The Ultimate Guide on How To Bet on Horses in 2024

The prestige surrounding the Sport of Kings still fascinates viewers and attracts millions of bettors. As the thoroughbreds fly down the racetrack and the thundering noise spreads across the field, punters are placing their wagers and trying to predict the winners.

Yet, to the uninitiated, horse racing betting can look complicated and overwhelming. Puzzling terminology and fluctuating odds are only some of the problems that novice bettors have to overcome.

For that reason, we decided to show you how to bet on horses by taking you on a quick tour through the essential betting elements. Moreover, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of the betting process, providing you with all the guidelines you could ever need.

10 Quick Facts About Horse Racing Betting

  • The average annual turnover for off-course horse racing betting in the UK is around four billion GBP.
  • The number of places (runners) in a race varies depending on the event’s category, affecting the payout terms.
  • On average, favourites win only around one-third of horse races. Underdogs and other runners win around 60% of races.
  • Trainer/jockey combination can affect the odds and tell you if the horse is well fancied to cross the finish line first.
  • Horses can move from one class to another as they gain experience or drop in form. The class factor can affect the odds and also help with predicting the outcome of a race.
  • The length of the race can affect the horse’s performance. Expressed in miles and furlongs, the distances of grounds differ between flat and National Hunt races.
  • There are many horse racing types of bets, but two primary categories are straight and exotic bets.
  • Betting odds can change in the lead up to the race. Various factors affect those fluctuations, primarily the money moving in from the punters.
  • Most bookmakers will let you choose between three price values: the current price, the starting price (SP), or the best odds guaranteed (BOG).
  • Modern punters have various tools at their disposal to help with betting on horses, such as odds checkers and odds calculators.

Horse racing is a global phenomenon, with events scattered from Australia, South Africa, and the US to Ireland and the UK. From Royal Ascot to Cheltenham Gold Cup, horse racing is a gift that keeps on giving. But if you don’t know how to bet on horses, this variety of betting opportunities will not be worth much.

So, to make the most out of the diverse betting markets, you’ll need to grasp the basics first. The world of online horse racing betting is a vast place, and it’s vital to know where to start.

How to Pick Betting Sites to Bet On

In the last decade or so, horse racing betting relocated to the online world. Thousands of betting sites opened their virtual doors, providing punters with a convenient betting method. Also, mobile betting grew in popularity over the last couple of years, expanding the options.

So, if you want to learn how to bet on horses in the UK, your first stop should be a reputable betting site. Almost every bookmaker in the UK provides online betting on horses, either via desktop or mobile. Yet, not every website you stumble upon will offer the same qualities and features. That’s why it’s essential to check the following aspects before depositing and wagering your hard-earned funds:

Licence and Regulation

Betting on unregulated websites can lead to many problems, and your money could vanish within seconds. If you want to know how to bet on horses online, start by checking licences and permits. Bookmakers regulated by the UK Gambling Commission are the ones you can trust.

Betting Markets

In most cases, UK bookmakers will provide an extensive selection of horse races. Likewise, a vast array of markets and betting types should be at your disposal. As a rule of thumb, the more options there are, the better! For instance, the list of horse racing types of bets should include both straight and exotic wagers.

Betting Offers

If you want to have horse betting explained, you will need to learn more about various bonuses and promotions provided by UK horse racing bookmakers. In essence, bookmakers use many techniques to entice punters and motivate them to register. For instance, new bettors can claim a sign-up offer and receive free bets for horse racing.

Betting Odds

When betting on horses, you must pay attention to the odds. After all, the better the odds, the higher the winnings. Nowadays, most betting sites offer both fractional and decimal odds, allowing punters to choose the one that suits their style. Either way, the odds express probability. Thus, the favourites will come with the lowest (shortest) odds.

Live Streaming

If you are new to the game and still reading horse racing for dummies, know that live streaming is an essential aspect of modern betting. As we said, horse racing events span the globe, and you’ll always find bet-worthy races. Thanks to high-quality live broadcasts, it’s possible to view real-time action with expert commentary.

How to Pick Horses To Bet On

Like it or not, successful horse racing requires a certain level of knowledge and understanding of the sports. Namely, bettors must know how to pick the horses and how to place a bet. First, we’ll look at horse selection and explain the elements that can help you choose suitable horses.

Depending on the race category, the number of horses in the opening gates can vary. Most tracks in the US and other parts of the globe accept up to 14 runners. Meanwhile, the Grand National course at Aintree offers space for 40 horses! With so many betting interests, you might be wondering how to pick horses to bet on.

First, punters should study the form of a horse. From previous performances in the season to the relationship between the horse and the jockey, every piece of information can be helpful. Also, the horse’s pedigree is an aspect that can provide experience bettors with valuable insights.

Then, check how the horse performs on a particular type of ground, like the one you plan to bet on. The weather can also play a role, so try to check previous performances on rainy or hot days.

How to Place a Bet on Horses

Once you find a suitable horse, it’s time to complete the process and place your wagers. There are two ways to go about this. You can either stick to straight bets or opt for exotic wagers that include several permutations.

Straight bets in horse racing betting are win, place, and show. As single-selection wagers, they are easy to place and understand. With the win bet, you must accurately predict the first horse to cross the finish line. The so-called place wager extends the range to the first two positions at the end of the race. Finally, the show bet requires that you pick a horse that will finish among the first three.

Bettors who want to step up their game and move beyond horse betting for dummies can opt for exotic bets. For example, each-way bets effectively comprise two wagers. Punters must predict whether a horse will win or finish ‘placed’, i.e. finish among the first three or four. Likewise, bettors can choose from a vast range of accumulators. Also known as multiples, these bets include selections from various events with accumulative winnings. Hence the name.

Nowadays, betting sites offer an almost unlimited number of betting options. Some of the most popular types of horse racing bets are forecasts, tricasts, Canadian, Yankee, Lucky 15, and Lucky 31. Either way, placing a bet on horse racing events remains the same, no matter which category of wagers you choose.

So, how to bet on horse racing? Once you find a suitable website and pick a horse, you must select a betting option. To do so, head over to the horse racing section at the betting site and browse the racing calendar. When you find the race you want to bet on, click to open the betting menu and select your preferred wagering option.

The selection should then appear on your bet slip, typically in the upper right corner of the screen. By entering the amount you wish to wager and confirming the bet, you will complete the process. The only thing left to do is to check the results once the horses cross the finish line.

Conclusion: How to Bet on Horses and Win

As you can see, horse racing betting doesn’t have to be a complicated matter. On the contrary, betting can be as exciting as horse races themselves. For instance, high wagers will glue you to the screen because nobody wants to lose their money. But even if you decide to only bet for fun, horse racing betting remains a must-try activity.

Of course, aspiring bettors should learn how to bet on horses and grasp the basics before placing their first wagers. Hopefully, our in-depth guide will point you in the right direction.

Table of Contents
10 Quick Facts About Horse Racing Betting How to Pick Betting Sites to Bet On How to Pick Horses To Bet On How to Place a Bet on Horses Conclusion: How to Bet on Horses and Win
Table of Contents