As with so many things in the world of the internet, the choice when it comes to horse racing betting online is almost endless. With so many options available, the question facing prospective punters is how to decide between them? One thing’s for sure though; with such plentiful competition amongst horse racing bookies, fans of the sport have never had it so good.
The options available can appear almost endless at first glance but fear not, we have done much of the hard work for you. Having tried and tested the best offers and experience provided by the majority of operators in the online betting sphere, here we bring you our pick of the very best horse racing sportsbooks.
New costumers only. Min. deposit £10 (no Skrill/Neteller). Deposit must be wagered 1x at ½ (1.5) odds or higher (bonus is wager free). 18+. T&C apply.
18+. UK & IE only. promo code G30. Min £10 .Single Only.No Tote/Pool. Min odds 1/2. Valid for 14 days. Free bet not returned. Free bets & bonus valid for 4 days. Casino bonus x20 Wager. T&Cs apply
Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credit stake. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply.
Bet £10+ at odds 1.50+, get 2 x £15 free bets, 7 day expiry, credited after first bet settles. Opt in, 1 x customer. Bet type, Free Bet restrictions and T&C’s apply.
New UK and Ireland Customers Only. Min Deposit: £/€10. First Deposit matched up to £/€30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Credit Card, Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. Additional Terms Apply.
New customer only, max one £10 free bet, qualifying bets must be placed at odds of 2.0(1/1) or greater, paid as bonus token with min odds reg, T&C Apply
New customers only. Expires 31/05/19. Valid once per customer. Bonus expires after 30 days. 7x turnover at 1.6 minimum odds.
New customers only. Deposit £10 min and claim in ‘my offers' 1x100% mobile in-play profit boost. Max stake £10. Max extra winnings £100. Valid for 30 days. Skrill/Neteller deposits do not qualify. 18+ Full T&Cs apply. www.begambleaware.org
Cash stakes only. Min £10 stake required for initial £5 free bet. Min odds ½. Max £25 in free bets. Subsequent free bets equal 50% average of each 3 qualifying bets. 13 bets required to receive full £25 free bet. 18+. T&Cs apply.
New UK & NI customers only. 18+. Sign up using promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet at a minimum of £10 in one bet transaction at evens (2.0) +. £30 paid in free bets within 48 hours of bet settlement, expires 7-days after issue. E-Wallet & Prepaid Card restrictions apply. Your first bet must be settled within 60 days of bet placement. SMS validation may be required. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.
New customer offer. Place 5 x €10 or more bets to receive €20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum €100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. T&Cs apply.
Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credit stake. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply.
New customers only, place a £10 bet on any Sportsbook market – min stake £10 at odds of at least 1.5 (1/2) — and we’ll give you £30 in free bets. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. Free bets are valid for 30 days and must be used on a Sportsbook market. Free bets will be awarded after the qualifying bet has been settled. T&Cs apply. Paddy’s Rewards Club: Get a free £10 bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply.
18+. UK+IRE only. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first bet £10 a odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £30 credited as 3 x £10 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 7 days. Free bet stake not returned. 18+ T&Cs Apply.
18+. UK+IRE only. T&Cs apply.
New Customers; Min. deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller) 6x deposit and bonus turnover (min. odds 3/5 on singles and 2/5 per selection on acca bets), in 30 days, for bonus release Some bet types don’t contribute to turnover Withdrawal bef. turnover results in bonus cancellation; Terms apply; 18+
18+, first deposit only, T&Cs apply. Minimum deposit and stake £20 (min odds 2.0). Credited after all qualifying bets settled.
18+. New UK Customers only. Min bet 10. Match max 25 free bet. Min of 3 selections in accumulator. Min odds per selection 7/10 (1.70). Free bet stake not returned. Full T&C’s apply.
Guaranteed £5 Casino Bonus and a £5 Free Sportsbook Bet if your first bet loses. New customers only. Qualifying bet must a single of £10 or more at odds of evens (2.0) or greater. Full T&C's apply.
How We Rank Horse Racing Betting Sites
So, what makes a site stand out from the crowd when it comes to betting on horse racing? There are no doubt many answers to this question, but there are a few boxes which simply must be ticked if we are to consider signing up.
