Betting 101 – Reading a Live Racing Program
Perhaps the most intimidating thing for handicapping newbies is learning to read the live racing program. Programs are a bettors handbook for that day’s racing card (available at the track and free online here) and contains everything you need to know about each horse in a particular race and their past performances. There is a lot of information available and can be a lot to dissect for a new handicapper. But don’t worry! You’ll get the hang of it after reading our guide and placing a few bets.
PRO TIP: Because of the abundance of important information, live racing programs are often printed in very tiny type. For those who need eyeglass readers, be sure to have them on hand!
Betting 102 – Bet Types
- Win: Your horse finishes 1st
- Place: Your horse finishes 1st or 2nd
- Show: Your horse finishes 1st, 2nd, or 3rd
PRO TIP: Try a combination! Betting across the board will place a Win bet, a Place bet, and a Show bet at the same time, increasing your winning odds.
- Exacta: Your (2) horses finish 1st and 2nd in that order
- Trifecta: Your (3) horses finish 1st, 2nd & 3rd in that order
PRO TIP: Try boxing your bet to increase your winning odds. For example, box a Trifecta bet and win if your 3 horses finish in any order, instead of a specific order.
Betting 103 – Placing Your Wager
Where to Bet
Visit a beginner’s mutuel window, bet on a self service teller (SST), or bet on your mobile device.
There is no need to be intimidated! Our tellers are happy to assist first timers in placing their bets. For a smooth betting process, be ready to give the teller the following:
- Name of track
- Race number
- Wager Amount
- Wager Type
- Horse number(s)
Our self-service tellers are placed throughout the building to make sure you can get your bets in fast and easy. Try one out! Follow the below steps at one of these machines:
- Insert cash, voucher, or winning ticket.
- Insert Players Rewards card (if available)
- Select track
- Select race number
- Select wager amount
- Select type of bet
- Select horse number(s)
- Double check your bet. If incorrect, choose Start Over. If correct, select Print Ticket to purchase.
- Continue with another bet or select Finish. Remember to collect your ticket before leaving the SST!
Comfortable with betting and want to place your wagers from the comfort of your seat? You can simply place a bet from your mobile device.
- Pick up a pin slip at a teller window or the Players Rewards desk
- Present the slip at a teller window to activate your Account ID & Pin #. You can also fund your account at this time.
- Follow QR code at the right or go to BetsBigM.com
- Enter Account ID & Pin #
- Choose your races and bets
- Remember: When you’re done, present the slip back to any teller to cash out.
Overwhelmed by some of the terminology using in horse racing? The Daily Racing Form has a handy glossary of horse racing terms that will help you understand some of the lingo.
World Harness Racing Podcast
Check out harness racing podcasts for interesting discussions of harness racing history, interviews with harness racing icons, and more.
Owning a Standardbred racehorse is a risk-reward proposition perhaps unlike any other. The thrill of rooting for your horse, especially when it wins, is unequaled. Many people involved in racing meet others in the sport and make friends for life. Learn more about the process and start your racehorse ownership journey today!