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This game has been around forever, and it always seems to get some table-time as an evening closer with our game groups. It's quick, doesn't require any excessive pondering, and allows you to really screw your neighbor.
The concept is very simple. There are five horses (none are 'owned' by any of the players) and on each player's turn, he/she rolls a regular die and moves a horse. The die-roller continues this process until each of the five horses have been moved once each. So, on each roll, a decision is made about whether to move a horse you're interested in (read: wagering on) or wait for a better roll. Of course, you wait too long and you may move your favorite only one space.
The main decision comes at the beginning of your turn (before rolling the die even once). At that point, you can place one of your wagering tokens (you have 3) on the highest remaining betting space of any of the five horses. For example, Red may be outpacing the field, but only the 4th (of 5) wager slot is available at the start of your turn. The payoff for that position, should Red win, may not be so great. On the other hand, Green is in 3rd place and may come in second. If no one has bet on Green, you could snare the top slot on that horse and take home highest (2nd place) earnings. See, the top three positions (Win, Place, Show) will all payoff, and the earlier you jump in on a horse, the higher the payoff.
The downside, of course, comes when you back a horse too soon. Then everyone else will make your life miserable by using their worst rolls for your favorite horse.
Play a few races (we now suggest one for each player in the game, so everyone gets the 'advantage' of going first) and total earnings to see who wins. Not that it really matters.
All in all, it's quick fun with the proper amount of backstabbing.