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Best ways to bet on the melbourne cup
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Best Ways to Bet on the Melbourne Cup - 7 Easy Betting Strategies

29 March 2021

Our betting experts outline 7 of the best ways to bet on the Melbourne Cup. Follow these easy tips & tricks to make your Melbourne Cup day profitable!

Best Ways to Bet on the Melbourne Cup

So you're looking for the best ways to bet on the Melbourne Cup huh? Our Aussie punters have outlined 7 of the best ways to bet on the Melbourne Cup below - all of these tips are easy to follow and potentially profitable!

Best Ways to Bet on Melbourne Cup 2021

Select a tip to jump to that section and learn more.

  1. Fixed Odds - Find value early to earn more from the favourites
  2. Exotics (Quinellas, Exactas, Trifectas & First 4) - Bet small and get a huge return
  3. Boxed Exotics - Back all of your top picks for the chance to win big
  4. Tote - Bet on underdogs right before the race starts to get the best price
  5. Starting Price (SP) - Bank on your horse's price to rise for a better payout
  6. Top Flucs - Get the highest possible price for your horse
  7. Multis - Combine favourites & underdogs for a higher payout

New to betting on horses? Learn more about the best ways to research horses and bet on the Melbourne Cup here.

Fixed Odds - #1 Best Way to Bet on the Melbourne Cup

What are Fixed Odds?

Fixed Odds are the most common type of odds offered for horses running in the Melbourne Cup. If you choose 'Fixed Odds' then they can't change which means the price you see is the price you get.

Fixed Odds are available for Win and Place (top 3) bets for the Melbourne Cup.

Fixed Odds Pros:

  • Lock in a good price in the days leading up to the Melbourne Cup

Fixed Odds Cons:

  • If the price rises, you will be stuck with a lower payout

The best way to bet on the Melbourne Cup using a horse's fixed odds price is:

To find a horse that has been overpriced a few days before the Melbourne Cup begins.

Bookies will alter their fixed 'Win' and 'Place' odds from the time when Melbourne Cup betting begins (which starts months before the race) right up to the very start of the Melbourne Cup. Many times, bookies will overprice certain horses and then decrease their Fixed Odds prices later.

Therefore, if you do your research early you can find Fixed Odds that are too high and lock in a good price before it drops. This can be especially profitable if you find a favourite that has been overpriced.

    Best Betting Site for Fixed Odds Betting

    1. Best Fixed Odds for the Melbourne Cup

    Exotics - #2 Best Way to Bet on the Melbourne Cup

    What are Exotics?

    Exotics are very popular for professional and amateur punters betting on the Melbourne Cup.

    Exotics are riskier than more classic Win and Place bets because you must pick multiple horses to finish at the front. That means that there are more chances to fail, however, if you're successful your payout will also be very high.

    Exotics include Quinellas (1st and 2nd place in any order), Exactas (1st and 2nd place in the correct order), Trifectas (1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the correct order), First 4s (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place in the correct order), as well as other bet types.

    Exotics Pros:

    • The payout can be very good

    Exotics Cons:

    • Your chance of winning is small

    The best way to bet on the Melbourne Cup with exotics is:

    To place small bets on your favourite horses for a big payout.

    The first step before betting on the Melbourne Cup is always to do a bit of research about each of the horses running. You'll then want to come up with two or more horses that you think have a good chance of doing well. Then place an exotic bet that suits you.

    For example, if you have two horses that you reckon might come first and second then a Quinella or Exacta is the best bet for you. If you have four horses then a First 4 bet might be best. The chance of making a successful exotic bet is low, which makes the payout very big, so therefore we recommend betting with small stakes.

    The First 4 payout for the 2020 Melbourne Cup was $38,939.00 for a $1 bet.

      Best Betting Site for Exotics

      1. Best Exotic Options for the Melbourne Cup

      Boxed Exotics - #3 Best Way to Bet on the Melbourne Cup

      What is a Boxed Exotic?

      Exotic bets are riskier than single bets but there are ways to make them less risky and to give yourself a better chance of winning. When you "box" an exotic, you pay extra for your bet but you cover every variation of the order that your horses can finish in.

      You can box Quinellas (1st and 2nd place in any order), Exactas (1st and 2nd place in the correct order), Trifectas (1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the correct order), First 4s (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place in the correct order), as well as other bet types, and you can add as many horses to your 'box' as you want.

      For example, a boxed Exacta (where you pick the 1st and 2nd place horses) with 3 horses costs 6 times the amount that a regular Exacta costs (because there are 6 possible ways that 3 different horses can finish in the 1st and 2nd position).

      Boxed Exotics Pros:

      • Better chance of winning a high payout than a traditional exotic

      Boxed Exotics Cons:

      • Still a risky bet and costs a bit more than a traditional exotic

      The best way to bet on the Melbourne Cup with boxed exotics is:

      To bet with small amounts and to add all of the horses that you think have a chance to your box.

