Horse racing has been one of the most popular sports from Australia to the United States and not surprisingly the United Kingdom and Ireland. And the interest in the sport only continues to grow as more and more horse race betting opportunities pop up every day to keep with demand. This much competition is always great.
To say that horse racing and gambling are made for each other is an incredible understatement. Historians aren’t even really sure which came first here as horse racing has a long, rich, and colorful past that has lasted centuries.
However, through the years, flicking a wager on the ponies has definitely taken a backseat compared to betting on other major sports competitions. Football, baseball, and basketball get all of the attention it seems, but there remains a healthy group of horse racing fans looking to place a wager, and demand is definitely up.
Top Horse Racing Sportsbooks in 2019
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Top Horse Race Betting Sites
It is of the utmost importance to be sure you are using the best racebook site available to wager on horse racing. A significant portion of success depends on the choice of sportsbook, sometimes referred to as a racebook.
This factor is often overlooked and that’s what why we’re here to help you with. We have everything you need to know about not only placing a bet on the horses but also where you want to place it. A quick trip to our recommended horse race betting sites should do the trick.
Types of Horse Racing
Whether you are a pro or a rookie, here’s what you need to know when you bet on horse races online. In the world of Internet wagers, bettors prefer to go with three major types of horse racing. They are:
This form of racing enjoys the highest popularity amongst casual fans. Several horses – each with jockeys on their back – race on flat surfaces, which can be either grass or dirt tracks. The distance of these races ranges anywhere between 0.6 miles to 1.5 miles.
Jump racing is also known as steeplechase racing in certain parts of the world, while it is also popularly called hunt racing. This type of race is not about speed, but it is more about agility and grace. Horses jump over an obstacle at various stages in the race, which can even last more than 2 miles.
This is a less popular type of horse racing which involves carts. Drivers are assigned to guide the horses with carts. Most of these races take place on dirt tracks, which can be over a mile long in the United States. It is possible to witness even longer races elsewhere.
Betting on Top Events
Even though multiple races take place, there are certain events that are quite big in the horse racing calendar. The Breeders Cup and Triple Crown races are among the biggest events for you to consider. The latter comprises of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes. The Breeders Cup is a Grade 1 event and it is often referred to as the championship series for thoroughbreds.
How to Bet on Horse Racing
Learning how to properly wager on horse racing is an adventure in and of itself. Just check out any racing form. It’s as thick as a phonebook and is seemingly full of every fact and figure for every single horse in existence.
Betting on horse racing can be intimidating. There are so many things to consider:
- The horses
- The jockeys
- The track conditions
- The track itself and so on…
Types of Bets
To make things more daunting, horse racing has a language of all its own. To truly understand horse racing, you’ll have to know the various markets available from a sportsbook. Even though many types are available, some of the popular bets are:
- Win – This wager is used to back a specific horse to win a certain race.
- Place – A horse can be backed to finish in any of the first two positions.
- Show – A horse can be backed to finish in any of the first three positions.
- Quinella – This bet is used to pick two horses that need to finish in any of the first two positions in any order.
- Exactas – This bet is same as Quinella with the only difference being the need for horses to finish in the exact order as specified when placing the bet.
- Trifectas – This bet is same as Exacta but it involves the addition of a third horse to the list
- Suferfecta – This bet involves four horses but it is similar to exacta or trifecta. All horses need to finish in the order specified by the bettor.
- Daily Double – A wager where bettors need to predict the winner in back to back events.
Certain enhancements can be made to the bet using options like boxing the wager and wheeling the winner. Considering all of this, the best way to learn how to bet on horse racing is to start small and learn as you go.
Horse racing betting is a whole different animal compared to all other sports. However, as with all sports gambling, if you have the winner, you are ahead of the game.
Picking straight winners is a good place to start. You can even aim ‘lower’ than that and pick a horse to either win, place, show. From here, you can build up to the exotic wagers and pick the top two horses in a race or the exacta. And from there you can graduate to even more complicated wagers.
The more information you take in, the more you will not only understand your chances but also your options in wagering. Start with straight wagers and work your way up. You’ll be surprised how quickly you catch on.
What Makes a Good Sportsbook?
Finding the best online racebook is probably the most overlooked aspect of horse race betting. There are many factors to consider before signing up on any site because it is more than just a place to lay a wager. Players who just pick a site and play are already a few steps behind. First, there are many options to choose from and they’re all very different.
Secondly, you should be looking for a racebook that offers plenty of tracks from all across the world. Some racebooks only offer a minimum of races and don’t give you many options. There are many features a good online racebook will offer to make it worth your while.
We’ve created a list of the four most important features you need to look for in order to be sure you are playing the ponies at the right racebook.
The first feature you can’t help but notice on any online sportsbook is its bonuses. However, it’s very important to know exactly what those bonuses totally entail. For instance, just because you see big bonus numbers does not necessarily mean you are getting the best and there are many reasons why.
Every site has plenty of bonuses: Welcome Bonuses, Reload Bonuses, Referral Bonuses, and Casino Bonuses are all readily available and you won’t have any problem finding them.
You’ll need a site that focuses on horse race betting specifically with its own racebook that has its own bonuses. Welcome Bonuses, Reload Bonuses, or Referral Bonuses are all always available but finding a site with horse racing specific bonuses is much better for you.
