28 Common Types Of Bets In Horse Racing – The Ultimate Guide 

 July 31, 2023

By  Philip Borrowman

Whether you're a seasoned punter or a curious newbie looking to dip your toe into the betting waters, understanding the types of horse racing bets you can place is key. From the straightforward single to the audacious Union Jack, the variety is both exhilarating and, admittedly, a bit daunting. 

In this guide, we'll gallop through 28 common types of horse racing bets, shedding light on their intricacies and offering insights to sharpen your betting strategies. 

The vast majority of bookmakers, such as Betfair, Bet365 and Ladbrokes offer these types of bets.

Saddle up and let's dive in!

Accumulator

An Accumulator is a single bet that links together four or more selections in individual races.

The defining feature of an accumulator is that every selection must win for the bet to yield a return. The potential returns can be massive because the stake and winnings from each selection compound onto the next.

Each component of an accumulator is referred to by the number of selections. Thus:

  • 4 selections = 4-fold
  • 5 selections = 5-fold
  • 6 selections = 6-fold ... and so on.

How it works: 

Your initial stake rolls onto your first horse, and if that wins, both the original stake and winnings roll onto the second, and this process continues through all your selections.

Example: 

Let's say you're feeling ambitious and decide to bet on a 4-fold accumulator at Cheltenham with a £10 stake:

  • "Majestic Moon" at 2/1.
  • "Twilight Dancer" at 3/1.
  • "Dawn Delight" at 4/1.
  • "Starlit Sky" at 5/1.

Scenario 1: 

"Majestic Moon" wins. Your first-leg return would be: Stake x Odds = £10 x 2 = £20 winnings. Including your stake, you'd have £30.

This £30 then rides on "Twilight Dancer". If she gallops to victory: £30 x 3 = £90.

Now, this £90 is on "Dawn Delight". If she also triumphs: £90 x 4 = £360.

Finally, the £360 goes onto "Starlit Sky". If she crosses the line first: £360 x 5 = £1,800 total return.

Scenario 2: 

If even one of these horses fails to win, your entire bet is lost.

Accumulators are particularly popular because of the allure of a significant payout from a small stake. However, the risk is high, given that every single selection needs to come through.

The bigger the accumulator (i.e., the more selections), the greater the potential return, but the chance of it coming in reduces exponentially.

Alphabet

An Alphabet bet is a combination bet consisting of 26 bets derived from 6 selections across different events. This bet type is structured as follows:

  • Patent on selections 1, 2, and 3 (comprising 7 bets: 3 singles, 3 doubles, and a treble).
  • Patent on selections 4, 5, and 6 (another 7 bets: 3 singles, 3 doubles, and a treble).
  • Yankee on selections 2, 3, 4, and 5 (11 bets: 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and a four-fold accumulator).
  • A six-fold accumulator on all 6 selections.

That brings the total to 26 bets, hence the name "Alphabet."

Example:

Imagine you've picked six horses from different races:

  • "Rapid River" at 3/1
  • "Misty Morning" at 2/1
  • "Golden Gale" at 4/1
  • "Silver Stream" at 5/1
  • "Bronze Beauty" at 3/1
  • "Platinum Prince" at 6/1

Let's assume you place an Alphabet bet with a £1 stake per bet (total cost £26).

  • If only "Rapid River" and "Misty Morning" win, your return is calculated based on the two singles and the one double in the first Patent.
  • If "Silver Stream", "Bronze Beauty", and "Platinum Prince" all win, you'll have returns from the three singles, three doubles, and the treble from the second Patent.
  • If "Misty Morning", "Golden Gale", "Silver Stream", and "Bronze Beauty" all win, you'll receive returns from the Yankee component (6 doubles, 4 trebles, and a four-fold accumulator).
  • If all six horses win, you'll receive payouts from both Patents, the Yankee, and the six-fold accumulator.

The Alphabet bet gives you diverse combinations with a variety of risk and reward, making it an interesting choice for bettors looking to cover multiple angles within their selections.

Canadian

A Canadian, also known as a Super Yankee, is a bet that's a step above the Yankee in the world of combination bets. This type of bet consists of 26 bets on five different selections. The bets break down as follows: 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-fold accumulators, and 1 five-fold accumulator.

Breakdown of a Canadian:

  • 10 double bets (every combination of two of the five selections).
  • 10 treble bets (every combination of three of the five selections).
  • 5 four-fold accumulators (every combination of four of the five selections).
  • 1 five-fold accumulator (all five selections together).

How it works:

For the Canadian bet to yield a return, at least two of your selections must win.

Example:

Imagine you fancy five horses racing at Ascot:

  • "Golden Gale" at 2/1.
  • "Silver Stream" at 3/1.
  • "Bronze Breeze" at 5/1.
  • "Platinum Peak" at 2/1.
  • "Titanium Trail" at 4/1.

You place a Canadian with a stake of £1 per bet, which amounts to a total investment of £26 (because there are 26 bets in total).

  • Scenario 1: If "Golden Gale" and "Silver Stream" win, but the other horses lose, you'll see a return from one of the double bets:Double: "Golden Gale" & "Silver Stream" = £1 x 2 x 3 = £6. All other combinations involving the other three horses would be losing bets. However, you've secured a return from that single double.
  • Scenario 2: If all five horses gallop to victory, you'll be raking in returns from all ten doubles, all ten trebles, all five four-folds, and the five-fold accumulator. A very nice payday!
  • Scenario 3: If only "Golden Gale" wins, the Canadian yields no return because a minimum of two selections is required to see any returns.

