Home > Horse Racing Betting Sites: A Guide to Horse Race Betting

Horse Racing Betting Sites: A Guide to Horse Race Betting

Horse Racing Field
Interested in learning more about horse racing? You’ve come to the right place!

Not only will this horse racing hub page teach you about the most important things you need to know about betting on horse racing, but it also links out to our best horse racing content that will go more in-depth about things like horse racing betting strategy or the best racehorses in history.

All right, it’s time to stop horsing around and get down to business so that you’ll be prepared to bet on the next big race! Hopefully, we can even help you start cashing some winners.

What Makes a Good Horse Racing Betting Site?

While betting on horse racing is still a lot of fun for even the most recreational of gamblers, the sport has seen a pretty big decrease in betting over the past couple of decades. As a result, some betting sites no longer put a big effort into providing as many horse betting options for their customers as others do.

Most betting sites will offer you odds on the major horse races such as the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. But if you like to bet on horse racing every day, the best horse racing betting sites for you are going to be the ones that constantly offer lines from tracks located all over the globe. Any horse racing betting site that we recommend will do exactly that, so you’ll want to check them out, rather than blindly joining a site that doesn’t offer much horse betting and then finding out you’re not able to bet on what you want.

Not that a wide variety of wagering options is the most important thing about a horse racing betting site. Far from it, in fact. Regardless of what sports you’re wanting to wager on, the most important thing to know about any site you want to join is that your money is safe. After all, it doesn’t do you any good to win bets at an online site if you’re not going to get paid when you win. Convenient deposit and withdrawal methods, customer-friendly bonus programs, and strong customer service are other things that we look for when comparing the best betting sites out there.

Here’s our list of the best horse racing betting sites for you to join, based on the various criteria we just discussed.

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Why Bet on Horse Races?

Simply put, there aren’t many sports out there that are more fun to gamble on than a horse race.

While baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer games all take a few of hours to complete, a horse race is usually over within a couple of minutes. While the outcomes of those other games can often be determined by a lucky bounce, bad referee’s call, or some other random occurrence, horse races are simply determined by who reaches the finish line first. And although there is some strategy involved in betting on horse racing, it’s nowhere near as complex as handicapping team sports can be.

Another fun part of horse racing betting is that there are so many different approaches you can take, which makes it easy to feel comfortable with the amount of risk you’re taking. If you just want to have “skin in the game,” you can wager as little as $1 on a race and take a shot at a big return by betting on a dark horse, an exacta (the first two horses, in order), a trifecta (the first three horses, in order) or other longshots. If you want a good chance at making some money and don’t mind shelling out a bigger wager, you can play it a bit safer by taking one of the top favorites to win, place (finish second or higher), or show (finish third or higher).

Finally, horse racing betting gives you an opportunity to feel like you’re part of history. Each spring, excitement builds in North America following the Kentucky Derby as we all wonder who will be the next great Thoroughbred to capture the Triple Crown. Only 12 horses in history have ever won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes in the same year (when American Pharoah did it in 2015, he was the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years), and successfully backing the next horse to turn the trick will be a wager (and payout) that you’ll never forget.

Click here to learn more about the most famous racehorses in history.

Major Events

To say that there are hundreds of thousands of horse races across the world each year would not be an exaggeration. There are more than 100 racing tracks in the United States alone, not to mention all the other ones located across the globe. And no matter where you’re located, off-track betting parlors and online betting sites make it possible to wager on virtually any of them.

But even with so many races out there, a select few stand out as highlights on the horse racing betting calendar. Whether it’s due to the quality field that they annually attract or simply the history and prestige of the venue, these horse races are the ones that everyone loves to bet on, and you’ll want to make sure you’re part of the action as well.

Here’s a list of the top horse races in the world, along with links to more information about each of them:

Brief History of Horse Racing

Horse Races ChariotHorse racing dates all the way back to the historic era, which shouldn’t really come as a surprise. After all, horses were a huge part of ancient civilization as a method of transportation, and it was only a matter of time before their power, endurance, and speed made people want to start racing them in competition.

