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Betting the ponies is not as difficult as many think. It just takes a little time and experience. The following information is designed to assist the casual race fan and the newcomer with the terms and strategies used in horseracing.
A French term, meaning, “Wagering amongst ourselves.” So horseracing fans are wagering against each other, not the racetrack.
When you place a wager, the track merely “handles” the bet, and places the money into a betting pool, computes the odds based on all the amounts wagered on the individual horses, and of course pays off the winners according to those odds.
Each type of bet has it’s own pool and the track receives a commission for handling the wagers. The commissions are used to pay the State, the purses for the Horsemen, owners and The Downs itself. The rest (usually 80%) gets paid out as winnings.