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Horse Racing Terms to Know

Horse betting has come a long way since people began staking their money on the horse that finishes first in a race. Nowadays, you can win money even if a horse finishes second or third. You can even place your bets online at sites such as Bovada, Pinnacle or MyBookie. Horse racing firms have resorted to all sorts of gimmicks to sustain gamblers’ interest. The truth is, you could get lost in all the terms they came up with. Therefore, to increase your chances of winning, you need to know what you’re betting on first. When you do, only then can you devise a strategy that will ensure a windfall.

Across the board – A type of betting system where you will have to bet on the same horse who could place first, second, or third. Under this system, you will have to place three bets, and you need the horse you bet on to win first so you’ll be paid for all three placements. However, you don’t have to log out teary-eyed. You can still win something if your horse places second or third.

Bridge jumper –Horse racing slang for someone who bet a lot of money on a single horse. If their horse finishes second, these bettors reportedly commit suicide by jumping off the nearest bridge. Given the amount of money these gamblers wasted on a horse that lost, it’s not hard to understand the emotional and psychological basis for this word.

Dead-heat – In extremely rare circumstances, two or more horses can tie for first place, which is the situation this word refers to. Even establishing the winner through photo finish is not always possible. The image can sometimes be too blurry, or the angle from which the photo was taken rendered it inconclusive. In this case, the winnings are divided between the bettors who put wagers on those horses.

In the money – an adverb that refers to a situation where the horse you bet on finished in first, second, or third place. You will definitely have money if your horse finishes first. Otherwise, you can only collect winnings if the betting system you chose includes consolation prices for horses that placed second or third in the race.

Inquiry – An investigation into a racing incident. Inquiries can be conducted if there’s evidence that horse riders deliberately conspired to make sure that certain horses win or lose. Inquiries can also be conducted if there is prima facie evidence that one horse has unfairly slowed down or blocked another. Track personnel and officials are the ones responsible for conducting such inquiries.

On the nose – A horseracing adverb that modifies the verb “betting” if you only staked your money on a horse to finish first. It is used in sentences like “she bet on the nose.” No one knows when, why, and how “on the nose” was invented, but photo finishes literally depend on the nose (rather, the snout) of the horse you bet on. Mane length can also spell the difference between winning and losing, which is why it is surprising no one thought of using “by the hair” instead.

Place – A type of bet where you win if the horse you picked finishes second. You can also collect winnings if your horse actually wins the race, but not if your horse comes in third.

Show – A horse betting system that works the same way as a place bet, but you need your horse to finish third, instead of second. Nevertheless, you still win money if the horse you predicted to come in third ends up in first or second place.

Straight Bets – The classical horse betting system: you only win when your horse finishes first. The across the board, place, and show systems were invented because straight bets eventually felt too bland to gamblers.

Now that you know some basic horse racing terms, it’s time to place a winning bet! Be sure to read all of our reviews for the best sportsbooks based on your needs.

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