What do all the terms mean ? Here's a basic guide to some of the more common phrases.

Odds against
This is when the bookmaker offers a return which is more than double the amount staked for a win bet. If your stake is £1, a winning bet at 2/1 (pronounced two-to-one bet) will return you £2 plus your original stake of £1, making a total of £3.

Even money (or Evens)
When the bookmaker offers a return which is double the amount staked on a win bet. If, let's say, your stake is £1 the bookmaker will return £1 plus your stake, making a total of £2.

Odds on
When the bookmaker offers a return which is less than double the amount staked for a win bet. A successful £1 bet at 1/2 (pronounced two-to-one-on), will return just 50p plus your stake, making a total of £1.50. The word 'on' indicates that the odds are reversed.

Long Odds or Short Odds?
So that's the story about odds - except for one thing.

Sometimes, instead of a horse's odds being expressed as a fraction, you might hear that they are simply 'long' or 'short'. This isn't meant to refer to the horse itself - or even the jockey. Instead, odds that are said to be long (e.g. 50/1) point to the fact that a horse is very unlikely to win the race. Conversely, short odds (e.g. 2/1) indicate that a horse has a good chance of winning.

Betting Variations

There are many different betting variations that can be taken out with the bookmakers in the UK. Here are some common ones that are horse racing specific bets and with a few that apply to Tote betting only.

Object - to select the winner of the race

Object - to select a horse to be placed (1st, 2nd or 3rd. Sometimes 4th in races with more than 16 runners.)

Object- a Win & Place bet on the same horse

Object-to select 1st and 2nd horse in the correct order

Object- to select 1st-2nd-3rd in the correct order

Object- to select a placed horse in each of the 6 Placepot/4 Quadpot races

Object- to select a winner in all 6 Jackpot races

Scoop 6
Object- to select the winners of each of the 6 nominated TV races

Quick Pick
If you can’t decide which horse to bet on then try a “lucky dip” with a Totaliser “Quick Pick” bet

In different countries, sometimes even at different tracks, there are variations to the above. All should be learned and studied to achieve best value in the betting market.