Other than getting a good tip on a horse from someone in the know, there are some bets that traditionally offer a better chance of winning and making money betting on the horse races, especially if you are a beginner or have limited experience handicapping horse races. Upon entering any race track the horse player is presented with a multitude of opportunities for wagering on almost any race. There are the traditional flat bets like win, place, and show. Then there are exotic bets such as the daily double, exacta, quinella, trifecta, superfecta, pick three, pick four, pick six, place pick nine, and others.
It is nice to have so many choices but that can be a trap for the beginner. Seeing a large payoff on an exotic bet, such as the superfecta in the Kentucky Derby that paid over half a million dollars, can encourage a bettor to wager on the exotic wagers and to forsake the less exciting flat bets.
But there are several pitfalls inherent in the exotics, especially if you have limited knowledge of betting and making money from your bets. if you are just gambling for fun, then by all means, swing for the fences, as they say, and go for the big exotic, but just realize that hitting the truly big payoff is almost as difficult as hitting the lottery. But if you would like the nice warm feeling of leaving the race track with more money than you entered with, the flat bets are a much better deal.
One of the reasons that flat bets are good bets is that you can tell what you are getting and what the bet pays. That means you can make a fair judgment as to the actual value of the bet. Even a person with rudimentary horseplaying skills will sometimes see the odds and think to him or herself, “That horse would be bet down more than that, that’s a good deal!”
When that occurs, it is a golden opportunity to make a profit. Put enough of those situations together and you will be a winning horseplayer, no matter how much experience you’ve had. Another reason that the exotics aren’t as good as the flat bets, is that the takeout, or “vig,” as it is sometimes called, is higher on the exotics in most situations. That means that the track takes more money out of the pool before the winners of the bet are paid, so you are paying more for the privilege of making the bet. Over time a higher vig, even just a few percentage points higher, can really add up and eat into your winnings.
If you find the flat bets too boring and really feel you must play the exotics, I advise you to find a horse that seems to be going off at good odds, compared to its form, and wheel it in one of the exotic pools. if it truly is an overlay, the exotics may pay well and you will not lose because you failed to figure out which horses to use to complete the bet. So the win bet is by far the best bet for a beginner or novice, followed by the wheel bet in the exotics.