What does betting across the board mean in horse racing?
Betting across the board in horse racing means you are backing a horse to win, place (finish second) and show (finish third), so you’re essentially making three bets at once.
The origins of the term are murky, but it likely refers to early racetrack bookies who displayed their odds to win, place and show in separate columns on chalk boards.
The thing to remember about betting across the board is that you only collect on all three bets if your horse wins. If it runs second, the win bet is a loser, and you will collect on the place and show wagers. If it finishes third, you will only collect the show bet, which means you will likely lose money.
If it doesn’t even make the top three, well, that’s show biz, you know.
That’s why most money management experts recommend against betting across the board, as it usually leads to a slow but steady erosion of your bankroll.
But if you’re not a skilled handicapper and are just looking to have some fun, it could make sense, as it is a conservative strategy that limits both gains and losses.