Your guide on how to place bets for the Melbourne Cup

AMONG the many jobs I had through university, one was working at a betting call centre.

So now I think I have become a little bit of a gambling expert due to talking to so many punters and reading back their bets.

For those who are new to horse betting, here are the basics broken down to help you have fun today for the race that stops the nation:

MELBOURNE CUP: The horses most likely to win

Win: This is where you place money on the horse that you think is going to win a race. That horse has to come first for you to make a profit. 

Place: This is where you put money on a horse that you think is going to come in any of the first three spots of a race. That horse can come in either first, second, or third place for you to get a profit. The payout is obviously less than the win option as there is a higher chance a horse will place in a race than win.

Each way: This is where you place a certain amount for a horse to win, and to place. So $2 each way will actually cost you $4. This is just a way to save time instead of having to do a separate win then place bet. If you're new to betting, don't worry about this one. It's just there to confuse you.

Quinella: This is where you predict the horses that will finish in the first two spots of a race. You can either pick specifically what horse will come first and which one will come second, or do a 'boxed' option. A boxed option means any of your chosen horses can come first or second, in any order. You can pick as many horses as you like to be boxed, however as the more you choose, the betting price increases and the percentage that you'll profit decreases.

Trifecta: This is exactly like the quinella, except you are guessing the horses that will finish first three in a race. You can either guess in the exact order that they will finish, or do a boxed. Doing a boxed obviously costs more.

First 4: Yep, you guessed it; this is where you pick the first four finishers. The prices for these bets start to go into the dearer territory, especially if you want multiple horses boxed. But the payout price is harder too.
Fixed betting vs tote betting - Fixed betting is where you know in advance how much you will be paid out, if you win. For example if you put $10 on a horse that is at $15, you will get $150 if you win. But with tote, the price of the horse could continue to change. It could be $15 when you made your bet but change to $13 or $17, and you will get whatever the final price is in the payout. You will most likely be doing tote betting.

Other: Then there are the bets where you pick winners from multiple races, but that's not really necessary to know if you're just out having some fun.


My tips of betting on the Melbourne Cup:

  • Always do a boxed quinella/trifecta/first4. There would be nothing worse than having the right horses but having them in the wrong order.
  • I like to do boxed bets of three horses for a quinella, as it just feels like the odds are better in that way, and it's not too expensive.
  • Always put in a few mystery boxed trifecta bets.

In case you are wondering, my picks for the Melbourne Cup are 14, 3 and 1.

14 and 3 are because my birthday is on 14/3, and 1 because I like the name Big Orange.

So there really is no sport logic in there, but does there really need to be?


Join the conversion:

What is your method of picking winners for the Melbourne Cup?

‘I will kill you’: DV victim allegedly punched in the head

Premium Content ‘I will kill you’: DV victim allegedly punched in the head

A man has applied for bail after he was accused of punching an alleged victim of...

Captain ’class above’ in Open A netball decider

Premium Content Captain ’class above’ in Open A netball decider

LISTED: All the winners from Rocky District Secondary Schools grand final day.

Man’s bid for bail after family told to leave their rental

Premium Content Man’s bid for bail after family told to leave their rental

Lawyer: “He needs an opportunity to get his affairs in order.”