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.
Top Horse Racing Betting Sites in the UK – October 2020
New Customers only - £10 minimum deposit using promo code "Football" - First bet must be placed on any market - Minimum stake £10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & Full T&C’s 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)+.
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. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. Additional Terms Apply
18+. UK+IRE only. T&Cs apply.
18+. UK+IRE only. T&Cs apply.
New customers only. Deposit £10 min and claim in ‘my offers’ 1×100% 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
18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. 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.
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.
New customers only; Use code: PLAY10; Min. deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Bonus amount is 50% of deposit up to £50; Offer can be claimed once per household; Wager the qualifying deposit and bonus amount 5x within 30 days to convert bonus winnings into real money; Wagers must be on min. odds of 1.80 on singles or combo bets with min odds. of 1.40 per selection to qualify; Max. stake contribution to wagering requirement is the value of your bonus; Terms apply; 18
New UK players only/First bet in first 14 days/ Any sport with 3 selections/ Deposit and min. 1.8 odds per selection/Minimum stake £5 maximum £30/ Certain payment methods excluded/ T&C apply/18+/begambleaware.org
18+ T&Cs apply. 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. Qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of opening account. Free bet expires after 7 days. Payment method restrictions apply
18+ ,UK + IRE only, 18+, Full T&Cs apply
18+ ,Available for customers who register from 04/12/2019. The risk free bet token should be selected on your bet of choice. The maximum refund is £20. Casino is excluded. Full terms apply.
#ad. New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Minimum deposit £10. You must wager your bonus money 3x to make it withdrawable at minimum odds of 1.40 (2/5) in Sportsbook, 25x for Casino. Bonus will expire after 30 days of opt-in.
18+.UK + IRE only, 18+, Full T&Cs apply
18+.New customers only. Min Deposit: £20. First deposit matched up to £100 in Social Free Bets. Customers must place bets that match deposit at odds of 1.5+ to unlock social free bets in 5 days after deposit. Full T&Cs Apply
18+.UK + IRE only, 18+, Full 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+
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 betting sign up 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.
✔️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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Top 3 Horse Racing Offers
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.
New Hore Racing Betting Sites
When deciding which bookie to sign up with, it’s naturally tempting to go with a more established brand. We’d recommend considering younger sportsbooks too though, with these being the main pros and cons of doing so.
- Attractive promotions – New horse racing bookmakers are desperate to get new bettors in, which prompts them to offer excellent welcoming and ongoing promotions.
- Caring customer service – Even new bookies usually have live chat and phone support, which is often available 24/7.
- Excellent market selection – Most new bookies will cover all courses in the UK & Ireland, and many will provide international racing betting too.
- Shorter track record – New bookies may not prove as consistent in their quality, and – in the worst cases – can even shut down after a few months.
- Fewer features – The likes of live streaming, bet builders, and mobile apps are taken for granted with a big bookie. With new horse racing betting sites, though, none of these are a given.
When deciding between new sportsbooks, the first thing you should look at are informed and unbiased reviews. Make a shortlist of highly-rated brands, then test each platform for yourself, and finally consider the value that each welcome offer provides.
Top 3 New Betting Sites (November 2020)
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.
Where Can I Watch Horse Races?
If you’re betting on horse racing, it’s much more exciting if you can watch it too. These are the main ways to do just that.
- TV – UK viewers have a few different options for watching televised racing. Sky subscribers can watch on Sky Sports Racing, but everyone can watch for free on ITV Racing.
- Betting Shops – It might seem old school nowadays, but many punters still like to watch racing in betting shops, for the comfort, camaraderie, and simple fact that they show all the races at once!
- Live Streaming – There are plenty of places to get a legitimate horse racing live stream, with info apps – like The Racing Post and At the Races – being solid, reliable choices.
- Betting Apps – Many bookies’ horse racing apps feature high quality streaming of races, either for free, or in return for a bet. Bet365, William Hill, Ladbrokes, and Betfair are all excellent options.
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.
What are the Best Horse Racing Betting Apps Out There?
Mobile technology has revolutionized the way we gamble and horse racing apps for betting are now commonplace as a result. With so many to choose from, how do you what the best looks like? Of the horse racing apps UK bettors can use, there are some important criteria to consider which helps sort the wheat from the chaff:
- User friendliness
– It almost goes without saying that top horse racing apps should be user friendly.
