Bet on Horse Racing: Read our Complete 2021 Guide

12 April 2021
par Better Collective

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This article looks at how to bet on horse racing. It examines horse racing betting odds and horse racing betting tips. It is still the core sport in retail outlets in the UK, and most UK-facing online bookmakers provide exceptional horse racing betting services.

New customers and existing players can refer to the steps required to bet on horse racing.

Top 7 Sites to bet on Horse Racing: Current Offers and Bonuses

Deciding where to bet is no easy task. The UK, in particular, is saturated with online betting sites all trying to get your attention. However, our experienced team has handpicked seven stellar bookmakers for racing punters.

BookmakerWelcome OfferClaim the Offer

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Sign up offers available for new customers
William Hill

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Paddy Power

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Beginner’s Guide to Horse Betting

Betting on horse racing is popular in the UK and many other parts of the world. It is the main betting sport in betting offices. As a result, online punters can expect a high-quality service. There is horse racing in the UK 362 days each year, which highlights its popularity.

Racing takes place on the flat, over jumps and on artificial all-weather surfaces. Bookmakers offer odds on meetings from Britain and Ireland, in addition to overseas races such as the Melbourne Cup and Dubai World Cup.

There are ante-post and day of the race betting. Moreover, bookmakers create betting markets for every race in the UK and Ireland. Plus, they offer ante-post betting on the major upcoming races, such as at the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National.

This information is designed to help readers gain a better understanding of how to bet on horse racing and horse racing betting odds. Furthermore, we’ll share some useful horse racing betting tips to get you up and running.

Guide to Horse Betting

Different Horse Racing Bets – Types of Wagers

Here is a description of the different types of bet that can be placed in horse racing betting. In brief, this glossary of bet terms is an important element of how to bet on horse racing.

Straight Wagers

Here is a selection of horse racing betting opportunities that are made up of straight wagers:


A win bet is on the horse to finish first in a race.


A place bet is on the horse to finish first or second in a race.


A show bet is on the horse to finish first, second or third in a race.

However, in the UK an each-way bet is on the horse to win or finish in the places, which usually means second or third. Each-way bets are settled in line with industry place terms, but there might be extra places in horse racing betting on major races, such as the Grand National.

Across The Board

Across the board, bets combine the win, place and show bets in one transaction.

Exotic Wagers

Here are the exotic wagers as part of the guide to how to bet on horse racing. These bets allow permutations and a number of selections in each race.


A bet on two horses to finish first and second in a race in the correct order.


A bet on two horses to finish first and second in a race in any order.


A bet on three horses to finish first, second and third in a race in the correct order.


A bet on four horses to finish first, second, third and fourth in a race in the correct order.

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Horse Racing Odds Explained

Generally, horse racing betting markets in the UK are expressed in fractional odds. For example, a horse is priced 20/1 to win a race. Most each-way bets are settled at one fifth the odds so here are the calculations:

  • £10 win at 20/1 returns £210.00
  • £10 place at one fifth the odds (4/1) returns £50.00
  • Total stake £20 returns £260.00 for a profit of £240.00

A £50.00 win bet at ‘evens’ returns £100 made up of the stake (£50.00) and profit (£50.00).

How to bet Successfully on Horse Racing – Strategies and Tips

Placing a bet on horse racing requires the bettor to consider a number of factors. Here are the main strategies for successful horse racing betting:


Looking at the past form of all the horses in the race.


The time since each horse had a previous run.


The comparative form of the other horses.

Type of Bet

The bet could be a win, each way or place only.


There should be some betting value in the odds.

Quantity of Bets

A bettor could back more than one horse in a race.

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Handicapping Horses – How to Know which Horse to bet on

Subsequently, one of the most important parts of any guide covering how to bet on horses racing is the handicapping of each horse. Therefore, these are the most important factors which help to consider when composing your horse racing betting tips.

Behaviour in the Paddock

Bettors should observe if a horse looks relaxed or unsettled in the paddock before the race.

Past Performance

A horse’s past results are an important indicator of his/her ability.

Previous Class Levels

The class of race a horse has previously contested is a key handicapping factor.

Surface and Weather

The going and the amount of rain must be taken into account.


The jockey could be a professional or amateur.

In summary, all these elements should be considered when following the best practice to bet on horse racing.

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Horse Racing Live Streaming

Many UK-facing online bookmakers offer live streaming of horse racing. A customer must have logged in, made a deposit and placed a bet to view the live stream of a race. The coverage begins as the horses are going down to start and end just after they have crossed the finishing line.

Live streaming of horse racing combines pictures, commentary and the betting and Starting Prices (SPs). Furthermore, the Tote dividends are announced after each race.

How We Selected our Bookmaker for Horse Racing Betting

Here are the most important criteria for selecting a top bookmaker to bet on horse racing:

  • Value in the odds
  • Range of meetings in the UK and Ireland and overseas
  • Selection of betting markets: single and exotic wagers
  • Welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions
  • Live streaming of horse racing
  • Fast payouts on your winnings

Major Horse Racing Events

Here are the major horse racing events in the UK across the three types of racing, including the month in which they take place:

Flat Racing

The English Classics are the pinnacle of the flat season. However, Ascot and Goodwood are very prestigious, too.

  • 1,000 Guineas – May
  • 2,000 Guineas – May
  • Derby – June
  • Oaks- June
  • Royal Ascot – June
  • Glorious Goodwood – July
  • St Leger – September

Jumps Racing

Above all, Cheltenham is the goal of all jump horses, but winning the National is also a high priority for most.

All-Weather Racing

All-weather doesn’t have the history of turf racing, but these are the two big races worthy of attention.

  • Winter Derby – February
  • All-Weather Championships Finals – April

A complete guide about the Horse racing betting is available on

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