STRAIGHT OR BASIC WAGERS
There are a number of different wagers you can choose when wagering at the track. All of these variations stem
from one core premise: Bettors receive payouts based on the first, second and third place finishers. Or, in racing
terms, they are based on Win, Place and Show.
Across the Board
You are wagering on a horse to Win, Place and Show. You receive one ticket for all three wagers. If your horse wins,
you receive Win, Place and Show payouts. If your horse finishes second, you receive Place and Show payouts; and if
your horse is third, you receive the Show payout. Because you are actually placing three wagers, the minimum wager is $6.
To win, you must select the winners of two designated, consecutive races by placing the wager before the first of the two races.
You win by selecting the first two finishers, in exact order, in a designated race.
How to Place a Wager
Here’s how to place your wager at the mutuel window:
- State the race number and the track where the race is being run
- State the amount you wish to wager.
- State the type of wager you wish to make.
- State your choice or the program number of the horse(s) on which you want to wager.
For Example: “Louisiana Downs, fifth race, five dollars to win, on number 2.”
Always make sure to check your tickets for accuracy before leaving the mutuel window, and be sure to hold on to
your tickets until the race is declared “official” to ensure that you won’t throw away or tear up a winning
ticket. You may also choose to place your wager using one of the automated self-service machines located
throughout the facility. Ask a representative for assistance.
How to Collect Your Winnings
If you have made a winning wager, take it to any mutuel window after the race is declared official to collect your
winnings. You may take full amount in payment or wager back all or part of it on upcoming races. If you are
unsure whether you have a winning ticket, do not hesitate to have it checked at any window. Also, try to avoid
cashing winning tickets within five minutes prior to a race, especially if you do not plan to wager on that race. Many
people prefer to wait until the last few minutes before a race to place their wagers, and cashing in during that time
can slow the process. There is ample time between each race to cash your winning ticket
THE DAILY PROGRAM
As a fan, your one real necessity is the day’s Official Program. The program lists vital information about each
day’s races, including the official numbers of horses for wagering, and helps you make informed wagering selections.
ITEMS TO CONSIDER WHEN WAGERING AT THE RACES
Here are some simple tactics which may be helpful to the newcomer:
- Wager on the favorite. The favorite is the horse with the lowest odds or the one on which the most money has been wagered. Favorites win approximately one third of the time.
- Check the local papers, the Daily Racing Form and the program handicapper’s selections.The observations and advice of a recognized expert are generally a good guide for the newcomer. They offer a popular shortcut for the newcomer and a helpful learning tool for developing handicapping skills.
- Purchase a tip sheet. These are prepared by professional handicappers and may provide useful wagering selections.
- Look in the program for a list of jockey and trainer standings which include the number of wins todate. The top riders generally ride the best horses, and the hot trainers generally have a high win percentage.
- View the horses. Watch the TV monitors while the horses are in the paddock and in the Post Parade
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Entry – A horse entered in a race is called an entry. And on rare occasions, two or more horses are
said to be “coupled” and run as an “entry,” comprising a single wagering unit. A wager on one horse of an entry is a wager on both.
Furlong – One-eighth of a mile or 220 yards. Races are measured in furlongs.
Infield Odds Board – The board in the infield of a racetrack is called the totalisator board and displays
uptodate odds along with the dollar amounts wagered on each horse in a race.
Morning Line – Approximate odds printed in the program and posted on the Infield Odds Board before
wagering begins. This is a forecast of how the morning linemaker believes wagering will occur In a particular race.
Paddock – The area at the racetrack where the horses are saddled and viewed prior to a race.
Post position – A horse’s position in the starting gate, numbered from the inner rail outward.
Purse – The amount of prize money distributed to the owners of the first five or six finishers in a race varies