– What the best horse racing apps UK bettors use do best is provide a streamlined gambling experience by making it easy to place a wager while you’re out and about.
- Horse racing promotions
– Accessing horse racing betting offers and bonuses for both new and existing customers through the app is essential.
– Promotions such as extra place races and the best odds guaranteed should be clearly visible.
-A safe gambling environment is especially important on horse racing apps as you may be betting via WiFi on unsecured networks.
– The best horse racing app will use SSL-encryption technology for firewalls and servers so you can be through them with confidence that your information is protected.
– You should expect to find the same horse racing markets and specials on the app as if you were access the sportsbook on your laptop or PC.
– Live streams of races you have bet on should be available for mobile viewing from the best horse racing app.
Now that you know what to look for, what are the top horse racing apps UK bettors use and why? We have a shortlist of three right here:
Coral horse racing app
The Coral new customer offer of bet £5 to get £20 in free bets is available through their mobile platforms. Designed in the brand’s blue colour with buttons in yellow, green and white, the betting app has horse racing displayed prominently in the top menu. This is a big indicator that Coral takes this particular sport seriously.
Once you tap into the Coral horse racing app, there are daily extra place races listed across the screen below the sub menu. You can seamlessly toggle between the featured races and meetings happening today, ante post betting markets housed under the future tab and specials.
Thanks to #YourCall, you can even request horse racing bets through the app which get priced up quickly by the traders. Coral’s beaten a length offer gives you a free bet matching your stake of up to £10 if your horse suffers a narrow defeat.
Another of their horse racing betting offers is the best odds guaranteed (BOG) on all UK and Irish meetings from the moment such races are priced up following final declarations.
You can download the Coral horse racing app for sports betting for free on both Android and Apple phones from the respective operators’ app store. With well over 500,000 installs through Google Play alone, this is one of the most popular apps on the market.
Betfred horse racing and betting app
At Betfred horse racing is one of the backbones of their sports betting app. Their welcome bonus of bet £10 to get £30 in free bets is available through mobile platforms.
Horses has its own button for you to tap on the Betfred app. Extra place races, for which this bookmaker has a particularly good reputation, are easily identified by the green banner which labels them as such above the time of the race.
Betfred horse racing markets are available for today, tomorrow and ante post with specials housed under Other Markets. The app makes great use of boxes and white space with racecards including the Racing Post verdict as published in the trade paper and additional markets in another tab.
Betfred run a free bet if second offer on selected races every day to go with their extra place events. They are best odds guaranteed on all UK and Irish horse racing for any bet struck after 8am on the day of the race.
Additional bonuses are even paid on system bets, set at 10% for Lucky 15s and Yankees, 20% on Lucky 31s and Canadians, and 25% additional winnings on Lucky 63s and Heinz bet. There is even a One Winner bonus that protects you if just one horse in a big system bet wins.
You can download the Betfred app for free for Apple and Android devices from the app store. Google Play lists over 100,000 installs of it making this sports betting app pretty popular.
bet365 mobile app and horse racing
For bet365 horse racing is one of the markets they price up fastest, so their traders are really on the ball. That bodes well for any bettor using the bet365 mobile app who wants to get their wagers on early. As well as making clever use of the brand’s green, white and yellow colours, horse racing has pride of place in the main menu.
The bet365 new customer offer of up to £100 in bet credits whe you make a qualifying deposit is something you can access through mobile and gamble on the horses. The next 3 races from around the world features prominently once you tap through with the option to watch live races you have bet on.
Races with enhanced markets are easily identified by the gold arrow next to the time. These are ones where you can use each way extra to get more places. Ante post betting on future bet365 horse racing events can be found in the sub menu.
They are also the best odds guaranteed on any UK, Irish, US or French horse race once the race is priced up after final declarations meaning you don’t miss out on a bigger starting price.
Another of the notable bet365 horse racing betting offers is they award free bets to punters who back a winner at odds of 4/1 or bigger in selected daily races.
The bet365 mobile app is free to download for Apple and Android devices with more than 1,000,000 installs via Google Play making it one of the top dogs.
Virtual Horse Racing
Virtual horse racing is a digital version of real-life racing. While real course names might be used, all the runners and riders are fictional. The horses are still given virtual ‘weights’, though, to create favourites, underdogs, and generally more interesting virtual betting.
