Every successful bettor has a host of tools at their disposal.
They use their racing programs to read up on the horses and see how well they have performed. They use video clips to replay past races. They equip their binoculars to watch the horses warm up and see which ones are tolerating race-day stress.
And, if they are making exotic bets (and all of the most successful punters do), they likely use a betting calculator.
What Is A Betting Calculator?
A betting calculator is a tool used by many apps and websites in which a prospective bettor can keep track of their wagers placed, the total amount they have bet, and what the potential payout of those bets will yield.
Betting at the racetrack or online is a high-risk, high-reward situation, and with that risk and reward comes complexity.
The easiest way to place a bet is to make a basic win bet. You place one single amount of money on one horse to win the race. If your horse wins, you get a certain amount of money based on the horse’s odds. Pretty simple, right?
Well, it is if you understand how the odds at racetracks work. Let’s say your horse has odds of 4-1 when you place your bet. That means that if your horse wins, you will get a four dollar return for every dollar you bet on the horse- IF your horse’s odds stay the same until betting is closed.
All racetracks in the United States operate solely on a parimutuel system. This means that all bets of a particular type on a particular horse are pooled together. If said particular horse ends up winning, the track takes a small percentage and the rest is paid out proportionately to the winning bettors. This also means that if interest in that particular horse relative to the other horses in a race fluctuates, so will the horse’s odds, and so will the winning bettors’ payout.
This can be difficult to keep track of, so using a horse racing bet calculator to help record your payouts can be important.
However, betting calculators are more often used when placing “exotic wagers,” or wagers that encompass more than one horse and/or race.
Let’s say, for example, you like two horses in a race. You could choose to make a type of bet called an exacta, in which you bet that those two horses will finish in the top two positions. To bet a straight exacta, you pick one horse to finish first and one to finish second.
But what if you think both of them have an equal chance to win? In that case, you might want to place a bet called a “boxed exacta,” in which you place a bet that those two horses will finish first and second, but it doesn’t matter which of the two finishes first and which finishes second. However, this type of bet will cost you twice as much, as you are essentially betting on two situations (Horse A finishes first with Horse B finishing second AND Horse B finishes first with Horse A finishing second).
You can also place wagers by picking winners for more than one race. In one type of bet, called a Daily Double, you win by picking the winners of two selected races. In this situation, you can choose more than one horse in each race, but with each selection, your cost will increase.
For example, if you like Horse A in Race 1 and Horse B in Race 2, your bet could cost as little as one dollar.
But let’s say you also like Horse C in Race 1 and Horse D in Race 2. Adding those two horses to your ticket would increase your ticket cost to a minimum of $4.00, as you now have two winning possibilities in each race.
As you increase the amount of winning possibilities with each exotic wager, you have a much greater chance to win something, but your bet will also cost exponentially more and make it more mathematically complicated. Therefore, using a horse racing betting calculator before approaching the window will help you keep your wagers straight so that you can- hopefully- end up having a profitable betting day!