An Introduction to Horse Racing Betting for Beginners

Horse Racing Betting
SARATOGA SPRINGS – SEPT 1: Jockey Jose Lezcano (blue cap) and Bellamy Brew lead the field at the top of the stretch en route to victory in the 1st race at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Horse racing has a rich history dating back to 17th-century France, which was intertwined with sports betting. Today, the thrill of thundering hooves is enough to draw in fans, but for others, the excitement of winning keeps them coming back for more.

Best USA Horse Racing Sites

Top Race Betting Sites

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To place a successful bet on horse racing, individuals must first gain knowledge about the competing horses and their jockeys. This includes understanding their strengths, weaknesses, past performances, and any injuries or illnesses that may affect them.

Once armed with this information, punters can then explore various types of bets such as win, place, show, exacta, trifecta, and quinella.

Reading and understanding horse racing betting odds carefully before placing a bet is essential since even slight variations in odds can significantly impact winnings.

By using reputable online sportsbook betting sites, punters can access a wider range of betting lines with better odds, increasing their chances of winning.

Horse race betting may seem daunting at first, but it's actually quite intuitive.

With the right guidance and knowledge, you can master all aspects of horse racing betting, including different types of wagers, odds systems, and finding a reliable online gambling site to place your bets.

Understanding Horse Betting Odds

Horse racing has been a traditional European sport for centuries, and as such, the standard practice is to display horse racing betting odds using either fractional or decimal systems.

While these may seem more complex than the American negative/positive system, they can be easily learned with some practice.

Let's examine an example horse race bet using both the fractional and decimal odds systems:

For instance, if you want to place a bet on a horse with 2/1 odds (fractional), this means that for every $1 you bet, you will win $2 in return.

In contrast, if the same horse has 3.00 odds (decimal), this translates to a payout of $4 for every $1 wagered.

  • 10 to 1 Fractional Odds
  • 11 to 1 odds in decimal form.

The fractional odds system is a more straightforward way of displaying betting odds.

It shows how much money you can win for every $1 wagered, making it easier to understand than other systems.

For example, if you place a successful $1 bet on this particular event, you will receive a profit of $10.

The fractional odds system may seem less complex, but it has the advantage of being more straightforward.

In this system, the number displayed represents how much money you can win for every $1 betted, excluding your initial stake. Therefore, if you wagered $1 and won in accordance with these odds, you would receive a total payout of $2.50.

To express decimal odds as fractional odds, subtract 1 from the decimal value and simplify the resulting fraction.

For instance, in the given example, we would have: 11 (decimal odds) – 1 = 10/1 (fractional odds).

To convert fractional odds to decimal odds, divide the numerator by the denominator and then add 1.

For example, if the odds are 10/1, you would divide 10 by 1 (which equals 10) and then add 1 to get a final result of 11.

Discovering the Top Horse Racing Betting Websites

To be a successful horse racing bettor, you need to find an online sportsbook that offers a wide range of lines and competitive odds.

With so many options available, it can seem overwhelming at first.

However, we are here to guide you through the process.

After conducting extensive research on online horse racing betting sites, our team of experts has compiled a list of the best options available.

1. Bet Now

BetNow horse racing betting

BetNow is a top online betting site that offers lines on numerous major sporting events worldwide. It also features an online casino and comprehensive racebook with extensive horse racing options and competitive odds presented in the standard UK fractional system.

Whether you're looking to place wagers on football, basketball or any other popular sports event, BetNow has got you covered.

New bettors can also benefit from a generous sign-up bonus worth up to $500, which they can use to maximize their profits on the biggest horse races, such as the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

BetNow does set payout limits for specific tracks but these extend all the way up to $30,000, providing ample opportunity for punters to win big.

2. Better Odds at is a reputable online sportsbook that offers an extensive racebook and diverse horse racing betting options. While the platform may not have as many horse racing events as its competitors, it compensates with low minimum bets and high maximum payouts. is a sportsbook that stands out from the rest due to its low minimum bet requirement of $0.10 on most horse racing events, which is significantly lower than what other sportsbooks offer.