The Canadian bet, with its myriad of combinations, offers punters a chance for sizable returns, especially if the majority (or all) of the selections win.

The risk is higher due to the larger initial outlay, but the potential rewards can be substantial. It's an enticing option for those who feel confident in multiple selections but want some coverage should not all of them come through.

Combination Forecast

A Combination Forecast bet involves predicting which horses will finish in the first and second places, but without specifying the exact order. As the name suggests, it's a combination of multiple Straight Forecast bets. By choosing more than two horses, you're covering multiple possible 1-2 finishes.

Given the numerous outcomes you're accounting for, the Combination Forecast requires multiple bets. Specifically, for every two horses you pick, there are two possible ways they can finish first and second. So, the number of bets is calculated as "n(n-1)", where "n" is the number of horses you've selected.

Example:

You're attending a race at Cheltenham and decide to place a Combination Forecast on three horses: "Thunder Hooves", "Lightning Legs", and "Rainy Runner".

By doing this, you're essentially placing six Straight Forecast bets:

  • "Thunder Hooves" 1st, "Lightning Legs" 2nd
  • "Lightning Legs" 1st, "Thunder Hooves" 2nd
  • "Thunder Hooves" 1st, "Rainy Runner" 2nd
  • "Rainy Runner" 1st, "Thunder Hooves" 2nd
  • "Lightning Legs" 1st, "Rainy Runner" 2nd
  • "Rainy Runner" 1st, "Lightning Legs" 2nd

If any one of these six outcomes occurs, your Combination Forecast bet wins. Note that the cost of the bet will be the stake amount multiplied by the number of combinations (in this case, if your base stake is £1, the bet would cost £6 in total).

The returns on a winning Combination Forecast will vary based on the starting prices of the horses and the particular 1-2 combination that lands.

Combination Tricast

A Combination Tricast bet involves predicting which horses will finish in the first, second, and third places, but without specifying the exact order.

It's effectively a tricast that covers all permutations of your selected horses to come in the top three positions.

Given the multiple outcomes you're accounting for, the Combination Tricast requires several bets. Specifically, for every three horses you pick, there are six possible ways they can finish in the top three.

The number of bets is calculated as "n(n-1)(n-2)", where "n" is the number of horses you've selected, divided by 6 (as there are 6 combinations for any three horses).

Example:

Imagine you're watching a race at Ascot and decide to place a Combination Tricast on three horses: "Whirlwind", "Breeze Bolt", and "Storm Steed".

By doing this, you're effectively placing six Tricast bets:

  • "Whirlwind" 1st, "Breeze Bolt" 2nd, "Storm Steed" 3rd
  • "Whirlwind" 1st, "Storm Steed" 2nd, "Breeze Bolt" 3rd
  • "Breeze Bolt" 1st, "Whirlwind" 2nd, "Storm Steed" 3rd
  • "Breeze Bolt" 1st, "Storm Steed" 2nd, "Whirlwind" 3rd
  • "Storm Steed" 1st, "Whirlwind" 2nd, "Breeze Bolt" 3rd
  • "Storm Steed" 1st, "Breeze Bolt" 2nd, "Whirlwind" 3rd

If any one of these six outcomes occurs, your Combination Tricast bet wins. The cost of the bet will be the stake amount multiplied by the number of combinations (in this instance, if your base stake is £1, the total bet would cost £6).

The potential returns from a Combination Tricast bet can be significant, especially if the three horses selected have longer odds. However, calculating the exact returns is complex, as it depends on the starting prices of the horses and the specific 1-2-3 combination that emerges.

Double

A Double bet consists of two separate selections in two different races. For your double bet to be successful, both selections must win. 

The unique feature of a double is that the winnings from the first selection roll onto the second, which can lead to higher returns when compared to two single bets.

How it works:

After placing your double, if your first horse wins, the returns (stake and winnings) from that race are then used as the stake for the second horse. Only if the second horse wins do you see a return on your bet.

Example:

Let's say you fancy two horses at Newmarket:

  1. "Rocket Runner" running at odds of 3/1.
  2. "Meadow Flyer" racing later in the day at odds of 4/1.

You decide to place a double bet of £10 on these selections.

  • Scenario 1: "Rocket Runner" wins the first race. Your return from this win is:Stake x Odds = £10 x 3 = £30 (That's your winnings). Plus your original stake, it's £40. This £40 then goes onto "Meadow Flyer". If "Meadow Flyer" also wins: £40 x 4 = £160 (winnings) + £40 stake = £200 total return.
  • Scenario 2: If "Rocket Runner" wins but "Meadow Flyer" loses, you won't see any return, as both selections need to win for a double bet. The same goes if "Rocket Runner" loses; the bet is over regardless of "Meadow Flyer's" outcome.

So, a double can be a thrilling bet, especially if your first horse wins, as it heightens the anticipation for the next race. However, as both selections must win, it can be riskier than two single bets.

Each Way

An Each Way (E/W) bet consists of two bets in one: a bet on a horse to win and a bet on the same horse to place (typically meaning to finish within the top few positions). The number of places paid out depends on the race and the bookmaker's terms.

