Complete Guide on How to Bet on Horse Racing for Beginners

Gamble
May 18, 2024

Horse racing is one of the attractions of Japanese gambling, with the thrill of exciting races and the enjoyment of betting through voting tickets. However, for those trying horse racing for the first time, there may be many things they don't understand, such as the types of betting tickets and how to bet. This guide explains the points for beginners to easily and safely enjoy horse racing.

Basic Approach to Betting

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When betting on horse racing, it is important to choose a betting method that suits your budget. The key to enjoying horse racing in the long run is to bet within a reasonable range while having fun. Information gathering and analysis are also important points. It is highly recommended to research the past performances, pedigree, and race conditions of the horses running, and establish your own prediction method.

1. Choosing a Betting Method to Suit Your Budget

The amount you bet on horse racing should be set according to your income and living situation. The key to enjoying horse racing in the long run is to bet within a reasonable range while still having fun. If you bet too much, the damage will be greater when you lose, and the risk of gambling addiction will also increase.

2. The Importance of Information Gathering and Analysis

To win at horse racing, it is important to gather and analyze information about the horses running. To be able to form your unique prediction method and hone your instincts to reliably predict which horse has the highest probability of winning it is best to do prior research on the past performances, pedigree, and race conditions of the horses running. You can use newspapers, online horse racing sites, and pamphlets distributed at racetracks to gather information.

3. Establishing Your Own Prediction Method

Based on the information you have collected, it is important to establish your own prediction method. For example, there are methods that focus on past performances, methods that focus on pedigree, and methods that focus on race conditions. Find a prediction method that suits you and refine it, which is the key to winning at horse racing in the long run.

Horse Racing Basics: Gather Information Before Betting

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Before betting on horse racing, it is important to first gather information about the horses running and understand the odds system. Here, we will explain how to read the information about the horses running and the odds.

How to Read the Information About the Horses Running

Information about the horses running includes pedigree, past performance, and training condition. Pedigree refers to information about the horse's sire and dam. Horses with excellent pedigrees are said to have a higher probability of performing well in races. Past performance shows how the horse has performed in previous races. Horses that have performed well in races under the same conditions are considered to have a higher probability of performing well in this race. Training condition indicates the horse's current physical condition and running condition. Horses that are in good training condition are said to have a higher probability of performing well in races.

About Odds

Odds are a numerical value that indicates the probability of each horse winning. The lower the odds, the more people are predicting that the horse will win. High odds mean that the horse is predicted to have a low probability of winning. Odds fluctuate based on the sales of betting tickets. The odds of popular horses tend to go down, while the odds of unpopular horses tend to go up.

Types of Betting Tickets and Their Characteristics

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Horse racing offers a total of 10 distinct betting methods, each with slightly different odds and corresponding payouts. Below, we introduce these different betting options and explain the odds of how you can win with each one.

1. Win

Win betting is the simplest type of betting ticket, where you choose one horse and win if that horse finishes first. It is easy for beginners to understand. The advantage is that it has a relatively high probability of winning, making it easy to win. However, the disadvantage is that the payout is set lower for popular horses.

2. Place

Place betting is where you choose one horse and win if that horse finishes in the top three. The advantage is that it has a higher probability of winning than Win betting, and the payout is also relatively high. However, the disadvantage is that the payout is lower than Win betting if the horse finishes first. Win and Place betting is recommended for beginners.

3. Show

Show betting is where you choose one horse and win if that horse finishes first, with a portion of the purchase amount being returned to the horse's producers and related parties. The advantage is that you can support the horse's producers and related parties through horse racing. However, the disadvantage is that the payout is set lower.

4. Bracket Quinella

Bracket Quinella is where you choose two horses and win if those two horses finish first and second in any order, with the characteristic of choosing by bracket number rather than horse number. The advantage is that it has a higher probability of winning than Quinella, but the disadvantage is that the payout is set lower.

5. Quinella

Quinella is where you choose two horses and win if those two horses finish first and second, regardless of the order of finish. The advantage is that the payout is relatively high, but the disadvantage is that the probability of winning is low. This is a similar betting situation to Bracket Quinella.

6. Exacta

Exacta is where you choose two horses and win if those two horses finish first and second, with the characteristic of also specifying the order of finish. The advantage is that the payout is high, but the disadvantage is that the probability of winning is low.

