Compared to sports like football or basketball, horse racing can be more complicated to the untrained eye. However, if you improve your knowledge, you can beat the odds and predict the outcome of major or minor events correctly. If you want to know how to bet on horse races, you have come to the right place.
From basic terminology to advanced strategies, we will teach you everything you need to know to make money. What is the difference between exacta, trifecta, and superfecta and which are the easiest markets to be profitable? How to choose a horse to bet on? Should I back or lay the favourites in the most prominent events globally? Stay tuned.
If you are a novice player, you must learn to crawl before you walk. Horse race betting contains several confusing terms and words you will constantly encounter. Before placing any wagers, you must ensure you know all the basics perfectly. This will increase your chances of being successful. How many types of races exist? What happens in case of a Dead Heat, and how does Rule 4 affect your bets? If you feel overwhelmed, do not worry. Bookmakers.bet team has released several guides explaining each of the most common terms in detail.
Even if you have experience betting on horse races, it’s always advisable to check what experts say. You might find the key piece of information that leads you to become profitable on a consistence basis. The following section contains advanced strategies you can try. Some like matched betting, scalping, or laying the favourite have a higher chance of coming through but require excellent discipline. Others, such as betting on the Scoop 6, Superfectas, or the Quinella, are riskier, but the potential profits can be through the roof.
How to bet on horse racing and win
Horse racing is one of the most challenging sports to bet on, where favourites only win about 30-35% of the time. You will also need to keep updating your knowledge constantly and follow the latest news. If you want to learn how to bet on horses and win, you should become familiar with several aspects. The first one is all the different types of races you can find at online bookmakers.
Flat: This is the most straightforward type of race, where the runners engage on a flat surface. Flat races tend to test the stamina and speed of horses and occur at distances between five furlongs and two miles and six furlongs. The most notable races are the Kentucky Derby and the Dubai World Cup.
Hurdle: Hurdle or Steeplechase or National Hunt races include several jumps and barriers runners have to overcome. Due to their unpredictability, hurdle races are way more exciting than flats. The most significant National Hunt events throughout the year are the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National in the UK.
Harness: During harness racing, the runners are pulled by two-wheeled contraptions, and instead of a jockey, there is a driver who guides the horse. This type is more prominent in North America, Australia, and some European countries. You can generally find two kinds of harness races: trotting (slower) and pacing (faster).
Endurance: Perhaps the least popular option, endurance races test the horses' stamina over huge distances. Essentially, it is the equivalent of a marathon. They last longer, and, instead of the runners competing against each other, they are timed. Keep in mind that not many sportsbooks offer odds on endurance races as the demand is not very high.
How to place a bet on horses
Even though it is a unique sport, betting on horse racing does not differ too much from football or tennis. If you already have an account with an online bookmaker that offers odds on the ponies, follow the steps underneath, and you are good to go:
1. Log in to your account and locate the race you want to place your wager.
2. Pick your preferred horse; it will immediately appear on your betslip.
3. Continue adding selections until you are finished.
4. Enter the stake you want and click on the ‘place bet’ button. That’s it.
Sounds straightforward enough. Of course, you have additional options if you would rather not place a horse bet online. First, you can visit a betting shop or one of the high street bookies and do it there directly. Alternatively, you can also place wagers at the racetrack. Find your horse's number on the racecard, go to the cashier, and choose your stake. Generally, online betting is a better option since you can do it instantly, the odds are higher, and you can qualify for horse promotions. Instead of doing the whole research from scratch, you can choose one of the horse bookmakers from the list underneath.
How to choose a horse to bet on
Most daily races take between 1-5 minutes. Novice players think that the result is only affected by how the horses do during that timespan. You must assess several factors before learning how to choose a horse to bet on. Let’s take a look:
The age of the horse
The older a horse is, the harder it is, in theory, to maintain its form. There comes the point where all become vulnerable to younger, improving ones. Those with fewer miles on the clock and greater scope to improve offer horse betting opportunities over an ageing favourite. It’s always worthwhile conducting an age profile as these may reveal trends to follow or avoid. For example, in the Grand National, 14 out of the last 17 winners were at least 9 years old.
