How To Bet On Horse Races Online

Date:2023-02-22 Category: Sportsbooks

How To Bet On Horse Races Online

“C’mon, Dover! Move your blooming ass!” If you are into musical comedy-drama movies, you know I quoted a famous dialogue from My Fair Lady movie back in 1964. This famous scene is at Britain’s most prestigious horse race, Royal Ascot.

Why did I mention this? Although I love this movie, the point is horse racing and horse racing bets. People have been betting on horse races since horses have been around since the 1600s or even before! However, today you should not worry about wearing a particular dress or watch out for what slips out of your mouth. You can sit on your couch, watch a race, bet on it, and say whatever you want! In this article, I will guide you through horse racing bets. So, keep reading to find out :

🔎 What is horse betting?

🔎 Types of horse racing bets and the smartest bet in horse racing.

🔎 Horse race betting online


What Is Horse Race Betting and Where Does It Come From?

race hose bet

Betting on horse racing, or simply horse betting, started in the UK during the reign of King James I. In the United States, long before the legalization of casino gambling, horse betting was the legal form of gambling. Nearly 40 US states offer some sort of live horse racing. As far as horse racing and horse betting around the world is concerned, you can travel to almost any place in the world and find some sort of horse racing betting.

Although horse racing lost its popularity, since the mid-1900s, it has been gaining popularity back. In 2003, a horse named Funny Cide and in 2004, Smarty Jones won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and became so popular. Although both horses lost the Belmont Stakes, the record television ratings were set by over 100,000 viewers. When this article was written and published, more than $100 billion was being wagered on horses in 53 countries annually.


Different Types of Horse Racing Explained

Horses have been a vital element in American culture. People used horses for farming and transportation. For this reason, car manufacturers used the term horsepower to indicate the strength of a car engine after the invention of automobiles.  In fact, people knew horses very well and could relate to any concept related to horses easily.

The following types of horse racing evolved in the United States, and each one attracted loyal fans:

1️⃣ Thoroughbred racing is the most well-known horse racing. Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup races are the reasons behind this popularity.

2️⃣ Flat racing is the most basic form of horse racing. In this race, horses do not jump and compete over a flat racetrack.

3️⃣ Quarter Horse racing is an exciting form of racing where horses are used that have bred for lighting speeds. These races rarely exceed 870 yards.

4️⃣ Harness racing is a form of horse racing known as Standardbred racing. In this race, instead of riding the horse like a jockey, the driver sits behind the horse in a sulky.

5️⃣ Endurance racing takes place over longer distances, typically 50 to 100 miles. Typically, the top horses competing in 100-mile races finish within 14-15 hours. Tevis Cup and the Old Dominion Ride are the two most popular endurance horse racing in the United States.

All horse racing events take place at a  racetrack holding licensed race meets. People place their money on horses. So, to ensure their security, a racing commission in each state ensures that all racing rules are being enforced and followed correctly.


How To Handicap The Races

If anyone tries to fool you that horse racing is all about luck, I tell you this is a lie. Although in any kind of gambling you need the lady luck on your side, for a successful handicap bet, you need your brain cells!

The art and science of correctly predicting the winner is called handicapping. Although there are several ways to do that, I highly recommend avoiding coins and rabbit feet to pick your horses!

Knowledge is power. DRF, or Daily Racing Form, is the best source for first-hand horse racing information. DRF database includes 127 years of horse racing news and handicapping analysis. You can find every detail of all horses racing on any race. Trust me, pros and serious horse racing handicappers have it. One more tip is to practice. Handicapping is somehow complex, and if you are new to sports betting, you cannot pick up this concept overnight. So, be patient, do your homework, and use the big brain of yours!


Horse Race Betting Terms


Before I go into the details, let me familiarize you with the most common horse race betting slang and acronyms. Read these words along with their definitions to better understand horse betting.

💬 Blinders or Blinkers cover horses’ eyes to narrow their field of vision.

💬 Daily double refers to a bet where you should pick the winners of two highlighted consecutive races.

💬 Exacta is a wager on the first and second-place finisher.

💬 Grade is a measure to rank races depending on horse quality. For example, Grade 1 races include the best competitors.

💬 OTB refers to off-track betting. In other words, you don’t necessarily place your wagers at venues that have their own racing. You can horse bet anywhere!

💬 Place refers to the bet on a horse to finish either first or second.

💬 Pick 6 is a kind of bet that covers the entire race card.

