online horse betting

Horse racing has always drawn large crowds who come to witness the thoroughbred’s battle it out. With online horse betting, it is now easier to follow and wager on your favorite race.

The sport which involves jockeys directing their trained horses in an adrenaline rush-filled race to the line has always been a source of quick cash for both bookmakers and gamblers. It is therefore important for prospective horse gamblers to have an overall view of the horse racing, how to bet on horses, and where you can place your wagers.



How to Bet on Horses Online

Initially, gambling fans had to go all the way to the stables and kiosk in order to place bets on horses. Now, the Internet has promoted the growth of horse racing through real-time live feed and online platforms accessible to multiple devices for gamblers. Horse betting enthusiasts can now places bets on their favorite horse races on the go through the multiple horse betting apps available in the market.

Before we dig deep into the details, here’s a quick highlight of the basics that we’ll cover about horse race betting via the internet;

  1. Track the history and performance of horses, jockeys and even their trainers
  2. Pick a type of race that you’re interested in betting on
  3. Choose between exotics and straight bets
  4. Select a reliable online betting platform for horse races
  5. Finally, place your horse racing bet


Best Online Racebooks


online horse betting sites


The United States Market has a variety of bookmakers covering various horse races both locally and globally. While top horse race betting sites may differ in bonuses, promotions, site layout, and application compatibility, they also have similar key features that attract gamers. These similarities include race history and statistics, general betting markets coverage, streaming and even incorporation of other types of races such as Greyhound racing.

Most of these bookmakers also use an advance deposit wagering system, which as the name suggests, you get to make a deposit before actually wagering on the horses. On the flip side, there is also an alternative method where you wager first then the bookmaker, later on, collects their dues form you.

Now that you know all the most important features of horse race betting via the internet, it’s high time we point you towards the most reliable platforms. Here’s a table highlighting the highest-rated bookies, plus their welcome promotions, which will get you started in style!



How to Engage in Online Horse Betting

Horse wagering conforms to the traditional gambling format where a bookmaker calculates the odds, takes wagers and then pays the winners. Bookmakers place the odds of horses from which gamblers can make their picks.

Online horse betting has made things easier compared to days of yore when you had to be physically present and check the odds from the massive board. Now, you can use HTML5 browsers to access horse racing gambling sites and wager. Alternatively, you can download a horse race betting application to your device. Once you’ve picked a horse race betting platform, here’s what you are supposed to do;

  • The first step is usually the registration of the punter with the relevant bookmaker. You need to give the betting company your personal details like Name, residence and Social Security number.
  • Take advantage of the promotions offered by the horse race betting platform.
  • Choose any of the races available on the platform
  • Pick the type of wager to place and the runner or runners
  • Confirm the bets which are now added to your bet-slip
  • Accept or press Okay and place your wager
  • If you made the right predictions, your earnings are credited to your account after the event.

Horse Race Betting Types and Events

Before you even think about horse race betting, you must first understand that there are four main types of thoroughbred competitions. And all these types of tracks have jockeys and runners that have trained and specialized for the specific competition. The main types of racing competitions are;

Flat Races

As the name suggests, this competition will happen on grounds or tracks with even terrain. Since the runners don’t encounter any obstacles such as hurdles on the track, they can gallop at their fastest pace. The Kentucky Derby is an excellent example of this.

Steeplechase Races

Also referred to as jump races, these types are a massive hit in Ireland and the United Kingdom. They are quite riveting to watch particularly since the runners are supposed to jump over obstacles like hurdles in the course of the race. Unlike flat races, they require a lot of focus, and technique to compete.

Harness Races

Here, unlike the other types of races, the jockey won’t actually be riding on the horse but instead, the horse drags them in a sulky or chariot. It’s a less common event and unlike other races, it often takes place in canters rather than gallops to avoid injury to the riders. The Hambletonian is one of the most renown competition of this kind.

Endurance Races

Here, the competition is dictated by the distance that must be covered. In most cases, the terrain is complex and remarkably challenging and the event could last as long as 3 days. You can’t really watch this in a stadium since the races tend to be rather long and predicting the odds of the winner is quite difficult. The Iron Horse is a popular example of this type of race.

If you want to learn about how to stream horse races in the US, read our review!




Types of Horse Race Betting Wagers to Place Online

There are different types of horse betting. To simplify, betting on horses is normally categorized into two, Straight bets and exotic. The latter is always a preserve for the veterans while the former is always advisable for beginners as a stepping stone to the latter.