Key Points:

  • It's effectively two bets, so a £10 each way bet will cost £20 (£10 on the 'win' and £10 on the 'place').
  • The 'win' part of the bet is straightforward: if the horse wins, you'll get paid out at the full odds.
  • The 'place' part of the bet pays out at a fraction of the winning odds if the horse finishes within the top few positions (usually 1st to 3rd or 4th, depending on the race and terms). This fraction, as well as the number of paying positions, varies.
  • Each way betting is particularly popular in big races where there's a large field, and picking the outright winner is more challenging.

Example:

Imagine you place a £10 each way bet on "Lightning Bolt" to win the Grand National at odds of 20/1. The terms state that the 'place' bet pays out at 1/4 of the odds if the horse finishes in the top 4.

  • Scenario 1: "Lightning Bolt" wins the race. The 'win' part of your bet returns £210 (£10 * 20 + your £10 stake). The 'place' part also wins, returning £60 (£10 * (20/4) + your £10 stake). Your total return is £270.
  • Scenario 2: "Lightning Bolt" finishes 3rd. The 'win' part of your bet loses. However, the 'place' part wins, so you get £60 (£10 * (20/4) + your £10 stake).

Each way betting can be a strategic way to hedge against the unpredictability of horse racing, giving you a safety net if your horse doesn't win but still performs well. However, it's crucial to understand the terms, especially the fraction of the odds paid and the number of places covered, as these can vary widely.

I designed this glossary to provide a solid understanding of the key terms and concepts used in the exciting world of horse racing trading.

Exacta

An Exacta bet, known in some regions as a Straight Forecast, is a bet where the punter must accurately predict which horses will finish in the first and second positions, in that exact order. It's a step up in terms of challenge from the Reverse Forecast, as it requires precision in predicting the finishing sequence.

Naturally, due to its specificity, the payouts for winning Exacta bets are generally higher than for other types of forecast bets.

Key Points:

  • The bet strictly requires the punter to select the 1st and 2nd place finishers in the correct order.
  • The bet is more challenging than a Reverse Forecast, which allows for either order of the top two finishers.
  • Due to the increased difficulty, the payouts for Exacta bets are typically higher.

Example:

Imagine you're studying the form for a race at Ascot, and after careful analysis, you're confident that Horse A will win and Horse B will come second. You decide to place a £10 Exacta bet on this outcome.

  • If Horse A wins and Horse B finishes second, you win the bet.
  • However, if Horse B wins and Horse A comes second, or if any other combination occurs, your bet loses.

It's important to do thorough research when placing an Exacta bet, as the margin for error is quite narrow. A successful prediction can lead to substantial returns, especially if the winning combination involves horses that weren't heavily favoured.

Forecast

A Forecast bet where you predict the horses that will finish in first and second place in the correct order. It's a single bet that requires both predictions to be accurate for the bet to be a winning one.

There are different types of forecast bets:

  • Straight Forecast (SF): Predicting the first two horses in the exact order they will finish.
  • Reverse Forecast (RF): Betting on two horses to finish first and second in any order. Essentially, it's two straight forecasts, hence it costs twice as much as a straight forecast.

Example:

You're at Newmarket and there's a race with "Majestic Runner" and "Swift Stride" as the top favourites. You decide to place a Straight Forecast bet predicting "Majestic Runner" to come first and "Swift Stride" to come second.

If the race ends with "Majestic Runner" winning and "Swift Stride" coming in second, your Straight Forecast bet wins. However, if "Swift Stride" wins and "Majestic Runner" comes second, your bet loses.

On the other hand, if you placed a Reverse Forecast on the same two horses, you would win regardless of which horse finished first and which one came second, as long as they are the top two finishers.

The payout of a forecast bet depends on the starting prices of the horses and the bookmakers' rules, with the dividend typically being declared to a £1 stake.

Goliath

A Goliath is one of the largest combination bets available. As its name suggests, it's massive in its composition. Derived from 8 selections, the Goliath consists of a whopping 247 bets.

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • 28 double bets (every combination of two out of the eight selections).
  • 56 treble bets (every combination of three out of the eight selections).
  • 70 four-fold accumulators (every combination of four out of the eight selections).
  • 56 five-fold accumulators (every combination of five out of the eight selections).
  • 28 six-fold accumulators (every combination of six out of the eight selections).
  • 8 seven-fold accumulators (every combination of seven out of the eight selections).
  • 1 eight-fold accumulator (including all eight selections).

To see any return from a Goliath, at least two of your selections need to be successful.

Example:

Imagine you're looking at a race day at Cheltenham and decide to pick the following eight horses:

  • "Golden Glow" at 3/1.
  • "Moonlit Mirage" at 4/1.
  • "Twilight Tango" at 5/1.
  • "Dawn Dasher" at 6/1.
  • "Solar Sprint" at 7/1.
  • "Starry Skyline" at 8/1.
  • "Celestial Chaser" at 9/1.
  • "Eclipse Enigma" at 10/1.

You're feeling adventurous and decide to put a Goliath bet with £1 on each of the 247 bets, costing you £247 in total.

