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Are you new to betting on horse racing? Do you want to know more about placing a wager on a horse? Understanding the different types of bets you can place on a horse race in Australia is a good place to start. Read on to find out the most common horse racing bet types.

horse racing

Single Race Bets:

  • Win Bet 

    This is the easiest way to bet on a horse race. All you need to do is to select the horse you think will win the race. If your horse crosses the line first (and there are no protests) you win your bet. If your horse is not first, you lose your bet. It is that simple!

    Example: Winx jumped for $1.24 in the 2018 Cox Plate. A $100 Win bet would have returned $124.00. Unfortunately, the $24 profit would not be enough to buy a discounted Eagle Boys pizza.

  • Place Bet podium

    Australian bookies offer Place bets that pay if your horse runs first, second or third.

    Example: Buffalo River was the $4 favourite for the 2020 Group 1 Toorak Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse. The quote for him on the Place bet was $1.75, much lower than his win price. A $100 bet would return the original stake plus $75 as long as Buffalo River finishes first, second or third.

  • Each-Way Wager each way wager

    This type of bet is technically two individual bets, one bet placed on the horse for a win and then a bet on the same horse to be placed, meaning to run first, second or third. So if your horse wins or is placed you will receive a dividend.

    Example: Ole Kirk was the favourite for the 2020 Group 1 Caulfield Guineas. His Win price was $3.50 and his Place price was $1.55. Selecting Ole Kirk for $3.50 with Ladbrokes would open up the betting slip, where you could tick the Each Way box and learn that his quote is now $3.50 for the win and $1.48 for running a place.

Single Race Exotic Bets

  • Exacta dartboard

    To win this bet, it is necessary to pick the first and second place finishers in the exact order of finish, hence the name Exacta.

  • Quinella half

    Selecting the first 2 horses across the line in any order. This bet pays handsomely if a short-priced horse and a long shot come in first and second in any order.

  • Trifecta horses

    This bet involves selecting the first three horses in order to finish first, second and third.

  • First Four 

    Pick the first four finishers in the race in the correct order. Honestly, this is almost a lottery ticket. It offers fantastic returns, but if you know anyone who has filled one, you know that they are impossible to live with.

    There are other Exotic Single Race Bets, but these should give you a picture of the ascending difficulty of picking the right horses in the exact sequence.

    Experienced punters, that is, those who are profitable and grow their banks, might stake a small amount on exotic bets. Because the returns increase exponentially, a small wager that fills on any of the exotics can more than cover any larger stake on a single bet that turns sour.

Multi Race Bets

Many successful punters are said to “bet the meeting,” which means they devise a strategy for betting on multiple races. They look at the prices, the form, the connections and anything else applicable to gain an edge. Some races may be overlooked for not offering any value worth betting on.

The bookies typically “nominate” which races are eligible for multi race betting.

  • Daily Double 

    Pick the winner in two races for a meeting.

  • Treble 

    Pick the winners of three races for a meeting.

  • Quadrella (Quaddie) 

    Pick the winners of four nominated races for the meeting.


Armed with this information, you are on the path to a fabulous accumulation of wealth, fancy cars, flash suits and a life of ease…

…Well, not really.

Betting on horses is tough, so there are basically two ways to approach it:

  1. Trust luck.
  2. Expect to put some time and effort into making the best possible, most logical choices.

Use every available resource, one of which is using horse racing tips. Follow the tipsters, the free and the paid ones, have a look at their percentages and returns on investment.

* We used Ladbrokes for the above examples. Other bookies are similar, with some variations, possibly different prices or promotions that might appeal to certain kinds of punters.

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