Horse Race Betting Terms (Everything You Need To Know To Bet Like A Pro) In 2019


Horse racing entails some kind of boggling collection of terms and colorful phrases that involve placing your money on a particular horse and getting away with a lot of cash if the horse wins. 

Horse racing also offers a gentle of betting, meaning that you don’t have to bet on horse being number one. You can even win when the horse comes in the second or third position depending on the kind of wager you place. All need to have is an understanding of the lingo, and appropriately placing the bet.

Here are some kind of bets and betting terms as well:

Horse Race Betting Terms

Straight bets


In horse racing, this is the simplest form of betting, which indicates placing a bet on a particular horse to win. You will absolutely lose if it comes second. But there is a looser definition that says a Straight bet is when you predict a horse will either be number one, two, or three.

Having said that, there are different kinds of straight bets, which can increase possibilities of winning. They are differentiated by different terms that include:

Across the Board

This means placing three bets which are: You predict the horse to either win, come second or third. If the horse happens to win, you are paid for all three bets. If it comes second place, you win money for the second and third place win, and if the horse comes third, you are only paid for a third place win.

In The Money – A horse is said to finish on the money if it takes the first, second or third place.

On The Nose – You are only betting on the horse to win.


This is said when the horse takes second place. You will only win if the horse takes first or second position. This option is used if you think the horse may fail to take the first place.


This is when a horse takes the third position. It’s not much different from a place bet, as you will collect winning from the horse if it wins, comes second or even third. A winning horse here pays the most, as you will be paid for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd position winnings.

Exotic Wagers


These are more complicated bets, as they involve more than one horse. They definitely pay more than straight bets but are harder to win. Some examples of straight bets include:

Boxed bet

It involves multiple horses covering all possible combinations of finishing. For instance, for you to box an exacta, you bet on Horse X to win and Horse Y to place, and also on Horse Y to win, and Horse X to win. 

It simply means you are predicting on the horses to take the first and second position, but are not sure of the order. So you separate the two bets to maximize the winning possibility

Daily Double

This means placing a wager on two different horses in different races. Each of the two horses must take the first place for you to win.


This means picking the first two finishers of a race in exact order.


This is a kind of variation of boxing a bet, which is a single bet. The horses selected must win and place, without following a certain order.


This entails selecting 4 horses to finish a race in exact order. This kind of bet can be boxed just like an exacta, but it involves numerous combinations. It could be expensive to lose a lot of money if a single horse sways from your predictions.

Trifecta (Triple)

It involves selecting the first 3 finishers in a race. The horses have to be selected in correct order unless you think of boxing your bet.

Other Betting Terms

Bridge Jumper

Is one who places a bet using a large amount of money such as $100,000 on a single horse to win.

Dead Heat

It signifies exact ties of 2 or more horses at the end of a race. The purse and winnings for the positions tied are divided between the horses.


This is a review by track personnel if something happens during the race such as a horse impending the progress of the other during the race.


This is when a trainer, rider, or track official cry foul if a jockey or horse does something that could have cost another in the race. It may result to an Inquiry.


This is a summation of how a horse is likely to win. Odds are usually set before a race begins even a day before, based on official handicappers’ opinions. As the time of racing draws closer, money begins being reflected by these odds as people bet. The odds of a particular horse goes down if a lot of people have placed on it to win, while the odds for the horses with little or no cash placed on them goes up, as few people or no one thinks it may win.

That said, all is now set and you can head to the tracks!