There are many different ways to bet on horse racing, but the potential payout in carryovers makes this type of betting tantalizing.

You could end up winning large amounts, but just like with any gamble, it doesn’t always work out.

Let us explain carryover betting and how you can plan your bet.

What Are Horse Racing Carryovers?

Carryover betting is when no bettor wins the wager, so it gets rolled over to another day/event. Not all bets allow carryovers, but you’re most likely to find allowances for them on “pick 6” wager types.

“Pick 6” is a bet where you choose the winners of the next six races. Because you have to get all six right, the likelihood of winning is very low. Not only is it low for you, but it’s low for everyone making the game gamble.

Out of all the gambling types, a “Pick 6” bet is the most likely to produce no winners, and the jackpot might carry over to the next day.

Sometimes a betting company will give half the jackpot to the closest winners, splitting the money between all bettors in that category. Then the remaining half is added to the next day’s races. However, each gambling site will have its own rules.

If the next day also ends with no outright winners, the process starts again, increasing the jackpot each time. As the jackpot increases, more people will likely make a bet. With more people betting, the chance of winning the ultimate jackpot gets bigger.

Explaining The Types of Carryovers

Generally speaking, there are three types of carryovers – jackpot, rolling and traditional. We will go through each of these now so you know what to expect.

Jackpot Carryovers

When you make a “Pick 5” or “Pick 6” bet, as we described earlier, you will likely be put into a jackpot carryover. The same goes for “Pentafecta” bets – these are wagers to correctly guess the first five horses to cross the finish line.

With a jackpot, only one person can win a large sum of money. This is because winning these bet types is super rare. However, if multiple people end up winning the jackpot, the money is forfeit.

Instead of getting the total amount, you will get a portion while at least half goes back into the jackpot for another day. Sometimes, the split is 30/70 in favor of the pot.

This is to keep the social interest high.

Rolling Carryover

Rolling carryovers seem similar to a jackpot, but they are reserved for big events which have multiple races. If the event has a 5-day course, the carryover will “roll” on to the next day if no one wins.

This will continue until the final day of the races, where if no one wins, the closest winners will receive a portion of the bet.

Traditional Carryover

Traditional carryover bets need just one winner. If multiple people win the bet, then the prize won’t be given out. Instead, it will roll over again until a single winner is found. As a consolation, the successful but non-unique winners may get a different reward, such as free tickets to an upcoming race.

This keeps a large amount of money rolling and forces bettors to be unique in their betting matchups.

Figuring Out The Numbers

To get the most out of a carryover wager, you need to be aware of two major aspects of the bet.

First, this bet gathers a lot of gamblers. This means the pools with the largest sums of money will have the largest attention. With so many people putting their predictions into the ring, the likelihood of a single winner is low. This means most carryovers won’t produce a winner.

However, bettors who know a certain horse or race will create a lot of attention and may become strategic in their gambling style. They might wait until the race is over and the carryover begins and then place their bet in the carryover. Although they could have taken home the standard bet due to their predictions, they now stand a chance to win big.

You can create the best way forward by further breaking these two aspects down. First, you need to look at a wager in which no one is interested. This will create less competition and a higher chance of taking home the jackpot.

Next, you need to consider how that attention will grow. Is it better to put down a winning bet now or wait until the carryover reaches a larger pot?

To figure out the best option, you need to look up information on betting sites about current traction, favorites, and races gathering the most social media.


It can take some time to really get the hang of carryover betting, but your best options are in the horse races. Although the breeders, trainers, and jockeys come back year after year, the horses have a very quick career. This means new blood is always in the mix.

Old favorites can become simply old after just a year or two, making the games harder to predict.

For more on the world of sports, make sure to check out Belly Up Sports. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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