Horse Racing Betting Glossary - Sporting Index

Horse Racing Betting Glossary

Betting on a horse race is the ultimate way to ramp up the excitement you experience when watching the runners charge towards the finishing line. You have a huge range of options at your disposal when you sign up for a Sporting Index account, as we offer both fixed-odds betting and spread betting. This glossary explains the various horse racing betting markets you can choose from across both:

Single Bet

This is a straightforward bet on which horse will win a particular race. We will assign odds to each runner based on the form it has displayed and its general calibre. It starts with a favourite and the odds grow progressively longer until you reach the rank outsider. This is a straight, fixed-odds bet in which you know exactly how much you stand to win or lose. For example, if you bet £10 on a horse at 7/1 and it wins, you make a £70 profit. If the horse fails to win the race, you lose your £10 stake.

Each-way Bet

An each-way wager is actually two bets: one on the win and the other on the place. Half of your stake goes on the horse winning the race, as explained above. The other half goes on it finishing in the first two, three, four or five places, depending on the number of runners in the race. In one race, we might offer a quarter of the odds on the first two places. In another race with more runners, we might offer a fifth of the odds on the first three places. These are known as the place terms. Each-way bets are often used on horses with reasonably long odds.

You might analyse the racecard and decide that a 10/1 shot called Sweet Cowgirl has a good chance of performing well. If you place a £20 each-way bet on it, £20 goes on the win and £20 goes on the place, so your total stake would be £40. If Sweet Cowgirl wins the race, both parts of the bet pay off. Let’s say the place terms are a fifth of the odds on the first three places. The £20 win would pay out at 10/1, earning you a £200 profit. The £20 place would also pay out at a fifth of 10/1, which is 10/5, or 2/1. You would earn a £40 profit on that, resulting in a total profit of £240. You also get both parts of your stake back, as they both came in.

If Sweet Cowgirl finishes either second or third, the win part of your bet will fail. However, the place part of your bet pays out. You would therefore receive a £40 profit, and your £20 stake would be returned for the place part of the bet, resulting in a total return of £60. If the place terms are a quarter of the odds, you will make an overall profit if the odds on the horse are greater than 4/1 and it places. If the place terms are a fifth of the odds, you will make an overall profit if the odds on the horse are greater than 5/1 and it places. That is why long shots are popular for each-way bets.

Race Index

This is a horse racing spread betting market that opens up a number of intriguing possibilities for horse racing fans. If there are 11 runners or fewer in a race, we award the winner 50 points, the runner-up 25 points and 10 points to the horse that finishes third. The rest of the runners receive zero points. Our traders will then assign a spread to each runner based on how they predict it will perform.

You might see a spread of 13-16 assigned to a horse called Shaker Baker. If you think it will enjoy a strong race, buy at 16. If you reckon it will struggle, sell at 13. If you decide to buy at 16 and it wins, you would earn a profit equivalent to 34 times your stake. That is because it would earn 50 points, which is 34 above the price you bought at, and this difference is multiplied by your stake to calculate your profit. If Shaker Baker finished second, it would earn 25 points and you would earn 9 times your stake in profit. If it finished third, you would lose 6 times your stake, as it would only earn 10 points, which is 6 below the price you bought at. If it finished out of the places and gained zero points, you would lose 16 times your stake. If you sold at 13, you would earn 13 times your stake if it finished outside the top three. You would earn 3 times your stake if it finished third, but you would incur a loss if it finished either first or second.

Races with 12 or more runners are scored differently. The winner in these races earns 50 points, the runner-up gets 30, the third place horse is given 20 points and the fourth placed horse gets 10. A Race Index wager is similar to an each-way bet, but it offers more possibilities, and that makes it one of the most popular horse racing spread betting markets.