  • Scenario 1: If only "Golden Glow" and "Moonlit Mirage" win, you'd receive returns from one of the doubles:Double: "Golden Glow" & "Moonlit Mirage" = £1 x 3 x 4 = £12.While you wouldn’t recoup your entire stake, it's still something.
  • Scenario 2: If all eight horses surge to victory, you'd hit the jackpot! Every single one of your 247 bets would come through, including 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 four-folds, and so forth, all the way to the eight-fold accumulator.
  • Scenario 3: If just "Golden Glow" wins and the rest falter, there wouldn’t be any payout since a minimum of two selections need to win for any return in a Goliath.

The Goliath bet is a large investment, but it offers expansive coverage, making it a favoured choice for bettors seeking both safety and the chance at a monumental payout.

Heinz

A Heinz bet is a popular betting strategy. Named after the "57 varieties" slogan of the H.J. Heinz Company, a Heinz consists of 57 bets involving six selections in different events. 

Here's the breakdown:

  • 15 double bets (every combination of two of the six selections).
  • 20 treble bets (every combination of three of the six selections).
  • 15 four-fold accumulators (every combination of four of the six selections).
  • 6 five-fold accumulators (every combination of five of the six selections).
  • 1 six-fold accumulator (all six selections together).

The objective of the Heinz is to increase the chances of a return by creating multiple bets. For a Heinz to generate a return, at least two selections must win.

Example: 

Imagine you have a keen eye on six horses running at Cheltenham:

  • "Wind Whisperer" at 3/1.
  • "Mud Mover" at 4/1.
  • "Jumping Jack" at 5/1.
  • "Forest Flier" at 6/1.
  • "Hill Hopper" at 7/1.
  • "River Runner" at 8/1.

You decide to place a Heinz with a £1 stake per bet. This will set you back £57, as there are 57 bets in total.

  • Scenario 1: If "Wind Whisperer" and "Mud Mover" are the only winners among your selections, you'd receive a return from one of the double bets:Double: "Wind Whisperer" & "Mud Mover" = £1 x 3 x 4 = £12.All other combinations that involve the four non-winning horses would be losing bets. However, you've still secured a return from that one double.
  • Scenario 2: If all six horses win, you'd be laughing all the way to the bank. You'd receive returns from all 15 doubles, all 20 trebles, all 15 four-folds, all 6 five-folds, and the six-fold accumulator. That's a windfall!
  • Scenario 3: If only "Wind Whisperer" prevails and the rest falter, the Heinz yields nothing since a minimum of two winning selections are required.

A Heinz bet is a brilliant strategy for those who feel their selections have strong chances but want to buffer against the unpredictability of racing. It offers a blend of risk and potential high reward, with the excitement of covering various combinations.

Jackpot

A Jackpot bet is a popular tote pool bet. To win the Jackpot, you must correctly predict the winners of the first six races at a specific racecourse on a particular day. It's a challenging bet, but the rewards can be substantial, especially if the Jackpot rolls over multiple times.

Key Points:

  • The Jackpot can be placed at the racecourse, licensed betting shops, or various online platforms.
  • Rollovers can happen if no ticket correctly predicts all six winners, which can lead to much larger prize pools in subsequent days.
  • The Jackpot dividend is determined after the results of the sixth race and is based on the amount in the prize pool and the number of winning tickets.
  • Bettors can opt for multiple selections in each race, which increases the chance of winning but also multiplies the cost of the bet.

Example:

Let's say you're betting on a day at Ascot Racecourse:

  • Race 1: You choose Horse A.
  • Race 2: Your pick is Horse B.
  • Race 3: You go for Horse C.
  • Race 4: You believe in Horse D.
  • Race 5: Your selection is Horse E.
  • Race 6: You finish with Horse F.

If each of your chosen horses wins their respective races, you'll win a share of the Jackpot prize pool. If there's £100,000 in the pool and 10 winning tickets, each ticket would receive £10,000.

The Jackpot is a gamble for those dreaming of a significant win from a small stake. Due to its difficulty level, it isn't uncommon for the Jackpot to roll over multiple times, leading to enormous prize pools. As such, it's an exhilarating bet, particularly when your picks are coming in one after the other.

Lucky 15, 31, and 63

The Lucky 15, Lucky 31, and Lucky 63 combine multiple bets from a select number of horses into one bet.

Lucky 15: Derived from 4 selections, the bet comprises:

  • 4 single bets
  • 6 double bets
  • 4 treble bets
  • 1 four-fold accumulator Total bets = 15

Lucky 31: Based on 5 selections, this bet includes:

  • 5 single bets
  • 10 double bets
  • 10 treble bets
  • 5 four-fold accumulators
  • 1 five-fold accumulator Total bets = 31

Lucky 63: This is taken from 6 selections and consists of:

  • 6 single bets
  • 15 double bets
  • 20 treble bets
  • 15 four-fold accumulators
  • 6 five-fold accumulators
  • 1 six-fold accumulator Total bets = 63

One of the unique features of these bets is that many bookmakers offer bonuses on them. Typically, if only one selection wins, you might receive double or treble the odds on that single winner. If all of your selections win, you could get an additional bonus added to your returns.

Example: 

Imagine you select four horses:

  • "Galactic Gale" at 2/1
  • "Sunlit Shadow" at 3/1
  • "Midnight Marvel" at 4/1
  • "Dawn Dancer" at 5/1

You decide to place a Lucky 15 with a £1 stake per bet (total cost £15).