7. Quinella Place

Quinella Place is where you choose two horses and win if those two horses finish in the top three, regardless of the order of finish. The advantage is that it has a higher probability of winning than Quinella, but the disadvantage is that the payout is set lower.

8. Trio

Trio is where you choose three horses and win if those three horses finish in the top three, regardless of the order of finish. The advantage is that the payout is high, but the disadvantage is that the probability of winning is low.

9. Trifecta

Trifecta is where you choose three horses and win if those three horses finish first, second, and third in the specified order. The advantage is that the payout is very high, but the disadvantage is that the probability of winning is very low. Trio and Trifecta are considered advanced betting tickets.

10. WIN5

WIN5 is a betting ticket where you can expect high payouts if you correctly predict the winning horses in all five designated races. The advantage is that high payouts can be expected with a small investment, but the disadvantage is that the probability of winning is very low. WIN5 is a betting ticket for advanced players who are knowledgeable about horse racing.

Recommended Betting Tickets for Beginners

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Win Betting

Win betting is one of the easiest betting tickets for beginners to start with. The reason is that the system of the betting ticket is simple and easy to understand. You choose one horse, and if that horse finishes first, you win, so it is clear whether your prediction will win or not, and you can enjoy watching the race results.

Also, one of the attractions of Win betting is that it has a relatively high probability of winning. Compared to other betting tickets, it is easier to win, so even beginners can easily enjoy the thrill of purchasing a betting ticket.

About Win Betting Payouts

While Win betting has a high probability of winning, the disadvantage is that the payout is set lower. Especially for popular horses, because many people purchase them, the payout tends to be undervalued.

For example, if a horse with odds of 1.5 times finishes first, and you purchased a 100-yen Win ticket, you would receive a payout of 150 yen. On the other hand, if a horse with odds of 10 times finishes first, and you purchased a 100-yen Win ticket, you would receive a payout of 1,000 yen.

Place Betting

The attraction of Place betting is that it has an even higher probability of winning than Win betting. You choose one horse, and if that horse finishes in the top three, you win, so compared to Win betting, you have a wider range of opportunities to win a betting ticket.

For example, if a horse you predicted to finish first in Win betting finishes second or third, it would not win in Win betting, but it would win in Place betting. In this way, because Place betting has a higher probability of winning than Win betting, it is one of the betting tickets that is easy for beginners to start with.

About Place Betting Payouts

Place betting tends to have lower payouts than Win betting, but relatively high payouts can still be expected. Especially if an unpopular horse finishes in the top three, the payout may jump up.

For example, if a horse with odds of 5 times finishes second, and you purchased a 100-yen Place ticket, you would receive a payout of 500 yen. On the other hand, if the same horse finishes second in Win betting, it would not win, so you would not receive a payout.

The Appeal of Place Betting for Beginners

For beginners in horse racing, the high probability of winning is the appeal of Place betting. Because it has a higher probability of winning than Win betting, it is easy to enjoy the thrill of winning a betting ticket.

Also, because Place betting has relatively high payouts, the joy of winning is also great. Beginners should first experience the enjoyment of horse racing with Place betting and gradually challenge other betting tickets.

Beginners Should Focus on the Probability of Winning Rather Than the Payout

For beginners in horse racing, it is important to focus on the probability of winning rather than the amount of the payout. Even if the payout is high, it is meaningless if you don't win. First, it is important to experience the joy of winning.

How to Purchase Betting Tickets

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There are three ways to purchase betting tickets: at the racetrack, online, and at off-track betting offices (WINS).

Purchasing at the Racetrack

At the racetrack, you can purchase betting tickets directly at the betting ticket sales counter. At the betting ticket sales counter, you specify the type and amount of the betting ticket to purchase. When purchasing at the racetrack, only cash is accepted.

Purchasing Online

You can also purchase betting tickets online via the Internet. To purchase online, you need to open an account in advance and make a deposit. Online purchases can be made 24 hours a day, and the appeal is that you can purchase betting tickets from the comfort of your own home.

Purchasing at WINS (Off-Track Betting Offices)

WINS (off-track betting offices) are betting ticket sales offices located outside the racetrack. You can purchase betting tickets at WINS without going to the racetrack. At WINS, in addition to cash purchases, you can also make transactions using credit cards and electronic money.

Betting Tips for Beginners

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Here are some tips for beginners to safely enjoy horse racing.

