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Ultimate Horse Racing Jargon Guide

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Although retaining a mainstream position as one of the leading sports entertaining people around the world, horse racing can be hard to get your head around – especially as a beginner. The sport has a lot of jargon and specific terms which can cause a bit of a headache for those just starting to follow the sport. Most of these do tend to also relate directly to betting. This jargon can all get a bit much sometimes and that’s why we have created an ultimate horse racing jargon guide to sort you out with all the major terms in the sport and hopefully make it more understandable for those who are looking to get involved in the sport, whether that be from home or beside the track at some of the biggest events in the UK, such as Cheltenham or the Grand National. So, let’s have a look below!


An ante-post bet is one that is placed in advance of the final declarations of the race, this means you get better odds but you ruin the chance of hiccups like Non-runners (horse who drops out) where the betting companies will not offer you a refund.

Betting Ring

The betting ring is where it all happens at the racetrack. The on course bookmakers are here competing against one and others for trade. Expect it to be rowdy, loud and hectic.

Combination Bet (Accumulator)

Whilst odds are the price at which the bet is put on, these odds can change depending on the bet and time of bet you are selecting. A combination bet or more commonly known as an accumulator is two or more bets put on at the same time who all need to win for the punter to win the bet. This increases the odds and chance of profit but tends to be harder to predict.

Each Way

This is an option you can add to your betting selection which means the bookie will pay out accordingly on a top 3 finish in your bets instead of just picking the winner. Whilst this offers a good back up, odds for these bets are massively cut.


This is the bet of the day. The bet which is most likely to win in the daily betting. It is most commonly used by tipsters.


This is a term which spans all of the sports betting markets. Odds is the numerical chance of a selection to win when a bet is placed. Odds can be a bit confusing to new bettors but with experience you are bound to get your head around them sooner or later.

Parade Ring

Also known as the paddock, this is the area of the racetrack where the horses are shown and walked around first. Here old school punters who are more traditional will view the horse and make a judgement on their bet using things like body language and sheen on the horse at this stage. It can be a useful indicator of how the horse is going to race.


This is a booklet given to punters letting them know recent form and important information regarding the races and meetings more generally for the day of racing ahead.

Tote/Lucky 15

These are accumulative bets which the bookies offer specifically on horse racing. A tote is a pulling of all the races in one track day that you place an accumulator bet on for £1 in the hope of winning the high odds bet. A lucky 15 is an accumulative bet consisting of 15 different smaller bets. This boosts the chance of winning some money by sheer numbers but cuts the chance of winning big.