Guide on How to Bet on Horse Racing: Tips for Beginners

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Welcome to our guide on how to bet on horse racing. If you’re new to the world of horse racing, don’t worry, as we are here to give you all the necessary information regarding this activity. Let’s start!

What Are Horse Racing Bets?

Horse racing is a traditional sport common in the UK, but also in some other parts of the planet. The most interesting way to watch horses race is to pick your favourite and put some money on it. Usually, you would go to a track and place your bet there, but you can also include yourself in this type of gambling at many online casinos and sportsbooks. However, you shouldn’t place bets at all until you learn how to bet on horse racing properly. In this guide, you can find also the horse betting terms to help you understand better how it works.

Types of Horse Racing Bets

In order to find out how to bet on horse racing, you will need to get familiar with the types of bets associated with these events. There are too many horse racing bet types at the moment, but we will go through some of the most common ones. Learn with us how to bet on the Cheltenham Festival.

Win only

If you don’t want to go into too much detail on how to bet on horse racing, then the straightforward Win only bet is ideal for you. Just pick the horse and place a bet on it to win. If, for example, you bet £10 on a horse that has 4/1 odds on winning the race, you can get £40.

Each way

It essentially represents two bets joint in one. In this particular situation, your bet will be divided in half. One part of the bet will be for your horse to win, and the other part will be for your horse to finish the first, the second, or the third.

Place only

Place only bets are for bettors who feel like their horse won’t win the race, but that it’s still going to finish the second or the third. However, a Place only type of bet in the US implies that a horse will finish the first or the second, while a Show bet includes first, second, and third finishes. If you want to learn how to bet on horse racing in your country, learn more about the types of bets you can find there, as they might differ from the UK ones.


Ante-post bets count as bets wagered prior to the day of the race, and sometimes even several days in advance. With this particular type of bet, you can take advantage of the odds, which are often higher several days before the event.

Forecast and Tricast

If you think you know how to bet on horse racing and are really good at predicting the placement of top horses in a race, then Forecast and Tricast bets are something you should try out. In Forecast betting, you will need to predict the winner and the runner-up in a particular race. Similarly to Forecast, a Tricast bet allows you to predict the exact placement of the top three horses. The odds are relatively high and are calculated by advanced algorithms. 

Reverse Forecast and Tricast bets are the same, but they also give you a chance to win, regardless of the exact position of the top two or top three finishers. You just need to guess which horses are going to finish at those positions.

Other types of bets

Of course, there are several more horse racing bet types, like Multiple bets, for example, where you should guess the winners of multiple races. This can also be called jackpot if a bookie requires you to guess the winner on six different races, while placepot means that you need to find six horses that will finish on one of the first four places in as many races. Laying is betting against a particular horse to win the race, or finish in any other place in the race.

Nevertheless, if you’re a beginner and want to learn how to bet on horse racing, we suggest that you stick to the more simple bets and try more exotic ones as you get used to them.

Tips for Beginners

Apart from learning how to bet on horse racing, you should also be interested in finding a way to win while betting on it.

The best way to increase your chances of winning some money is to take advantage of the odds. If you want to play it safe, we suggest that you choose the starting price or the favourites odds. Find bookies that can give you best odds guaranteed (BOG), or an option for a “non-runner no bet”. Ante-post that we talked about earlier is the prefered type of bet as it will give you good odds, but you will have to be a horse racing expert for them to really pay off.

Not all bookies have the same odds, so find several different ones and compare their sign up offers. Watch a few races before betting and get familiar with the participants. Other than that, good luck!


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