Betting on horse racing can be confusing for those unfamiliar with the basics. This brief guide will provide an overview of how odds work, as well as what the various types of bets available are. Examples of simple, easy to start with bets are also provided to get you off on the right foot.


Odds are the foundation of placing a bet. Each horse in a race will have been assigned odds by the bookmaker who decides which odds are applicable based on a number of factors. Note that not every bookmaker will apply the same odds to the same horses, which is why it is important to shop around to get the best odds.

Odds represent the likelihood that the bookmaker feels a certain horse will win. If a horse has been given high odds, such as 1/10, it means that the bookmaker feels the horse is less likely to win a race. The horse does not have a good reputation for winning, and has not been performing well in recent races. But this does not necessarily mean that the bet maker should avoid these odds.

High Odds

High odds also mean that should the bettor place a bet on the horse, and that horse win, the payouts will be significant. A small bet of $10 on 1/10 odds would payout $100, as can be seen by the numbers in the odds. This makes it appealing to bet on horses with high odds, given the massive potential financial gain. Horse betting is, after all, a game of risk versus reward. So, if the bettor has a hunch that an underperforming horse is due for a comeback, a high odds bet can be a blessing.

Low Odds

1/2 odds are, naturally, the opposite. The horse is seen to be likely to win, and so the payouts are a great deal less. It doesn’t mean the horse is guaranteed to win, but the chances are a whole lot more likely. A $10 bet on 1/2 odds would payout only $20.

Group Bets

In horse racing betting it is not necessary to bet on just a single horse to win, which is a high risk, high reward situation. There are a number of betting options that drastically improve the chances of the bettor getting payouts, even if not predicting the specific winning horse of the race. Group betting options mean that the bettor may place money on three or more horse, and be paid out according to how well each horse performs.

Swinger Bet

A simple bet to start with is the Swinger bet, although there are many other group betting options. The bettor picks any two horses in the race, and wins if the two horse place anywhere in the first three. Note that neither horse has to place first in order for payouts to be made. It also does not matter which horse comes in which position. The two horses can come second and third, and a payout is still made.

The most appealing part of this bet is that it is so flexible, and does not require an exact prediction from the bet maker. As to which horses should be chosen is up to the bettor. Remember what was explained about odds in order to make an appropriate choice and place a solid bet. You can claim a bonus code for Bwin in the UK here.