Win Place Show Horse Race Betting

Win, place and show bets are the most common types of horse racing bets.  They involve betting on a single horse in a single race.  Betting on just a single horse makes win, place and show bets much easier to win than exotic horse racing bets, which involve wagering on 2 or more horses in the same race.

Win, Place, Show Horse Race Betting Explained

A horse “Wins” the race if they finish in first, “Places” in the race if they finish in second and “Shows” in the race if they finish in third.  That being said betting on a horse to “Place” does not mean that horse must finish in second place, but rather that the horse must finish in either first or second place.

Win Bets in Horse Racing

A win bet is paid out if the selected horse finishes the race in first.

Place Bets in Horse Racing

A place bet is paid out if the selected horse finishes the race in first or second.

Show Bets in Horse Racing

A show bet is paid out if the selected horse finishes the race in first, second or third.

As you can tell Win bets are much more difficult to win than Show bets and for that reason you can expect a smaller payout from a Show bet on a winning horse than from a Win bet.

Should I Bet To Win, Place Or Show?

Most horse racing professionals argue that betting on a horse to win will earn you the most profit over the long run.  This is because you can see the odds for a horse to win on the toteboard.  The toteboard displays the odds for the horses, which are set by the public’s bets.  In parimutuel betting, which horse racing is, the odds can change up to the start of the race depending on bets placed by the public.  So in reality with horse racing you are betting against the public and often the public can be wrong.

It is also possible for odds to change right up until the race begins.  For this reason it is smart to wait as long as possible prior to a race in order to see the most accurate odds for the horses.  This gives you the opportunity to decide which horse is being overlooked and to place a “Win” bet on him.