Horse Racing Betting Sites

Horse racing is a sport that has stood the test of time. The same can be said for betting on horse racing. People have been wagering on the sport since the 1600s and it doesn’t look like it’ll stop any time soon. While a lot of horse betting may involve in-person visits to a track, you no longer have to do that.

Online horse race betting has become popular over the years, especially as sportsbooks become more popular. However, making online bets can be intimidating, whether you’re new to horse racing or betting in general. This guide will help you learn about the ins and outs of horse racing betting so that you can be prepared to join in on the fun.

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Horse Racing Betting at BetOnline

If you’re looking for a safe and secure sports betting experience, look no further than BetOnline. BetOnline offers a wide variety of horse racing-related lines to wager on. Whether you’re looking to choose the overall winner of a race or a head-to-head battle between two horses, you’ll never have to worry about a lack of options. You can even experience BetOnline’s array of prop bets if you want to make unique wagers.

BetOnline has various promotions for new bettors. For starters, there’s a 50 percent welcome bonus. BetOnline will match 50 percent of your first deposit up to $1,000! They also have a Sports Reload bonus that matches 25 percent of $50+ deposits up to $250. Cryptocurrency is also popular these days, so BetOnline will also match 100 percent of your first crypto deposit.

Horse Racing Betting at offers a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to wager on horse racing events. Their interface is also similar to BetOnline’s, so you should be able to find the races you want to bet on without issue. Click the “Sports” tab at the top of the page, followed by the “Other Sports” button on the left side to access horse races. From there, you can choose if you want to bet on futures, matchups, props or daily specials. is also rewarding to new users. Their “Promotions” tab offers the same 100 percent cryptocurrency bonus that BetOnline does. They also have a 50 percent welcome bonus (up to $1,000). has two “reload” bonuses: a 25 percent one (up to $250) for all sports and a 35 percent one for cryptocurrency reloads.

Horse Racing Betting at Bovada

While Bovada may look different from the other sportsbooks, it’s just as reliable and simple to use so you can start betting on horse races. After finding the horse racing section under the “All Sports” tab, you’ll have access to many different betting lines. Bovada also has both American and international events covered. Whether it’s horse race futures or props, you should be able to find what you’re looking for.

Bovada offers premium bonuses when you sign up. A sports welcome bonus will match 50 percent of your first deposit up to $250! Bovada also has Bitcoin-related promotions. If you use Bitcoin, they’ll match 75 percent (up to $750) of your initial deposit.

How to Bet on Horse Racing

For starters, you’ll have to figure out which kind of race you want to bet on. Here are the most popular examples:

  • Endurance: Horses will race across a certain distance, with the minimum being at 25 miles (40 kilometers).
  • Flat: Horses compete from Point A to Point B in a typically short race.
  • Harness: Horses will trot or race while pulling someone in a cart (also known as a sulky)
  • Jump: Horses race while leaping over obstacles.

Horse Racing Bet Types

Once you decide which kind of race you’re betting on, choose what you will bet on. One of the simplest horse racing bet to make is choosing the winner of a race. Sportsbooks will provide odds and you choose which horse you think will win. For example, a site may say that Horse A is at +600 to win the Kentucky Derby. This means that if you bet $100 on Horse A to win, you’d win $600!

There are three common ways to bet on a horse race in North America.

  • Win: A straight bet that the chosen horse will finish in first place.
  • Place: A straight bet that a chosen horse will finish in first or second place.
  • Show: A straight bet that a chosen horse will finish in first, second, or third place.

Other bets are often referred to as exotic bets. Live race tracks may not offer all of these bets, but many online betting sites will present a wide range of possible wagers with many of these included.

  • Across the board: Three separate bets to win, place, or show.
  • Exacta: Chosen horses finish in first and second place, in that exact order.
  • Trifecta: Chosen horses finish in first, second and third place, in that exact order.
  • Superfecta: Chosen horses finish in first, second, third, and fourth place, in that exact order.
  • Box: Three above bets without exact order mandatory. (Quinella or exacta box is two horses chosen to finish first and second in any order. Trifecta box is three chosen horses finishing first, second, and third in any order.)
  • Double (or Daily Double): Bettor picks horses to win in two successive races.
  • Triple (or Pick Three or Treble): Bettor picks horses to win in three successive races.
  • Quadrella: Better picks horses to win four nominated races at the same track.
  • Hi 5 or Super 5: Bettor picks five horses to finish first through fifth, in that exact order.
  • Pick Six or Sweep Six: Bettor picks winners of six consecutive races.
  • Parlay bets: also referred to as accumulators, are a series of bets that stake the winnings of one race on to the next in a let-it-ride fashion.

Beyond Basics

There are some systems that serious horse bettors use, the most common being the statistical lay. This involves a race with at least ten horses and identifying the three with the best odds, preferably between 2/1 and 5/1. Laying against the one with the lowest odds will result in picking a winner approximately 80% of the time.

Another is the beaten favorite system, which involves finding a horse that is a big favorite that loses one race and betting on that horse in the next race. If a horse has good odds to win but doesn’t win, the odds will typically increase for that horse’s next race, despite the fact that the horse is still as skilled. This allows betting on a favorite with better odds than usual.

The Dutching system is one that requires the bettor to find a race with at least ten horses, After picking the top two or three, calculate the implied probabilities from the odds offered and then the wager necessary for each bet to guarantee a profit. There are online calculators to help with the Dutching system, though it eventually comes naturally for those with good math skills.

Horse Racing Betting Strategy

Before you start throwing your money into bets, it’s important to know what you’re betting on. Research the type of race you’re thinking about and take a look at the horse you’re betting on. Has the horse faired well on the same track before? Do they have an injury history? How have they performed lately? These questions and more should be considered.

You may even want to research what experts are saying heading into a race. It’s never a bad idea to take some advice, even if you’re a season sportsbook veteran.

Lastly, go in. with a financial plan. Decide how much you’re willing to spend on an event and how much you’re willing to lose. No bet is a guaranteed bet. Always take into account that upsets happen. Research is the first step to success!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there betting limits on horse racing?

A lot of sportsbooks may have different limits. For horse racing, Bovada lists $200 as the maximum bet for horse racing prop and head-to-head bets. If you ever place too high of a bet, you’ll receive an error message.

What’s an easy bet for horse racing beginners?

When you’re first starting off, you may want to focus on “Win” or “Show” bets. For “Win,” you’re choosing who you think will win a race. Meanwhile, “Show” means you’re picking a horse and hoping that it finishes in the top-3.

What happens if a horse I bet on gets scratched?

If a horse is taken out of a race before it begins, it means they were “scratched.” If you did bet on a horse prior to it getting scratched, depending on the bet type, the sportsbook will end up refunding your bet.