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Still new to racing?

For those still considering a new pastime, horse racing can be your next thing. If you plan to go all the way and try to win some money, you need to know another thing or two about betting.

Who does what?

To start with, you are the punter. The first choice a punter must make is whether to bet with the TAB or take on a ‘bookie’. The Totaliser Agency Board, more commonly known as the TAB, is Australia’s largest, most-used betting agency offering a number of bets through their various betting shops. The TAB uses a system known as Pari-mutuel betting where all bets of the same type go into a pool. The winning dividend for a pari-mutuel bet is determined by the total size of the pool for that bet-type. This type of betting is also sometimes referred to as Tote betting.

Bookies (Bookmakers) deal purely in ‘fixed odds’. When you bet with a bookmaker, you are dealing with an individual’s thoughts on a race and are assured a set-return on your investment, should your favoured horse salute. Bookmakers operate their own markets, giving the punter the chance to choose the best odds on offer for their selections.

Dividends are displayed on screens and punters can view approximate dividends at all times, however the final pay-out is determined after the jump of each race, as each event ‘closes’.

Wanna bet?

There are a number of bet types to choose from. They range from single race types to multi-race options. To start with, you probably want to choose one of the simpler bet types, for example a “Win”, where you simply pick the runner that you think will finish first in a race.

There are some other betting terms that you may want to become familiar with as you progress with your new hobby.  A “Boxed bet” is when you cover all possible combinations for the finishing order by “boxing” the runners in your bet. A “Multiple bet” is where you pick more than one runner in each leg of the bet.  “Flexi betting” allows you to nominate the total amount you would like to spend on your bet, so you can include as many selections as you like at an outlay that suits your budget.

What do you say?

Once you have decided whether to use a bookie or go to the TAB, you are ready to do business. You have your money, you have decided who the winners will be and the type of bet you want to place. The best way to begin your betting journey is with a human teller, instead of a machine. You may need some help and that’s not always easy to get at a machine. After a friendly hello, supply the following information:

  • Venue and race number
  • Amount of your bet
  • Bet type
  • Your selections, including race book number

For example:
“Flemington – Race six, $5 each-way number 12”. Of course, a thank you would also be in order.

So there – a beginner’s guide to horse racing and betting. Good luck and bet sensibly!

Sources

www.racing.com

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