There are many different types of bet that you can place on a horse. The benefit of this is that you have plenty of options, but of course this could be confusing if you don’t have much experience of betting. Some options are highly risky and others are much more likely to see a return – but how do you determine which one to go for?

Learning what each type of bet means, how risky it is and how high the expected returns can be helps spectators enjoy their betting experience much more. The following glossary of the types of bets on horse racing should help you learn how to bet on horses depending on your capacity for risk.

Always remember though, there is no such thing as a guaranteed win so you should only ever bet what you can afford to lose.

horse racing betting types

Win – Betting on a horse to win means you only get paid if the horse comes first. Full odds are paid if the selection wins.

Place – A place bet usually means you are betting fractional odds that a horse will come in the top three. With five to seven horses racing, place bets only pay on the first two, or with 16 or more in a handicap race the first four places are paid.

Each-way – An each-way bet is effectively two bets: one win and one place. Each bet is even, so a £1 each-way bet costs £2. If the horse wins, both stakes are paid. If the horse places, the £1 place stake is paid but the £1 win stake is lost.

After this, things begin to get a little more complicated. There are a variety of multiple bets that offer higher returns but these are also higher risk.

Accumulator – With an accumulator bet you make a number of selections. If the first one wins, those winnings are automatically placed on the next selection and so on. All selections must win for the bet to be paid out. Accumulators can be doubles (two selections), trebles (three selections), four-fold (four selections), five-fold, and so on.

Trixie – A trixie is made up of four bets choosing three selections, all in different events. Two of your selections need to win for you to see a return, and the bets are three doubles and one treble. So, if your selections were X, Y and Z, your bets would be XY, XZ, YZ and XYZ.

Patent – A patent is similar to a trixie but with seven bets: three singles, three doubles, and a treble. So, as above, your bets would be XY, XZ, YZ and XYZ but also X, Y and Z. Any one successful selection pays a return.

Yankee – A yankee is 11 bets over four selections, with two having to be successful to pay out. It consists of six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold accumulator.

Lucky 15 – A lucky 15 is 15 bets over four selections, consisting of an accumulator, four trebles, six doubles and four singles. One win pays out at treble odds, and if all four win this adds a bonus of 20% to returns.

These are just a few of the ways of betting on horse racing. What type of bet you choose will depend on whether you can afford to make a risky bet for potentially higher returns or prefer to make a lower risk bet for smaller returns.