Virtual racing had been a niche market for a while. The impact of Covid-19, however – which caused racecourses across the country to temporarily close – saw it achieve unprecedented levels of popularity. If you’d like to get on board, and try some virtual horse racing betting too, we’d recommend checking out the likes of Bet365, 888sport, and Coral.
Types of Horse Racing Wager
- Show – Perhaps offering punters the best chance of winning when it comes to horse racing betting, your pick must finish in the top 3 places in order for your bet to be successful. Winnings will be effected by the exact position in which your runner finishes in. Here, we suggest a bet of around £5, based on a bankroll of £100.
- Place – Another popular horse racing bet is a place bet. Here, your horse must finish 1st or 2nd in order for your bet to win. Offering a good chance of winning, we again recommend a bet of around £5 on this bet type.
- Win – Very simple to understand, your pick must win the race in order to claim returns. Nothing else will do, meaning that punters have an average chance of winning. A slightly lower stake of around £4 is recommended for such a market.
- Quinella – Your two picks must finish 1st and 2nd in the race, with the order not being important. This is a hard horse racing bet to successfully call, meaning that many choose to box three horses. A £2 quinella box with three picks will require a total stake of £6.
- Exacta – Similar to a quinella, those placing an exacta bet must successfully predict the top two finishers in a race, as well as the order. This is another hard bet to win, especially when a number of runners are involved. As such, a £1 exacta box bet with three horses will total £6.
- Trifecta – For those looking to increase the odds, a trifecta bet could be worthwhile. Here, punters must successfully predict the top 3 finishers, as well as their exact order. A small stake is again recommended based on its difficulty, with a £1 trifecta involving one horse to win over three horses will cost £6, while a £1 trifecta with two horses to win over four costing £12.
- Superfacta – One of the hardest horse racing betting markets available today. Here, your picks must finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. While potentially delivering major earnings, a stake of £24 is needed for a superfecta with one horse to win over four.
- Daily Double – Here, punters must successfully predict the winner of two consecutive horse races. This is another hard bet to win, so we recommend placing a £2 daily double using two runners in each race, which will cost you a total of £8.
- Pick 3 – The same as above, however this time, punters must successfully pick the winner of three consecutive races. This is a very hard bet to win, with a £1 bet using two horses in each race being worth £8.
- Pick 4 – Here, the winner of four consecutive races is required in order to win. While there is a chance to win a significant amount through a small stake, this is a very hard bet to win due to its format. A £1 bet using two horses in each race will cost you £16.
- Pick 6 – The most difficult form of horse racing bet to win is pick 6. Punters here must successfully predict the winner of six consecutive races, with a £2 bet using three singles and two horses in each race coming with a total stake of £16
Horse Racing Glossary
- Ante Post: Ante post bets are long-term wagers, placed before a betting market has officially opened and the fully-calculated odds have been set. They deliver higher rewards than traditional bets, but come with more risk, particularly as non-runners aren’t refunded.
- All Out: As with the phrase ‘going all out’, this term in horse racing usually refers to a horse which is pushing itself to the full limits of its ability. It’s not technically a betting term, but is often used in tips columns and other betting-related analysis.
- Also Ran: This is obviously another common everyday phrase, but it has a slightly different meaning in horse racing. In this case, it refers to a horse not managing to finish within a certain range – usually the top three or fun runners.
- Best Odds Guaranteed: Traditionally, if you took a horse at a certain price then you were locked in, regardless of whether the price itself changed thereafter. With Best Odds Guaranteed, you’ll automatically be given the starting price if it’s superior to your starting odds.
- Betting W/O (Without): This is an interesting and unusual bet, in which you essentially back a horse to finish second behind the favourite. You’re betting your chosen horse to ‘win’ the race, without the favourite being counted.
- Form: One of the most common terms in horse racing betting, a horse’s ‘form’ refers to its racing history. This will usually focus on its performance in important races, and can cover everything from its finishing position to an in-race injury
- Longshot: Another extremely common term, a longshot is a horse that doesn’t actually have a great chance of winning, or sometimes even of placing. Bettors take longshots because they offer higher odds than safer choices, and therefore higher potential returns.
- Single Bet: This is the most basic bet type in horse racing, and is the alternative to a multiples bet. It simply involves betting on one outcome – such as a certain horse winning a particular race – and is won or lost depending on that single outcome.
