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The Best Melbourne Cup Bets for the Novice Punter


The Melbourne Cup, Australia’s most famous and prestigious horse race, an event that literally brings an entire country to a standstill.

No other horse race – or any sporting event for that matter – attracts more once a year and amateur punters than the Melbourne Cup. Each and every year, on the very first Tuesday come November, millions of people around Australia all decide to try their hand at betting on the great race.

Some people seriously hope to pick a winner and get some cash, while for many it’s nothing more than a bit of harmless fun, a way to make the Cup even more exciting to watch.

If you’re a once a year horse racing punter, or someone who rarely places money down on a horse race, then you don’t want to start learning about more complicated exotic bets just to have a chance to win some money on one race.

It’s best to keep it simple, especially if you are hoping to pick a winner and not just taking the lucky dip (think office sweepstakes) approach.

Let’s go through some of the easier and more simple bets, so you can make your choice on how you’re going to place your bets on Melbourne Cup day.

Go Straight for the Win

The most simple bet, and one of the most popular, is simply trying to pick the winner of the race. Starting with as little as $1, you pick a horse that you think is going to win, put your money on that horse and hope you get it right.

It may sound really simple and an easy way to win, but successful Melbourne Cup betting has proven to be a tricky beast over the years. Trying to back a winner is one of the easiest bets on the card, but it’s also a bet that generally pays low odds. That is, unless a longshot makes it home past the post first.

The main problem with the Melbourne Cup is the fact that so many one time punters are placing bets. This tends to skew the odds, making a firm favourite harder to recognise.

Having said that, to have your best chance of being successful on Melbourne Cup day, putting your money on the winner is a very simple bet to take.

Bet On a Place

The place bet pays even less than putting your money down for the win, as your horse simply needs to finish in the top 3 for you to win. It’s the easiest bet to get right, and for first time punters who know practically nothing about horse race wagering, then this is a bet you should take.

All you have to do is choose a horse that you fancy will finish in the top 3 places, and if that happens, you win.

Keep in mind that the payout is likely going to be very small for this type of bet, but a win is a win at the end of the day.

Take a Bet Each Way

The each way bet really is two bets in one and a way of hedging your bets and spreading the risk factor.

What you do with this bet is choose a horse and place money down on either a win or a place. You’ll pay double for this bet, so if you’re planning on betting a dollar, it’s going to cost you two. If your horse comes home first, you get paid for the win. If it finishes second or third, you get paid for the place.

This is a very common and popular bet amongst amateur punters, and a really good bet to take when backing a Melbourne Cup runner.

Step Up To Quinella Betting

With a quinella bet you’re starting to head into the realm of exotic betting. Out of all the exotics, the quinella is the easiest bet to choose and also one of the easiest to get right.

All you have to do is pick 2 horses that you think will come first and second. You don’t even have to pick the order correctly. So long as both are past the post before the rest of the field, you win. If the 2 horses are less fancied, you can pocket a fairly decent sum of cash with this bet.

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