When it comes to betting on horse racing, you need to do two things well in order to leave the track with more money than you arrived with. Not only do you have to handicap the horses, you also have to choose the best type of bets to make.
In the first of our Betting 101 series on individual types of bets, we discussed the most popular and basic bet in the sport: betting which horse will win. Today, we consider “place” and “show” bets. They are two of the most traditional types of bets, and neither are frequently recommended. That said, there are occasions to try each.
A “place” bet becomes a winner if your horse finishes first or second. A “show” bet gets cashed if your horse hits the wire first, second, or third.
In the vast majority of cases, the minimum place/show bet is $2.
Place and show bets, like win bets, are not considered exotic. As a result, they tend to have one of the lower percentages taken off the top. Tracks generally take between 15 and 19-percent on place and show bets, with 16-percent the most common.
The less evolved. There was a time when the only three bets available were win, place, and show. Those who have had difficulty transitioning to the newer forms of betting feel safe with these basics. Newcomers to the sport will also be tempted into place and show bets, since they seem like one of the easier ways to get a few bucks back.
Before you make place or show bets, you need to ensure there is going to be a worthwhile profit margin. In the majority of races, there won’t be. If the favorite finishes second, he or she will eat up a ton of money in the place pool, killing the ROI on anybody else. The same is the case in the show pool if the chalk hits the board.
However, in races where the wrong horse is favored and a large percentage of the money is being bet on that horse, there will be dead cash in the place and show, and whoever you like might be a square price if they finish second or third. If you really like a big longshot, a couple bucks to place can’t hurt to at least recoup your win bet if he or she finishes second.
Finally, if there is a big favorite who’s getting an unreasonable amount (say 70 to 90-percent of the place and show money), it creates value on the other horses in the pool in the unlikely (but not impossible) event the favorite fails to live up to expectations.
Essentially, in all instances not listed above. In most normal races, place and show are bad bets. While you might cash tickets, the ROI is weak. Favorites hit the board routinely, and that kills the place and show pool for everyone. If you like a favorite, the margin to place and show is miniscule.
It is hard to grind out profits when you are betting favorites and making between one or two bucks on $2 wagers. Overly conservative people, those who like penny slot machines, find comfort in the minimal risk and frequent small wins. But it’s not a sustainable strategy, long-term, for serious bettors.
Photo credit: Mike L Photo’s (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
OnlineGambling.LV brings you the best online gambling sites to make sure your experience is as safe and profitable as possible. Whether your gambling interest is out bluffing your opponents in No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, playing Vegas-style casino games like slots or roulette, or sports betting on who’s going to win the next Super Bowl, or a combination of all three, you will find the best online gambling site to suit your needs. Our expert online gambling site reviews will help you find out who’s got the best odds, games, cash bonuses, deposit options and payouts, customer service, and a whole lot more. Welcome to OG.LV, and may the odds be ever in your favor!