Match Bet

This is an exciting spread betting market that pits two horses against one another within a race. The rest of the field is irrelevant for this bet, which allows punters to simply focus on the relative strengths and weaknesses of just two runners. Our traders make a prediction on what the distance between them crossing the line will be. You simply have to decide if they have been too ambitious or pitched it too low.

We might pit a horse called Nocturnal Mission against a rival called Bella Kristina for a Match Bet market, and predict that Nocturnal Mission will finish 2-3 lengths clear of Bella Kristina. If you think Nocturnal Mission will dominate Bella Kristina, buy at 3. If you think it will be close, sell at 2. If you buy at 3 and Nocturnal Mission beats Bella Kristina by 7 lengths, you would earn 4 times your stake in profit. However, if Nocturnal Mission won by 2 or fewer lengths, or finished behind Bella Kristina, you would incur a loss.

If you were to sell at 2 and Bella Kristina finished just a length behind Nocturnal Mission, you would earn 1 times your stake. If the horses crossed the line at the same time, you would earn double your stake. If Bella Kristina finished 10 lengths clear of Nocturnal Mission, you would earn 12 times your stake, because you would add the 2 length supremacy price to the 10 length margin of victory, as the unfancied horse had upset the odds. However, if Bella Kristina finished well behind Nocturnal Mission, you would lose several times your stake.

The maximum distance for a flat race is 12 lengths and the maximum distance in a jumps race is 15 lengths. If only one horse finishes, the maximum distance will apply.

Forecast

This is a fixed-odds bet on which horse will win a race and which horse will finish second. You have to specify the exact order in which they will finish, so it is sometimes referred to as an exacta bet. It is much harder to predict the winner and the runner-up than simply specifying who will win, but you will be rewarded with a significantly higher payout if you can pull it off. Your payout is calculated based on the odds assigned to each horse. The higher the odds on the horses you select, the larger the potential payout. Factors such as the number of runners also impact upon the ultimate dividends you receive when placing a winning forecast bet.

Reverse Forecast

This allows you to pick two horses, and they can finish first and second in any order. It essentially amounts to two bets: Horse A to beat Horse B over the line, and Horse B to beat Horse A. Therefore if you place a £10 reverse forecast, the total stake will be £20.

Combination Forecast

Pick three different horses in the same race and two of them must finish first and second in any order for your bet to pay out. This is actually six bets rolled into one: Horse A to beat Horse B, Horse A to beat Horse C, Horse B to beat Horse A, Horse B to beat Horse C, Horse C to beat Horse A, and Horse C to beat Horse B. A £10 combination forecast would therefore cost a total of £60.

Tricast

This requires you to pick the winner, the runner-up and the third placed horse in a particular race. It is harder to pull off a successful tricast than a forecast, but your reward will be much higher if you manage it.

Combination Tricast

This traditionally involves picking three horses and hoping that they finish in the top three places in any order. This amounts to six bets: Horse A to win, Horse B to finish second and Horse C to finish third; Horse A to win, Horse C to finish second and Horse B to finish third; Horse B to win, Horse A to finish second and Horse C to finish third; Horse B to win, Horse C to finish second and Horse A to finish third; Horse C to win, Horse A to finish second and Horse B to finish third; and finally Horse C to win, Horse B to finish second and Horse A to finish third. A £10 combination tricast would therefore cost £60.

Winning Distances Index

This is a fascinating spread betting market that allows you to make a prediction on the aggregate total of the winning margins of each race at a meeting. Our traders might set the Winning Distances Index at 70-75 for a big day of jumps racing at Cheltenham. If you think a number of horses will win by a comfortable margin, buy at 75. If you think the races will be pretty close in general, sell at 70.

At the end of the day, we will add up the winning distances of each race to arrive at the total. If it amounts to 82 and you bought at 75, you would make a profit equivalent to 7 times your stake. However, if it amounts to 70, you would lose 5 times your stake. The maximum winning distance for a National Hunt race is 30 lengths and the maximum distance for a flat race is 12 lengths. If the winning distance is a short head, it counts as 0.1. A head is 0.2, a neck is 0.3, half a length is 0.5 and three-quarters of a length is 0.75.

