Ex-jockey – Bet like a pro

Betting on horse racing is a wonderful hobby, and if you are willing to devote enough time and energy to it this hobby can also become into a quite profitable pastime.

At the race track 101


The program and the racing form

If you are on the race track, you can buy a program and a racing form. This will provide you with information about the races, the horses, the jockeys, and much more. At the race track, programs and racing forms are normally sold near the entrance of the establishment, so that you can pick them up as soon as you enter.

If you want to bet more often, you should be betting online to also take advantage of all the bonuses that are offered. You can go to one of the many online sites where programs and racing forms are available.


If you are at the race track, you usually have to option of purchasing reserved seating for an additional fee. Sometimes, entry to a club hose or a fancy viewing box are available options for those who are willing to pay.

Online bookmakers

If you want to place your bets online, you get generous bonuses from the bookmakers. Mind that it’s often best to choose an online casino that also offers betting, since they often offer the best bonuses and a lot of different games.

Checking out the horses

The condition of a horse can vary greatly from one day to another. Dedicated horse race betters normally make a habit of trying to obtain as much information as possible about the horses during the day of the race. You can watch them warm up, take a look at them in the paddock, etc.

  • What’s your general impression of the horse? Does it look alert and healthy?
  • Is the horse light on its feet?
  • Is the horse sweating excessively? This is a bad sign.
  • Is the horse relaxed, or does it seem agitated? For a novice it can be tricky to distinguish between tired vs relaxed and alert vs stressed. Spending time with horses, on and off the race track, will help you develop a deeper understanding of these magnificent creatures.
  • Each horse is an individual. Look for anomalies in appearance, behavior, etc. Is this individual horse exhibiting its normal behavior? Has something changed since the last time you saw this horse?

Always be respectful and adhere to all the rules of the race track when you look at the horses. Don’t hesitate to ask the staff about what’s allowed.

Make a wager

Both fixed odds betting and parimutuel betting is available for horse races. At race tracks, parimutuel betting is more common.

If you are present at the race track, go to the betting window to make your wager. The clerk will need the following information from you:

  • The track and the race (Example: Belmont Park, race 3)
  • The amount you wish to wager (Example: $10)
  • The type of bet you want to make (Example: Win)
  • The selected horse or horses (Example: Number 7)

The reason why you must specify the race track is that it is common for punters to watch simulcasts at their local race track and make wagers on races that are about to take place on other race tracks than the one they are presently visiting.

Some race tracks have automatic machines where you can make your wager.

Of course, betting online (e.g. on your smartphone) is also a possibility.

Betting types

These are just a few examples of the many betting variants available for horse races.


You bet on your selected horse to win. You only get paid if its wins the race.


winnerThe terms of this wager varies depending on the bookmaker and the number of horses in the race. In most cases, it is a bet on your selected horse to finish 3rd place or better, and you get paid the same regardless of whether it ends up on 1st, 2nd or 3rd place.

Since the terms vary, it is important to check them out before you make a wager. It is for instance common for the bookmakers to stipulate that only 1st and 2nd place will count as the horse being placed, when the race have very few horses in it.


This it is a bet on your selected horse to finish 3rd place or better, and you get paid the same regardless of whether it ends up on 1st, 2nd or 3rd place.


You select one horse for place #1 and another horse for place #2. You only win if you are 100% correct. If only one of your selections come true, you lose your entire wager. If the horses place first and second, but in the opposite order to your wager, you lose your entire wager.


Just like an Exacta, but you have to select a horse for place #3 as well.


Just like a Trifecta, but you have to select a horse for place #4 as well.

Daily Double

You pick the winners of two different races. Many bookmakers will only offer this betting option for the very first + the very last race on a specific racetrack that day.

Pick 3

Similar to a Daily Double, but you pick the winners of three races instead of just two.

Pick 4

Similar to a Pick 3, but you pick the winners of four races instead of just three.

Head-to-Head (H2)

When this betting option is offered, the bookmaker is essentially pitting two horses against each other. Which of the two do you think will finish best? The horse you wager on doesn’t have to win a race or even place or show for you to get paid; the important thing is that it ends up closer to the top than the other horse.