Win, Place, and Show Bets Explained – Know Your Horse Racing Wagers

win place show bet

9 minutes

Last Updated: July 14, 2022


You want to know what is a win place show bet and everything else about placing this bet type? If so, you are in the right place as in the following sections we tell you how to get started with the simplest bets in horse racing sports betting, and more.

But before we get there, let’s briefly explore the history of horse racing betting.

Betting on horse racing is one of the most popular both land-based online sports betting activities which occurs at most major competitions, such as the Kentucky Derby, The Breeders’ Cup, Dubai World Cup, and Melbourne Cup among others.

Horse racing betting started in the 1600s in the United Kingdom, during King James I reign.

Back in the day, there were not many racetracks in the UK for horse racing events. To change this, King James I turned the city of Newmarket into a horse racing resort.

Shortly later, Yorkshire, Enfield, and Croydon also had their horse racing tracks. In the eighteenth century, horse racing got its much-needed boost when the very first Ascot race meeting was held in 1711.

In 1776, the St Leger Stakes, the first of the British Classic horse racing events, while the Epsom Oaks was established in 1779.

One year later, the very first Epsom Derby race was held, followed by the 2,000 Guineas Stakes in 1809 and the 1,000 Guineas Stakes founded in 1814.

Horse racing betting has been around since 1615 in France and the activity was popularized during Louis XIV’s reign.

Organized horse racing events were also commonly held in North Africa, China, Arabia, and other Middle Eastern countries.

Most experts also agree that betting on horse races also existed during the Middle Ages. There is also some evidence that betting on horse racing was also widely practiced in Ancient China back in 200 B.C.

Over the years, horse racing betting has evolved in many ways thanks to technological advancements that introduced online gambling activities, but the basic horse racing betting format remains the same.

Now that you are familiar with the history of the sport, let’s see what is a win place show bet and how you place it.

What Is a Win Place Show Bet?

Just like all other sports, in horse racing betting punters have a variety of betting options to explore. Some of the most popular betting options aside from a win place show bet are exotic single bets or omni, trio, superfecta, trifecta, and exacta.

Exotic multiple bets, including daily double, pick 3, and pick all are also very popular, as well as exotic combinations, including wheel and partial wheel, key, box, and straight.

what is win place show bet

When compared with all different horse racing betting types, a win place show bet, also known as a straight bet, is the simplest one in horse racing betting.

Those who are just starting their horse racing betting journey should definitely kickoff their adventure with the simplest win place show bet.

The three straight bets in horse racing betting have their own payout structure and their own rules. To boost your winning odds, you need to familiarize yourself with each one of them and you should also consider using a win place show bet calculator.

Now, let’s examine each of the simple bets in horse racing.

Win Betting

Win betting is the simplest bet you can place in horse racing betting. In win betting, you get paid out if your chosen horse wins the race.

For instance, if you place a wager of $100 on a horse listed with betting odds of 5/1 or +500 and the horse triumphs, you receive a payout of $500.

However, in win betting, you lose in all other cases. So, if your chosen horse reaches the finish lines second, you lose your bet.

When it comes to calculating potential payouts, we always recommend you turn to a win place show bet calculator. You can find many reliable payout calculators online.

Place Betting 

When it comes to place betting, you win if your chosen horse crosses the finish line first or second. Essentially, in place betting, you win in two cases, while in win betting, you only win if your horse finishes the race first.

Since place betting offers two success options, payouts are smaller when compared to win betting payouts.

It is also important to say that place betting is only offered in horse racing events that feature six or more runners.

Show Betting

Show betting is the least risky horse racing bet you can place, so the payouts are smaller. Show bets are very similar to previously mentioned place bets with only one difference.

While place bets cover the top two positions, show bets cover the top three positions. Therefore, in show betting you receive a payout if your chosen horse crosses the finish line first, second, or third.

Since these are the least risky bets, payouts are smaller but you have far greater winning odds.

Payouts remain the same regardless of your chosen horse crossing the finish line as first, second, or third-placed.

Once again, to calculate payouts, you may use an online win place show bet calculator or you can do it yourself if you know the odds of your chosen horse.

How to Calculate Your Win Place Show Bet Payout?

Calculating the Minimum Payout for Win Bets

If you do not want to use a win place show bet calculator, you can calculate the minimum expected payout the following way.

To calculate the minimum payout for a win bet, you first look into the listed odds ratio. Take the first number from the listed odds ratio and multiply it by two.

win place show betting

The number you get you have to divide by the second number listed in the odds ratio. Finally, you add this number to your outlay money.

