From your most basic punting options to a whole host of exotic bets, these days there are loads to choose from when placing bets on the horses at your local TAB, from a smartphone app or online at home.

For brand new punters all these options can get confusing, so in this post, we’ll go over the details of the most common and popular betting choices and determine which ones are best suited to beginners and the less experienced.

As a beginner, it’s best to start out on the easiest and least confusing punting options and try to master those before moving onto exotic betting.

The Place Bet

Likely the simplest of all bets, the place bet is where you put your money down on a horse, hoping it will finish somewhere in the top 3. Now, payouts for getting it right are usually rather small (unless the horse is an unlikely long shot), so don’t expect to win much. However, these simple bets are a good way to begin, and when you start getting a few wins, your confidence will grow.

For there to be 3 place getters in a race, the field must consist of 7 or more horses. If the race has only 6 horses or less, only the first 2 will payout for coming to a place.

Backing a Race Winner

This bet is a little harder than merely hoping a horse will finish in the top 3, as you actually have to pick the eventual race winner. However, it’s still one of the easiest bets to win and one of the simplest to understand.

Following all the experts and their Melbourne Cup tips, for example, betting on a race winner is one of the most popular bets on the great race, and that also holds true for many horse races throughout the year.

For amateurs and beginners, trying to pick a winner is usually the best they’ll take most often.

It sounds very easy. Just toss some money down on the race favourite and you’ll probably win most of the time.

While still being one of the simplest bets, it’s never a breeze successfully picking a winner, and race favourites only win around 30% of horse races.

Picking the winner will always pay more than backing a horse for a place only.

Try An Each Way Bet

What is this type of bet? What does it mean?

It’s really about hedging your bets, as you’re putting your money down on a horse for both a win or a place. It’s essentially 2 bets in one, so it’s going to cost you double to place this type of bet. If you think you know which horse might win, when you take an each-way bet, even if it doesn’t win, but comes in second or third, you still get paid something.

Next to place betting and trying to back a winner, each way bet is one of the most common punting options and very popular with casual and amateur punters.

Advance To Quinella Betting

With quinellas were starting to move into the realm of exotic bets, although winning a quinella is generally the easiest bet to try when entering the exotic betting market.

A quinella is a little like an each-way bet, except you’re choosing 2 horses, and those 2 that you pick must finish in the top 2; meaning, they have to come first and second.

What makes this bet slightly easier than it sounds is that you don’t have to pick the horses in the correct order. So long as both your picks are in the top 2, you win.

The harder version of quinella betting is called the “Exacta” bet, where you have to pick the first 2 in the right order, which is definitely a lot harder but will pay out more handsomely if you get it right.

As a beginner, stick to the quinella and try and master it first before moving onto exacta bets, trifecta betting (picking the first 3 in the right order) and all the other exotic bets.

Once you’ve got a good handle on the more basic bets, then you can try your hand on all those tempting exotic betting options.