Which horse racing bets pay the most money?

Lifestyle | 11 Jul |

With year-round horse racing back at the newly renovated Arizona Downs racetrack, you may want to have some fun watching the horses and hope to walk away with a tidy profit. If that’s the case, you might be wondering which horse racing bets to choose and which ones pay out the most if you get it right.

Unfortunately, there are way too many variables to just state categorically that if you take Bet A it’ll pay out more than if you choose to take Bet B.

Even if you choose one of the exotic bets, such as a trifecta, if all the favorites romp home, a trifecta isn’t going to pay that much per $1 wager.

What will likely pay the most is something that has to be determined on a race by race basis, but in saying that, the harder the bet is to win, the chances are much higher of a bigger payout.

Don’t Back Favorites for a Win Or a Place (Don’t Back Longshots Either)

Although it might seem like a far more guaranteed way of having a win, you simply won’t make much money backing favorites for a win or a place because the odds are so low.

Win or place bets are one of the easiest to get right and that’s why they don’t pay very much even when you do pick a winner. The only real exception to this is if you were to put your money on a longshot to win or come to a place, a horse with astronomical odds.

Favorites only win about 30% of races, and longshots rarely win, as they are a longshot for a reason. Sometimes it happens, but not that often.

On that note, if you’re thinking of backing one of the Melbourne Cup 2019 horses, don’t put your money down on the favorite.

The odds get really skewed in the great race more than any other, simply due to all the random betting going on. Melbourne Cup favorites win less often than in other races, only finishing first about 23% of the time in the race’s history.

Focus On Exotic Bets

Generally speaking, exotic bets pay the best odds, so, therefore, you’ll have more chance of snaring bigger wins.

Keep in mind that the very reason they pay better odds is that they are harder to pick.

Some examples of exotic bets in Australian thoroughbred horse racing are:

  • Quinella
  • Trifecta
  • Quadrella
  • Treble
  • Exacta
  • Superfecta
  • First 4
  • And others…

The easiest bet to win out of the selection of exotic bets mentioned above is the quinella. All you have to do is choose 2 horses and if both are first and second past the post, in any order, you win.

The exacta bet is also like the quinella, where you pick two horses, but in this case, you have to also correctly predict their winning order. It’ll generally pay higher than a standard quinella though.

Trifectas are extremely popular bets because there is still a decent chance of getting it right (if you do your homework and choose carefully), and many trifectas can pay out quite handsomely for a modest $1 wager.

It’s not easy picking the first 3 horses past the post in the right order, but it’s an easier bet than some other exotics. If all 3 race favourites come in the top 3, the payout won’t be much, but if a mid-range horse features, then the dividend can jump significantly.

Other popular exotic bets, and ones that are even harder to predict are the quadrella (often called the “quaddie”) and the first 4 bets.

Don’t get these 2 confused as they are totally different bets.

For example, the first 4 is just like the trifecta, but instead of predicting the first 3 horses in the right order, you have to predict the first 4 horses in exact finishing order to win.

Understandably, this bet, on average, pays out more in winnings than a trifecta does, but that’s because it’s even harder to get it right.

With the quadrella, it’s like the double and the treble, except you need to pick the winner of all 4 allocated races that make up the quadrella. That’s no simple task, but if you can do it, expect to be paid out rather handsomely; especially if favorites don’t feature among the winners.

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