Betting on horse races can be done trackside, or online. The online horse racing betting market is nowhere near as established as you will find in say Europe, but it is slowly opening. This presents Americans with a surplus of new ways to place bets on the nags.
If you haven’t wagered money on horse racing before, you may need a few pointers and a push in the right direction. That is exactly what this short guide can provide for you. So, let’s get started with the most obvious question; where can you bet on horse races?
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Where Can I Bet on Horse Races?
You no longer must haul your keister to the track to place bets. In fact, you can place bets online now, and this makes things so much easier. By signing up at an online racebook, you can peruse countless races – including many which are taking place every day, in different states, even countries, and continents. You do truly have the world of horse racing betting at your fingertips when you play online.
Of course, some online sportsbooks offer more horse racing betting options than others. Some sites are dubious at best, and some are regarded as the finest place to slap down a bet on your favorite nag. Here then, is a selection of the most trusted online sportsbooks to place horse racing bets at. Each of these sites has been tried and tested by our team and found to be secure, safe and offer fair odds on a cracking collection of races.
Horse Racing Betting – The Big Bets
After opening an account with a racebook and perusing some of the races that you have open to you, it is time to consider placing a bet on a horse, or horses. Most people will generally opt for a simple “win” bit, which means placing money on a horse to win the race. Hold your horses, though (if you’ll excuse the pun); there are other bets out there that you may wish to consider. Such as…
- To Win: This is a bet placed on a horse to win the race, as mentioned above. It pays out the most but is generally more difficult to predict.
- Place Bets: Placed bets involve your horse finishing in first or second place. If it does so, you will win your bet.
- Show Bets: If you place a Show Bet, you’re wagering that your horse will finish in the top three. It doesn’t matter where they finish if they turn up trumps in first, second or third.
It is worth noting that in the UK, Place and Show Bets, are commonly known as Each Way Bets. These can sometimes also count if your horse finishes fourth, fifth or even sixth, with the rules changing from sportsbook to sportsbook. If you’re an American betting on horse racing in a European sportsbook, it is worth bearing this in mind.
Betting on Horse Races – Other Routes to Take
You can still bet on horse racing even if none of the above bets are your cup of tea. Examples of more extensive bets include Exacta and Trifecta bets, and we will look at these alternatives forms of horse racing betting next.
- Quinella: This is a bet that will see you name the first and second placed horses. It doesn’t matter the order they finish in if the top two placed horses are the same as those on your bet.
- Exacta: This is like the bet above, although this time players are going to need to make sure that they have the first and second place horses finishing in the order they predicted. Whichever horse you said will win has to win, and the runner-up must match your chosen runner-up.
- Trifecta: A tough bet to land since it requires bettors to predict the first, second and third placed horses. They must also finish in that order for the bet to pay out.
- Superfecta: Again, like the Exacta and Trifecta Bets, the Superfecta requires players to select the correct finishing order of the race. This time, though, they must predict the top four horses in the correct order.
- Daily Double: A Daily Double Bet involves a bet on the winner of any two races. The races must be consecutive, with bets usually placed on the first two or last two races of any given day.
- Pick 3 Bet: This bet is like the one above, although this time players must place a bet on the winners of three consecutive races on the same day.
- Accumulators: Some sportsbook will permit players to place accumulated bets. These are basically several bets on the same slip. The trick here is that if you place an accumulator bet, you must get all the bets on the slip correct. Doing so will see you land multipliers, which result in far greater wins for the combined slip than all the bets would have been worth individually. It is a risk, but it pays out handsomely if it comes good. To be fair, a few sportsbooks do allow for a margin of error, although that is often only a single bet on an accumulator slip.
- Others: You can also find a range of other bets, including Wheel Bets, and more. We’d recommend starting with what we’ve mentioned above, to begin with. Once you get more comfortable with the bets, feel try to explore and dig around a little to uncover more top horse race bets.
On Your Marks… – Final Thoughts
Now that you have an inkling of how to bet on horses, why not put your new-found knowledge to the test? Do your homework before betting, check out stats sites and read race predictions to get more insight into how a race is likely to pan out before you bet. Once you’re confident, hit the track or a sportsbook and get those bets down on those nags!
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