It also provides maximum payouts up to $50,000 for specific races, satisfying even high-roller punters.

Sign up for and receive a generous welcome bonus of up to $300 when you create your new account. In addition, they are currently offering an 8% rebate on all horse races, which means more money in your pocket!

3. Bet Us

BetUS is a veteran online sportsbook that has been in operation since 1994. It offers an extensive horse racing betting platform with odds on major races such as the Triple Crown series.

The site displays odds using the standard UK fractional system, and payouts are limited to $10,000 on American races and $5,000 on international races per event. New members can also receive a 100% sign-up bonus worth up to $2,500.

4. Bovada Sports Betting

Bovada is a highly rated betting site that offers numerous options for even the most selective gamblers. It also provides both fractional and decimal odds, giving players the flexibility to choose their preferred system.

While Bovada's online casino is renowned, its sportsbook is equally exceptional.

Bovada, a betting site based in Costa Rica, welcomes players from around the world, including those located in the United States.

New members can take advantage of a 50% sign-up bonus worth up to $250 that can be used on any horse racing options available on the platform.

Additionally, Bovada offers live betting on select horse races, providing an extra layer of excitement for bettors.


BUSR is a newly established online horse racing betting platform that has already made its mark with an extensive range of betting options and competitive odds.

It's also one of the few racebooks to offer live video streaming, which provides punters with real-time updates on all races.

BUSR provides betting odds using both the UK fractional system and the European decimal system, which is likely to appeal to a diverse group of gamblers.

New players can also benefit from a 150% sign-up bonus worth up to $750, as well as an ongoing 8% rebate on all horse races.

6. MyBookie

MyBookie may be a smaller, lesser-known sportsbook but its racebook is truly world-class.

While it doesn't offer as many horse racing betting options as some other sites, it more than makes up for this with an easy-to-use interface and a wide range of betting lines with competitive odds.

At MyBookie, new members can receive a 100% sign-up bonus worth up to $1,000 that can be used for any horse racing bets on the site.

In addition, this platform stands out as one of few sites offering Swedish harness race wagering options.

7. is a top online sportsbook and racebook with bets available on all major horse races worldwide, as well as an extensive casino section for players seeking additional gaming options.

This site offers odds in both decimal and fractional formats to accommodate different preferences among punters.

Whether you're looking to place wagers on your favorite sporting events or try your luck at the casino, has everything you need for a thrilling gambling experience.

New users can benefit from a $1,000 sign-up bonus with a 50% deposit match.

However, this offer is only available for use in the sportsbook section of the platform. This still provides ample opportunities to profit from horse racing betting but if you're looking for more comprehensive welcome bonuses, other options may be preferable.

8. Xbet – Where Sports Betting Meets Excitement

Xbet is a US-based online sportsbook with an impressive racebook that provides odds on all of the biggest horse races around the world.

It also has a comprehensive online casino featuring various slot games, table games and live dealer options.

Xbet uses American moneyline system for betting which may require some adjustment for European punters who are used to decimal odds.

New customers can benefit from a generous sign-up bonus of up to $300, which is matched 100% on their first deposit.

This reward can be used in the sportsbook, racebook or casino section and provides ample opportunities for increasing one's bankroll.

Additionally, Xbet offers impressive payout limits with horse racing bets, as high as $5,000, which is among the highest in the industry.

Our Verdict and Summary

Betting on horse races can be a thrilling and rewarding experience.

To get started, it's essential to understand the basics of the sport and different types of bets available.

By developing a personalized strategy that fits your needs, you can increase your chances of winning.

Finding an online sportsbook with competitive odds and diverse betting lines can also enhance your profits.

FAQs: Everything You Need to Know

What is the most financially rewarding bet in horse racing?

Horse racing offers two of the most profitable bets, Accumulator and Pick 6. However, they are also considered to be quite risky due to their nature.

To win big in horse racing, one must carefully analyze the horses' past performances and their current form. It is essential to consider factors such as jockey, trainer, track conditions, weather forecast, and competition level.

Additionally, it helps to study the betting odds and place a well-informed wager on a horse with high chances of winning.