- Security: The importance of this can’t be overstated. If you are to deposit your hard-earned cash online, the very least you can expect is that your funds will be safe and secure. It’s not just your money which needs to be protected though, your personal data is also vulnerable should you select an unscrupulous operator. Fortunately, it is also in the interests of the sportsbook to provide as secure a betting environment as possible. You should nevertheless do your homework and check that the operator is licenced and regulated by a recognised body and has been awarded the required online safety certificates. Most of this information will be displayed at the bottom of a sites home page.
- Friendly interface, easy to sign up and place bets. Security is all well and good, but not really of much use if the site itself is difficult to use through non-intuitive interfaces or elongated sign up processes. Being able to find what we want quickly and easily is one of the perks of the internet in general, betting should be no different.
- Great welcome bonus. Often the number one thing that punters look for when selecting an online operator. And so it should be! With so much competition around and new horse racing betting sites popping up all the time, it’s only right that the top horse betting sites should go out of their way to attract your custom. From deposit bonuses, to free bets there’s plenty of variety when it comes to welcome bonuses, so be sure to shop around to find the offer that suits you best.
- Good odds for interesting events. So the site is secure and offers an attractive welcome bonus. Great! However, we still need to ensure that the bookie in question offers competitive odds on the things that we actually want to bet on. If you are a big horseracing fan for example, it makes little sense to sign up to a site which specialises mainly in football. The competitiveness of the odds is also important. Using a site which consistently offers lower odds than their rivals will only cost you money in the long run.
- Attractive ongoing promotions. Whilst many sites offer excellent incentives to sign up in the first place, the ones to really pay attention to are those who continue to look after their existing customers. Again, these types of regular player offers come in all shapes and sizes, so be sure to check out the promotions pages of the various sites before making your decision.
- Mobile betting options. A much-improved area across betting sites in general, there are still operators who do it much better than others. Being able to bet on the go is another of the main attractions of having an online betting account. We aren’t all always sat at a pc or laptop after all. If a site hasn’t put the time and effort into creating a smooth and functional mobile betting experience, then they probably aren’t worth your custom.
- Extras – live betting, streaming options etc. Part of the fun in having a horse racing bet – and for many the main source of excitement – is of course watching your selection in action. If this is important to you, then look for a site which offers a live racing stream. Or perhaps you like the opportunity to judge how your horse is performing before placing a bet, if so a live betting option is essential.
- Wide range of betting options. Whilst simply betting on a horse to win a race may remain by far and away the most popular option, it is by no means the only choice available. Variety is the spice of life as they say, and as such it can’t hurt to have a few extra tools at your disposal. There’s often additional value to be found in markets such as winning distances, betting without the favourite or place only bets to name just three. If these sorts of bets are appealing to you, be sure to check they are on offer before signing up.
- Unique horse racing betting features. One popular such recent innovation is the “cash out” feature offered by a few of the more innovative online firms. This provides the excellent facility to cash in your bet prior to its conclusion. Perhaps things are going well and you’d like to take your profit now, or alternatively cut your losses. “Cash in” allows your to do just that.
One of our favourite features to look out for when it comes to horse racing is the “best odds” facility. This takes all the worry out of the decision as to whether to take a price about your selection, as should the starting price be bigger than the price taken, you will be paid out at the better odds.
- Customer support. In an ideal world everything would run smoothly all of the time. And indeed, at the top betting sites it generally does. It is nevertheless nice to know that should you ever have a query you will be able to have it answered swiftly. This is where the customer support of a site is of utmost importance. Be sure to check that at the very least a site has an email or telephone query service, or ideally a live chat facility.
Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in UK
Bearing all the above criteria in mind, and from our own betting experience, we have come up with the following shortlist of the best online horse racing betting sites around. In no particular order they are:
Betway: Fully accredited and secure, holding licences in eight European countries, Betway has really begun to make a splash amongst horse racing betting sites in the UK through its excellent value to customers and sponsorship of several high-profile sporting events.
Betway currently offers an excellent matched free bet up to a value of £30. A great way to get the ball rolling.
Other features include a free to enter daily horse racing predictor competition offering prizes up to a cool £1000, and of course best odds guaranteed on all British and Irish horse racing.
Ladbrokes: Ladbrokes aren’t one of the most famous names in the horse racing betting game without good reason. Founded way back in 1886 and now part of the giant LadbrokesCoral group, betting companies simply don’t come any more trusted or reliable than this.
