Horse racing betting guide

Horse racing is one of the most popular sports to bet on online. Watched the world over, horse racing has some of the best sporting action and there are many ways gamblers can get in on the action. The best races include the Grand National and Epsom Derby in the Uk, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in France, The Sheema Classic in Dubai and the Melbourne Cup in Australia. The horse racing calendar is awash with meetings that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Types of races

To the complete novice, horse racing consists of several horses and jockeys wearing different colour jerseys. The horses start and jump over several hurdles and the first horse past the post is the winner. Although this is true, there are different types of races that betting customers need to be aware of. 

Flat racing

Probably the most common type of horse racing and therefore the most familiar. The race takes place on a level surface and normally thoroughbred horses take part. Although some flat racing still takes place on what seems to be dirt, many races are on grass and usually cover 1-3 miles. 

Jump racing 

A classic example of a jump race is the Grand National in the UK. The race takes place on a course that has several obstacles for the horses and jockeys to jump over. Jump racing is categorised into 2 areas; Steeplechase and Hurdles. Steeplechase racing simply means the obstacles can be a fence, water or open ditch. Hurdle racing only uses obstacles that are the same hurdle throughout the track.

There are many other types of horse races that are less common. Harness racing is a popular event that sees the jockey sat in a chariot like seat. Quarter racing, which is popular in America, is all about the speed over a short distance and Stakes racing is where horses can find their running legs and work their way up the rankings to compete in bigger races. 

Popular Types of horse racing bet


Probably the most common bet, particularly on the biggest races, where novice punters often have a flutter, is the win bet. This is as simple as it sounds. A betting customer will place a stake on which horse they think will win the race. Some novice customers choose the winner in some unusual ways. Perhaps they like the horses' name, or the colour of the jockeys jersey; not the most ideal way of placing a bet and is often for entertainment, however having a strategy would be better.  

Each way

Another popular way to bet on horse racing is known as each way. This bet can be quite confusing as it essentially breaks down into two separate parts. The first part of the bet is on the horse winning the race. The second part of the bet is on the horse finishing in the top 3. As an example, a customer could bet $10 each way on a horse to win a race. The customer will need to bet a total stake of $20. This is because each way consists of 2 parts; $10 on the horse winning and $10 on the horse finishing either 2nd or 3rd. Sometimes each way positions vary depending on which bookmaker is being used.


The Ante-post betting market is one that doesn't come without risk. Ante-post is placing a bet days before the horse racing event. The risk factor comes in because a horse could become a non-runner and the stake would not be returned. The advantages of ante-post betting will often see higher odds than at the declaration stage of a race, where they could be lower. 


A place bet is exactly that. The customer places a stake on which position they think a horse will finish the race, which can be very difficult to predict. 


Another popular bet on horse racing is the Yankee, however, it can be quite confusing for inexperienced customers. A Yankee comprises of 11 bets on four selections. The four separate bets are 6 doubles, 4 trebles and a four-fold accumulator. 

Lucky 15's

A lucky 15 is a more complicated bet and maybe one for the more experienced punter. The bet includes 15 selections on different events. The bet will have 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 four-fold bet. A lucky 15 bet is a high stake but high reward type of bet.

Best odds guaranteed

Some bookmakers and sportsbooks will offer the best odds guaranteed on horse racing. For horse racing fans this is a great way of ensuring the best possible price and means that if a customer takes an early price, but the starting price is higher then the bookmaker will give the higher price.

Live betting

Not all sportsbooks and bookmakers offer live (in-play) betting on horse racing, however, those that do can be enjoyed by horse racing fans and further enhance the betting experience. Of course, a really good internet speed will be needed and if the bookmaker also has a live streaming facility the enjoyment of betting on horse racing can be even more enjoyable.

Horse racing betting strategy

Betting strategies often take customers months to perfect and even then nothing is guaranteed. Any customer looking to create a horse racing betting strategy will no doubt have a good interest in the sport. Studying form and track conditions can determine what type of bet to place. Rather than just placing a bet on the eventual winner, value can be found elsewhere. Studying previous winners and losers can determine what odds are given in their next race. For example, a favourite that loses but has experienced recent success before that race may be given higher odds for the coming race.

In conclusion

Horse racing is an enthralling and often exhilarating sport. The betting opportunities can be substantial and the number of ways to place a bet can seem limitless. To get the best horse racing betting experience can very much come down to which bookmaker is chosen. 

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