  • Scenario 1: If only "Galactic Gale" wins, you'll get a return based on that single bet, and depending on the bookie, this might be at double or treble the odds.
  • Scenario 2: If "Galactic Gale" and "Sunlit Shadow" win, you'll receive returns from two single bets and one double.
  • Scenario 3: If all four horses win, you'll receive a payout on all 15 bets: the singles, doubles, trebles, and the four-fold accumulator. Plus, some bookmakers might add a 10% (or more) bonus because all of your selections came in.

The same logic applies to the Lucky 31 and Lucky 63, only with more combinations due to the added selections.

These 'Lucky' bets provide a way to spread the risk across multiple selections while still offering the potential for a significant payout, especially if all the selections come in.

Patent

A Patent is a type of combination bet which consists of seven bets spread across three different selections.

These bets are: 3 singles, 3 doubles, and 1 treble. A major advantage of the Patent is that it offers full coverage across all possible bets for three selections, so even if only one selection wins, the bettor will still see some return.

Breakdown of a Patent:

  • 3 single bets (one on each of your three selections).
  • 3 double bets (combinations of two of the three selections).
  • 1 treble bet (all three selections combined).

How it works: 

To see a return from a Patent, only one of your three selections needs to win. However, the more selections that win, the higher the return.

Example:

You're eyeing three horses at Newmarket:

  • "Whispering Wind" at 2/1.
  • "Thundering Trot" at 3/1.
  • "Rainy Runner" at 4/1.

You place a Patent with a stake of £10 per bet, amounting to a £70 investment (since you're making 7 bets in total).

  • Scenario 1: Only "Whispering Wind" wins. You'll get a return on that single bet:Single: "Whispering Wind" = £10 x 2 = £20 winnings. Including your stake, you'd have £30.
  • Scenario 2: "Whispering Wind" and "Thundering Trot" win, but "Rainy Runner" loses. You'd win on two of the single bets and one of the doubles:Singles: £10 x 2 + £10 x 3 = £50. Double: £10 x 2 x 3 = £60.Together, you'd have £110 plus your stake for those winning bets.
  • Scenario 3: All three horses win. You'd get returns from all singles, doubles, and the treble. With these odds and stakes, the total return would be quite lucrative.

The Patent is favoured by many bettors because it provides a higher chance of getting a return than some of the other combination bets, especially since only one winning selection will guarantee you some money back.

However, the stake can be higher as you're placing seven separate bets.

Placepot

A Placepot involves selecting a horse to place (usually meaning to finish within the top few positions) in each of the first six races at a specific racecourse on a particular day.

The Placepot offers bettors the chance to win a significant sum for a small stake, without even picking a single winner.

Key Points:

  • The bet is usually placed at the racecourse itself or through licensed betting outlets.
  • The Placepot dividend (the amount won) is declared after the results of the sixth race are known.
  • Winnings are divided among all winning bets in the pool after the tote takes its deduction.
  • The number of places (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) that count towards the Placepot varies depending on the number of runners in each race and the type of race.

Example:

Imagine you're at Cheltenham Racecourse, and you decide to have a go at the Placepot. Here's how your selections might pan out:

  • Race 1: You pick Horse A.
  • Race 2: You pick Horse B.
  • Race 3: You pick Horse C.
  • Race 4: You pick Horse D.
  • Race 5: You pick Horse E.
  • Race 6: You pick Horse F.

Your Placepot will be successful if all your selected horses place in their respective races. If they do, you'll share the pool with others who also had successful Placepots. The dividend is calculated by dividing the remaining pool (after tote deductions) by the number of winning tickets.

So, if after all six races, the pool amounted to £100,000 and there were 1,000 winning tickets, and you had one of those tickets, you would win £100 (£100,000 ÷ 1,000).

It's a fun bet that gives spectators an interest in the first six races of a meeting, even if their stake is relatively small. The allure of a substantial return from such a small outlay is what makes the Placepot so appealing to many.

Quadpot

A Quadpot is a tote pool bet specific to UK horse racing. Its principle is similar to the Placepot, but it only involves the third to the sixth races at a particular racecourse on any given day. To win a Quadpot, you must select a horse to place (typically finish in the top few positions) in each of these four races.

Key Points:

  • The Quadpot can be played at the racecourse itself, through licensed betting shops, or online platforms.
  • The Quadpot dividend (the amount to be won) is announced after the results of the sixth race.
  • Winnings are shared amongst all successful Quadpot tickets after the tote's deduction.
  • Just like the Placepot, the number of places that count towards a Quadpot depends on the number of runners and the type of race.

Example:

Let's consider a day at Newmarket Racecourse:

  • Race 3: You opt for Horse A.
  • Race 4: You select Horse B.
  • Race 5: Your choice is Horse C.
  • Race 6: You conclude with Horse D.

For your Quadpot to win, each of your selected horses must place in their respective races. If they do, you'll share the prize pool with others holding winning Quadpot tickets.

Assuming the pool after the tote's deduction is £40,000, and there are 800 winning tickets, each ticket would be worth £50 (£40,000 ÷ 800).

The Quadpot is an attractive option for bettors who may have missed out on the earlier races for the Placepot or for those looking for action in the middle of the racecard. It provides the potential for a solid return on a relatively small stake, keeping the excitement alive even if the early races didn't go as planned.

Reverse Forecast

A Reverse Forecast (often also referred to as a Dual Forecast) is a type of bet where the punter selects two horses in a single race, and wins if the chosen horses finish first and second in either order.