There’s plenty of value to be had upon signup, with Ladbrokes offering a free matched bet up to an excellent £50.
With best odds guaranteed, odds boosts, extra place races and more on offer, Ladbrokes certainly go out of their way to keep the online horse racing punter happy.
10Bet: One of the newer companies on our list, 10Bet was only founded in 2003 but has quickly built up a reputation as being one of the best in the business. Now the official sponsors of Blackburn Rovers, 10bet tick all the boxes when it comes to security and legislation and are a company firmly on the rise.
We also particularly like their horse racing offers which include having your stake – up to a maximum of £10 – refunded if your selection is either beaten by a head or less; or beaten by the SP favourite
Betbright: Next to one of the bright young things on our list, Betbright to be exact. Only in operation since 2013, the company boasts Rich Ricci – the horse racing owner of Faugheen and Douvan fame – as its executive chairman and has rapidly become part of the horse racing betting landscape.
Betbright know how to look after their regular horse racing punters. Place 10 horse racing bets at Betbright and you will receive a free bet, each and every time. In addition to special “free bet if second” races and best odds guaranteed, you won’t go far wrong with Betbright.
Coral: The other half of the gambling behemoth that is LadbrokesCoral, Coral bookmakers have been in operation since way back in 1926 and are one of the traditional giants of the UK betting scene.
You don’t get to Coral’s position in the market without being a smooth operator, and whilst this is true across all sports, they particularly excel when it comes to horse racing.
Live streaming, attractive sign up offers, money back if second, enhanced each way terms, best price guaranteed….all this and more is on offer to Coral’s horse racing punters.
888sport: One of the giants of the online betting scene, 888sport is the sports betting arm of Gibraltar based 888 holdings. Famed as a world class casino and poker operator, their sports betting offering has quickly followed suit in providing a sleek, reliable and excellent value service.
Along with just about everyone else, horse racing fans are well catered for at 888sport. Bet & Watch, Best Odds Guaranteed and the Acca Saver (money back as a free bet if one selection lets your down), being just a few examples of some of the features on offer.
Leo Vegas: Another newcomer to our list, this Swedish firm was only founded in 2011 but is already making rapid strides into the online betting world. Offering odds on just about any sport you can think of, in addition to an extensive casino offering, one of the main selling points of LeoVegas is its Mobile focussed approach, making it the ideal choice for those who like to bet on the go.
Relatively new to horse racing, they already offer best odds guaranteed on selected races and are improving their offering all the time.
Horse Betting Sign up Offers Explained
A sign up offer is effectively a reward given for opening an account with a sportsbook. There are a wide variety off offers out there but in general they tend to come in two main forms.
- Free Bets: This will usually be a free matching bet. E.g. Stake £10 and get a free £10 bet.
- Deposit Bonus: A more versatile option than the above. E.g. Deposit £10 and receive an additional £10 in bonus cash. This type of offer has the advantage that you don’t have to place all of your free cash on one bet, you can generally spread it around as you please.
Two of the standout sign up offers from our list of recommended bookmakers come from 10Bet and Betbright.
10Bet: 10Bet’s 50% deposit bonus is amongst the very around. The site will top up the value of your fist deposit by 50% up to a maximum bonus value of £100. Deposit £200 into the site and receive an extra £100 to bet with!
As with most bonuses there are terms and conditions attached. The minimum deposit is £15 and the value of the deposit and bonus must be turned over 6x within 30 days in order to release the funds. See site for full terms.
Betbright: Deposit £20 into Betbright and as a new customer you will receive an extra £25 to be used on sports betting – including horse racing of course – and an additional £25 to be used in the sites casino. £70 for the price of £20. Not bad at all.
A minimum deposit of £20 is required in order to qualify. Sports bonus must be turned over 5x at minimum odds of 4/5 (1.80) for bonus funds to release. Casino funds must be turned over 40x. Again see site for full terms.
Horse Racing Offers and Betting Features
Non-Runner Money Back
This offer usually applies to antepost horse racing betting markets. When betting on a horse to win an upcoming race in the antepost list there’s the chance it won’t make the final field and you’ll lose your cash. That’s frustrating as you won’t even get a run for your money. If betting antepost you should look for non-runner money back. As the title suggests, if your pick doesn’t make the final field, your cash will be reimbursed. You can expect to find this promo at Coral and Ladbrokes.
