Horse racing, a centuries-old sport with roots tracing back to ancient civilizations, has long been a popular form of entertainment and gambling. From the chariot races of ancient Rome to the prestigious Kentucky Derby, the thrill of watching horses compete has captivated audiences worldwide. As someone who doesn’t have a particular affinity for horse racing, I was intrigued when I came across Ready Set Bet, a board game that captures the essence of this historic sport in a unique real-time betting concept and engaging gameplay.
2-9 players, ages 14+
Playing time: 45-60 minutes
Designer: John D. Clair
Artwork: Kirk W. Buckendorf & Athena Cagle
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
🏇 While Ready Set Bet is designed for 2-9 players, it is best suited for larger groups of 4-9 people. The game takes place over four rounds, with each round representing a single horse race. Players have the opportunity to place bets in real-time as the race unfolds, deciding whether to secure the best odds early or wait for a more opportune moment to strike. Following each race, players win or lose money based on their bets and earn VIP rewards. At the end of the fourth round, the player with the most money is declared the winner.
📱 One of the standout features of Ready Set Bet is its integration with an app, which modernizes the traditional board game experience. The app eliminates the need for a designated House player, allowing everyone to participate fully in the betting action. By controlling the races and dice rolls, the app simplifies gameplay and makes it more accessible to players of all ages.
⏱️ The game includes a variety of components that add depth to the gameplay, such as VIP cards, Exotic Finish cards, and Prop Bet cards. However, these additional elements can feel overwhelming for younger or less experienced players. In such cases, setting these components aside and focusing on the core betting mechanics can make the game more enjoyable and less daunting.
💰 Ready Set Bet allows players to spread their bets across multiple horses, adding a layer of strategy as they weigh their options and decide how to allocate their wagers. This feature might reduce the tension and excitement of rooting for a single horse, but it increases the strategic aspect of the game.
After playing Ready Set Bet, I can confidently say it’s a unique and exhilarating experience. Despite my lack of interest in horse racing, I found myself fully engaged in the action and the strategic betting process. The real-time betting mechanic adds an element of suspense that keeps players on the edge of their seats throughout each race.
📱 The app integration is a welcome addition that modernizes the classic board game format and streamlines the gameplay. However, I did find that some of the extra components, such as the VIP cards and Exotic Finish cards, can sometimes detract from the game’s flow.
🏁 In conclusion, Ready Set Bet offers a thrilling and strategic real-time horse betting experience that captivates both horse racing enthusiasts and board gamers. The app integration adds a contemporary touch to the game, making it an excellent choice for game nights with friends or family. So, whether you’re passionate about horse racing or simply searching for a new game to try, Ready Set Bet is worth checking out.