Essentially, it's two bets combined into one bet. Therefore, the stake is doubled compared to a straight forecast, where you're predicting the exact 1-2 order of finish.

Key Points:

  • The bet consists of two separate forecasts: one for Horse A to beat Horse B and one for Horse B to beat Horse A.
  • The horses chosen must finish in the top two spots for the bet to be a winning one, but they can finish in any order.
  • The payout will be determined by the odds of the two horses selected. Because you are covering two possible outcomes (i.e., Horse A winning with Horse B second, and Horse B winning with Horse A second), your stake is effectively split between the two outcomes.

Example:

Let's say you're watching a race at Aintree, and you believe that Horse X and Horse Y are the standout competitors. You decide to place a £10 reverse forecast bet on these two horses.

  • Scenario 1: If Horse X wins and Horse Y comes second, one part of your bet is a winner.
  • Scenario 2: If Horse Y wins and Horse X comes second, the other part of your bet is also a winner.

Because you've covered both possibilities, you'll receive a payout regardless of which horse wins, provided the other finishes second. The total cost of your bet would be £20 (because it's two £10 bets combined).

The Reverse Forecast provides a cushion against the unpredictability of race finishes. It allows punters to back two strong contenders without needing to predict the exact order they'll finish.

Scoop 6

The Scoop 6 is one of the most thrilling and potentially lucrative bets. Operated by the Tote, it offers punters the chance to win life-changing sums of money for a modest stake.

Key Points:

  • The objective of the Scoop 6 is to pick the winners of six designated races on a Saturday.
  • It is primarily for flat racing in the summer and jumps racing in the winter.
  • The minimum bet is usually £2, and the bet is placed in a pool. The pool is then shared among winners.
  • If nobody selects all six winners, the main pool (the Win fund) rolls over to the following week.
  • There's also a bonus fund. If you win the Scoop 6, you get a chance the following Saturday to pick the winner of a selected bonus race to win the Bonus fund.
  • If nobody wins the Bonus fund, it rolls over to the next week, increasing the potential prize.

Example:

Imagine it's a sunny Saturday in June:

  • Race 1 at Ascot: You select Horse A.
  • Race 2 at Haydock: You go with Horse B.
  • Race 3 at Ascot: Your choice is Horse C.
  • Race 4 at Newmarket: You're backing Horse D.
  • Race 5 at Ascot: You believe in Horse E.
  • Race 6 at Haydock: You conclude with Horse F.

If all of your horses win their respective races, you'll win a share of the Scoop 6 Win fund. Assuming the pool is £500,000 and there are five winning tickets, each winner would receive £100,000.

Now, since you've won the Scoop 6, you have a shot at the Bonus fund the following Saturday. If the Bonus fund has £200,000 and you correctly pick the winner of the specified bonus race, you bag that amount.

The Scoop 6 is the stuff of legends in the UK betting scene, with stories of punters winning substantial sums from minimal outlays. With rollovers not uncommon, the potential prizes can be huge, adding to the excitement of every Saturday's racing action.

Single Bet

A “Single” bet means placing a bet on one horse in one race. It's as simple as that.

You're not dealing with combinations or multiple outcomes; you're just backing one horse to achieve a specific result, most commonly to win the race.

How it works:

When you put a single bet on, you're having a punt on that particular horse to come first. If your horse wins, you get your stake multiplied by the odds, and that's your return. If the horse doesn't come in first, you lose your stake.

Example:

Imagine you've been keeping tabs on a horse called "Galactic Star", and you fancy its chances in a race at Ascot. The bookie is offering odds of 4/1 for Galactic Star to win.

You decide to have a tenner (£10) on Galactic Star to win.

  • Scenario 1: Galactic Star wins. Your return is:Stake x Odds = £10 x 4 = £40 (That's your winnings). Plus your original tenner, so you collect £50.
  • Scenario 2: If Galactic Star isn't first past the post, then your tenner is gone.

The beauty of a single bet is in its simplicity, but it's all about picking that winning horse since your hard-earned is riding on just that one selection.

Superfecta

A Superfecta bet in horse racing requires the punter to predict the first four finishers in exact order in a single race.

This is one of the more challenging bets in racing because of its precise nature, but it often yields significant payouts due to the difficulty of correctly predicting the top four horses in the right sequence.

Key Points:

  • The punter must select the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishers in the exact order.
  • Given its complexity, the odds are higher, resulting in potentially substantial payouts.
  • It's advisable for experienced punters or those who want to take a high-reward gamble.

Example:

Let's say you're watching a race at Cheltenham and decide to take a punt on a Superfecta bet. After careful analysis, you predict the following order for the top four horses: 

  • Horse A
  • Horse B
  • Horse C
  • Horse D

You place a £5 Superfecta bet on this exact sequence. The race concludes with Horse A winning, Horse B in second, Horse C in third, and Horse D in fourth.

Congratulations! You've just won your Superfecta bet. The exact payout would depend on the odds for that particular sequence, but given the challenge of predicting the top four horses in exact order, you're likely looking at a handsome return.

On the other hand, if even one horse is out of place (e.g., Horse A wins, Horse C comes second), your bet is lost. Due to its complexity, the Superfecta is a bet that's both thrilling and demanding.

