Horse Betting Odds

by jason

Understanding on how horse betting odds work and what you should expect to receive on a winning ticket is not as hard to calculate as it might appear. You can consider using dollars as the way of thought on how to determine what you will be paid. For example if you wager $2 on a horse to win at 3-1 odds and he does indeed win you will receive approximately $6 when you go to the cashier to cash your horse ticket. This is determined by multiplying the odds 2-1 with the minimal $2 wager in which is $4 + your $2 initial bet for a grand total of $6.

Also keep in mind this is not considering taking out taxes and tote board reflections. If your interested on calculating the exact amount of money you will win by placing a $2 bet you need to first figure out what the percentage of the pool the horse tracks take out for each race. Each and every track is usually unique based on local taxes but lets go with the average of 15%. Once we have figured out the tax situation to find the exact odds you simply divide the winning sum and divide it again by using the total amount wagered on the 2-1 horse used above. Here is an exact payout odds example:

Total win pool: $1000

Tax/Take amount: 15 percentage

Total amount bet on the winning horse: $275

$1000 – 15% = $850

$850 – $275 = $575

$575 / $275 = $2.09

Now the exact payout would be something in the range of $2.09 for each $2 wagered however most horse racing tracks reflect down to the nearest 5 cents so the official payout would be $2.05 on every $2.00 risked. Even though the horse was wagered around the 2-1 by the time the taxes and being reflected down the payout was just over even money on the amount bet.

It’s not uncommon for raced to return less than even money for every dollar that’s wagered either. A great example of this is a 3-5 horse which means you will only receive $3 for every $5 wagered on that particular horse. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing however, if you think the horse has a greater chance on winning more than 60% of the time you will win statistically long term.

Here is a table to the right that shows payoffs for all the selected odds however keep in mind this does not include the taxes or reflect down imposed on the racetrack.

So just remember the morning line is more than likely not going to be the exact payout odds. The odds are truly determined by the exact amount of money bet on each horse and will be listed on the tote board (usually shown on a digital screen live near the finish line). Now that we have went over the basis on understanding how horse betting odds work you should hopefully be able to understand what to expect when you go to cash in your tickets.