This variant is particularly recommended for games with 2-4 players. Use the rules given above except for the following: Each player takes all four betting chips (0, 1, 1 and 2) in his or her color.
Betting now lasts four rounds, and players place chips face down when placing their bets. (Players may look at their own chips at any time). The chips remain face down until the end of a race, at which time they're all turned over and the total number of bets on each horse is revealed.
The chips have no effect on the payout; they're merely used for bluffing.
For fans of the classic Reiner Knizia game, the following variant is presented: Use 21 Royal turf cards instead of 28 horse cards. Draw the top royal turf card from the deck and place it on the matching gate.
Place the appropriate color horse on space 36 and put aside cards of the same type which has been just placed.
Continue drawing horse cards until seven distinctly different horse types occupy gates 1-7, then reshuffle any horse cards that were put aside into the deck.
In this version, multiple horses may occupy a space on the track. In addition, all horses begin on the starting line (space 36).
For a subtle variation on payouts try the following: When choosing the proper payout column count the number of chips on that horse and not the number of bets. (i.e., a double bet counts the same as a single bet).
Note: If this option is being used along with the hidden bets option, zero chips are also counted.
Otherwise payouts are unchanged. A player with a chip on this horse receives the amount listed, a player with a chip receives double this amount, and a player with a chip receive nothing.