Calculate Horse Racing Winnings

"From A Results Board"

By: Richard Reese


How does one understand how to read a results board? Once you understand the basic principles, then it just becomes a matter of simple arithmetic.

A race has just finished. Once the track calculates all the payouts, the results are posted on the board and look something like this:

8                   12.40           5.60           3.80

7                                       3.60           2.60

3                                                         4.80

The first thing that we have to understand is that there are multiple ways one can bet the horses. The results board refers to only betting  
Win-Place-Show.

What this means is that if you bet a horse to WIN, then you get the top payout shown if that particular horse wins. If you bet a horse to PLACE, you get the 2nd highest payout shown for that horse. If you bet a horse to SHOW, you get the 3rd highest payout shown.

Let's look at how we might figure out how much we get paid for a winning selection, using the above example.

The first line corresponds to the winning horse. As we can see the winner was horse #8, and then we have the payouts shown for winning $12.40, for placing $5.60, and for showing $3.80.

If you had bet the horse to win, then you would multiply $12.40 by the amount you had bet, although you have to remember that those prices are based on a $2 dollar mutuel, meaning if you had bet $2 to win on #8, then your return would be $12.40.

Your profit would be $12.40 (win payout) - $2.00 (amount you bet)= $10.40 profit.

If you had bet $20 to win on #8, your return would be $12.40 x 10 (remember everything is based on $2 mutuel)= $124. Your profit would be $124 - $20= $104.

If you had bet $50 to win on #8, your return would be $12.40 x $25=$310. Your profit would be $310- $50 = $260.

So whatever dollar amount you bet, just cut that number in half and multiply by the payout to figure out how much you won.
                                 
•  •  •                                      In the second column of the payouts we see $5.60 for horse #8 and we see $3.60 for horse #7.

If you had wagered $20 to PLACE on horse #8, then your payout would be $5.60 x 10= $56.

You could also of had a winning ticket on horse #7, if you had bet it to place as well, although the payout wasn't as high.

If you had a $20 PLACE bet on #7 your payout would be $3.60 x $10= $36.

If you had bet #7 to WIN, then you would have a losing ticket because the horse needed to win in order to cash that win bet.
                                 •  •  •
The final column we see, $3.80 for horse #8, we see $2.60 for horse #7, and we see $4.80 for horse #3. This means, if we had bet the horses to show or in other words had bet the horses to finish in 3rd place, we would receive those payouts.

For example, let's say we were betting $10 To SHOW on those horses.

If we had bet on horse #8 to SHOW, our return would be $3.80 x $5= $19. If we had bet #7 to SHOW, our return would be $2.60 x $5= $13. If we had bet #3 to SHOW, our return would be $4.80 x $5= $24.

Most handicappers that wager on Win-Place-Show, usually stick to only betting horses to WIN and PLACE.

There are guys known as cliff divers or cliff jumpers that will wager $50,000, $100,000, $200,000 to SHOW on the most favorite of horses, figuring that horse can't get worse than third. But as you can see, that is highly risky because let's say you wager $100,000 to SHOW on the favorite. Betting that amount of money will probably result in a payout of $2.10, if the horse does come in at least 3rd.

So your payout is $2.10 x $50,000 = $105,000. So you are risking $100,000 to win $5,000. You would have to win 20 consecutive times in a row to equal that $100,000, and nothing is guaranteed in horse racing.