Kentucky Derby betting can be done online, through an app on your mobile device, or at a casino with a race book. If you are betting from home, you need to make sure that it is legal to do so in your state. You can check here.
What Are Odds?
When betting on a horse, you will be paid out on the horse’s odds, which are fluid up until betting closes, just before the race. Horse betting odds function, essentially, as a reward-to-risk ratio. For example, if the odds are 3:1 (sometimes written 3/1 or 3-1), winning bettors will be paid $3 for every $1 they wager, with their initial $1 bet returned. If you bet $20 dollars on a horse with 3:1 odds, you will be paid $60 profit and you’d receive your initial bet back (so you’d have $80 in your pocket).
The odds are influenced by other people’s bets, which is why they are fluid. In horse racing, you are betting alongside other people — the more people that bet on a horse, the lower his odds will go. Therefore, the odds in a given race don’t have anything to do with the track condition, a horse’s wellbeing, or the jockey riding atop.
Since odds can fluctuate until the start of the race, any winning bets will be paid on whatever the odds were when betting closes.
What Are Straight Bets?
The win, place, and show bets are the most popular, when it comes to the Derby, and horse racing in general. They are fairly easy to understand and are often referred to as “straight bets.”
The most popular type of bet in the Kentucky Derby is the “win” bet. You simply choose the horse that you think will win the Derby. You can bet any amount that you wish, from $2.00 up.
Another popular bet is a “place” bet. If you bet on a horse to “place,” he must finish the race in first or second place in order for you to be paid out.
In order to win a “show” bet, the horse that you are betting on must finish first, second, or third.
What Are Exotic Bets?
Betting on a horse race can get a bit more confusing with exotic bets, but there are some that worth mentioning, as they are fun and interesting.
Let’s take a look at the exacta, trifecta, and the superfecta. These exotic bets payout on a combination of factors. The payouts are determined by each horse’s odds to win, combined with the order in which the horses finish.
The “exacta” pays out if you bet on the first two horses that finish the Derby in the “exact” order that you bet them. For example, if you think that horse No. 5 will win and that horse No. 9 will come in second place, you would bet an “exacta 5, 9.”
Taking that a little further, you can bet on the top three horses that finish the race. This bet is called a “trifecta.” If you believe that horse No. 5 will be first, horse No. 9 will be second, and horse No. 4 will be third, you’d bet a trifecta 5, 9, 4. Those three horses must finish in that exact order for you to win this bet.
Things get even more interesting with a “superfecta” in which you must select four horses and they must finish in the exact order that you bet them. Although it’s difficult to win this bet, many people like to try to guess and hope their luck pays off, simply because the payout is quite handsome.
For more information on how to bet the Kentucky Derby, check out the following article: