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Horse Racing Bets

Horse Racing BetsHorse Racing Bets

Understanding Horse Racing Bets: A Guide for Punters

Horse racing is extremely popular in the UK, so it is no wonder that many people in the area also enjoy wagering on their favourite pastime.

The major racing events gather the attention of millions, and thanks to that, the pool of bettors is also on a constant rise. Whether you’re an experienced punter or you’re just looking to enter the world of horse racing bets, this guide will help you get a clear understanding of the practice and all its main components.

How to Get Started

Before you get involved with horse racing betting, you need to find a reliable wagering platform that also offers a variety of options within the category. Luckily for you and all other punters out there, there are many wagering platforms on the market.

However, not all of them are equally good, and that is why many players turn to online review sites in order to find the best horse racing betting sites available in their area.

By doing so, they get all the key information in one place which allows them to pick the right operator based on relevant industry criteria such as licensing, variety of payment options, and more.

Once you find the right platform, everything is pretty straightforward. You set up the account, you make your first deposit and then you find an event you’d like to wager on.

Types of Horse Racing Bets You Will Encounter

The leading bookmakers present their customers with a wide variety of bet types they can choose from, but let’s check out the most common ones:


The win bet is pretty straightforward, and due to its simplicity, it is exactly what the majority of beginners opt for. Simply, you place a wager on a single horse, and if the horse wins, your bet is a success.

Each Way

Each way is another beginner-friendly type of bet that is pretty easy to understand. What’s more, if you go for the each-way option, you are effectively placing two separate wagers. The each way double bet is also popular>

The first bet you’re placing refers to your horse winning the race, and the second one means that the horse will be “placed”. Of course, the number of places paid out always depends on the number of horses that entered the race.

If the event involves from five to seven horses, the one you’re wagering on has to finish first or second. But if there are up to 15 runners, it can also finish third. Furthermore, if the race is a handicap with 16 runners or more, you will also win if the horse finishes fourth. 

On The GallopsOn The Gallops


The tricast is a bet where you attempt to predict the top three finishers of a single race. Of course, in order to win, you need to guess the exact order that the runners will come in. And as you can expect, winning this kind of bet comes with significant rewards.


Forecast is another exciting option, and here you are required to predict the runners that will finish the first and the second, and again, in the correct order.

This wagering option is also known as an exacta, and for those who get it right, it may bring substantial payouts, especially in the case of heavy handicaps where even the favourites happen to be highly priced.

Double, Treble, and Fourfold

Double bets are those where you support two horses in two different races. And if the horses come in as you predicted, you will receive your stake and extra.

As for treble and fourfold stakes, they are exactly the same but the selection includes three or four runners. And as you can guess, there is also a fivefold bet, and so on.

Accumulator Bets

Accumulator bets, also known as accas, are wagers that combine multiple selections into one bet. Punters frequently refer to these selections as “legs”, and even though they are much riskier than many other bet types, they can bring in some pretty serious winnings.

There are many bookies where you can place accas with up to seven bets, and those are then referred to as seven-fold or seven-leg acca bets.

On Course Betting at Royal AscotOn Course Betting at Royal Ascot

Horse Racing Odds

Now it’s time to go over the basic odds used in horse racing betting:


Fractions are traditionally used by bookies in the UK and Ireland, and you will see them in all sorts of horse races. Fractional odds give you two sides: on the left, they quote the amount that will be paid out if the bet wins relative to the stake which is shown on the right.

For instance, if the odds are 5/1 your profit will be £5, which gives you a total return of £6. 


Decimals are traditionally used by bookies in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and continental Europe. Such odds are convenient because they quote the exact amount of money you will receive if your bet wins.

For instance, if the odds are 10.0, you will get a return of £10 for every £1 you wagered. Basically, the odds are multiplied by the wager. Even though fractions are more commonly used in the UK, it is important to understand all the main categories so you can stay on top of your game in case you decide to bet on international platforms. 


As the name suggests, these odds are traditionally used by American bookies. They are denoted by the + or - symbols, and they are based on a 100 take. The + number tells you how much profit you will get if you stake £100, while the - number tells you how much you actually need to stake in order to receive a profit of £100.

Useful Betting Tips

In this section, you will learn some useful horse racing betting tips you can use with your next wager:

Research the Form

The current form of the participants should be one of your first considerations before you try to estimate a single runner’s performance in an upcoming race.

Once you’re able to comprehend how the majority of horses have performed recently, you will have a much higher chance of making accurate predictions.

Check the Quality of Odds

Whenever you’re playing, you don’t just want to win; you should also try to boost your wins with the best possible odds. Odds vary from one bookie to another, and even though they don’t seem like they can make a big difference when you look at a single bet at a time.

However, when you place more of them, the odds can add on to each other and give you a much higher return altogether. 

Consider the Going and the Type of Race

The going is a term that refers to the type of ground present at a racecourse. To be more precise, it is the amount of moisture that is measured in the ground. The ability to combine this piece of information with other factors, such as the form, is one of the things that separates amateur horse racing punters from expert ones.

So if you know that a horse is good on one type of groundwork, do not assume it will perform the same on all other types. The same goes for the type of race that the horse is about to run. If your favourite is excellent in flat racing, it may not achieve the same results in jump racing. 

Use the Process of Elimination

People often see betting as the process of directly identifying a winner and nothing more. However, it is actually much more tactical to try to work your way backward. Start by identifying the weakest participants, and then eliminate them from your selection.

After that, work your way up until you’re simply no longer confident in removing any other runners so easily. At that point, you will be looking at a short list of strong contestants that will be much easier to understand and rank according to recent performance.

Wise Dan wins the Breeders Cup Mile 2013Wise Dan wins the Breeders Cup Mile 2013

Get Informed About the Trainers

Besides the experience and the quality of the horse you believe in, you should also consider the expertise of the trainer who has been preparing the runner for the event. This factor is so important that certain punters build their entire betting strategies around the top trainers.

Do Not Limit Your Bets to Big Names

This piece of advice refers to both horses and trainers. Even though big names have earned their status through hard work and huge results, they are also the ones that are overly wagered on.

In practice, this means that you can often score better odds if you manage to identify up-and-comers wherever possible. Of course, you should not entirely eliminate the big ones, but try to avoid sticking to them as a rule and give yourself a chance to explore other markets as well.


Horse racing is a huge deal in the UK, and its popularity has expanded to the world of sports betting, as well. Passionate fans can’t wait to support their favourites through wagering, and if you share the interest with them, this article got you ready to find a proper bookie and start betting on your own.

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Above policies updated 15 March 2018