Straight Bets

These bets are not as simple as they sound. Straight bets offer four options when it comes to horse racing. Here are the straight bet options you’ll have online;

  • Win: when you root for the horse to finish in the first position.
  • Place: here, you bet on your selected runner to complete the race in either of the first two slots
  • Show: this is when your selected horse finishes in any of the top three slots.
  • Across the board: is a type of straight bet when you combine two distinct possible outcomes of a place and show. Given the high probability of winning when you spread your risk, across the board usually has low odds.

In a nutshell, straight bets mostly focus on single horses’ and their possible outcomes.

Exotic Bets

Exotic betting, on the other hand, allows the punter to wager on a variety of horses. This calls for attention and also serves to spread the risk of losing to the bookmaker. Another feature of exotic bets is you are allowed to stack the odds for higher rewards. Here are some of the exotic bets you can place.

  • Quinella is a type of betting where you wager on two different horses taking positions 1 and 2 in no particular order. This wager is unique in the exotic bets since it gives two options, unlike the other betting options that specify each position’s winner.
  • Exactor/Exacta: as the name suggests this wager requires you to specify the “exact” order of two horses finishing in the first and second position (in a specific order).
  • Trifecta/Pick 3: The Tri prefix portrays the number three. This betting option allows you to wager and predict the exact order of the three horses from the first second to third. The trifecta bet has some variations.
  • Superfecta: This exotic bet requires that you predict the exact order of the finishing of four horses. The odds for the Superfecta are usually high.
  • Pick (3, 4, 5, or 6): This bet allows the gambler to wager on more than three horses up to six. Considering you have to accurately predict the possible outcome of these many horses; bookmakers usually place higher odds for this bet.
  • Daily double: allows players to stake their bets on two separate races.






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There are tons of horse race betting events that take place all over the United States. And even if you aren’t really a horse racing diehard, you are probably familiar with the Kentucky Derby. This is arguably the highlight of horse racing in North America. It takes place on the first Saturday of May and is credited with reviving the national interest in horse racing in the country, and it’s the first installment of the Triple Crown.

Preakness Stakes is another remarkably popular horse race betting contender and is often part of the Triple Crown Thoroughbred racing. It follows the Kentucky Derby by two weeks and the event is normally held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The final of the three races of the Triple Crown is the Belmont Stakes. The event is held five weeks from Kentucky, or three weeks form Preakness Stakes.

From their direct association, the three races are popular picks for players interested in horse race betting. However, these are not the only popular races in the United States. Several significant races get overshadowed by these three races. Some of the other action-packed runner events include Desert Oaks, Triple Tiara of Thoroughbred Racing, and Breeders’ Cup amongst other notable ones. These are evenly spaced in the racing calendar, unlike the Triple Crown that is contested in six weeks. Even though it is not taking place in the United States, one of the biggest horse racing event remains the Grand National, a handicap steeplechase race taking place next to Liverpool in the UK. US horse betting covers this race as around 600 million people watch it all over the world.

Horse racing offers a wide array of options for potential gamblers. However, before we jump straight to the types of wagers you can place online, there are a couple of important horse race betting terms that you should first know about. They are;

  • Wire to wire: Leading from the start to the end of the race
  • Ranker Outside: a runner who’s not expected to finish the race a winner
  • Futurity: A racing event set up for 2-year-old runners, which they are often signed up for when much younger
  • Furlong: a measurement unit in horse races equivalent to 200 yards or an eighth of a mile
  • Closer: A thoroughbred who saves the best of its racing for last. They often catch up and miraculously overtake all other runners just when the race is in the final stretch
  • Bug: a jockey who’s still an apprentice
  • Blanket Finish: this refers to a finish of a race with all the runners closely packed together. They are often so close together that you could cover the entire lot with a blankie!

Well, the list of terms in horse race betting is quite long, but the ones highlighted above are the most popular. Read our horse betting terms article for more horse racing lingo.


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Factors to Consider When Picking a Winner Horse

There are plenty of factors that you must consider if you are to make the right horse race betting predictions. Here’s a quick summary of aspects that should guide your horse race betting wagers;

One of the most important factors to consider is the type of race and horse. Some horse breeds better suited to run long distances, e.g. Arabian Horses, and they perform well in endurance races compared to their Spanish or crossed thoroughbreds. Other breeds, on the other hand, do well in short races. Factors like the type of race such as steeplechase or harness should also play a key role in your betting decisions.

Odds are key pointers to the potential outcome of a race. Most bookmakers give the best-performing horses fewer odds compared to those less likely to win the race. You can compare odds between the three platforms and pick one that offers the highest for your favorite runner.

Moreover, your choice should not only be driven by odds given by the bookmaker but from a point of information. You have to monitor the demeanor of the horse prior to the race. Signs of a restless horse, during warm-up or before the race can be a red flag on its performance when the time finally arrives.


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