Straight Forecast: Straight forecasts involve betting on a single race, but in a very specific way. Rather than just betting on one horse to win or place, you must predict the two horses which will specifically finish first and second (in the correct order).
- Reversed Forecast: Reversed Forecasts are very similar to straight forecasts… but slightly easier! They still involve picking the top two finishers in a race, but – rather than being in a particular order – these horses can finish either way around.
Accumulator: As in football, horse racing accumulators require winning multiple selections within a bet to actually win the entire wager. Accas will normally be made of straightforward race winner picks, and – though tough to win – can deliver massive returns.
- Double Bet: A double bet in horse racing works similarly to one in any other sport, like football. You’re simply combining two different selections – such as two different race winners – into a single bet, and both selections must come in for the overall bet to win.
- Treble Bet: This works identically to a double bet – explained above – except you craft a bet with three selections, rather than two. Both the risk and potential rewards will rise accordingly.
- Each Way Betting: A single each way bet actually consists of two parts – the ‘win’ and the ‘place’ – both of which apply to the same horse. If the horse wins, you collect your full winnings; if it places (finishes within a certain range), you collect your stake and some smaller winnings.
- Extra Places: Extra places offers make it easier to win the ‘place’ part of your each way bet. While a horse may typically place if it finishes in the top three, for example, extra places might boost that to cover the top four spots.
- Flat Racing: This is the most basic type of horse racing. As the name implies, it takes place on completely flat ground, with no obstacles or hills on the course, and is primarily designed to gauge the stamina and top speed of horses.
- Going: The ‘going’ refers to the condition of the ground on which a race will be run, as measured before the race. It mostly concentrates on the amount of moisture on the ground, with tracks typically ranging from ‘firm’ (low moisture) to ‘heavy’ (soaking wet!).
- Handicap Race: Handicapping is common throughout horse racing, and is designed to try and make races as equal (and exciting) as possible. It involves allocating weights to each horse before the race – based on their ability – with better horses carrying more weight, and vice versa.
- In-Play Betting: As in other sports, in-play – or ‘in-running’ – betting involves betting on races while they’re actually taking place, rather than beforehand, as normal. In-play betting is pretty volatile and risky, but can deliver some seriously sizable rewards.
- National Hunt: National Hunt races are run all year round, and are basically the opposite of flat races. They involve jumping over all sorts of obstacles, including ditches, fences, and hurdles, and – because of the increased difficulty- tend to be much more unpredictable.
- Non-Runner No Bet: Traditionally, if you bet on a horse and it ended up not running – usually due to injury – your stake was simply lost. Most modern bookies, though, have ‘non-runner no bet’ in place, in which your stake is refunded if your horse doesn’t start the race.
- Placepot: Placepots are betting pools, in which lots of people pile their stakes together and divide the winnings. Specifically, placepots involve picking a horse to place on each of the first six races on a certain racecard.
- Rule 4; Rule 4 is used on horse racing by just about every bookie around. It is applied whenever a horse withdraws from a race, and lowers the odds for all the remaining runners because – obviously – they now have a better shot at winning or placing.
- Starting Price: Quite simply, the starting price is the odds a horse is getting at the moment the race begins. Due to fluctuations in the betting market, this can end up being significantly different than a price taken earlier before the race.
- Tricast: Tricasts are even more difficult versions of forecasts. They involve picking the top three finishers in a given race – in their exact finishing order – and are very tricky to win.
