What Are ‘Match Bets & Threesomes’ in Horse Racing?

horse racing match bets examples 1

In the world of horse racing, the majority of people will know some bet types whilst others will be alien to them. If you were told that someone had placed a ‘Win single’ then you’d provably understand that they’ve placed a bet on a horse to win a race with no other bets involved. Similarly, an Each-Way wager on a horse would be understood to mean that the bettor would get some money back if their horse won or came in the places. However, if someone said that they were doing a threesome with a horse then you would be forgiven for thinking that they’d shared too much information about their sex life with you.

Similarly, you might be confused if someone talked to you about a match bet, thinking that they were trying to take advantage of the free bets that are awarded by some bookmakers. You need not worry, though, with both bet types being similar to each other and nothing like what you might immediately think they are. In essence, they pit specific horses against each other and your bet is on which one will come higher in the race. It doesn’t matter whether they place or not, you’re just trying to find out which if the horses will finish the race in the higher position and you will win your bet if you placed the wager on them doing so.

Match Bets

horse racing match bets examples

There can be some confusion around the idea of match bets, on account of the fact that ‘matched betting’ is a form of wagering that looks to take advantage of free bet offers from bookmakers in order to guarantee a profit. That isn’t what we’re talking about here, however.

Instead, the match bets that we’re talking about see horses matched up against others in a wager that is perhaps best thought of as a side bet to the real business of the more mainstream wagers. That is to say, you can place a bet on a horse to win that is nothing to do with any match bet that you might be placing, with the two not being linked to one another.

In a match bet, the bookmaker offers you two horses that you are betting on finishing higher than one another. So you might see something like this:

Horse A 4/6 v Horse B 11/10

In the actual race, a Win single on Horse A would be given odds of 11/2 whilst a Win single on Horse B might have odds of 7/1, but both horses could finish outside of the places and your wager on them, whether as a Win or Each-Way, would be a losing one.

In a match bet, however, you’re placing a bet on the two horses against each other, with the rest of the field being entirely irrelevant.

The odds are 4/6 that Horse A will finish higher and 11/10 that it will be Horse B that ends up with the higher-placed finish and will win your bet accordingly. It really is that simple, but all of the usual caveats around research apply.

Threesomes

horses jumping over a fence with bet365 sponsor branding
Carine06 from UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There will doubtless be many people who would love the opportunity to have a guilt-free threesome and horse racing betting will allow you to do just that. The wager works in much the same way as a match bet, with the difference being that you’re being offered three horses to bet on rather than two.

In other words, your bookmaker of choice presents you with three horses, asking you to choose which of the three you think will finish highest up when the race is completed and the horse’s finishing positions are taken into account. The only major difference is that there are three horses rather than the two in a match bet.

This time, the market might look something like the following:

Horse A 7/10 v Horse B 23/20 v Horse C 7/5

Again, it is easy enough to figure out that Horse A is the one that the bookmaker thinks is likely to come the highest out of the three, whilst Horse C is seen as having the lowest chance and Horse B comes in the middle.

It might well be that none of the horses are all that fancied to win the actual race, but a threesome bet has nothing to do with the main race itself and is instead just a battle between the three horses that have been chosen by your given bookie.

They will have picked the three horses for a good reason, usually that there isn’t much to separate them and therefore knowing which one is likely to come higher isn’t an easy task.

Rules to Think About

reading fine print rules and regulations with magnifying glass word policy inside

When it comes to match bets and threesomes, there are some rules that bookmakers put in place that it is worth thinking about. The first thing to note is that all both of the horses, or all three in the case of a threesome, must come under starter’s orders in order for the bet to be valid. If any of them don’t then the bet will be made void and you will have your stake returned to you.

The winning horse for the bet is the one that finishes the highest, with the Racing Post usually used as the authority when it comes to the race’s official result. Bookmakers will still apply Dead Heat rules in the same way as a normal bet on the event.

If both of the horses fail to finish the race, or all three of them in the case of a threesome, your bet on the outcome of the match bet or threesome wager will be made void, meaning that you’ll have your stake returned to you. If a bookmaker has an offer on, such as Double Result, it will not count when it comes to match bets and threesomes.

One of the most important things to remember is that you should still be just as vigilant in your betting as when placing a normal Win single or Each-Way bet. Do the same level of research you’d normally do, ensuring that you have a clear understand of how all horses concerned are likely to perform.