Favourites Index

This is another prediction that covers an entire day of racing. It allows you to predict how well the favourites will fare during the meeting. In this market, a favourite receives 25 points for winning a race, 10 points for finishing second and 5 points for finishing third. Our traders might set the spread at 61-65 points. If you think the favourites will dominate the day, buy at 65. If you think they will struggle, sell at 61. It is an exciting betting option, because it gives you an interest in every single race of the day and it has many possible results.

Jockey Index

This is a spread bet on how well a particular jockey will perform during a day of racing. The rider will be given 25 points for a win, 10 points for a second place finish and 5 points for a third place finish. Our traders will assign a spread to the jockey, so you might find 44-49 on Ryan Moore for a meeting at Newmarket with six races. If you think he has some strong rides lined up, buy at 49. If you think he will struggle to make an impact, sell at 44.

Starting Prices

This is a prediction on the cumulative starting prices of each winner on a day of racing. A 10/1 winner would be worth 10 points, a 5/2 winner would be worth 2.5 points and so on. You might see a spread of 57-61, and you have to guess whether long shots will have a great day or whether the favourites will dominate.

Multi-Mules

For this market, we multiply the racecard number of the winning horse by the racecard number of the runner-up. We then add all of these results together to calculate the final make-up.

Double Bet

This is a popular bet among punters checking out the horse racing odds on a particular day. It requires you to pick the winner in two separate races. Both of them must win their respective races. If just one wins, your bet does not pay out. However, if they both win, you will earn a higher payout than if you had simply divided your stake and bet on each horse individually.

Treble Bet

This involves picking the winner of three different races. All three must win in order for your bet to pay out.

Four-Fold

This requires you to select the winner of four different races. It is a form of accumulator. The more selections you add to an accumulator, the higher your potential payout will be. It is also affected by the odds on each runner. A successful four-fold in which all the runners have odds of 10/1 or greater would result in a far higher payout than a four-fold featuring heavy, odds-on favourites. You can alternatively opt for a five-fold, six-fold and so on.

Trixie

This requires you to choose three horses running in separate races. It contains three doubles and a treble, resulting in a total of four bets. Your total stake on a £10 trixie would therefore be £40. Two or more of the horses must win in order for you to earn a return on this bet.

Patent Bet

Choose three horses in separate races and then you get three singles, three doubles and a treble, resulting in a total of seven bets.

Lucky 15

This requires you to pick four horses from separate races. You then get a total of 15 bets: four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold accumulator. Many punters like bets of this nature, because you are covered in the event that one or more of your selections fails to win. If you go for a straight four-fold and just one horse lets you down, your bet does not pay out. However, in a Lucky 15 you receive a return if just one horse wins, and your payout grows progressively larger as you rack up more wins.

Lucky 31

This consists of 31 bets. Choose five selections from different races and you then get five singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five four-folds and a five-fold acca.

Lucky 63

This bet features six selections and consists of six singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, six five-folds and a six-fold acca.

Yankee Bet

This is similar to a Lucky 15, but without singles. You choose four horses from separate races and get six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold, resulting in a total of 11 bets.

Super Yankee

Choose five horses and get 26 different bets: 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five four-folds and a five-fold accumulator. At least two horses must win in order for you to receive a return on this bet. It is also known as a Canadian.

Heinz Bet

A Heinz is 57 bets, requiring six selections and comprises of 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, six five-folds and a six-fold accumulator.

Super Heinz

This involves 120 different bets based on seven selections, including 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, seven six-folds and a seven-fold acca.

Goliath Bet

This bet really lives up to its name. Choose eight different horses and then you effectively place 247 different bets: 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 four-folds, 56 five-folds, 28 six-folds, eight seven-folds and an eight-fold accumulator.





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