      The cost of your boxed exotic depends on what kind of exotic you choose and also how many selection are in your box. This means that you'll want to only include the horses you think have a chance of running well. You'll also want to bet with relatively small stakes because the price for a boxed exotic can add up quickly. For example, a $1 boxed Trifecta with 5 horses will cost $60 (because there are 60 different ways 5 different horses can finish in the top 3 places).

      The Trifecta payout for the 2020 Melbourne Cup was $1806.00 for a $1 bet.

          Pro Tip
          Mason Kelliher

          Mason Kelliher

          The price of boxed exotics can add up very fast. Consider removing favourites from your box because when the favourites win, exotic payouts are much lower. This also means that if your exotic doesn't contain the favourite, your payout will be much larger!

          Best Betting Site for Boxed Exotics

          1. Best Boxed Exotic Odds for the Melbourne Cup

          Tote - #4 Best Way to Bet on the Melbourne Cup

          What is a Tote Bet?

          In Australia, there are three major TABs (Totalisers). All bets placed with the 3 major Australian TABs go into a pool and the Tote Odds for each horse is calculated by dividing the total pool (all bets on all horses) minus any amount the horse takes, divided by the amount wagered on that runner.

          How Tote Odds are calculated is not so important but it is important to know that Tote Odds reflect the popularity of a horse among other Australian punters - the horses with the lowest Tote Odds are the ones that have the most money bet on them.

          Betting sites may offer Top Tote Odds (the highest price from the three major Australian TABs) or Mid Tote Odds (the middle price from the three major Australian TABs) for the Melbourne Cup - Top Tote Odds are the best because these will give you the highest payout.

          Tote Betting Pros:

          • Underdogs often have higher Tote Odds than Fixed Odds

          Tote Betting Cons:

          • Prices can vary after you place your bet depending on the popularity of your horse

          The best way to bet on the Melbourne Cup with Tote Odds is:

          To bet on underdogs (horses that other Aussies don't think will win), right before the market closes and the race starts.

          Because Tote Odds reflect the popularity of horses, and not necessarily the true odds of them winning or placing in a race, betting with the Tote Odds can be a profitable way to bet on underdogs or horses that other Aussies aren't backing. If this is the way you want to bet on the Melbourne Cup, consider tracking the prices of your favourite horses in the hours leading up to the start of the Melbourne Cup.

          You'll want to wait until betting is about to close and then pick runners that have higher Tote Odds than their Fixed Odds. Be aware that if you pick the Tote Odds too early and the horse that you back later becomes popular with other punters then the Tote price that you get will fall.

          Most betting sites will offer Top Tote or Starting Price odds for the Melbourne Cup meaning you get whichever odds are higher.

              Best Betting Site for Tote Betting

              1. Top Tote or SP for the Melbourne Cup

              Starting price - #5 Best Way to Bet on the Melbourne Cup

              What is the Starting Price (SP)?

              The Starting Price or SP refers to the final price a horse is paying when the market closes for Melbourne Cup betting.

              The Starting Price is determined by the Australian Price Network (APN) and reflects the price that on-track bookmakers are paying for each horse. Prices for horses running in the Melbourne Cup vary from the time that the markets open to when markets close.

              Starting Price Pros:

              • The Starting Price for underdogs can often be higher than their Fixed Odds price

              Starting Price Cons:

              • The horses with the highest Starting Price are the ones that bookmakers don't think will do well

              The best way to bet on the Melbourne Cup with Starting Price Odds is:

              To pick a horse that opened at low odds, but whose price has risen leading up to the start of the race.

              You'll get the most value from picking Starting Price odds when you pick an underdog whose price has risen from the time when markets open. This can be a risky strategy as there is often a reason that the Starting Price rises (bookmakers think that the horse's chance of winning are lower than they originally did).

              However, if one of the horses that you think has a good chance of winning falls out of favour with bookmakers and other punters then taking the Starting Price can give you the best odds for your bet.

              Most betting sites will offer Starting Price or Top Tote odds for the Melbourne Cup meaning you get whichever odds are higher.

                  Best Betting Site for SP Betting

                  1. Top Tote or SP for the Melbourne Cup

                  Top Flucs - #6 Best Way to Bet on the Melbourne Cup

                  What is a Top Fluc?

                  As we've mentioned, the prices offered for horses running in the Melbourne Cup are changing all the time. These price changes are call fluctuations. Top Fluc, or Best Fluc, betting allows you to get the highest price fluctuation for your horse in the 30 minutes before the Melbourne Cup begins.

                  In this way, Top Fluc betting is a great way to ensure you get the highest price your horse is paying.