1. Keep Betting Amounts Small

For beginners who are not used to horse racing, it is important to keep betting small amounts. Set the amount of each bet within your budget, at an amount that you can easily afford. Since luck plays a big role in horse racing, it is important to start with an amount that can withstand temporary losses.

2. Consider Long-Term Profits and Expenses

In the long run, the balance of profits and expenses is important in horse racing. Rather than aiming for temporary high payouts, it is important to aim for stable profits over the long term. To do this, it is essential to establish your own prediction method and bet based on that.

3. Bet to Make a Profit of Three Times Your Stake

For beginners, we recommend setting the betting amount so that the profit is three times the stake. For example, the idea is to aim for a payout of 3,000 yen with a betting amount of 1,000 yen. This method has the advantage of being able to cover losses with profits when you win, even if the probability of winning is low.

4. Avoid Trifecta Bets

Trifecta bets have a very low probability of winning and are not recommended for beginners. We recommend starting with betting tickets that have a high probability of winning, such as Win and Place. It is important to fully acquire knowledge and prediction skills in horse racing before trying Trifecta bets.

5. Consider Negotiations with Other Betting Ticket Purchasers

Negotiations with other betting ticket purchasers are also important in horse racing. When many people bet on popular horses, the payout tends to decrease. Conversely, when few people bet on unpopular horses, the payout tends to increase. It is important to choose the horses to bet on while taking into account the trends of other gamblers.

6. Don't Bet Randomly Without Basis

To win at horse racing, it is important to bet based on information gathering and analysis, not to bet randomly without basis. It is important to establish your own prediction method and bet based on that.

Precautions for Enjoying Horse Racing

Here are some precautions for beginners to keep in mind and to enjoy the thrill of horse racing while being responsible.

Mindset to Avoid Gambling Addiction

Horse racing has the risk of leading to gambling addiction. To avoid gambling addiction, it is important to bet within your budget. It is also important to deal with losses calmly and not emotionally.

Setting Betting Amounts Within a Reasonable Range

The amount you bet on horse racing should be set within a reasonable range according to your income and living situation. Avoid betting amounts that will interfere with your daily life.

Attitude of Not Being Overly Excited or Depressed by Wins and Losses

Horse racing is a form of gambling that involves wins and losses. It is important not to get overly excited when you win or overly depressed when you lose. It is important to enjoy the thrill and excitement however don’t become too excited or depressed by wins and losses as it leads to an addiction.

Popular Horse Racing Tracks in Japan

Japan has numerous racecourses with distinctive personalities, beloved by many horse racing fans across the country. 

Sapporo Racecourse in Sapporo City, Hokkaido

  • Known for its summer races

Hanshin Racecourse in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture

  • Hosts a variety of prestigious races

Nakayama Racecourse in Funabashi City, Chiba Prefecture

  • Famous for traditional races such as the Arima Kinen

Tokyo Racecourse in Fuchu City, Tokyo

  • Largest scale within Japan
  • Hosts major races like the Tenno Sho and the Japanese Derby

Oi Racecourse in Shinagawa City, Tokyo

  • One of the regional racecourses
  • Known for its popular night races

Kyoto Racecourse in Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture

  • Beloved by fans for its traditional atmosphere
  • Hosts many historical races

These racecourses each have their own unique characteristics and charm, symbolizing the diversity of horse racing culture in Japan.

Summary

To enjoy horse racing while betting wisely, it is important to choose a betting method that suits your budget and make predictions based on information gathering and analysis. It is also important to understand the characteristics of various types of betting tickets and choose the ones that suit you. For beginners, we recommend keeping betting amounts small and starting with betting tickets that have a high probability of winning. When enjoying horse racing, it is important to have the mindset to avoid gambling addiction, set betting amounts within a reasonable range, and not be overly excited or depressed by wins and losses. Find your own style and enjoy Japanese horse racing to the fullest.

PIJ Writer
PIJ Writer
PIJ Writer, a seasoned connoisseur in his 40s based in Japan, boasts an unparalleled depth of knowledge and experience within the vibrant landscapes of both drinking and gambling, alongside his well-documented ventures into various red-light districts. This extensive exploration encompasses not just the nocturnal delights of Japan's red-light areas but also its myriad of bars, horse racing, pachinko, and many others. Drawing on his firsthand experiences, he conveys the appeal and characteristics of Japan's diverse adult entertainment districts and his enjoyment of the nightlife scene through his writing for PIJ.

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