Super Heinz

A Super Heinz is a type of combination bet that's one step bigger than a Heinz. While the Heinz consists of 57 bets from 6 selections, a Super Heinz is made up of 120 bets derived from 7 selections.

Here's the detailed breakdown:

  • 21 double bets (every combination of two out of the seven selections).
  • 35 treble bets (every combination of three out of the seven selections).
  • 35 four-fold accumulators (every combination of four out of the seven selections).
  • 21 five-fold accumulators (every combination of five out of the seven selections).
  • 7 six-fold accumulators (every combination of six out of the seven selections).
  • 1 seven-fold accumulator (all seven selections together).

For a Super Heinz to yield a return, at least two of your selections need to be successful.

Example:

Let's say you've got a good feeling about seven horses at Ascot:

  • "Morning Star" at 2/1.
  • "Galactic Glider" at 3/1.
  • "Prairie Prince" at 5/1.
  • "Sunset Seeker" at 4/1.
  • "Oceanic Odyssey" at 6/1.
  • "Desert Dancer" at 7/1.
  • "Midnight Mirage" at 8/1.

You opt for a Super Heinz, putting £1 on each bet. This means your total stake is £120.

  • Scenario 1: "Morning Star" and "Galactic Glider" pull through, but the rest falter. From the 120 bets, one of your doubles pays out:Double: "Morning Star" & "Galactic Glider" = £1 x 2 x 3 = £6.Not the best return, but you didn't leave empty-handed.
  • Scenario 2: If the stars align and all seven horses win, then you're in for a significant sum! All 120 bets would pay out: 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, 7 six-folds, and the seven-fold accumulator.
  • Scenario 3: If only "Morning Star" manages to clinch a win while the rest disappoint, you wouldn’t see any return since you need at least two successful selections.

The Super Heinz bet, though hefty on the pocket due to its numerous bet combinations, is a gamble that tempts those willing to hedge their bets. With the vast combination coverage, it offers bettors a substantial safety net while retaining the thrilling possibility of a massive payout.

Treble

A Treble is a single bet that links together three selections in three separate races. For your treble to yield a return, all three of your horses must win their respective races. 

The distinguishing feature of a treble, much like a double, is the compounding effect of the odds which can lead to significantly larger returns.

How it works: 

When you put on a treble, the stake and winnings from the first horse (if it wins) are carried onto the second horse, and if the second horse wins, everything then rides onto the third horse.

Example: 

Imagine you've got your eye on three horses at York:

  • "Northern Lights" with odds of 2/1.
  • "Celtic Charm" later on with odds of 3/1.
  • "Southern Star" in the final race of the day at odds of 4/1.

You decide to place a treble bet of £10.

  • Scenario 1: "Northern Lights" dashes to victory in the first race. Your return from this win would be: Stake x Odds = £10 x 2 = £20 (That's your winnings). With your original stake, it's £30 in total.

This £30 then gets placed on "Celtic Charm". If "Celtic Charm" also delivers: £30 x 3 = £90 (winnings and stake included).

Now, this £90 is placed on "Southern Star". If "Southern Star" wins: £90 x 4 = £360 in total return.

  • Scenario 2: If any of the horses lose, the bet is finished and you get nothing in return. For instance, even if "Northern Lights" and "Celtic Charm" win, but "Southern Star" falls short, you'd lose the entire stake.

In essence, a treble bet in horse racing can be exhilarating due to the potential high returns. However, it comes with the heightened risk of needing all three selections to win.

Tricast

A Tricast bet is where you predict the horses that will finish in the first, second, and third places in the correct order.

Much like the Forecast bet, but with an added level of difficulty, the Tricast bet requires all three of your predictions to be spot-on for the bet to be successful.

There are different types of tricast bets:

  • Straight Tricast: You're predicting the exact order the top three horses will finish.
  • Combination Tricast: This bet allows you to pick three horses that will finish in the top three spots in any order. Given the multiple possible combinations, a Combination Tricast consists of six bets in total.

Example:

You're at Ascot and there are three horses you've got your eye on: "Royal Charge", "Elegant Stride", and "Golden Gallop". You decide to place a Straight Tricast bet predicting "Royal Charge" to come first, "Elegant Stride" to come second, and "Golden Gallop" to finish third.

If the race concludes with "Royal Charge" leading, followed by "Elegant Stride" and then "Golden Gallop", you've hit the jackpot with your Straight Tricast bet. However, if they finish in any other order, your bet loses.

However, had you opted for a Combination Tricast, any order of finish between these three horses (e.g., "Golden Gallop", "Royal Charge", "Elegant Stride") would grant you a win.

The payout for a Tricast bet, similar to a Forecast, is dependent on the starting prices of the horses and is typically declared to a £1 stake. Given the complexity of correctly predicting the top three finishers, Tricast bets can offer very attractive returns.

Trixie

A Trixie is a popular bet which involves four bets across three different selections.

These bets are: 3 doubles and 1 treble. It is a form of a 'full cover' bet, which means it offers bettors a way to 'cover' all possible double and treble combinations from three selections.

Notably, a Trixie doesn't contain any single bets. This means if one of your selections loses, you still have two active double bets.

Breakdown of a Trixie:

  • 3 double bets (combinations of two of the three selections).
  • 1 treble bet (all three selections combined).

How it works:

For a Trixie to produce a return, a minimum of two of your three selections must win.