Finally, having patience and discipline are key qualities for successful horse race bettors.

How to Win Big on Horse Racing?

Betting on favorites, wagering on multiple horses and utilizing a betting system are some strategies that can potentially enhance your chances of winning when it comes to horse racing.

However, there is no guaranteed method for success in this sport as each race presents unique challenges and variables.

What is the winning horse race number?

New research suggests that horses placed in position number 5 have the highest rate of success, winning approximately one out of every eight races.

What is the most favorable option for 7 horses?

A Super Heinz bet is a type of wager that involves 120 separate bets on seven different selections. The total number of combinations includes 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, 7 six-folds, and one seven-fold.

What is the best way to bet on four horses?

To place a Superfecta bet on four horses, you are taking on more risk than with a single wager. However, the potential payout can be significantly higher if your selections come in first through fourth place.

What is a four-horse bet called?

A Superfecta is a bet that involves selecting the first four finishers in correct order.

What is Horse Race Betting and How Does it Work?

Betting on horse races is a popular form of gambling involving wagering on a race's outcome.

There are various ways to bet, each with its own level of risk and potential reward.

The simplicity of this type of gambling makes it accessible for many people who want to try their luck.

By investing a small amount of time in research, even novice bettors can gain the knowledge necessary to place a winning wager.

However, as with any form of gambling, the more one learns about the sport and betting process, the greater their chances of success will be.

Thoroughbred horses participate in a physical competition called horse racing. Jockeys control the horses as they race around a predetermined track, with the goal of crossing the finish line first.

These races typically last between one and four minutes but can be longer, such as an eight-minute record holder.

The racecourse is usually an oval shape but can also be triangular, square or oblong.

The typical horse race will have between eight and twelve horses competing, although there may be as many as twenty or more in some events.

Each participating horse has assigned odds by the bookmakers, representing their probability of winning the race and determining how much a successful bettor can gain from their wager.

5 Popular Horse Racing Bets and Their Meanings

Instead of betting on the outcome of a football or basketball game using moneyline, over/under, or point-spread wagers, horse racing offers unique types of bets that allow punters to predict the exact finishing order of competing racers.

These include:

Win Bets

To win a bet, you need to predict which horse will finish first in the race. This type of wager is called a “win” or “straight” bet because it involves only one selection.

Place Bets

A place bet is like a win bet but requires the player to correctly predict which horse will finish first or second. This type of wager pays less than a win bet, but it also carries less risk.

Show Bets

A show bet is like a place bet but requires the player to correctly predict which horse will finish first, second or third. These wagers are less risky than place bets and pay out smaller amounts of money.

Quinella Bets

A quinella bet is a more complex wager that requires the player to correctly predict the first and second-place horses in any order.

Exacta Bets

A quinella bet requires the bettor to correctly predict the first and second-place horses, but an exacta bet takes it a step further by requiring them to guess the order in which those two horses finish.

This type of wager pays out more than a quinella bet, but is also riskier because there are more possible combinations that could come true.

Trifecta Bets

A trifecta bet is like an exacta wager but requires the bettor to correctly forecast the first, second, and third-place horses in order. This type of bet pays out more than an exacta bet yet it's also one of the riskiest ones.

Superfecta Bets

A superfecta bet is like a trifecta wager but requires the player to forecast the first, second, third, and fourth-place horses in exact order. This type of exotic bet pays out more than a trifecta yet it's also harder to win correctly.

Pick 3 and Pick 6 Bets

Pick 3 and Pick 6 Bets are popular parlay wagers that require bettors to predict the winner of three or six consecutive races correctly.

Daily Double Bets

A daily double bet is a type of wager that involves predicting the winner of two consecutive races. While this bet may not be as profitable as Pick 3 or Pick 6, it's considered safer due to its lower risk factor.

Summary of Types of Bets

For those interested in horse racing, there are plenty of betting options available.

If you're new to the sport, it is recommended that you avoid complex wagers until you have a better understanding of the leading competitors.

Instead, consider placing show bets, as they tend to be safer choices.

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