How to Place a Bet
Half the fun of going to the races is having a small bet (or flutter as it’s known as). However, with so many options it can be confusing for those going to the races for the first time. This post will explain what each type of common bet is (because there are some fancy types out there) and how to place them on your phone.
I should point out that I’m not really a person who bets big. In fact, the Melbourne Cup is probably my biggest bet, where I usually spread $10 across 4 horses. As always, don’t bet more than you’re willing to lose.
Before we get into each type of bet, it’s important to explain about odds. Like probability which we all learnt in school, the higher the odds, the lower the chance the bookies (people you place your bet with) think that horse can win. In betting though, odds are always presented in the form of dollars. So, a horse that is $3-1 (meaning you’ll get $3 back for every $1 you bet) probably has a better chance at winning than a horse that is $55-1. Obviously horses at long odds (paying a lot of money) can still win, but if you have no idea about horses and just want to place a fun bet, then the market (the odds) is usually a good guide.
So, let’s get into the types of bets now and how to place them. To access all kinds of bets, firstly select races, then which track you want to bet at and then select which race.
If you’re just a beginner at betting, than a win/place/each way bet is probably your best place to start. It’s probably the safest option and the easiest to understand.
When betting on a win, you’re literally just doing that, betting on a horse that will finish first. As obviously only one horse can win, these odds will be higher than a place odd. When someone says that put $5 on the nose, that also means they’ve had a $5 win bet.
To place a win bet, ensure you have selected win & place at the top, then press on either fixed or tote and then add to betslip. Once in your betslip, press on W and then win. Enter your amount and press done. Now you’re all good to go and can press place bets.
A place bet is when you’re betting on a horse to run a place. In racing’s case, this is first, second or third (though sometimes they won’t pay third place if the field is too small). As you have three chances on your bet of a horse placing, a place pays less than a win.
To place a place bet you’re going to do the same thing as a win bet, but when you go to enter your amount, just press on the place section and then press done.
An each way bet is a combination of a win and a place bet. When someone says they’ve got $5 each way, it means they have $5 on the win and $5 on the place.
To place an each way bet, you need to enter a dollar amount (how much you’re want to bet) in both the win and place section. Then press done. Once you’re happy, press place bet.
Now we start to get into the more technical bets. A quinella is betting on horses to finish first and second in any order (you can pick more than two horses but that does make things more complicated). As more horses are included in this type of bet, the reward is slightly higher, though you won’t know how much you’ll make till after the race.
To place a quinella bet press on win & place and select quinella. Then tick the horses you think will finish in the top two and click add to betslip. Enter your spend amount just as you would do for a win/place bet and then press place bets.
An exacta bet is almost exactly the same as a quinella. The only difference here is that you’re betting on the horses to finish first and second in that exact order. For this reason, the exacta will pay more than a quinella.
To place an exacta bet, select exacta from the drop-down menu. Then tick which horses you think will finish first and second before adding it to your betslip. Enter your spend amount and then press place bet.
A trifecta bet is when you bet on horses to finish first, second and third in the exact order. You can pick more than three horses (eg. 3 and 4 to finish first, 4, 8, 2 to finish second and 8, 2, 6, 1 and 5 to finish third), however, one, I’ve never done this and two, it seems complicated.
To place a trifecta bet with just 3 horses select trifecta from the drop-down menu and press 1st for the horse you think will win, 2nd for second and 3rd for third before adding to your betslip. Enter your spend amount and press place bet. As we can see below, the Flexi is 100% because I’ve only selected one horse for each place.
If you want to decrease the risk slightly, you can do what is known as a boxed trifecta, which is when the horses can finish in any particular order. When doing this type of bet it will give you a Flexi percentage. This percentage is how much you’ll get paid. For example if the trifecta pays $3 and your Flexi is 33.33% then you’ll make $1. The more you bet, the higher the Flexi will be. Like a normal trifecta, you can also include more than three horses.
To place a boxed trifecta, select your horses but put all of them as finishing first. For this example, I’ve only picked three, but you can do more. Once you’ve selected them, add it to your betslip. As you can see, even though I’ve still only selected three horses, the Flexi is less because I’ve done them in any order. Enter your spend amount and press place bets once you’re happy.
This is exactly the same as a trifecta but instead you’re betting on horses to finish first, second, third or fourth in the exact. You can also have a boxed first four, which will have a Flexi like I explained in the boxed trifecta.
To place a first four bet, follow the same process as a trifecta, but this time select first 4 from the drop-down menu and select a minimum of four horses in a particular finishing order. As I have only picked four horses, the Flexi is 100%. Enter your spend amount (which will allow you to see your Flexi percentage) and place your bet.
To place a boxed first four bet, just select a minimum of four horses and put them as all finishing first. As a result of the size of this field, $1 didn’t get me very far regarding the Flexi. Enter your spend amount and place bet.
A quaddie is when you pick the winners of four particular races, usually the last four races but also sometimes the bookies will do another one for the first four races. Just keep an eye out on your tab app to see which races have a Q1 (first leg of the quaddie) to Q4 (fourth leg of the quaddie). The Flexi option is also available here.
To place a quaddie bet select quaddie from the drop-down menu. Then press race 1 to open its options. Tick the horses you think will win in this race. Once you’ve repeated the process for the other three races, add it to your betslip. Enter your spend amount and place the bet.
Multi (All Up)
To be honest, I’m still learning about this type of bet, but from my understanding, an all up bet is a kind of multi. In this type of bet you can have multiple bets that all roll into one. So, if you place $1 on your multi and your first bet wins at $3 then $3 will be placed on your second bet. If it wins at $4 than $12 will be placed on your next bet and so forth. This is the only type of bet that you can incorporate bets from other sports are well. However, it’s a high-risk high reward bet. Apparently, there are options to say only 5 of your 6 leg multi gets up, but I’m yet to work out those options.
To place a multi bet can be done two ways. If you’re just doing an all up at one track, then select this option from the drop-down menu. Press the race you would like, select what type of bet and then tick the horse you would like to select. Complete this process for as many races as you like (though apparently there is a 6 race limit). Add it to your betslip, enter your spend amount and place the bet.
If you want a multi across multiple tracks, then select win & place from the drop-down menu. Press on the amount and add it to your betslip. As you can see in the example, I have horses from Belmont and Flemington. Press on W/P (win place button) to indicate whether you want the horse to win or place. Obviously, you’ll get more for a win, but the risk is also higher. Enter your spend amount to see how much you could make and place your bet.
Lastly, we have a mystery bet, which is just that, a mystery. It’s completely random and your horses are chosen for you. So, if you’re just having a bit of fun and/or have no idea which horses to pick, this is probably a good bet for you.
To place a mystery bet, select mystery from the drop-down menu. Similarly, you can also scroll down to the bottom of the screen on a race, where the options are also available. Select what type of bet you would like, which has a predetermined cost and place your bet (I hadn’t logged into my account which is why it says “account” and not place bet).
So, I hope if you’re heading to the track for the first time (be sure to check out my “5 Must Haves for the Spring Carnival” then), you’ve found this post helpful on how to place a bet. The process is only slightly different if you’re using a paper betslip at the track. You’ll still have to select your track and race, your horse’s number and how much you want to bet. The difference is you pick the paper betslip which corresponds with the type of bet you want to place (e.g. it will say “Win & Place” at the top for a win/place bet). As always, only bet the amount you’re willing to lose. Hopefully some luck will be on your side!