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Guide to Horse Race Betting

Most people like to have a bet on the horses every now and again, with few other sports offering such glitz, excitement and drama.

From the very top races at Royal Ascot or the Cheltenham Festival to the not-quite-so glamorous meets at Redcar or Plumpton, racing has become one of the nation’s favourite sports – especially when it comes to betting.

But with so many different types of bet on offer, it really does pay to know your forecast from your trixie.

Here, we take a look at some of the most popular bets when it comes to The Sport of Kings.

Betting to Win

This is the most simple bet, and involves making a single selection on one horse.
For example, if you fancied a horse at 9/1 and placed a £1 bet, your return would be £10 – £9 profit plus your £1 stake.
Pretty straightforward really.

Each-Way Betting

Put simply, an each-way bet is two bets on the same horse – one bet on the horse to win, and another on the horse to be placed.
It costs double the amount of a win-only bet, but gives you a better chance of a payout.

If the horse wins, you win both parts of the bet; if it is placed you only win on the place part – usually a quarter or a fifth of the winning odds.

The number of places in a race depends on how many runners there are.

– In a race involving 2-4 horses, only first place counts.
– If there are 5-7 runners, the top two place.
– If there are 8-15 runners, the top three place.
-If there are 16 or more runners, the top four place.

It is worth bearing in mind that unless your horse is priced at 4/1 or better, a place will actually pay out less than your original stake

Forecasts and Tricasts

A forecast is a bet on the horses that you think will come first and second in a race, while a tricast is a prediction of the top three.
Whatever is won on the first horse then rolls over onto the second (and third), meaning that returns are better than just predicting the winner.

Sounds tough, but can come in handy when betting on a race involving a short-priced favourite.

Forecasts and tricasts can also be reversed, meaning that you can predict the top two or three to finish in any order. The stake will be higher, as you are betting on a number of different outcomes.


Accumulators are a very popular choice when it comes to having a flutter as the payouts can be huge, depending on the amount of selections and their odds.

Accumulators, or ‘accas’, include multiple bets such as doubles and trebles – selecting two or three horses to win (or place) their races.

The stake is rolled over from one horse to the next, and all selections must win (or place) in order to win.

For example, a £1 win treble on three horses priced at 10/1 would return a whopping £1,331.
There are also a wide variety of combination accumulator bets available, some of the most popular being TRIXIES, YANKEES, CANADIANS and A HEINZ.

– In a Trixie you would make three selections across three races. The bet covers all combinations of doubles and trebles – in this case three doubles and a treble – meaning that you would need at least two horses to win.
– A Yankee is the similar to a Trixie, but involving four selections. These cover six doubles, four trebles and one four-fold accumulator.
– A Canadian involves five selections. These consist of 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five four-fold accumulators and a five-fold accumulator.
– A Heinz involves six selections, consisting of consisting of 57 bets; 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, six five-folds and a six-fold accumulator.
– A Super Heinz consists of seven selections, covering 120 bets: 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, 7 six-folds and a seven-fold accumulator.

Bets such as these can also include singles – they are known as Patents, Yaps, Lucky 15s, Lucky 31s, Lucky 63s.

You can also try your luck on a Super Heinz with Singles – presumably they ran out of ideas for names for this one…

Scoop 6

The Scoop 6 is a popular six-race accumulator that is run on Saturdays, across six selected races.

For a £2 stake, you choose one horse in each of the six races, and all six selections must win if you are to claim the prize pot.

If the Scoop 6 isn’t won one week, the kitty rolls over to the next week and regularly reaches hundreds of thousands of pounds.

If you are lucky enough to win the Scoop 6 you will also get the chance to play for the Scoop 6 bonus fund by picking the winner of a selected race the following Saturday.

Even if you fail to select all six winners you can win a share of the Scoop 6 place fund if your selections place in each of the 6 races. A pretty decent consolation prize.