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Win, Place and Show Betting Explained

Win Place Show Horse Betting

Are you looking to start betting on horse racing for a big race like the Preakness Stakes? A good place to start is with traditional wagering — or the simplest way to wager on horse racing — and that is win, place and show betting. Win, place, show betting is an excellent way for beginners to get started betting on horse races.

How win, place, show betting works:

A “win” bet is as easy as it gets. You win your bet if your horse wins the race. If you wager $100 on a horse that has 5/1 odds (+500) and the horse wins, you will win $500.

If you bet on a horse to “place,” your horse must finish either first or second. With a place bet providing two different options to win the bet, your payout will be smaller than a win bet.

If you wager on a horse to “show,” your horse must finish either first, second or third. Since the bet provides three different ways to win, the payout generally will be even smaller than a place or win bet.

Bet on the 2018 Preakness stakes here!

Traditional wagering is a lower-risk proposition compared to more complicated bets like the Pick 6, which could pay into the millions. However, win, place, show wagering should not be overlooked, particularly among novice horseplayers.

It is better to cash many small tickets than be knocked out of the Pick 6 in the first leg. In addition, tracks have a lower takeout rate on win, place and show betting as compared to exotic wagers. For instance at New York tracks, the takeout on a win wager is 16 percent, 18.5 percent on exactas, and 26 percent on trifectas and superfectas.

The term “across the board” wager means you are wagering on a horse to win, place and show on one ticket. If your horse wins, you receive win, place and show payoffs. If your horse finishes second, you receive place and show payoffs, and if your horse is third, you receive the show payoff only.

For new players, do not jump into the deep end of the pool without at least trying to build your bankroll through more traditional bets.

OddsShark’s horse racing expert Michael Dempsey on win, place and show wagering:

“The win bet may be the forgotten bet. However, it is still a viable option and should not be overlooked. If you tune in to TVG, you would think the Pick 4 and the Pick 6 are the only bets available. Don’t be fooled, you can make money on lower-risk bets. Betting to win, place and show are also better for your hairline and blood pressure.”

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