Ah, the Kentucky Derby — one of the most anticipated and celebrated days on the sporting calendar for all of its pageantry and history. And also for the gambling. Oh, the sweet, sweet gambling.
Those who don’t often participate in betting on the ponies may not understand all the hoopla surrounding the event, but it’s never too late to get in on the action. If you aren’t exactly sure how it all works, don’t you worry — we’re here to help you get up to speed.
If you’re looking to join in on the fun but don’t particularly understand the process or the terminology of betting (we know it can be a bit confusing), we’ve got you covered with a handy cheat sheet.
Wondering which horse will finish first at Churchill Downs? Visit SportsLine to see Jody Demling’s picks for the Kentucky Derby winner, long shot contenders, and a prediction of the finish positions for every single horse, all from the man who’s nailed 9 Derby-Oaks doubles.
For the novice, there are pretty simple wagers. But, with the Kentucky Derby being one of the biggest racing events on the calendar, there’s also more opportunity to divulge in more exotic bets, in which the payouts can be huge.
An important disclaimer, though: Knowing the terminology doesn’t guarantee you success in your wagers. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss … and profitable.
Anyway, here’s a rundown of the terms you’ll want to be familiar with.
BET TO WIN: Well, this one is pretty self-explanatory. You’re betting on a horse to win the race.
BET TO PLACE: You’re betting on a horse to finish either 1st or 2nd in the race.
BET TO SHOW: You’re betting on a horse to finish either 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the race.
EXACTA: You’re betting on both the 1st and 2nd place finishers in a race.
TRIFECTA: You’re betting on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in a race.
SUPERFECTA: You’re betting on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishers in a race.
DAILY DOUBLE: You’re betting on the winners of two separate races.
PICK 3: You’re betting on the winners of three consecutive races.
PICK 4: You’re betting on the winners of four consecutive races.
PICK 5: You’re betting on the winners of five consecutive races.
PICK 6: You’re betting on the winners of six consecutive races.
Obviously, some of those are more challenging endeavors than others so, as is always the case with gambling, play the odds at your own peril. Check out the latest odds and expected field.