Example: 

You fancy three horses at Ascot:

  • "Golden Glint" at 3/1.
  • "Silver Streak" at 4/1.
  • "Bronze Beauty" at 5/1.

You decide to put on a Trixie with a stake of £10 per bet, totalling a £40 investment (because you're placing 4 bets).

  • Scenario 1: If "Golden Glint" and "Silver Streak" win, but "Bronze Beauty" loses, you win on one of the double bets:Double: "Golden Glint" and "Silver Streak" = £10 x 3 x 4 = £120.The other two doubles and the treble would be losers, but you still secure a return from the successful double.
  • Scenario 2: If all three horses win, you'd get a return from all three doubles and the treble. The total return can be quite substantial in this case.
  • Scenario 3: If only "Golden Glint" wins, your Trixie yields no return as you need a minimum of two winning selections.

The Trixie is a popular bet for those who feel confident about the prospects of three selections but want a safety net in case one fails to deliver.

The potential returns can be significant, especially if all three selections win, but it's essential to remember you're staking on each individual bet within the Trixie.

Union Jack

A Union Jack bet is a unique type of bet derived from the layout of the Union Jack flag.

It consists of 9 selections, laid out in 3 rows of 3, and these are combined into a variety of bets based on the horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines of the flag.

There are different types of Union Jack bets, but the most common are the: 

  • Union Jack Trebles: This involves 8 treble bets. The trebles are formed from each horizontal, vertical, and diagonal line on the pattern.
  • Union Jack Round Robin: This includes 24 bets: 8 trebles from the horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines and 16 up-and-down bets (a bet for 2 selections, one to win and another to place).
  • Union Jack Patent: This combines 56 bets. It includes 8 trebles, 24 doubles, and 24 singles.
  • Union Jack Trixie: Consists of 32 bets - 24 doubles and 8 trebles.

Example:

Imagine you select 9 horses (Horses A to I) from 9 different races. You lay them out as follows:

If you place a Union Jack Trebles bet, you'll have trebles on the following combinations:

  • A, B, C (horizontal top line)
  • D, E, F (horizontal middle line)
  • G, H, I (horizontal bottom line)
  • A, D, G (vertical left line)
  • B, E, H (vertical middle line)
  • C, F, I (vertical right line)
  • A, E, I (diagonal from top left to bottom right)
  • C, E, G (diagonal from top right to bottom left)

For a Union Jack bet to yield a return, the selections that form a line must all win (or place, depending on the specific bet type). Given its structure, the Union Jack bet offers a mix of risk and reward, as you're relying on multiple selections across different lines to secure a payout.

Yankee

A Yankee is a popular bet that involves eleven bets on four different selections. These eleven bets are composed of: 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and 1 four-fold accumulator.

Unlike some other types of bets, a Yankee does not contain any single bets. This means if only one of your selections wins, you won’t see a return from the Yankee.

Breakdown of a Yankee:

  • 6 double bets (every possible combination of two of the four selections).
  • 4 treble bets (every possible combination of three of the four selections).
  • 1 four-fold accumulator (all four selections together).

How it works:

For a Yankee to produce a return, a minimum of two of your four selections must win.

Example:

You've got your eye on four horses at Cheltenham:

  • "Misty Mountain" at 3/1.
  • "Sunny Slopes" at 2/1.
  • "Windy Woods" at 4/1.
  • "Rainy Ridge" at 3/1.

You opt for a Yankee with a stake of £5 per bet, leading to a total investment of £55 (because you're placing 11 bets).

  • Scenario 1: If "Misty Mountain" and "Sunny Slopes" win, but the others lose, you'll get a return from one of the double bets:Double: "Misty Mountain" & "Sunny Slopes" = £5 x 3 x 2 = £30.All the other combinations involving "Windy Woods" and "Rainy Ridge" would be losing bets. Still, you've secured a return from that one successful double.
  • Scenario 2: If all four horses win, you'll receive returns from all six doubles, all four trebles, and the four-fold accumulator, leading to a handsome payout.
  • Scenario 3: If only "Misty Mountain" wins, the Yankee yields no return as you need at least two winning selections.

A Yankee is an efficient way to bet on multiple selections, as it provides a solid combination of risk and potential reward.

The potential returns can be considerable, especially if all four selections win, but it's pivotal to remember that the initial outlay is higher since you're staking on each individual bet within the Yankee.

Summary

Navigating the vast landscape of horse racing bets in the UK can initially seem like deciphering a complex code, but with the right knowledge, it transforms into a thrilling strategic game.

From the simplicity of singles and doubles to the layered complexity of the Scoop 6 and Union Jack bets, there's something to cater to every level of punting expertise and appetite for risk.

Remember, whether you're placing an exacta, a superfecta, or exploring the multifaceted terrain of a Goliath, the key is not just about picking winners but understanding the nuances of each bet.

As we've journeyed through these 28 common bets, we hope you've found clarity, inspiration, and perhaps even a new favourite wagering strategy. So, armed with knowledge and a dash of luck, may your next day at the races be both exciting and rewarding!

We created a free guide to show you how to make a full time income from betting and trading the horse market.

Philip Borrowman


I am a full-time marketer and part-time Betfair trader. I have over 10 years of experience in the pre-race and in-play horse trading markets and spend my days writing guides, tips and tricks to help beginner Betfair traders find their way to a profitable second income. Read my story of trading on Betfair.

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