                  Top Fluc Pros:

                  • Top Fluc ensures you get the highest price for your horse

                  Top Fluc Cons:

                  • Horses that become popular right before the Melbourne Cup begins will often have better fixed-odds than Top Fluc odds

                  The best way to bet on the Melbourne Cup with Top Fluc Odds is:

                  To pick a horse that is unlikely to receive a lot of bets before the Melbourne Cup starts.

                  Not all betting sites offer Top Fluc odds for the Melbourne Cup, but some of the top bookies do. Choosing the Top Fluc odds protects you against big price movements and is a great way to ensure you get the highest possible price for your horse. Therefore, if you are betting in the moments before the Melbourne Cup starts you should choose the Top Fluc odds.

                  The only time when Top Fluc odds are not the best option is when a horse is receiving a lot of bets (and so their price is falling) - here it may be better to take the Fixed Odds price which can be higher than any of the top fluctuations you may get.

                      Best Betting Site for Top Fluc Odds

                      1. Top Fluc Odds for the Melbourne Cup

                      Multis - #7 Best Way to Bet on the Melbourne Cup

                      What is a Multi Bet?

                      A Multi bet is when you combine multiple different single bets into one bigger Multi Bet. In this way, you can create your own bet to receive a higher payout than you would have gotten if you simply placed a variety of different single bets.

                      For example, you may want to bet on two different horses to place. You can combine these two different single bets into one bigger Multi Bet so that the odds are higher. Be aware that both outcomes must occur for your bet to win.

                      Multi Bet Pros:

                      • Bet exactly how you want to

                      Multi Bet Cons:

                      • All of your selections must be successful for your bet to win

                      The best way to bet on the Melbourne Cup with Multis is:

                      To combine bets on favourites and/or underdogs to increase your payout.

                      Multi betting is a great way to combine different Melbourne Cup bets that you think will occur into one bet for a bigger payout. For example, let's say that you have two horses, one is a favourite and one is an underdog and you think that they will both place.

                      Instead of putting two different single bets on each horse to place, you can place a Multi Bet meaning both horses have to place for you to win your bet. The odds of this are lower but this also means that your payout will be higher if you are right.

                          Best Betting Site for Multis

                          1. Best Melbourne Cup Multi Odds & Options

                          Bonus Way to Bet on the Melbourne Cup!

                          Follow the Tipsters to Bet Like an Expert
                          Ben Smith

                          Ben Smith

                          At the end of the day, most Aussies bet on the Melbourne Cup to make the race more interesting and to have a horse to cheer for. However, if you're an inexperienced punter and you want to make some money on the race then consider reading betting tips online.

                          There are tons of professional tipsters with websites, YouTube channels and that write for betting sites in their blogs and race previews.

                          These tipsters often make a living from betting on the races so following their betting recommendations may be a smart idea if you find yourself lost in all of the form guides and statistics available for the Melbourne Cup.

                          The Unibet blog is a good place to start for Melbourne Cup betting tips and previews.

                          Ways to Bet on the Melbourne Cup

                          Following any of the best ways to bet on the Melbourne Cup that we have outlined above will not guarantee that you will make tons of money, or even any money at all.

                          However, understanding how to bet on the Melbourne Cup and which odds to choose for the different types of bets you might want to make should be helpful for any Aussies who are new to betting on the races.

                          If you are going to bet on the Melbourne Cup but you're not sure which horses to bet on and what the different bet types and odds are here's some more information about the best ways to research horses and bet on the Melbourne Cup.

                          Best Ways to Research Horses and Bet on the Melbourne Cup

                          Reading Previous Form Guides

                          The Melbourne is only for three-year-old horses and up and qualifying for the race is very tough which means there's plenty of previous form information to digest about each runner.

                          All online betting sites will give you access to previous form information for each horse in the Melbourne Cup. It is important to read and understand a horse (and jockey's) previous form before you bet on them.

                          You'll want to look for wins and for good finishes against tough opponents. Also, notice whether the horse has won any other big race - these types of wins are rarely flukes.

                          Be sure to take note of what types of tracks (distance, surface, length and weather) the horse has performed well on and compare these to the conditions expected for Melbourne Cup day.

                          Also, know that the Melbourne Cup is a handicap race. This means that favourites carry extra weight to make the race harder. Generally, horses that carry a lot of weight struggle over the long Melbourne Cup track so past wins don't mean everything against un-handicapped horses.

                          Understanding Track Formation & Conditions

                          The Melbourne Cup is a 3.2km race, on a left-handed track. The surface at Flemington is generally a Good 4 (meaning the turf the horses race on is generally not too soft or too hard) but this can change depending on the weather leading up to the event.

                          Some horses prefer softer running surfaces while others thrive on firmer tracks but most should be pretty prepared for the Good rating we expect from the Melbourne Cup.