Money Back Specials
These come in a number of forms, but the idea is usually the same. I you back a horse to win a race and it doesn’t, you’ll get your cash back. Returned money could come in the form of a free bet, so read the terms and conditions before confirming your bet. Usually, the small print stipulates this promotion will be triggered if your pick loses to the SP favourite, falls or is beaten a head or less. Paddy Power and Betfair are two bookies who usually run money back specials.
Best Odds Guaranteed
This is one of the most popular types of horse racing betting offers and it’s worth its weight in gold to those serious about making a profit from their punts. Take advantage of best odds guaranteed and, as the name suggests, you’ll always get top odds. If the SP is bigger than the price at the time the bet was struck, you’ll be paid out at the higher amount. If the original price outweighs the SP, again, you get the more generous quote. Betfred and William Hill offer best odds guaranteed and are up there with the best online horse racing betting sites.
The likes of Unibet and 888Sport offer enhanced odds on certain horses in the biggest events of the year. For example, they may increase the price of the favourite in an attempt to lure you into placing your horse racing bets with them. It won’t be a massive boost, but you may see a jolly lifted from 2/1 to 3/1 for a certain period of time. Get it right and that will result in more cash in your winnings.
You can place a bet at the agreed odds on your bookmaker of choice on your horse racing betting apps or take advantage of the Tote betting. Every major online bookmaker must offer customers the option to bet on Tote. This can usually be found on a separate Tote betting tab.
What is Tote betting? Betting on the Tote often gives customers an opportunity to get more in their winnings. The Tote works differently to fixed odds betting. As opposed to the set price you are offered by your bookmaker you are entered into a pool similar to a lottery when playing Tote. The number of winners depends on how many times the pot is divided. If a favourite wins the pot may be divided many times. If an outsider wins, you’ll notice fewer claimants.
There are also several different types of bets that come with the Tote. This include Jackpot and Placepot, the two most popular. A Jackpot winner could carry a life-changing cash prize whereas a placepot challenges punters to choose a horse that will place in each of the agreed races at a particular meeting. Be sure to read the Placepot rules before placing your bet.
You can bet on Tote at bet365 and Paddy Power, for example. Bet on win, place, each-way or one of the exotics. These usually include swinger, exacta or trifecta. The latter allows you to predict the major finishers in the correct order, mainly first, second and third. Make a bet on the Paddy Power placepot or bet365 placepot now.
Each Way Betting
How to bet on horse racing? There are many ways to bet on a horse race at the likes of Betfred and Ladbrokes. You can back a runner to win the race, place or each-way. It’s important to remember the latter requires you to double your stake, so be aware of this to avoid any surprises when it comes to placing your bet. Half of your stake goes in the pick to win the race with the other half on it to place.
If your horse wins the race you’ll be paid out twice, both on the win part and on the place part. If it only places you’ll lose the win part of the bet and collect the place part only. The each way place terms differ depending on the number of runners and the type of race. Usually it ranges from ½ the odds a place 1-2 to ¼ the odds a place 1-2-3-4. Check the each way terms before making your bets to ensure you have a proper understanding of what to expect.
Betfred and Ladbrokes are amongst the best horse racing bookies and give offers to each way bettors. These usually include enhanced place terms. For example, if most firms are offering the standard 1/4 the odds 1-2-3, the traders may boost this, adding an extra place. This helps them stand out from the crowd.
Betting on Top Horse Racing Events
For all that horse racing in the UK is close to being a 365 day a year sport these days, there are nevertheless certain events which really stand out from the crowd. A few of our favourites are:
- Cheltenham festival: Whilst the jumps season begins in earnest in the autumn, it is not until March that it really reaches its crescendo with the world-renowned Cheltenham Festival. For four days in March each year the eyes of the sporting world are focussed upon Prestbury Park and what is effectively the National Hunt Championships. With top level hurdling and chasing events – culminating in the Cheltenham Gold Cup itself – this is the meeting where dreams are made, and runners etch their names indelibly into the history books. 12th -15th March 2019 is the date for your diary.
- The Grand National: This race really needs very little introduction. A marathon chase contest held at Aintree Racecourse, this is the one contest guaranteed to make the news on the front pages as well as the back. Featuring fences more formidable than anywhere else on the racing calendar, this big field spectacular is the most famous horse race in the world for good reason. The runners next take to the track in this contest on the 6th April 2019.
