Beginner's Corner

The odds and what they mean

The odds represent the publics opinion of each horses chances of winning a race, based on how they actually bet. A horses odds reflect how much has been bet on it to win the race. Horses that are given a better chance of winning (favorites) will pay off less than the horses that are not expected to run well (longshots).

Odds in the newspaper or track program reflect a horses morning line odds. Morning line odds are set by oddsmakers and handicappers before the betting actually begins, and are meant to represent the best estimation of what a horses odds will actually be.

Actual odds are posted before each race, and can change constantly until the race begins. The current odds are always posted on television and computer screens and on the racetrack tote board leading up to a race. The posted odds are based on win wagers only. All posted win prices are posted to reflect winnings for each $2 bet. If you are confused by the odds and are never sure what your horse is going to pay if it wins, it is easy to calculate the approximate payoffs by doubling the odds and then adding in the cost of a $2 wager. For example: If the odds are 4-1, a $2 win bet would pay $10 (4 x $2 = $8 + $2 = $10).

When in doubt, you can always consult the following table:

Odds Payoff range
1-5 $2.40-$2.70
2-5 $2.80-$2.90
1-2 $3.00-$3.10
3-5 $3.20-$3.50
4-5 $3.60-$3.90
1-1 $4.00-$4.30
6-5 $4.40-$4.70
7-5 $4.80-$4.90
3-2 $5.00-$5.10
8-5 $5.20-$5.50
9-5 $5.60-$5.90
2-1 $6.00-$6.90
5-2 $7.00-$7.90
3-1 $8.00-$8.90
7-2 $9.00-$9.90
4-1 $10.00-$10.90
9-2 $11.00-$11.90
5-1 $12.00-$13.90
6-1 $14.00-$15.90
7-1 $16.00-$17.90
8-1 $18.00-$19.90
9-1 $20.00-$21.90
10-1 $22.00-$23.90
15-1 $32.00-$33.90
20-1 $42.00-$43.90
30-1 $62.00-$63.90
  
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