Everyone wants to win in horse racing, but the truth is that most people are unaware of the nuances of horse racing chances. Although placing a wager is simple, most racegoers leave with less money than before. If you’re looking for a good starting point to learn about horse racing betting, this “Betting Odds Explained Horse Racing” article is just for you and this guide we published on our website.

Are you merely making blind wagers and crossing your fingers? If you are, that is entirely acceptable. We won’t judge you. But that is why we created this article! To simplify horse racing betting, we shall explain and simplify horse racing odds.

Not knowing how to wager or not comprehending the odds is one of the most common ways people lose money when betting on horse racing. It can be somewhat intimidating for a novice to see all those numbers on the board, and to hear the language associated with horse racing odds.

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What Are Horse Racing Odds?

The “odds” refer to how prices and payouts are shown at a horse track. The figures displayed, such as 4-8 or 2-6, will show how much you paid and how much you will receive if the horse you bet on wins. The first number indicates your potential winnings, and the second number represents your stake. If the odds are 2-1, you will receive $2 for every $1 you wager. One of two formats is used to present the odds:


These are more prevalent and conventional. They are shown as 4/1. You would pronounce this format as “four to one” when speaking. You can interpret these odds for horse racing as follows: if you win, you will receive $4 for every $1 you bet (plus your original bet).


This kind of odds is more often used in Europe. In contrast to fractional odds, these are presented in the format of 6.00, which already includes your investment. The possible return is calculated by multiplying the odd by the stake. If the odd is 6.00, multiply your stake by this number to determine the potential rewards (original bet included).

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Let’s explain some horse racing odds examples:

7-5 odds

  • Spoken: 7 to 5 odds
  • Meaning: You will get $7 in profit for every $5 you wager
  • Payout: 7 / by (5 + 1) = 2.4 times original * $5 wager = $12 payout

21 odds

  • Spoken: 21 to 1 odds
  • Meaning: You will get $21 in profit for every $1 you wager
  • Payout: 21 / (1 + 1) = 22 times original * $1 = $22 payout

11-2 odds

  • Spoken: 11 to 2 odds
  • Meaning: you will get $11 in profit for every $2 you wager
  • Payout: 11 / by (2 + 1) = 6.5 times original * $2 = $13 payout

Horse racing odds examples

How to Read Horse Racing Odds?

So how do you read horse racing odds exactly? Glad you ask! Let’s start by elaborating from the top.

Early Morning Line

There are “morning line” odds available before the race starts. These are the odds that track’s handicapper has allocated each horse. These are made public in the racing form, the program, or online at your sportsbook. Depending on how many people are placing wagers on each horse until the race starts, the odds will fluctuate either at the track on the board or your online sportsbook.


There is a favorite in each event. This horse is the most likely to succeed. If more than one horse has an equal chance of winning, “JF”—which stands for joint favorite—might be displayed.


Probability percentages can be calculated using fractional odds. As a result, a race with 1/1 odds would indicate that there would be one success for every failure, giving you a 50% chance of winning.

  • A 2/1 fraction indicates a chance of success for every two failures, giving you a 33% likelihood.
  • A 3/2 fraction indicates a 40% chance.
  • A 2/3 fraction equals a 60% chance.
  • A 10/1 fraction indicates a 9% chance. And so on.
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Look at our sportsbooks comparison if you don’t know where to place your bets.

A Win Bet

The most fundamental type of wager in horse racing is the win bet. The win bet also referred to as the “straight bet” or “single”, is a wager on one horse to win the race.

If the chosen horse takes first place, the wager wins. Otherwise, it loses. The win bet pays out if the chosen horse is the first to cross the line. The wager is lost if the horse comes in any other position, whether it be second or twelfth.

Win bets have one of the longest odds and highest rewards, but they are also the most challenging to win.

A Place Bet

In horse racing, a place bet is a bet on one horse to finish first or second. The wager is profitable and pays off if the horse places in the top two, whether it takes first or second place. The place wager is lost if the selected horse finishes anywhere other than first and second.

A Show Bet

A stake on a single horse finishing in any of the top three spots is known as a “show bet”. It’s a straightforward yes-or-no question that pays off whether the horse comes in first, second, or third. The show wager pays as long as the selected horse is in the top three.

Across the Board

Making three different bets on a single ticket is called betting money across the board. The wagers are on who will win, place, and show. An across-the-board wager will cost $6 to play because the base bet is typical $2.

Your horse must finish first, second, or third to win an across-the-board bet. You’d get paid if it ended up in one of those positions. If the horse wins, you will receive the entire prize money. If it finishes second, you will receive the place and show bet. And if it finishes third, you only win the show.


An exacta wager, which may be made on virtually all horse races, is one of the most popular wagers. To win an exacta bet, you must select the top two finishers.

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You can play an exacta straight, which requires that the horses finish first and second in the order you select, or an exacta box, which allows the top two to finish in any order.


Due to its ease of use and significant potential for profit, the trifecta is one of the most common wagers in horse racing.

Choosing three horses to finish first, second, and third in that sequence is known as a trifecta. It’s not enough to properly anticipate the top three finishers. The wager only pays off when the bettor correctly guesses the top three finishers in a precise sequence.

A trifecta is challenging to win, but the prize is very large when it does.

Are you worry about the safety of your money when betting online? If the answer is yes, you have to read this article about how to protect your money from scammers.

Deposits and Withdrawals:

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We hope you have learned a lot about betting on horse racing!

Not knowing how to wager or not comprehending the odds, is one of the most common ways people lose money when betting on horse racing, so we hope this article has been helpful.

If you want to keep learning about sports betting, visit our website regularly. We publish new articles every day!