All Horse Racing Betting Offers (October 2020)
*Significant Terms: This offer applies to bets only placed on Win and Each Way Fixed Odds markets and Enhanced Place Terms markets. All other markets are excluded, including adjusted place terms (Each Way Extra), Ante-Post bets (unless otherwise stated) and Tote/Pari-Mutuel/Colossus (bets and dividends). All racing in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong is not included. This Best Odds Guaranteed offer includes Board Prices, Showcast bets and bet365 Early Prices, single and multiples on all racing where a fixed price is offered. This offer is available to both new and eligible bet365 customers. 18+, full T&Cs apply.Show Less
*Significant Terms: This Feature Race 4/1 Offer is available only for the FIRST single bet you place on each bet365 Feature Race. If a stake has been completely Cashed Out, it will not apply. Where a stake has been partially Cashed Out, any refund amount or subsequent risk-free bet amount will be equal to any active stake remaining. If you edit your qualifying bet using bet365’s Edit Bet feature, any refund amount will be equal to the new stake and not the initial stake. If you place multiple selections in the same race on the same bet slip, only the first selection will be counted as the highest on the bet slip. This offer is valid only for bets placed on Win and Each Way Fixed Odds markets and Enhanced Place terms markets. Every other market is excluded from this offer, including Anti-Post Bets, adjusted place terms (Each Way Extra), and Tote/Pari-Mutuel/Colossus (bets and dividends). This offer is valid only on selected races as specified by bet365 in the table displayed on the official Feature Race 4/1 Offer page. You must place bets in the usual way and can be paid from either your Bet Credits or Withdrawable Balance. Bets placed using Bet Credits will be returned as Bet Credits and those bets placed from your Withdrawable Balance will be returned to your Withdrawable Balance. This offer can be claimed only by new and eligible bet365 customers. 18+, full T&Cs apply.Show Less
*Significant Terms: This ITV Racing 4/1 offer is available for the FIRST single bet you place on each race shown live on ITV Racing. If a stake has been completely Cashed Out, it will not apply. Where a stake has been partially Cashed Out, any refund amount or subsequent risk-free bet amount will be equal to any active stake remaining. If you edit your qualifying bet using bet365’s Edit Bet feature, any refund amount will be equal to the new stake and not the initial stake. If you place multiple selections in the same race on the same bet slip, only the first selection will be counted as the highest on the bet slip. This offer is valid only for bets placed on Win and Each Way Fixed Odds markets and Enhanced Place terms markets. Every other market is excluded from this offer, including Anti-Post Bets, adjusted place terms (Each Way Extra), and Tote/Pari-Mutuel/Colossus (bets and dividends). You must place bets in the usual way and can be paid from either your Bet Credits or Withdrawable Balance. Bets placed using Bet Credits will be returned as Bet Credits and those bets placed from your Withdrawable Balance will be returned to your Withdrawable Balance. Available only for new and eligible bet365 customers. 18+, full T&Cs apply.Show Less
*Significant Terms: The bet365 Price Promise offer is valid for all bets placed from 10am on the day of the race up to 15 minutes before the scheduled “off” time for each ITV race and includes only races shown live on ITV Racing unless stated otherwise by bet365. The offer applies only to bets placed on Win and Each Way Fixed Odds Markets. All other markets, including Enhanced or adjusted place terms (Each Way Extra) and Enhanced Price Win Only markets that are separately priced to the Fixed Odds market and Tote/Pari-Mutuel/Colossus (bets and dividends), are excluded from the Price Promise. Races covered by Price Promise are also available for Best Odds Guaranteed. The bookmakers’ prices that are included in this offer are William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power, Sky Bet, and Boylesports. This offer is available for both new and eligible bet365 customers. 18+, Full T&Cs apply.Show Less
Horse Racing FAQ
❔Is horse race betting legal in UK?
Yes. Betting on horse racing is legal under the Gambling Act of 2005. Meanwhile, any bookmaker accepting bets must be licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.
❔What are the top 3 online horse racing bookmaker?
A host of betting sites deliver a good number of horse racing markets and features today. However, there are three which undoubtedly stand out from the crowd in our opinion. 888Sport, William Hill and Betfair are the top 3 horse racing betting sites based on our experiences and expert opinion. Each delivers a huge number of markets from UK and international meetings, along with live streaming and horse racing specific promotions. Be sure to check them out for yourself and decide which best suits your needs.
❔What is the best new horse racing bookie?
New horse racing bookmakers emerge on a frequent basis, aiming to compete with more established operators in the industry. Of the new platforms available in the UK, it is Gatobet which we believe performs the best when it comes to horse racing. There site is made all the more appealing by the £30 free bet welcome offer.
❔Can I make money betting on horses?
Yes. Punters who develop and stick to a clear strategy can absolutely make money by betting on horse racing. However, those who chase losses and wager on markets they have little knowledge of could miss out.
❔What types of bets are best for beginners?
When starting out with horse racing betting, it is beneficial to keep things simple. Each-way bets are often seen as the most suitable for beginners. Here, punters will receive returns if their pick finishes in a placed position, giving you more margin for error.
❔What is a nap in horse racing betting?
A Nap is one of the most common terms used when it comes to horse racing betting. Simply put, it means the best bet of the day from a particular tipster.
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.