Some racebooks will operate separately from the site’s sportsbook and have their own depositing. Rebate programs are also very popular with online racebooks and offer as much as 8% back on all horse racing wagers.
Horse racing is big business in the online gambling world so be sure you are getting your money’s worth from the racebook you chose.
However, another thing to remember about any bonus you take from any online gambling site is the rollover. For every bonus you find, there will be a rollover involved. The rollovers are a necessary evil which allows you to grab up some free cash from a site but then makes sure you use it at that site. You can’t get away from them so find the lowest ones you can because the only good rollover is a low rollover.
Find the sportsbooks with all the bonuses you can, but be sure those rollovers are low (5x and lower) to be sure you are getting the most out of every bonus you can find.
When it comes to horse racing betting, there isn’t a bet you can’t place. If you can think of it, you can bet on it.
There are literally hundreds of wagers available on every race. In order to be sure you are in the right racebook, be sure you are getting as many wagers as possible.
The exactas, trifectas, and superfectas should all be there. Wheeling the winner and taking the field over a favorite should be there too. Pick 3s and Pick 4s, every wager in the book. The key is to find a site that models itself after an actual track. Then you know you are getting everything you can and your time and money won’t be wasted.
Straight bets are recommended for newcomers since they do not carry a lot of risk. You need to pick one horse from a single race. Even then, there are options to go with a win, place, or show. The exotic options like trifectas suited for experienced bettors.
These bets payout extremely well but it is possible to suffer a hard hit if the bet goes in the opposite way. For example, you can possibly come out with hundreds or thousands of dollars using the exotic bets even with a wager of just a few dollars.
Variety of Tracks and Races
While most online gambling sites will have a racebook, some will only offer a few tracks or even just a few races. For instance, the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup are always available, every year and on every site. However, to make sure you are success in your horse race betting attempts you want a larger variety of tracks and races from your online racebook.
There are tracks all across the nation and around the world. Your online racebook should have races available every day of the week, no matter the time.
Also, the strong racebooks online don’t stop with just the ponies. Greyhounds and harness racing can also be found at the racebooks you want to play in. Even if you have no intention of even laying a wager on either, the fact that the racebook carries their action is rather tell-tale.
With these types of options available, you’ll know you have found a site that takes their racebook seriously.
One of the most annoying things of betting horse racing online is not being able to get a wager down in time. There are several reasons why this happens.
First of all, you need to make sure your racebook allows you to place a wager all the way up to post-time. Many racebooks have their own post-time a few minutes before the track’s and these are not the sites you want to play.
You need all the time you can get in order to place a wager not only to know the exact odds but also to be sure you get it in. This is the internet after all and a poor connection can goof up your wagering.
The conventional style of betting on horse races is slowly disappearing and it is paving way for online betting. More bettors are learning about the convenience of mobile betting, but it is easy to end up with a bad taste if you choose the wrong site.
Before trying out the apps for betting, you should get oriented with the betting site’s different pages. If you happen to come across glitches or loading errors, it should be taken as a red flag.
Since horse races last a very short span of time, live betting is not really an option in this sport. However, a huge deal of importance is placed on live streaming with a majority of bookies providing this feature. Even though most streams are free, access is typically provided only if a wager is placed.
This feature alone is not a benchmark to narrowing down your choices and you should still shop around for the best prices to place a bet. Just because the streams are free, you should not settle for a sportsbook with a low-quality stream.
This is not a major feature when it comes to horse races since the event lasts only a couple of minutes at the most. Yet, there are still in-play betting options available on events like the National Hunt, which last longer than flat races.
Strategy for the Races
A strategy is essential for any bettor to come out successful. Horse race betting comes down to understanding what you should be on the look-out for, and having a strategy in mind is a great place to start.
Even if a bettor manages to sign up with the right sportsbook, they still have to come up with a strategy that helps in identifying horses that win. Some of the popular strategies are:
It is common for a track to host multiple races on a race day. Even if you have an option to bet on more than 10 races in a day, it helps to be selective when it comes to the races. You are likely to have a strong feeling about a particular race. Rather than research on other races to increase betting opportunities, it is better to narrow the focus.
The relationship between jockeys and trainers can hold the key to success. It is uncommon for trainers and jockeys to work with each other beyond a single race. However, it is worth doing additional research if you happen to come across a trainer/jockey combo.
If you invest time in closely following statistics, it is possible to come across horses that are winning a greater percentage of races. They also may come close to a win in races that they participate. This track record can be a great way to succeed in bets, as horses that have shown great form over the last five races tend to be successful.
Picking the Beaten Favorite
You can find great odds to back a horse which failed to win a recent race despite starting as a favorite. Bookies drastically lengthen the odds on such horses, but you can profit from such odds considering that these prices are based only on sentiment. The horse remains a capable contender even after the defeat.
Avoiding Unstable Horses
Some horses tend to become uncontrollable just before the start of the race and this is never a good sign. It is common to witness a horse use most of its energy just in the paddock area trying to fight the hot walker and groom. While these horses are not a good pick, there are horses that tend to become uncontrollable even with a jockey on the back.
Focusing on Value
Many inexperienced bettors tend to focus only on the horse. They pick odds without looking at the value proposition. Even if the horse appears as a strong contender on paper, the odds offered might be poor. You can get a better deal for the risk taken by opting for a different contender.