A great Sunday afternoon activity is to bet on the ponies at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club. The track is beautiful with the cityscape in the background and the crowd energy is better than any other track we’ve been to, including Breeder’s Cups at both Santa Anita and Churchill Downs!
Races are generally held every other Sunday (occasionally they are held on Saturdays). They start at 12:30 and have 10 races. You can check the schedule at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club website.
Our choice for watching the races is the public grand stand which has great views of the finish line. There are drink and food stalls on each level. The entry fee is 100 baht per person. The new stand at the end of the track is only 50 baht, but does not offer great views of the finish line. The dress code states no shorts or sandals.
If you want to go fancy, they also offer club house seating (600 baht) and special seats in the air-conditioned Winning Post Room (1600 baht). The dress code for the Winning Post Room is shirt and tie for men and fashion for women (no shorts or tank tops). This is on our to-do list for a special occasion!
Betting is slightly different from US race tracks. The minimum bet is 50 baht. The payouts listed on the tote board are winnings per 10 baht bet. To calculate the winnings on a 50 baht bet, multiply the payout by 5. It is easier to calculate if you bet in multiples of 100! The payout is the total you win; you do not get back your stake in addition to the listed payout. The payouts will fluctuate, sometimes wildly, until all bets are placed. The bets available are Win, Place (1st three horses), Quinella, and Trifecta.
There are no morning lines, making handicapping much more difficult. The English version of the race program costs 100 baht and the Thai version is 30 baht. We have found it more effective to bet using tote board odds and money management and generally do not purchase a program.
The majority of the betting happens after the horses are loaded into the gate, so we wait until the last possible minute to wager. The horses remain standing in the gates for 20 minutes or longer! Once the bets are in, the race starts.
We had a great time at the track today. We showed up just in time for the third race. Our strategy is to get up quickly and cash out at our win target or to stop after a predetermined number of races if we have lost money, not necessarily betting on each consecutive race. We hunt for opportunities! We bet 100 baht per race when we are losing. If we are not up after the number of races we set, we enjoy a drink and snack and then head home early to beat the heavy traffic after the races. If we get up, we increase our bets and try to hit our target!
Today we set our win target at 1000 baht and our race count at three races. We promptly lost the first two races. We won the third race but the winnings were only 290 baht, leaving us in the hole 10 baht. Sticking to our strategy we cashed out. The three hours of entertainment only cost us 210 baht (200 baht entry plus 10 baht betting loss).
Reading the Tote and Result Boards
The following tote board photos correspond to the winning ticket above. The order of horses was 6, 1, 10.
A- Winning Dividend (29 X 10 = 290 baht)
B- Place Dividends (1st three horses)
C- Total Win Pool
D- Total Place Pool
I hope that you find this post helpful, and I look forward to seeing you at Bangkok’s wonderful race track. Good luck!
We take the Skytrain to Siam Station and then walk to the entrance on Henri Dunant Road. We normally arrive a little late because we love to stop off at Dak Galbi for lunch!
Royal Bangkok Sports Club Entrance Gate 3 @ 13.738335,100.534965
You can copy and paste the latitude and longitude into Google Earth, your browser, or into your GPS.
*Disclaimer- ALWAYS verify locations, transportation routes, GPS coordinates, etc. Errors are made, routes changed, sometimes we are just plain wrong. No one knows what you like more than you. If the trip is worth doing, it is worth doing right! Do your homework.