Horse racing class
Depending on their past performances, horses are divided into different classes and grades. If a runner wins a race, its rating will improve. Likewise, if it performs poorly, it will decrease. A horse gets a rating after it wins a race or has placed in the top six on three separate occasions. The ratings exist, so all participants are more or less equal. As you can imagine, this makes betting on the horses more challenging, but there are some notable instances. Does a racehorse have a proven form in the grade? Have they struggled in this class of race before? If you answer these questions, you will improve your decisions.
Paying the penalty
Horses that drop in grade or class after winning at a higher level within a specific timeframe will be carrying penalties. You have to assess whether you feel a horse is capable of giving that weight away and whether there are unexposed dangers that aren’t penalised lining up against it. Races that aren’t handicaps that are open to both male and female horses will always give the fillies and mares a sex allowance. It may be just 3lb or 5lb on the Flat or 7lb in a jumps race. This is done in the interests of fairness but often gives females a distinct horse racing betting advantage over their male counterparts.
Check the pedigree
All thoroughbred horses have a pedigree, a family tree. If you know who sired a horse, you can also see who they are related to and examine their past results. This is particularly important when a horse is stepping up on a trip for the first time. If other progeny of its sire improved for going further, it could be worth backing. A list of prominent National Hunt (Yeats, Flemensfirth, Getaway, Oscar, etc.) and Flat (Galileo, Frankel, Sea The Stars) sires may help illustrate this.
Horses for courses
Racecards will highlight previous course winners. Course and distance winners should be respected because they have proven themselves at the venue and over the trip before. Some runners prefer tighter or flatter tracks, such as Kempton, where there is a greater emphasis on speed. Others need galloping, undulating courses like Cheltenham, which is all about stamina, so the speed is less important. Before engaging in horse race betting, you should also check how a runner does when the track includes a climb or dip to the finish.
The luck of the draw
If you have narrowed it to two picks and are unsure how to choose a horse to bet on, you should examine the draw. It refers to the stall that a runner will start from. Stalls (or gates) can be placed on either side or in the middle of the track. Better placement will result in a horse having a better route towards the finishing line. In big fields, horses spread out and try to get a better position for the turn. Those closer to the turn have a better chance to come out in front.
Some horses not only compete on multiple different tracks but also switch surfaces altogether. Changing surface is an essential factor to consider as artificial all-weather grounds like tapeta, polytrack and fibresand are used in Europe for Flat races during the winter months. Runners don’t necessarily adapt to these or dirt tracks like those in America. You should steer clear of betting on horses that have switched surfaces because they will have less experience than the competition.
Stay the distance
All races must publish the distance and what any rail movement does in terms of adding yardage or taking it away. A horse who has raced over a certain trip many times is said to be overexposed at it and tends to do better. On the other hand, racing at different distances than usual is an indicator that you should probably look elsewhere.
Weight for age
Even handicaps can include weight-for-age allowances. For instance, four-year-olds often still receive this regardless of their rating in open handicaps. This further reduces the weight a horse has to carry and is always in younger runners’ favour. You have to decide whether the trade-off between lower weight and inexperience makes a younger horse worth backing over an in-form older horse who may be higher in the weights. If you want to put all this knowledge to good use, visit one of the most trusted horse bookmakers.
Which are the biggest races in the world
There are many reasons why horse racing betting has become so prominent. The ability to place wagers in top events throughout the year, the speed of the race, the chance to win huge amounts, and the history behind the sport are just some of them. Of course, it is not popular in every part of the world. The most loyal players can be found in the UK, Ireland, the US, Australia, the UAE, and France. With such a massive fanbase, it is not strange that so many top events exist.
UK & Ireland
In the UK and Ireland, horse racing only comes second to football. The thoroughbred scene includes some of the biggest events in the world like the Cheltenham Festival, the Epsom Derby, the Royal Ascot, the Aintree Festival, the Irish Triple Crown, the Irish Grand National, the 1000 & 2000 Guineas, and more. The horse race betting season spans from March to early December.