That racing has been done in various forms as centuries have passed. The oldest version of horse racing involved the pulling of a chariot, but the extreme danger that chariots presented to both the horse and the rider led to that form of racing fading out over time. It’s since been replaced by harness racing (when horses pull a two-wheeled cart in which the driver sits), while flat-mount racing (in which the jockey sits directly on the house) is a modern-day style of horse racing that has stood the test of time.

Flat racing and harness racing are the two most popular types of horse racing to bet on, especially in North America. However, jump racing (otherwise known as steeplechase, when horses have to jump over various hurdles throughout a race) is popular in the United Kingdom. One other common version of horse racing is endurance races, which can range in distance from 10 miles to over 100 miles.

Is Horse Betting Online Safe?

The answer to this question depends on you.

If you make sure to join a betting site that has a solid reputation and strong history of paying out to winning players, you won’t have anything to worry about. But if you just sign up and deposit money at the first sportsbook that shows up in a Google search, your money might not be that safe after all because there are a lot of scam websites out there that have no intention of paying out.

Like we said earlier, we’ve gone through all of the horse racing betting sites online to come up with a short list of the best sites to play on, putting a huge emphasis on safety and reliability for players. We strongly recommend that before joining any horse racing betting sites, you check out our reviews to make sure that whichever book you’re joining is the best fit for you.

Of course, you also need to make sure that any betting site you join is legal to use within your jurisdiction, since gambling laws vary across the globe (again, our reviews will identify the best sites for you to use, based on your location). And finally, always be sure never to risk more than you can afford to lose.

Horse Betting FAQ

Since horse racing is such a niche sport, there are a lot of rules and terminology that are new to most bettors. We’ll try to answer some of the most common horse racing betting questions in this FAQ section.

What Does Parimutuel Betting Mean?

Most odds for horse races are based on the parimutuel betting system, which is a lot different from the way we bet on point spreads, moneylines, Over/Unders, and props in other sports.

What the parimutuel betting system essentially means is that all bets on a particular outcome are placed into a specific pool for that market (so if there are 10 horses in a race, there will be 10 different prize pools, one for each horse). After the race concludes, the bookmaker will take a small cut from the pool (their commission), then divide the rest of the prize pool to the winning bettors, based on how much they wagered.

This means that the odds you bet a horse at before a race are not necessarily the odds you will be paid at the end of the race. The pre-race odds are simply the probable odds that the bookmaker estimates will be paid after the race, but they aren’t guaranteed the same way that a point spread or moneyline bet is on a football game.

What Are the Most Common Ways to Bet a Horse Race?

The most popular and easy way to bet on a horse race is to simply predict the winner. However, picking the winner out of a field of 10 horses or more can be difficult if the field is fairly competitive, and it’s also not often considered worthwhile if there’s a dominant horse whose odds don’t pay very high.

As a result, many horse racing bettors like to play various combinations in order to increase their potential winnings. Here are a few of the other popular bet types:

What Are the Most Important Things to Look for When Betting on a Horse Race?

Whether it’s the programs that are available at the horse track or the various websites that offer horse racing statistics, the amount of data available to handicap a horse race can be overwhelming.

If you’re new to horse racing betting, the best strategy is to keep things as simple as possible by focusing on just a few of the statistical categories until you feel comfortable with them. At that point, you can start looking at other areas and trends as part of your handicapping process.

Here’s a short list of things you should look for when just learning how to bet on horse races:

Once you’ve mastered these tips (or if they feel a little too basic for you), be sure to check out our horse racing betting strategy article that explains some more advanced betting concepts.

The Best Way to Learn Is Through Experience

Ultimately, there’s only so much we can tell you about horse racing to prepare you for betting on it. After all, the best way to become an expert in something is by actually doing it.

If you enjoy success right away, try to determine whether it’s because of your prediction system or whether you were just getting lucky. And if your first few horse racing bets don’t go well, try to figure out why that happened and make adjustments going forward. Also be sure to try out the various types of wagering options to see which ones you are most successful with and which ones make you the most comfortable.

Join a recommended betting site, make a deposit, and start out by betting small amounts. Once you see what’s working for you and what’s not, you can start to increase your bet sizes and focus on your strengths. Hopefully, your bankroll will start to grow as a result, enabling you to start betting bigger and bigger amounts as time goes on.