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Can You Bet On All Horses In A Race

Nearly every bettor has always considered backing every horse in a single race. Most are hesitant since they do not know if this is legal or will make them any money.

This article will answer those questions, including whether betting on all the horses in a race is a good idea.

Betting On All Horses

Betting on all horses

There is a reason why no one is staking every horse in famous races like the Saudi Cup or Kentucky Derby Festival. Everyone can bet on all horses, and there are no laws or rules within online horse race betting sites that do not allow this practice. Operators are likely to encourage any individuals to do this if they can. Betting on all horses will likely leave you broke while making operators rich.

We need to explain how horse race betting works to know why placing a winning bet on all runners is not recommended. All runners are assigned a starting price and odds for each race. The bookies make these odds based on various factors such as past performances, horse & jockey conditions, and race track conditions.

Bets on the horse likely to cross the finish line first will have the lowest payout due to its odds. Other runners will have lower odds due to their performance or chances of beating the best horse in the race. Due to their odds, other runners have better payouts, especially the horse that is less likely to surpass the rest.

Given how horse race betting works,  why would betting on every horse make you lose money?

Let us give a sample race with the odds for win bets and a stake of $2. To make our sample clear, the rank and performance of its horse are in descending order.

Runners Odds Profit
Horse A 5/4 $2.50
Horse B 5/3 $3.33
Horse C 7/2 $7.00
Horse D 7/1 $14.00
Horse E 14/1 $28.00
Horse F 20/1 $40.00
Horse G 50/1 $100.00
Horse Race Odds

Going through the sample here, backing all horses here will cost $14.00. While you get a payout when horses A, B, and C first cross the line, the profit will not cover your entire stake. Horse D must cross the finish line first to cover your stake and net a small profit. If horses E, F, and G win the race, the payout will cover your expenses and net you a profit.

People new to horse betting or are regular casino players and have yet to make any race bets tend to think this is a reasonable chance. They believe their odds of making a profit is for three out of seven horses to win. However, that is not the case here.

Looking at these odds, horse A is a powerhouse that will overpower horses D, E, F, and G. Horse B and horse C still have a good chance of outrunning A, but their odds are minimal during this race. Overall, the odds are against you in making a profit if you back all horses in a race.

Horse Race Dutching

Betting on every runner is terrible, but not if you are betting on two or three horses. In sports and horse race betting, advantage bettors utilize Dutch betting to cover the needed outcomes to get the best payouts.

The principle behind Dutching is to create lay bets where you cover outcomes with sizable potential profits while decreasing the risk. At least one of the wagers will cover the cost of the total stakes, which takes care of the risk in this type of bet. Another wager is made for one horse with the lowest odds, giving the bettor a substantial profit should that horse win the race.

Types of Dutch Betting

While there are numerous kinds of Dutching, below are the three most common horse race back and lay bets.

Two-Way Favorites

When there are two likely horses to cross the finish line, two-way favorites are the best type of Dutching. This involves backing two horses with the highest possible chances of winning the race. Odds for these horses should be around 4/3 to 3/2, where the payout results in a small profit should either of them win.  

Stakes for the two-way favorites are usually an even split for both horses. This amount ensures there is a profit when either of the outcomes occurs in a race.

One-Way Favorite & Underdog

Seasoned horse race bettors are usually Dutch with a favorite and a high-paying underdog for a race. The idea here is to have the favorite wager pay for the stakes on both bet should the top horse wins. With the risk covered, bettors will have a stake in the runner with the lowest possible odds for that game.

To make sure this horse race Dutching method still provides you a profit, you will place a 5 to 1 stake for both the favorite and underdog, where the latter will take in most of the bet amount. This way of betting provides a higher chance of profiting from a race. A majority of the payout is from the favorite wager. Meanwhile, a small amount on the underdog can lead to a significant profit that can reach more than ten times the profit from the favorite bet.

One-Way Favorite & One Mid-Ranger

Bettors do this by backing the favorite and a mid-ranking horse. Dutching the favorite and a mid-tier V offers an equal opportunity to make money from winning either outcome.

Stakes for this Dutching method depend on the odds of your mid-ranging horse where its payout should pay for the stakes while cutting you a sizable profit. If the odds are 4/1 to 5/1, it is a good idea to put two parts of your stake on the favorite and one part on the mid-ranging horse.

We need to close this section with a disclaimer: there is still a chance your Dutch bet will lose. Whether horse racing or sports events, the favorites are not guaranteed to win. Real-world environmental factors can result in other participants, including the underdog, winning a race. Dutching is not a guaranteed horse race betting strategy to make a profit. Instead, it is a betting strategy to maximize the payouts while minimizing risks. Fortunately, there are place and show wagers with higher odds of winning than win bets.

Betting on all horses in a race is allowed but is less likely to get you a massive payout. A good alternative is Dutching, where you only cover outcomes that would get you a sizable profit while covering the risks.

This article was published on October 16, 2022, and last updated on October 5, 2022.

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