- Royal Ascot: The biggest flat meeting of the year bar none. Featuring a Royal procession prior to racing each day, a raft of international contenders and the very best athletes the horse racing world has to offer; Royal Ascot offers an experience unlike any other. The Queen never misses this meeting, and nor should you. 18th – 22nd June 2019 is when the action next kicks off in Berkshire.
Happily, for those who like a bet on horse racing, not only does the quality of the racing go up during these flagship events, but so too does the value offered by the online sportsbooks. Expect a raft of money back specials, price boosts, free bets and more, as the online competition try their utmost to outdo each other.
Live Horse Racing Betting
Such is the nature of horse racing as a sport that it presents one of the more difficult challenges for the online betting sites when it comes to in-play or live betting. Compared to say a football match which lasts for 90 minutes, some races are all over and done with in under a minute. Clearly this short duration doesn’t provide quite the same opportunity when it comes to betting in play as the relatively slowly unfolding action of a football or rugby game.
The betting exchanges are ideally built to cope with these quick-fire events and if in-play horse racing betting is your thing, then they remain at the top of the pecking order. It should be noted however that the traditional bookmakers – including those on our list – do now offer an excellent in-play service on many other sports and it would be no surprise should they make inroads into the world of live horse betting in the near future.
When it comes to the exchanges, Betfair remains at the top of the tree, but in-play punters could do worse than give the Ladbrokes Betting Exchange a try. In an effort to provide an exchange facility for their players, Ladbrokes purchased exchange site Betdaq in 2012, and continue to provide a solid experience to the bettor. The site also regularly offers attractive sign up incentives to new exchange players, including a free £10 lay bet and 0% commission. The best of the newcomers to this scene are Smarkets whose 2% commission compares favourably with that offered by exchange giant Betfair and who are growing all the time thanks to their aggressive marketing and value offers.
Horse Racing Betting Options
As touched on already, one of the main qualities that a good betting site should possess is a wide range of betting options. A few of the most popular horse racing bet types are:
- To Win: The bread and butter of horse racing betting world. Simply a bet on your selection to win.
- Each Way: Next to a straight win bet, this is the most common of the betting options. An each way bet is effectively two bets. One bet on a horse to win – this will be settled at full odds. And one bet on the horse to finish placed – this bet will be settled at either 1/4 or 1/5 of the odds depending on the type of race. The number of places on offer also varies so be sure to check this prior to placing your bet.
- Accumulator: The accumulator is a bet containing two or more selections. Should your first horse win, all of the winnings will then roll on to your next pick. For those looking for that big win, accumulators may be the way to go.
There are of course many more options available ranging from place betting to a Super Goliath. One of the most popular is the Lucky 15 bet which perms four selections into four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a fourfold. One winner guarantees a return, whilst all four winning could mean the jackpot.
Mobile Horse Betting
There are few things you can’t do with a mobile phone these days, and yet another area in which our handheld devices excel is in providing the facility to place a bet wherever we happen to be. For many it is therefore of vital importance that their online betting site provides a high-quality mobile offering. The two most common approaches to this are:
- Mobile Website: Bookmakers are aware that whilst many customers want to bet on the go, not all would choose to download a betting app. As such the top operators – including those on our list – have created a mobile version of their site, specifically designed to provide the same smooth experience as offered by their desktop site.
- Apps: Of course, there are those amongst us who do love an app, and for fans of mobile betting this can be the way to go. Specifically designed to provide the best mobile betting experience – be it on Android or iOS – betting apps excel in terms of clarity and speed. We particularly like Ladbrokes app when it comes to horse racing. Featuring all the upcoming races on the same coupon, you are only ever a click or two away from getting your bet on.
Betbright’s horse racing specific Betfinder App is also worthy of special mention here. Jam packed with a raft of stats, data and horse betting tips it’s hard to fault for the horse racing fan.
Hopefully this article will serve to highlight the features you should be looking for when it comes to choosing the best bookies for horse racing. No need to dive straight in to the first site that you see, as with many things in life it can pay to shop around. One thing’s for sure though, there’s never been a better time to be betting online and we are confident you won’t be disappointed should you sign up to any of the sites mentioned above.