The most exciting 2-minutes in sports is right around the corner. The first Sunday in May is an all-week affair for the people of Louisville, KY. The stars will be in town, Joey Fatone will make his usual appearance at the after parties and such. But, horse racing isn’t the easiest sport to bet on, in fact, they count on a large number of uninformed bets to make their money. The most straightforward Derby bets explained range from win, place and show which we will discuss below.
There are multiple ways to bet on the Kentucky Derby. There are your very easy straight up, win bets. You pick a horse to win outright, if they do you win. If you aren’t used to betting on horses, this is just a moneyline bet essentially. This is the easiest and fastest way to bet, and if you’re at the track it can be a lot of fun to make small wagers throughout the day. You will get the best individual odds on bets like this.
Now we get a little more detailed, but it’s not anything crazy. Place bets are the next level. A place bet means you believe your horse will finish first or second. This is a safer bet, because it offers two ways to win. Are you worried your horse might not have the legs to make the distance? Don’t want to lose on a bad beat at the line? Maybe place bets are for you. Don’t get hit with disappointment just because your horse wasn’t first.
Next, you have the show bet. This is just an extension on the previous two. Place a show bet and if your horse finishes first, second, or third you will win the bet. More options to win, but a safer bet. These bets are going to have even lower odds than a place bet. However, it offers the comfort of knowing you don’t have to have the top horse in the field. These three bets are the base of Kentucky Derby betting and horse race betting in general.
The thing with place and show bets that makes them great for beginners, it makes you watch the rest of the field. With a win bet, you focus solely on your horse in the front, and if they fall way back in the field what’s the point? With place and show bets, you can watch the field with a calmer observation. Horses jump into the top-3 more often than you think at the end of races.
If you feel like you get the hang of these basic types of bets, try your hand at harder and more advanced ones. If you hang around horse betting circles long enough you will surely hear terms like exacta and trifecta. These are ways to incorporate multiple horses, multiple win/place/show manipulations and things like that. I know, sounds wild.
As with anything, start off slow and get your legs under you first. Make even level bets, don’t put all your money on one race, and have fun. As always, bet responsibly.