What types of bet are there?

The types of bet available on horse racing are numerous, too numerous to describe here, but suffice to say that they range from basic to complex, sometimes fiendishly so. The stock-in-trade of most punters, though, are the win bet and the win and place, or each-way, bet. The win bet involves placing a single stake on a horse to finish first in a race. The each-way bet, on the other hand, is effectively two bets in one; the first bet is on the horse to finish first and the second is on the horse to finish placed. The win bet is paid out at full odds, while the place bet is paid out at a fraction of the win odds. The number of places on which bookmakers pay out, and the fraction of the win odds they pay, varies according to the number of runners in the race and the type of race.

Rather than betting on just one selection in one race, it is also possible to combine two, three, four or more selections in doubles, trebles and accumulators which, like single bets, can be win or each-way. These so-called ‘multiple bets’ require more than one selection to win or finished placed to guarantee a return, but are nonetheless popular with small-stakes punters seeking a large payout. The fact that they are inherently riskier than single bets also makes them popular with bookmakers.