainers are the key to horse’s success and if you just bet on trainers with good win percentages, you will be sure to win some races.

Have fun! Its a great feeling in the world to be cheering on your horse as it is coming down the home stretch and having him and win, waiting to see how much money you will collect.

More On Horse Racing

Let It Ride Horse Racing Movie

Best Horse Racing Movie Ever

If you are a horse racing fan a must see movie is "Let It Ride." It stars Richard Dreyfuss and is set at Hialeah Racetrack in Miami, Florida. The movie is about a gambling guy who has the best horse racing day of his life. It is a really funny movie and my husband and son says when they watch it that they always have a lucky day at the track.


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    • profile image

      Richard Reese 6 years ago

      As a professional handicapper, I concur that you shouldn't go crazy with your wagers if it is your first time at the track. Purchase some books from Amazon or Barnes & Noble that present the basic concepts of horse racing. You have to remember that winning at the track is extremely difficult with the track takeout 15% to 24%, depending on the track and type of wager.

      And I have to agree, "Let It Ride" is perhaps the best horse racing movie ever made because if you have gone to the races for any period of time, you'll have met a gambler or two, just like Trotter (main character). Nice blog!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 6 years ago from Queensland Australia

      very good hub, and informative for the beginner punter.

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Great hub! I'm ready to go to a horse race now!!!