Among the oldest spectator sports in the U.S., thoroughbred horse racing originated with the British who introduced the sport to Colonial America a century prior to the Revolutionary War. Proving hugely popular with the colonists, horse racing has remained so, that is until recent years. While still attracting a considerable number of fans, there has been a noticeable and continuing decline in live track attendance.. This can be directly attributed to competition from other forms of gambling, and most certainly due to the convenience of betting at off-track facilities and more emphatically via the internet.
There are still plenty of die-hard handicappers out there, but with gambling sites offering streaming audio/video, etc. the horse player can experience the excitement of the race and place bets with the on-line casino without leaving home. In fact there are literally billions of dollars still being waged on horse racing, but it is estimated that no more than 15% of those wagers are placed at the race track betting windows.
When bets are made off-track, the tracks end up with a lower percentage . However, all of that aside, internet wagering is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds, and there are apt to be more novice bettors playing the ponies through the web than there are novices attending the race tracks. Many bettors new to track betting don’t realize that a player needs to at least know something of the basics of betting on a horse and the reason that particular animal was chosen as a would-be winner.
To begin with, there are two types of horse racing competition. There is harness racing in which a driver rides a two-wheel cart and is pulled by a “trotter”, a horse specially bred and trained for this form of racing. Then there is thoroughbred racing in which a jockey sits astride a saddled racehorse.
There are various ways to bet on a horserace, and would-be handicappers must familiarize themselves with all of them:
Win – Place – Show: Win is to bet on which horse will win the race, and pays higher than place or show. Place is to bet that a horse will place first or second, and pays less than Win. Show is betting that a chosen horse will finish in third place or higher and pays less than Win or Place.
Perfecta: Two winners must be chosen and must finish in the exact order as wagered.
Quinella: Similar to the Perfecta, but winners can finish in any order.
Trifecta: Bettor must choose the first three winners of a race in the exact order as wagered.
Daily Double: A track wager in which the bettor must select the winners in two consecutive races. Usually the first two races of the day.
Pick Three: The bettor must pick the winner in each of three consecutive races.
Interactive race wagering was introduced in the U.S. in 1991, when Television Games Network (TVG) introduced a television racing network available through cable and satellite programming services.