Horse Racing Betting Guide

Horse Racing Betting Guide

Horse racing is one of the oldest sports in existence. Competitive horse races have been held throughout history, with evidence of them taking place as long ago as 700 BC. The sport has obviously evolved over the years, but the basic principle has always remained the same. To this day it is incredibly popular, and it's considered a major sport in several parts of the world.

The popularity of the sport is at least partly due to its association with gambling. Horse racing and gambling have always been intrinsically linked, and betting on the outcome of races is traditionally an essential part of a day at the racetrack. You don't have to be at the races to bet on them either. Bettors all over the world regularly bet on races with off-course bookmakers, something that has become a lot easier thanks to the internet and the advent of betting sites.

The modern day horse racing industry is effectively reliant on betting in fact, as it accounts for a significant percentage of the sport's funding. Prize money and sponsorship money are vital for horse racing to continue, and the majority of this comes from the betting industry. Most racetracks simply wouldn't be able to operate without the financial contribution made by bookmakers.

This guide has been compiled to help anyone with an interest in betting on horse racing. We've provided some important details about the sport itself, and information on how to bet on it. We explain all the different bets you can place, and offer some advice on how to pick winners. There is also information on the most famous horse races taking place around the world, and details of all the major racing venues.

Introduction to Horse Racing Betting

Horse racing is an incredibly exciting sport, especially when you have money riding on the outcome. Placing a bet on a race, even if it's just a small one, will invariably make watching that race much more enjoyable. Despite this, some people are reluctant to start betting on horse racing even if the idea appeals to them.

This is usually because they think it's more complicated than it actually is. There are some complex aspects for sure, but the fundamentals are really quite straightforward. It's basically just a case of picking out a horse you think might win a race and then putting your money on it. That's not to say it's easy to pick winners, because it isn't, but it's certainly easy to try.

We've put together the following collection of articles to teach you everything you need to know to get started. If you've never bet on horse racing before then we'd suggest taking the time to read through all of these.

Types of Racing

One of the first things you need to understand is that there are a few different types of racing. This article covers the most popular of these, with a particular focus on Thoroughbred racing. This is far and away the most popular form of the sport, whether on the flat or over jumps, and it also provides the most betting opportunities.

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How To Bet

This article is essential reading if you have not bet on horse racing before. It covers all the basics, including the different ways of placing bets and the differences between fixed odds betting and pari-mutuel betting. It's written specifically for beginners, and everything is explained in a very easy to understand way.

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Types of Bet

There are a few different bets that you can place on horse races. The most common is a straightforward win bet, and many bettors use nothing more than this one type of wager. It doesn't hurt to learn about all the others though, as there may be times when you want to try something different.

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Strategy & Advice

There are plenty of people who enjoy betting on horse racing even if they aren't very good at picking winners. There's nothing wrong with betting just for fun of course, but you might prefer to take things more seriously. The strategy and advice in this article can help you to improve your chances of winning money.

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FAQ & Glossary

This is a very useful resource for beginners to horse racing betting. We have answered a number of frequently asked questions and explained all the important terminology that you need to understand.

Please note that horse racing betting is one of the few forms of gambling that it is possible to make long term profits from. The bookmakers will always have an advantage over you, as they set the odds, but their advantage is not an unbeatable one. There are plenty of bettors who regularly and consistently win money from the horses, and it's possible for anyone to do the same.

We won't tell you it's easy though, as it's not. It will take some significant time and effort just to fully understand everything that's required to be successful when betting on horse racing. You'll need to commit even more time and effort into studying form guides and finding value as well. If you're serious about making money though, it can definitely be done.

Recommended Reading

There is a lot of information and advice that applies to both sports betting in general and horse racing betting. We recommend taking a look at the following two sections of our website even if you're only interested in betting on horse racing.

Beginners Guide to Betting
Sports Betting Essentials

Online Horse Racing Betting

There are a number of ways that you can bet on horse racing, but using the internet is far and away the easiest. Using a horse racing betting site is very convenient, and offers several advantages over the more traditional ways of betting. You can read more about these advantages on the following page, where we also offer some advice on how to get the most out of betting online. We recommend the best sites to use as well, and explain what makes them so good.

For those of you looking to join a site right now, here's a selection of our leading recommendations.

Our Top Ranked Horse Racing Betting Sites

Horse Racing Around The World

The basic principle of horse racing is universal, but the sport does have a few variations and it differs slightly from one part of the world to the next. It helps to know about these variations, particularly if you plan on betting on horse racing in countries other than the one you live in.

We've put together some information on how horse racing works in some of the regions where it is particularly popular, which you can find on the pages below. These cover topics such as the history of the sport in the relevant region, the different types of racing that take place, the rules and regulations that apply, and the methods used for rating and classifying races.

Horse Racing In The United States

Horse Racing In The Great Britain

Horse Racing In Australia


In addition to the above, we also have a collection of pages detailing the biggest horse racing events around the world. These are the races that jockeys, trainers and owners all dream of winning. They draw huge international audiences as well as large crowds at the track, and they often attract a significant amount of betting action from many people that don't usually gamble.

Finally, our guide also includes information on all the major racecourses and racetracks around the world. Some of these venues have hosted horse racing for a very long time and are steeped in tradition, while others are modern venues where the history is just beginning to be written.

Major Racecourses & Racetracks
  • Churchhill Downs
  • Pimlico
  • Belmont Park
  • Newmarket
  • Aintree
  • Cheltenham
  • Flemington
  • Meydan
  • Longchamp
 
Legalities of Horse Racing Betting

Horse racing betting is legal in most parts of the world, but it's always a good idea to check your local laws before engaging in gambling activities. This especially applies when you are betting online, as online gambling legislation can be very complex and varies significantly from one region to the next.

Please visit our gambling laws section for detailed information on gambling legislation around the world.

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