                          Despite this, weather can play a big part in the Melbourne Cup and choosing horses that perform well on the expected surface is important. Take note of the conditions each horse thrives on when making your picks.

                          Given that the Melbourne Cup is such a long race, you'll also want to consider the Melbourne Cup speedmap. Speedmaps tell you where horses in the field are expected to be positioned. You can use this information to get a good idea of which horses are expected to lead and which ones may be in a position to finish strong.

                          Getting to Know Jockeys and Trainers

                          Trainers a very familiar with their stables and thus they can be an invaluable source of information. Getting the dirt on the Melbourne Cup before the race is a tough ask but there are some things you can do to help you make the right picks.

                          Learn which trainers and stables are performing/have performed well. You'll also want to see which jockeys they select. If the jockey has a good record, it's a good indication that they're expecting a good race for that horse.

                          Jockeys that have ridden with their horses before are also worth considering because they can use this previous experience to their advantage. You may also want to check to see if a trainer or stable has several horses in a race. If they do, then figure out which horse the star jockey is riding - that horse is likely to be the favourite.

                          Melbourne Cup Bet Types

                          There are a number of different ways to bet on the Melbourne Cup these include:

                          • Win - You bet on the winning horse
                          • Place - You bet on a horse to finish in the top 3
                          • Each Way - You bet on one horse to Win & Place
                          • Quinella - You bet on the first two horses (in any order)
                          • Exacta - You bet on the first two horses (in the correct order)
                          • Trifecta - You bet on the first three horses (in the correct order)
                          • First 4 - You bet on the first four horses (in the correct order)
                          • Boxed Exotics - You can 'box' a quinella, trifecta or first 4 which means you cover all of the different combinations for the horses finishing
                          • Last Place - You bet on the last horse to finish

                          Melbourne Cup Betting Markets

                          Also, know that there are a few different types of odds you can choose, these include:

                          • Fixed Odds - The price you see is what you get
                          • Starting Price - The price you get when the market closes is the price you get
                          • Best Tote - You get the best price from the 3 major Australian TABs
                          • Mid Tote - You get the middle price from the 3 major Australian TABs
                          • Top Fluc - You get the highest price a horse is paying between when the market opens and when it closes
                          • Multis - You can combine multiple fixed odds single bets into one larger bet. All selections must occur for your to win.

                          Before you get started...

                          Before you use any of the best ways to bet on the Melbourne Cup from this page you will need to create a betting site account. Our experts reckon that these are the best betting sites for the Melbourne Cup.

                          Best Bookies to Bet on the Melbourne Cup With

                          1. High all-round odds, stats & form info

                          2. Best Melbourne Cup fixed odds

                          3. Best for exotic Melbourne Cup bets

                          Read more about the best Melbourne Cup betting sites and where to bet on the Melbourne Cup here.

                          FAQs about the Best Ways to Bet on Melbourne Cup

                          What are the best ways to bet on Melbourne Cup?

                          The best way to bet on the Melbourne Cup depends on what you want to achieve.

                          • The best easy way to bet on the Melbourne Cup is to take the fixed Win or Place odds for a horse you like and place a single bet.
                          • The best way to bet on the Melbourne Cup if you want to win big is by betting on exotics like trifectas and first fours.
                          • The best way to bet on the Melbourne Cup if you are betting on an underdog is often to take the Top Tote or Starting Price.

                          What are the most profitable ways to bet on Melbourne Cup?

                          Depending on the types of bet you want to make, here are the 7 best ways to bet on the Melbourne Cup if you want to make money:

                          • Fixed Odds - Find value early to earn more from the favourites
                          • Exotics (Quinellas, Exactas, Trifectas & First 4) - Bet small and get a huge return
                          • Boxed Exotics - Back all of your top picks for the chance to win big
                          • Tote - Bet on underdogs right before the race starts to get the best price
                          • Starting Price (SP) - Bank on your horse's price to rise for a better payout
                          • Top Flucs - Get the highest possible price for your horse
                          • Multis - Combine favourites & underdogs for a higher payout

                          What betting site is best to bet on the Melbourne Cup online?

                          The best way to bet on the Melbourne Cup online is by signing up with a Melbourne Cup betting site that has high odds and then placing bets on horses that are overpriced compared to which you think might do well.

                          • Neds has Best Tote, Top Fluc & Starting price Melbourne Cup odds
                          • PlayUp has high fixed for the Melbourne Cup
                          • Bet365 has high odds for Melbourne Cup multis and exotics

                          What are other ways to bet on Melbourne Cup?

                          Another good way to bet on the Melbourne Cup is to follow tipsters and betting experts. Unibet has a blog with Melbourne Cup tips and previews that can give you insights into which horses may be the most profitable.

                          Learn more about the best ways to bet on the Melbourne Cup

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