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Kentucky Derby 2012 Betting Guide: How To Bet On The Horses

If you've ever wanted to get in on the betting action on the Kentucky Derby, here is a guide that explains how to become a savvy horse racing gambler.

Matt Gardner of SB Nation has put together a nice betting guide that explains just how to play your money smart. For starters, you need to find a site to place your money safely. If your state allows internet horse race gambling, sites such as TwinSpires.com, TVG.com and ExpressBet.com. Now that you have a place to bet, you need to make one. As Gardner explains, there are three different bets you can make on the race

WIN: A bet on a horse to win (if you don't know this you probably shouldn't be betting)
PLACE: A bet on a horse to finish either 1st or 2nd.
SHOW: A bet on a horse to finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd.

Gardner's article linked above also explains more complex bets that can stretch across multiple races. Now you need to pick a horse to place your money on. Those numbers you always see next to a horses name are the odds that the horse will win. Here is a chart that spells out the various odds.

Odds

Win %

Odds

Win %

1/10

90.91%

4/1

20.00%

1/5

83.33%

9/2

18.19%

2/5

71.42%

5/1

16.67%

1/2

66.67%

6/1

14.29%

3/5

62.50%

7/1

12.50%

4/5

55.56%

8/1

11.11%

Even

50.00%

9/1

10.00%

6/5

45.45%

10/1

9.09%

7/5

41.67%

11/1

8.33%

3/2

40.00%

12/1

7.69%

8/5

38.46%

15/1

6.25%

9/5

35.71%

20/1

4.76%

2/1

33.33%

25/1

3.85%

5/2

28.57%

30/1

3.23%

3/1

25.00%

50/1

1.96%

7/2

22.22%

99/1

1.00%


To figure you how much you'll get paid if you hit your win bet, simply divide the numerator of the odds by the denominator, multiply that number by the amount bet, and then add the amount bet. For example if you took the Maryland-based horse Done Talking at 50-1 odds to win with a $2 and it does, your payout would be....

$50 x 2 + $2 = $104

Place and Show payouts are more difficult to calculate since tracks don't display the odds on those bets. Usually, they pay less than half what the winning odds play (unless the horse is a huge longshot and the favorite doesn't finish in the top three).

So that, in a nutshell, is how betting works for horse racing. Again, if you would like a more in-depth overview, head over to the guide by Gardner.

For more updates on the 2012 Kentucky Derby, stay tuned to this StoryStream and SB Nation DC. For all the latest news from around horse racing, head on over to SB Nation's very own horse racing blog, And Down The Stretch They Come