Remember, there are any number of bets which a racegoer can have, but the most popular are win and each-way bets. If you back a horse to win, it must win for you to collect. A €5 win bet on a 5/1 will return €30, winnings of €25 and your stake (€5) back.
An each-way bet is two bets in one. Firstly, you are backing a horse to win, and secondly, you are backing it to be placed. Having €5 each-way on a horse will cost €10, €5 to cover the win portion of the bet and €5 for the place part of the bet. If your horse doesn't win, but finishes in the placings, there will be no return for your win bet and you lose this part of your stake.
There are two ways betting odds are displayed. Most bookmakers use the traditional fractional system but they may use a decimal system. Fractional odds are displayed in a very familiar format, for example 2/1, 9/4, 4/1.
In spoken form, this is "two to one", "nine to four" and "four to one". If your selection wins at 2/1, for every €1 you stake, you will win €2, plus your stake back. On occasion, your winning selection might be 1/2, meaning it is odds-on. In this instance, for every €2 you bet, you will win €1, plus your stake back. In theory, the shorter the odds, the better chance a horse has of winning.