Show Bet in Horse Racing – Understanding the Basics

show bet

6 minutes

Last Updated: November 28, 2022


If you have been around the track, you have probably heard the term show bet quite frequently, and may think to yourself what is a show bet in horse racing?

The show bet is one of the most common bets in horse racing, used for picking a horse that will finish in the top three.

As a newbie gambler, it is very important that you learn the implications of this bet and set a good foundation on which you will build your horse racing game. To help you with this, today we will be explaining the show bet in horse racing.

What Is a Show Bet

A show bet is one of the simplest bets that you can make in horse racing. It allows you to bet that a horse will finish in the top three.

Along with the to win bet, this bet is one of the most popular bet types when it comes to horse racing because it is very simple and easy to execute.

If you place a bet that horse number 5 will show, you will only get paid if the horse finishes in the money – in 1st  2nd  or 3rd place. If the horse finishes in 4th place or below, your bet will be a losing one.

what is a show bet in horse racing

As you can see, it is much easier to place a winning show bet than a horse to win bet. However, the odds for a show bet are accordingly a couple of times lower than for the horse to win bet.

This makes it a perfect bet for punters who want to minimize the risk while getting their feet wet with betting on horse races.

How to Place a Show Bet

Now that you know what a show bet is, it is time to learn how you can place one of these bets on your favorite online betting platform.

Keep in mind that although there might be slight differences in placing a show bet depending on the platform you are using, in most cases the procedure will be very similar.

To place a show bet, follow these steps:

  1. Open your favorite online betting site
  2. Visit the section “Horse racing” and choose the race that you want to bet on
  3. Select the horse that you want to bet on
  4. Then select the option “Show” in the betting type options
  5. After you have selected the horse and the bet type, enter your stake and select the option “Bet.”

Don’t forget to check your bet one more time after you place the bet, so just in case something is wrong you can intervene on time. The last thing you want to happen is to find out your wager didn’t go through or you made a wrong pick after the race is over.

Horse Betting Strategy

No matter, if you want to make money betting on horses or if you are just looking for some fun, you always want to have a plan that will put you in the best possible situation to win.

With this said, there are numerous horse betting strategies online, but only a few really work.

Do Your Research

While you might not be looking at it as you do on a normal job if you are looking to make money betting on horses, you will have to do some heavy lifting.

This is especially important when it comes to gathering information about the participants (both the horses, and the jockeys), as well as the condition of the track, previous winners, weather, etc.

what does show mean in horse racing

You would be surprised to know how many people don’t do any research before they start placing bets on an event, and this is one of the reasons why only around 3% of bettors make money on horse racing.

Don’t Limit Yourself to One Bet Type

Betting on horse races requires a lot of adjusting and flexibility, and if you want to be successful, you will have to learn how to adjust to different situations.

For this reason, it is extremely important that you don’t rely just on one type of bet as this will limit your betting options dramatically and cause you to miss on some great bets.

This can happen if you are always using the same bet type for all of your horse racing wagers.

For example, a show bet might be one of the best bet types for you if you are new to betting on horses, but if you decide not to use other popular bet types, you will limit your choices and probably cost yourself some money.

Go Odds Shopping

This is another basic principle of all betting strategies, and horse racing is no different. You should always be placing bets on the best possible odds for your selections.

horse racing show

To do this, you need to create multiple betting accounts on various horse racing sites and use them to find the best possible betting odds before you place a bet.

Differences in odds can be drastic especially if the odds are fluctuating. You need to be on top of that or else you will be losing value each time you place a bet on odds that are lower in comparison to other sites.

Don’t Bet on Every Race

It is a good strategy to spread your bets on multiple races, as long as you are confident in your picks. This will allow you to spread your bankroll more evenly and ease out the variance as well as speed the process of finding what your most successful wagers are.

However, it is not a good idea to take this to the extreme and bet on every race you get your hands on.

First, you will probably start slacking in the research department because the more races you bet on, the less time you will have for research which means that your bets will not be as well prepared as they should be.

Secondly, there simply isn’t value in every race that runs. It is better to save your bet and increase a stake on a race that has value than to bet on a race where you don’t see a positive outcome in the terms of your return on investment.

Manage Your Bankroll

If you ask any successful gambler what is the one thing you can’t be a successful bettor without, they will tell you it is managing your bankroll.

No matter how good you are at predicting horse races, if you don’t have a proper bankroll and the necessary discipline, you will lose money.

show bet horse racing

Variance is the biggest obstacle to any successful bettor, and if you don’t manage your bankroll properly, the rough stretches will kill your bankroll, and, with it, your confidence.

The worst thing of all is it can have an impact on your everyday life, especially if your emotions get in the way of your good reason.

Final Thoughts

If you are just starting out with betting on horse races, one of the best bet types for you is the show bet. The show bet allows you to gather the necessary experience in the horse racing industry without too much financial pressure.

Along with this, the show bet is a straightforward and easy-to-place bet that won’t leave you scratching your head when you try to place it.

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