The Dubai World Cup is this weekend, and some of you are probably considering trying your hand at live horse race betting. March is your lucky month because we’re giving you some horse betting tips. Some say winning is pure luck, but skill helps improve the odds.

Horse Betting Tips for the Beginner

Brush up on your history

Any OG at the track will tell you the best of the horse betting strategies is to know the man (or woman) behind the mane. The more you know about the competitors, the more informed types of horse bets you make. Many pros are putting their money on the American horse, Arrogate, for the Dubai World Cup but aren’t ruling out competition from another American thoroughbred, Gun Runner. So why are Oddsmakers choosing these two horses?

Handicapping horses follow many guidelines, but the top are:

  • Past performance in live horse racing competitions
  • History with their jockey and trainer; if they’ve switched jockeys or trainers since their last season, they could still be trying to catch their footing
  • Usual conduct on the type of surface they’re racing on

Don’t run out and buy a history book of all thirteen horses running in this weekend’s race. Most of the above information can be found in the race program or online. The experienced gambler will get their horse betting tips from everywhere, but as a beginner, one good source can up your odds about 33%.

Know the types of horse bets

There are two categories of bets for live horse racing: straight and exotic wagers.

With straight wagers, you bet on one horse to place in the top three spots of the competition. If you’re completely new to the track, play it safe and bet straight. Straight wagers are affordable and a quick Internet search can give you a good idea of where to put your money.

There are five types of straight wagers you can make on your horse:

  • A win means you’re betting your pony is going to take first place
  • A place bet lets you collect if your horse comes in first or second place
  • A show widens the net by betting your horse will place in any of the top three spots

If you’re interested in how to bet on horses and win, the above three bets pay out less, but it’s a good way to get your feet wet at the track. The following are more expensive straight wagers but have the potential for a higher payout:

  • A combo straight wager means you think your horse will win, place, and show. If your horse does win, you earn money from all three categories, but if they come in second, you get money from two categories (place and show). If they come in third, you only get show money.
  • A win/place bet kind of works like a combo straight wager. If your horse takes first place, you collect from the win and place fund, but if they fall short and take second, you only get place money.
  • In similar fashion, a place/show bet means you think your horse will place and show. If they place second, you’ll go home with place and show money, but if they take third, you’ll only walk away with show money.

The Dubai World Cup is an exotic race, so you might want to make your bets match, too. An exotic wager is a true live horse racing enthusiast’s best bet because you can place money on more than one horse at a time. Here’s how it works:

  • An exacta means you bet on two horses to place first and second in a precise order. But if you only want to bet on a couple horses and take out the order, you can pay double and box your bet.
  • A quinella is a less expensive version of a box bet. A box bet will payout more but a quinella will save you more if you lose.
  • During a trifecta, you up the ante by betting on three different horses to place in the top three spots. You can box these babies, too.
  • A superfecta allows you to choose four horses to place in an exact order. You can box these, too.

Live horse race betting is thrilling and scary, but listening to these horse betting tips from some old pros can really improve your chances.

How to Place a Horse Racing Bet

Now that you’re familiar with some horse betting tips and how the whole thing works, are you ready to place your bet? Come on down to Ellis Park Racing for the Dubai World Cup and test your skill so you’re an old pro by the time our live horse racing season starts.