How to: Place a bet - Part 1

21 Jun 2017
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

If you aren’t sure how to place a bet on a raceday, this is the guide for you.

While you’re on course, placing a bet isn’t an essential part of the raceday, but it can certainly add to the entertainment.

If you’ve never placed a bet before or aren’t 100% sure on what to do, our guide to betting will help get you started.

First things first:

All bets are placed in $1 multiples (i.e. you cannot place $1.50 on a horse to win)

Bets on a raceday are placed at a ‘tote’ – an area where TAB staff are based throughout the day, normally complete with TV screens showing the odds.

There are plenty of totes located throughout the course and in hospitality areas at Ellerslie and, while the TAB staff can’t provide you with a tip on who to pick, they’ll talk you through placing a bet if you’re unsure.

How do you know how much money you might win?

A ‘dividend’ is the technical term for the amount a horse is paying to win or get a place (1st, 2nd and 3rd) in the race. Dividends are displayed on TV screens all around the racecourse, most often close to the totes.

You’ll see two monetary figures beside a horse’s name. The first amount you see is what the horse is paying for a win and the second is its price should it place.

The horse whose dividends are flashing is the race favourite which means it is the horse the majority of punters think will win.

Interestingly, favourites win about 30% of the time.

Two simple bets to get you started are:


What to say: “$X for a win on horse number X”

  • You receive the win dividend if your chosen horse wins

  • For example, if you put $1 on a horse paying $5 to win and it comes in first you’ll receive $5. Put $2 on that same horse and you would win $10


What to say: “$X for a place on horse number X

  • You receive the place dividend if your horse comes first, second or third

  • For example, if you put $1 on a horse paying $8 to place and it comes in first, second or third, you’ll receive $8. Put $3 on that same horse and you would win $24

Check out the next blog post for some other bet types to try when you are on course at Ellerslie.

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