What is a Show bet in horse racing?

Show Bet Horse Racing

One of the most popular wager types is a Show bet in US horse racing.

We will explain what it is and the best strategies for using the Show bet in this article.

Being one of the world's most popular and oldest sports, horse betting has millions of spectators worldwide. It is adored not only by bettors but also by sports fans alike. And the fact that it is a billion-dollar market proves its popularity.

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Last year, the horse racing track market was valued at nearly $3.8 billion, according to Statista. This isn't a surprise since it is the third most bet on sport in the US, after football and basketball.

Much of this sport's popularity comes from the fact that it is a social sport, with racing events throughout the year. It gives bettors and fans an exciting and thrilling experience. There's a lot of accessible information out there about it, and it also provides quick results.

Yet, when it comes to how profitable this sport is, statistics suggest that only a small percentage of horse racing bettors actually end up winning or making a satisfying profit.
 Or at least, that's the case if you don't use a good betting strategy. 
There's only one bet type that offers very good chances of winning when it comes to types of horse racing wagers: Show bet.
  • Want to find out what is a Show bet in horse racing?
  • Keep reading below.

What is a Show bet in horse racing?

The show bet is a popular bet type in the US. What's more, it is one of the easiest and straightforward bets you can make at US horse racing sites because you simply have to pick a horse to finish in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd position in a race.

Whether or not you win is also easy to understand.

If your horse finishes the race on the first, second, or third place, you win your Show Bet.

On the flip side, if your horse finishes in any other place than the first three, what's called “off the board” in horse betting, you don't win the bet.

Now, this type of bet is considered to have the best chance of winning because the odds that your horse will come in the first four are much higher when compared to win bets when you pick a single horse in the race to finish first.

The minimum you can bet on a show bet is $2.

But the real question is:

How much can you win with a Show bet?

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Well, winnings on Show bets have no limits. The more you bet and win, the more money you make.

Now, it's all up to your betting decisions and whether or not the odds are in your favor when the gates break open and the race starts.

Now, although studies show that win betting strategy is the way to go in the long run, if you want to earn some nice profits, beginner horse betting bettors should bet to show.

Think about it:

  • as a beginner, you have very little experience to know which horse will perform best and finish first.

Plus, you must also consider whether or not your bet is a first past the post type, which is the type of bet when you bet on a horse to finish first even if the horse doesn't win in the end, a situation in which the horse is disqualified for various reasons.

So, since you don't have the horse betting experience to put your money on the winning horse, you can place a show bet, which gives you more odds of winning.

In other words, you want your horse to win, of course. But you may not be able to identify the best horse when betting.

So, if the horse you bet on finishes second or third, which happens a lot in this sport, at least you catch a decent payoff.

Show bet strategies

There are three show bet strategies you should know:

  1. Show parlay – Show parlay strategy represents when the bettor makes a bet on a horse and then wages the winning of that wager on another race. What's more, the winnings can be divided up, and the bettor can place two show wagers on different races.
  2. Insurance bets – This is when bettors use their show bets for insurance, meaning that they would wager an amount of money to win on a horse, but also back up their bet with a smaller show bet in case the winner loses.
  3. Better pools – With pool betting, more bettors' money is pooled together instead of giving the money to a bookmaker. If the horse wins, the bettors share the pool of money with the others who also backed the bet. However, the more people who back the horse, the less money the bettors get at the end if the horse wins.

Show bet horse racing Verdict

Show bet is the simplest form of horse racing wagering. And, the safest for newcomers.

Remember that a show bet is a bet for your chosen horse to finish in the top three positions, but not necessarily to win, which can happen if the horse is disqualified.

Yet, since this type of wagering gives bettors three different ways to win, the payout is typically less than a victory in a place or win type of bet.

Yet, there is also less risk involved with this kind of bet, which makes it perfect for beginner bettors or bettors who just want to have fun and experience some of the adrenaline of horse racing events.


How much is a $2 Win Place Show bet?

Known as an “Across the Boards” bet in horse racing, the win-place-show bet is very similar to the show bet.

The bettor must select a single horse to either win, place, or show. If the horse does win, places, or shows, you win the bet.

The minimum stake for a Show bet, a Win bet, or a place bet is $2. So, the minimum cost for a Win Place Show bet will be $6.

Now, when it comes to payout, if your horse is first, you collect on win, place, and show. If your horse is second, you collect on place and show.

So, if it finishes third, you will only collect the show part of your bet.

How much does a Show bet pay?

If you place a show bet, it's only fair that you want to know how much you'd get if you win the bet.

As mentioned above, there's no limit for how much you can win with show bets. The more you bet and win, the more money you'll leave home with.

Yet, for only one show bet, the payoff is calculated by the total pool minus the track's takeout, which is the commission, divided among all the winning tickets.

What happens if you bet a horse to Show and he wins?

The show bet means that you bet that your horse will finish either on the first, second, or third place. Thus, if your horse finishes first and wins, you also win the bet.

However, even if your horse finishes first, you won't get more money as if it would have finished in the second or third place.

The amount paid in show bets is unequivocal, meaning that the payout will be the same no matter if your horse finishes first or in the second or third place.

Should I bet win place or Show?

There are many types of wagers in horse betting, including the win, place, and show bet types. Now, everybody has a personal favorite.

Thus, the right choice when betting on horse racing depends on your goals and betting experience and style.

However, for newcomers to horse racing betting, betting on place or show is a much easier and safer idea.

As mentioned above, if you are a beginner, you lack the experience that would help you choose the best horse that will win.

Moreover, you don't have the experience needed to calculate odds and determine risks. So, placing a win bet is a much greater risk to lose.

Yet, with place and show bets, you basically have more odds to win the bet since your horse could finish first, second, or third (if you bet on show), and you will still be winning.

What's more, the best part is that the payout will be the same in either of the three positions.

So, with show bets, despite the payouts being the lowest compared to other types of bets, it offers you the highest probability of winning.

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Andy nelson owner of offshoresportsbookfact.net

Andy Nelson

Andy has been writing and posting about offshore sportsbooks for over 15 years. He's also an active sportsbook bonus seeker and seasoned online gambler on US sports.


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