💬 Show is a bet where your selection should finish first, second, or third for you to win.

💬 Superfecta is one of those horse race bets where you have the potential to win big. This is betting on the first four finishers in the correct order.

💬 Trifecta is a bet where you should predict the first, second, and third-place finisher in the correct order. Otherwise, you don’t win the bet.

💬 Quinela is betting on the first two finishers, but not necessarily in the correct order.

💬 Win is the most basic form of horse race betting, where you should correctly pick a race winner.


Horse Race Betting Parimutuel Wagering System

Although the system was invented by the French, Parimutuel is the accepted horse race betting system in the United States from on-track to online. In fact, this is the wagering system used in all horse racing. In this wagering system, all the wagered money goes into a shared pool. After racing expenses and taxes are deducted from that, the winners get paid with the remaining money.

Each horse has a win odds which indicates its probable win payoff. The betting public determines the win odds. In other words, the more bettors wager on a horse, the lower its payouts. Long shots are horses with higher odds because very little money is being wagered on them.

The main takeaway about parimutuel wagering is to remember you are betting against all the other horseplayers. This is the opposite of casino gambling, where typically, you play against the house or the casino. The main wagering types are win, place, and show, which all will be divided into different pools.


How To Bet On Horse Races and Win?

A vital step in placing successful horse race bets is understanding the odds and payouts because horse race betting is different than other sports betting. In horse racing, the common bet denomination has been $2. Although you can bet more to win more, pro horseplayers believe in “betting a little to win a lot”.

Understanding the Horse Race Betting Odds and Payouts

As I have said, horse race bets are pooled. In other words, the odds and payouts are determined by the amount of money wagered on the individual horses. Similar to other sports betting, odds are listed as positive(underdog) or negative(favorite). The higher the odds-chance of winning-, the lower the payoffs will be. For example, if you bet on a horse with odds of 4:1, you will win $4 for every $1 you wager on that horse and will be paid out your initial stake plus your winning. To calculate your winning based on the offered odds, you should do as follows:

Let us practice:

If you want to bet $5 on a horse with an odds of 6:1, your payout will be:

5 6  5 = $35

Horse Race Bets


One key to success in horse race betting is backing overlays. Overlays are horses running with odds higher than their real chances of winning a specific race. Professional horse race bettors use their own morning line for each race to determine overlays. For instance, a horse they like is running at odds of 9/1, which is much higher than the odds expected from it, say 4/1. In this case, the horseplayer bets on this horse. This is what pros do. As a regular horseplayer, the simple way to find overlays is to trust oddsmakers and bet on horses that run on odds much higher than the morning line placed by the oddsmakers.

Although you can place any kind of wager in horse racing, for newbies, it is highly recommended to place straight bets, including win, place, and show. In all three bets, you should pick one horse to win. You will win each bet as follows:

🔸Win bet: if the horse finishes first.

🔸Place bet: horse should finish first or second.

🔸Show bet: horse should finish first, second, or third.

Even if you have made a couple of bets before, until you become pretty confident in your handicapping, I would not recommend going much further than daily double, exacta(first and second-place finisher in exact order), and quinella(first two finishers in either order) bets. The daily double is the simplest form of handicapping, where you link the winner of two consecutive races. In horse race betting, you can use multiple horses to increase your amount of winning but still keep your investment small. The smartest bet in horse racing is betting based on solid info. In other words, no horse race bet is superior to all the others. To place successful bets, you should do your homework, manage your bankroll, and bet wisely.


Best Horse Racing Sites and Apps For US Players

Luckily, horse race betting is legal in most US states. For this reason, many online sportsbooks and apps offer horse race betting markets. However, not all of them are trusted and legit. The following gambling platforms offer horse race betting markets on their websites, mobile versions, and apps. These sites have great bonuses, cover numerous Tracks and Races, have flexibility with bet types, offer excellent user experience, and provide good customer support.

✅ BetOnline

✅ FanDuel

✅ Bovada

✅ Tiger Gaming

✅ MyBookie


To Sum It Up

Although horse race betting differs from other sports, the leading sports betting concepts are the same. Suppose you are new to horse racing bets. In that case, I highly recommend doing your homework, learning about horse racing lingo and different horse race bets, and working on your handicapping skills. Review what you learned in this article, sign up with one of the recommended trusted sportsbooks, start small, bet wisely, and let the race begin!


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