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How to bet on Horse Racing

Horse racing is one of the most famous and heavily supported sports for betting across the world. From the thrills of the Cheltenham Gold Cup to the Triple Crown in the US and the Melbourne Cup in Australia; from the flat season to the chase season, there is always an action packed calendar year to get your horse racing betting done.

How to Bet on Horse Racing

As an entry point you are just going to be looking at a race card and then selecting which horse you think will win. A race card is a list of the horses running in a particular race and at an online betting site you will see the associated odds with a particular horse. Then you use your judgement, usually based on reading form, to select which horse that you think will cross the line first. You can either put your stake just ‘on the nose’ which means that you need them to win, or you can have an each-way bet on them. An each way wager means that if your selected horse wins then you will be paid in full, or if they place (come second, third or fourth in some instances depending on the race) then you will be paid out 1/4 odds as consolation for getting close.

Horse Racing Betting – Preview, Odds and News

That is horse racing better at its very basic and it is something which can get you well into the activity, which is a nice thing. It is that straight forward to place a bet, but of course it’s not that straight forward to win!. If you have seen people with their heads buried in the newspaper and studying form and guides, it is done for a reason. Having some information about the conditions of the track, form, jockey and more will help you make a better informed selection.

Form and stats

Horse racing is pretty much down to form and stats. Really serious bettors will focus a lot on studying form ahead of a race. Why? Well some horses run better in certain conditions, some need firm ground under foot to get the best out of their top speed, while some horses go for endurance and can deal with heavy, muddy ground better than others can. Weight is important as well, the situation when fields get handicapped to balance out the play. These are important factors. Certain jockeys pair up with horses better than others and of course there is the current form. 

You will see current form expressed on a race card as something like 98235 next to the name of a horse on the given card. Those are the finishing positions that horse has achieved over their last races, the most recent race being to the right. So if you see a lot of 1’s and 2’s then the horse is strong. Of course though that is the tip of the horse racing form iceberg. That doesn’t give you any indication of what conditions those races were ran in, what distance they were over, what jockey was in the saddle, or what level of opposition they were facing.

You can really get buried in horse racing stats and direct links from online betting sites, through to resources like the Racing Post website or even tips and previews of races can help your decision. The more you know, the better decisions you will be able to make. Of course, everything comes down to luck, you can never account for a horse just having an off day, or for one defying all the odds and beating the favourite.

Horse Racing Tips

There are plenty of horse racing betting tips out there to pay attention to and there’s really no need to go around paying for them. Just browse around online bookmaker sites and you will see plenty of racing on offer to help guide your efforts. If you are seeing an outside shot being backed at a few different places, pay attention and shoot for an each way chance.

Types of Horse Racing Bet

You can of course expand your horse racing betting beyond straight single bets on the outright winner. You can put together multiples across several races. For example you could build a treble from backing the winner of three different races. You could expand that to a bigger accumulator or shoot for a full cover bet such as a popular Lucky 15. You will see a lot of Lucky 15 wagers being used in horse racing because of the coverage it offers on four selections. You get 15 bets from those four selections you bet 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and a fourfold accumulator. You could also look at wagers like a Trifecta, which is naming the first three horses to finish a race in the exact order. A boxed Trifecta means that you name the top three horses in any order. There is huge variety of bets in horse racing.


This gets overlooked but it shouldn’t. The UK Totepool is a brilliant feature of horse racing, essentially you are putting your small stake on the outcome of six selected races in the Tote. From all of the money collected on that particular day’s Tote, that is where the winning pot comes from. If you are the only one who predicted all the winners then you will get the jackpot, but if five others also predict everything correctly, you would share the win pot with them. With bonuses and payouts for a Place Pot, the Tote remains a popular form of betting.

At the end of the day you can make horse racing betting as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. The beauty of racing is the quick turnover in races. Just find a bookmaker with good horse racing coverage where you can find special offers such as Best Odds Guaranteed (ensuring that you don’t miss out on a top price) and Non Runner No Bet insurance if your horse doesn’t make post. Other horse racing promotions to crop up from time to time, especially when the big events roll around like the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National.

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