To horse punters, the Triple Crown, which includes the top 3 races in the US, needs no introduction. The Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Stakes, and the Preakness Stakes stand above all else. One of the most fun horse bets you can place is picking a runner to win all three. Of course, this has only happened 13 times in the past 120 years. Besides them, the Breeder’s Cup, the Arlington Million, and the Santa Anita Handicap also gather much attention.
One of the main basis people want to invest in horses in Australia is because the races come with some of the biggest prize money globally. The Golden Eagle is one of the latest additions and offers a total purse of $7.5 million, while the Melbourne Cup is the most renowned on the continent. However, none compare with The Everest, which offers a total of $13 million.
The UAE has developed a strong position among the great horse racing betting nations during the past 20 years. Arabian horses are also known for their high quality and endurance. The most significant events in the UAE take place at the Meydan Racecourse and include the Dubai World Cup, the Al Quoz Sprint, the Dubai Golden Shaheen, and the Jebel Hatta. Note that the Dubai WC offers the highest purse, with $30.5 million in total prize money.
The racing season in France spans between April and November and boasts some highly notable events across Europe. Undeniably, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is the highlight of the entire season. Betting on horse racing in France does not stop there, though. You can also find fantastic opportunities for events like the Grand Prix de Paris, the Prix Jacques Le Marois, and the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp.
|Saudi Cup||Saudi Arabia||Last Weekend in February||$20,000,000|
|Sheema Classic||UAE||Last Saturday in March||$6,000,000|
|Dubai World Cup||UAE||Last Saturday in March||$12,000,000|
|Grand National||UK||Second Friday in April||£3,000,000|
|Kentucky Derby||USA||First Saturday in May||$3,000,000|
|Epsom Derby||UK||1st Saturday in June||$2,000,000|
|Belmont Stakes||USA||2nd Saturday in June||$1,500,000|
|Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe||France||First Sunday in October||$5,600,000|
|Melbourne Cup||Australia||First Tuesday in November||$5,300,000|
|Breeder’s Cup||USA||First Saturday in November||$6,000,000|
Can I win money betting on horse racing
At the end of the day, betting on ponies is a numbers game. It takes a lot of discipline and experience, but it’s up to you to reach a point where you determine a runner’s realistic winning chances beyond the odds. Unfortunately, even backing favourites is not a great system because they barely win 1 out of 3 times. We recommend reading all the advanced strategies that Bookmakers.bet has published, pick your favourite types of race and markets, and stick to them.
It’s always easier to improve your knowledge with repetition. Eventually, you will reach a point where you can figure out how to choose a horse to bet on and where you have a higher chance of turning a profit. Finally, the nature of the sport can bring you some excellent returns, so big stakes should be avoided. Losses can amount extremely fast.
Yes. Even though betting on the racetrack was the norm until a few years ago, these days, more and more bookmakers offer odds on horse racing. You will find several opportunities, especially among bookies like Bet365, Betfair, William Hill, Betfred, and 18bet.
The most common ones are flat and hurdle (or steeplechase) racing. Besides them, in some countries, harness racing has become very popular, while endurance racing is a less mainstream alternative.
There is no limit to the number of wagers you can place at an online bookmaker. However, we advise caution because predicting the winner in every event is extremely difficult. You need to pick the right spots and not make any rash decisions.
Of course. It is easier than you might think if you have never done it before. Pick the horse you want to back from the racecard, go to the cashier, and say the runner's number alongside the stake and type of wager you prefer.
The biggest accumulator win ever happened in 2011 in England, when Steve Whitely managed to earn £1.45 million from a £2 stake. He correctly predicted all six races of the placepot racecard that day.
There are some notable horse racing events throughout the year. From the Triple Crown in the US to the Royal Ascot and the Cheltenham Festival in the UK, you can find several opportunities. However, in terms of a purse, no horse race compares to the Dubai World Cup, where the winner gets more than £10,000,000.
The first thing you should do is pick the right bookmaker to place your wagers. Then, learn all the basic terms and markets to make sure you make more informed decisions. Finally, choose the runner you want to back and select your stake.