A fun group bet for the Kentucky Derby

May 03, 2018 by James Scully/Brisnet.com

Give the Show Parlay a try

I’ve been betting horses a long time but when it comes to spending an afternoon at a Kentucky Derby party or even the track with my wife and casual racing friends, any in-depth analysis or multi-race betting strategies can go right over everybody’s head.

Keeping it simple makes it fun for the entire group and that’s why I always recommend the Show Parlay. Nobody in the group needs to be an expert to participate.

Here is how it works: all participants (2 or more people) put up a share, whether it’s a $1, $5 or more, and the group designates an order for making a show bet in each race.

Show means the horse must finish either first, second or third to collect. Show payouts often aren’t lucrative (win or place bets pay more), but the goal is to survive and advance.

The first person up selects a horse to show for the group. And if the horse finishes in the top 3, the group wins. The next person in the rotation cashes the winning ticket and parlays the entire winnings back to show in the next race. For example, the group bets $10 to show and cashes a winning ticket for $16. The next person up makes a $16 show bet on the horse he or she designates. Each person gets a turn.

The starting amount can increase significantly if we’re able to string together wins. And while the pressure can mount for the next person in rotation if we win three or four straight, each person is only in for the initial investment.

We can always start again if a show bet loses.

I’ve played with four people where we started with $20 ($5 each) and after hitting four races in a row, we doubled our approximately $150 wager when the horse paid $4 to show ($300) and celebrated mightily.

It can be exhilarating.

The group can always elect to take a share of winnings to guarantee a profit for the afternoon, but the keeping the Show Parlay going makes for an exciting way to be involved in the action.

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