For instance, if you place a wager of $2 on a horse with 7/2 odds, the calculation goes as follows:

  • You multiply seven, the first number of the odds ratio, by two and you get fourteen.
  • Then, you divide fourteen by two, the second number of the odds ratio, and you get seven.
  • Finally, you add seven and your outlay money which is two, and you get nine, your minimum payout.

Sometimes, tracks display the minimum payouts, so you do not have to do calculations on your own.

Calculating the Minimum Payout for Place Bets

When it comes to calculating minimum payouts for place bets, the calculation tends to be more complex. The first thing you need to do is look for the total bet pool amount.

Once you have it, subtract the cost of takeout. Then, you need to look into how much was wagered on the top two horses.

You also need to look into the profit which will be eventually divided between the winning players. Once you have the profit, divide it by two.

The number you get you need to divide by the total number of winning tickets. The last step is to double each amount and add the number you get to your outlay money.

To understand the process better, we have an example. For instance, the betting pool featured $25,000 and every wager made is worth $2, while the takeout is 10%.

In the first step, you subtract 25,000 and 10% and you get 22,500. If $6,400 was wagered on Horse A and $12,750 was wagered on Horse B, the following step is to subtract 22,500 and 6,500 and finally 12,750. You get 3,250 and you divide this number by two to get 1,625.

For Horse A, you divide 1625 by 6500, while for Horse B, you divide 1625 by 12750. For Horse A, you get $0,25, while for Horse B, you get $0,13.

The final step is to multiply these two numbers by two and add your outlay money which is $2, and you get $2,50 and $2,16.

Calculating the Minimum Payout for Show Bets

When it comes to calculating your minimum payout in show betting, the process is the same as discussed above with only one difference.

In the second step, you need to take into account the total amount wagered on the three horses, instead of the two as mentioned in the previous example.

Also, you divide the profits by three, not two. If this is too much for you as a betting beginner, the best option is to use a win place show bet calculator that does all the work for you.

How to Make a Win Place Show Bet? Different Ways to Do So

Now that you know what is a win place show bet and how to calculate your minimum payout, let’s explore different ways of placing these bets.

If you want to engage in online horse racing betting, you first need to register at an online sports betting site.

Once you have registered, you need to fund your account using one of several deposit options. Then, you head to the horse racing betting section and from here you pick a race that looks interesting to you.

To place a win place show bet, choose your stake and pick a horse or horses you believe can win the race.

Once done, you get a ticket that includes all crucial information about the bet you just made. If you win, you get paid according to listed payouts.

You can also place win bet show bets in person at your local race track if there is any. This leads to another exciting term used in horse racing betting and that is betting across the board.

What is Betting Across the Board?

As suggested, betting across the boards means you place win place who bets of equal amount on a single horse.

Essentially, betting across the board in horse racing is the combination of the win, place, and show bet on the same ticket.

With a single across-the-board bet, you actually place three different bets of equal amounts.

When it comes across the board betting, you need to place a bigger wager since you need to cover all three betting types.

Essentially, if you place a $2 combination wager, you must invest at least $6, $2 for each option. To understand this better, let’s look at an example. Imagine, you place an across-the-board bet of $2 on a horse listed with 8/2 winning odds.

placing win place show bets

In the case of your chosen horse crossing the finish line first, you get a payout on all parts of your bet, including your win, place, and show wager.

If your chosen horse crosses the finish line second, you receive a payout for your place and show bets only. If your chosen horse finishes the race in third place, you receive a payout only for your show bet.

Finally, if your chosen horse does not cross the finish line as first, second, or third place, you lose your entire wager. This leads us to each-way betting.

What is Each-Way Betting?

To make your horse racing betting experience more exciting, you have the opportunity to combine each of the simplest horse racing bets and this is known as each-way betting.

For example, you can make a single selection that includes one place and one win bet. On a single ticket, you can also combine a show bet with a place bet.

For instance, if you place a win and place each-way bet of $10 on a single ticket, you are actually betting $10 on the place and another $10 on the win bet, so the total cost is $20.

You get paid for both bets if your chosen horse crosses the finish line first. On the other hand, if your chosen horse crosses the finish line second, you only get paid for your place each-way bet.

As previously mentioned, you can also place win/show or show/place each-way bets. If you will be making a $10 each-way bet, you pay $20 in total as detailed in the previous example.

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