Betting – How To Bet

There are seven different kinds of bet available. The odds are calculated using a Pari-Mutuel tote system and all bets are made by filling out a lottery ticket style form and either handing it to a teller at of the hundreds of betting windows around the track or by putting it into one of the self service machines.

Takeout is 20% on Win & Place (80% returned to bettors) and (26%) on all other bet types (74% returned to bettors)

The bets available are as follows:

Win – You win by picking the horse that will finish first.

Place – You win if the horse you pick finishes in the top three or, if the race has less than eight runners (which in Korea is unusual) in the top 2.

Exacta – You pick two horses – one to win and one to come second and you win so long as they finish first and second in that order. This is a very popular bet with many racegoers picking one horse to win and then making several bets on different horses to come second.

Quinella – You pick two horses and win if they come first and second in any order. This is by far the most popular type of bet with Korean punters.

Quninella Place – You pick two horses and win if they both finish in the first three.

Trio – In this bet, you pick three horses and you win if they finish in the first three, in any order.

Tierce – You pick three horses to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the correct order. This bet is currently only available on the mobile betting app.

The information desk near the main entrance of the the first floor of Luckyville grandstand as well as the other information desks around the track have an excellent English language leaflet which has a step by step guide to filling out the betting slips complete with examples.

Minimum bet is just 100won with a maximum of 100,000won.

The tote system tends to produce a lot of odds-on favourites and for this reason, the exactas and quinellas tend to be more favoured by racegoers as they offer much better odds. On a Sunday afternoon, each race will have up to US$6 Million riding on it.

On floors 1-3 (at Seoul), the betting windows are a mixture of staffed and automated terminals. It is probably easier for the first-time to use the staffed ones as you simply hand your money and your betting slip to the cashier. On floor 4, they are all automated and you need to exchange your money at a staffed window for a credit slip before using them.

Form Guides

The English language form sheet, available from the “Foreigner Information” desk next to the 1st Floor entrance of Luckyville grandstand, is detailed enough to give a general idea of which is the best horse in the race, however, for those looking for more detailed guides plus “expert” predicitions, it is a good idea to buy one of the many formguides that are available both inside and outside the track. Although all in Korean, it is easy to work out which horses they predict and the layout of the card is exactly the same as that used in just about every country.

There are two types of guide available. First are ones with names such as “Ace”, “Speed” and “New World” which cost 1000 won and have the day’s card with predictions for each race and second are the more detailed ones of which “Seoul Gyongma” and “Gyongma Munhwa” (The Korean Racing Journal) are the most popular, costing 4000 won and with a lot more background information for serious punters. These ones can also be bought from many convenience stores around Korea on the day before the racing. If you buy a formguide from one of the many sellers on the way out of the subway station, you are usually given a “signpen” to use to fill out the betting slip.

Off-Track Options

You don’t have to go to the track to bet. In Seoul and Busan as well as some other major cities, the KRA operates off-track betting facilities, known as “Let’s Run CCC” where you can watch the racing on screens and bet into the pari-mutuel pools. It’s probably worth noting that the off-track betting centres are not the ideal venue for a day out so we won’t list all the locations here, however, feel free to email hrikorea@gmail.com or tweet @korearacing with your location to find out where the closest one is to you.

In the past, the KRA used to operate Telephone and Internet betting, however, the Korean government regulator ordered these to be terminated in 2009. The regulator has ordered the KRA to reduce the proportion of betting off-track to 50% of the total within the next 5 years so it is under pressure to close its off-track plazas. For now though, they remain open and have recently been rebranded as “Let’s Run Cultural Centers” in order to reflect the community use that the facilities are put to on non-racing days.

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20 comments

  1. The form is pretty easy, you basically mark the track you’re betting at, the race number, the type of bet (see above), horse numbers and the amount. At the track there are a lot of full colour guides how to do this.

  2. Hi there,
    I live abroad from Korea and was wondering if there is any way to bet (as an international customer) online or over the telephone, and if there is anyway to get the form guides / handicaps / ratings online also?

    Thanks in advance

  3. Sadly there isn’t – in fact from next week the Korean online and telephone betting services are being shut down on orders of the government. From then on, the only ways to bet will be in person at the track or the OTBs in various cities around Korea (which apparently are the government’s next target in their drive to ensure the local mafia receives 100% of gambling revenues).

    For what it’s worth, form guides for every race are available for download free from the KRA’s website (Korean part only). They appear on the site on the Thursday before the race.

  4. How about pick6 from race 1 to race 6 and Winner Take All from race 4 to race 10.Philippine racing club did this kind of bet.thanks n advance

    rolan

  5. how do I calculate the tote board odds?

    for example in US 5/2 would be in KOR 2.50
    5/2=2.50

    what is the largest wager pool among the five bet types?

    1. Almost. It is simple decimals – Even money is 2.0.

      The largest pool is by far the Quinella (first and second in any order).

  6. I wondered and puzzled why here in Korea you can not trust good horses & good jockeys. I am telling because almost all the times if a horse especially in exacta and quinellia, the jockey will fall down or the horse will be end in being third or forth. Comparing to other countries it seems that there is no good horses here in Korea. People can not trust good horse and good jockey. Most of the time the bettors lost especially those who are betting 100, 000 won or those who have money to loose. The good things those have small money like ajima and grandfathers used to win because their bets is 100 won up to 1o00 won.

    So I believe through experience here in Korea there is no good horse to rely on. The horse racing keep on going because of those who have money to loose. Their money keeps race horse profited. I think you have to have reliable or dependable good horses that finish first anf jockeys that will not fall on the groud.

    Those

    1. So you mean it’s hard to pick winners and the favourites don’t always perform as well as they should? That’s pretty much what keeps the whole game going everywhere.

      Horses and Jockeys in Korea would not be competitive internationally but I can’t say I see them fall down very often!

  7. Hey man, do you know where there is an offtrack betting building in or around Busan? I know the ones in Seoul and Daegu through friends, but not sure where the one in Busan is. I’m talking about the legal type. Cheers.

    1. There are a few but the only one I know the directions to offhand is a massive one in the KRX (Korea Stock Exchange) Building, Munhyeon Station Exit 1, turn right at the big intersection and cross the bridge, it’s the first building on your left. There always was one in the Diamond Hotel building in the backstreets around Yeonsan Station but I have no idea if it’s still there.

    1. Back in the old days there used to be but sadly not anynmore – these days online beting has unfortunately been made illegal in Korea so it’s not shown.

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