Horse Racing Betting Guide 2021

Horse RacingWe have all seen glimpses of horse racing in some way. Be it in a lavish movie scene, on news or on some sports channel, we are familiar with this sports one way or another. Betting on this game is much more interesting than others due to the gorgeous animals taking part in it. They are led by their human counterpart, the jockey, throughout the race track. Let us know how to make the best of this amazing sport and get fortunes along with entertainment!

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A Brief About Horse Racing

Horse racing is one of the few sports forms which survived the race of time. It has been in existence since the ancient times of 5th and 6th century. Since horses were a pretty common mode of transportation in those times, they also took part in races for recreational purposes. The ancient Greek Olympics dated in 648BC had chariot and mounted horse racing events. The earliest archeological evidence however has been found in Greece, Babylon, Syria and Egypt of the 18th century.

In modern times, horse racing is considered to be one of the few entertainment forms primarily aimed at the elites. The rich and famous are typically seen attending these events to bet on their best shots. That is because, each bet amounts to huge figures worth thousands to millions. As a report of 2017 by Gambling Compliance, the horse racing betting market is worth over $150 billion!

Horses ridden by jockeys compete at Hastings Park racecourse in Vancouver

Horses ridden by jockeys compete at Hastings Park racecourse in Vancouver

Understandably, we the common people also have an interest in making bets on these horses. Keeping this in mind, several online sportsbooks have included horse racing in their betting categories. Here the bettors can place affordable stakes on this multi-billion-dollar game and earn themselves some good cash.

How To Bet On The Horse Racing? – Betting on Canadian horse racing

Types of horse racing: Flat, Jump, Endurance 

Before betting on horse racing, you need to be aware of all the variations it has. There are mainly three types of horse racing, as described below:

Flat Racing

This is the most common type of horse racing held across the world. Its name comes from the flat racing tracks each horse has to traverse for winning the competition. These tracks are usually oval but the ones in British areas tend to be a little different. The participating horses need to cover a distance from 400m to 4000m during one race. It can be a short race (called sprint) or a long race (called route). The sprints test their speed while the routes test their stamina. In the conditional races, these horses need to carry the same weight to raise the stakes and ensure a fair competition at the same time.

Jump Racing

Jump racing is a much harder competition for the horses since they need to overcome many obstacles along the race track to win. This type of horse racing can again be divided into two distinct groups called steeplechasing and hurdling. The main difference between these two variations is the size and type of obstacles laid on tracks. In hurdling, the horses need to jump over the obstruction panels which are at least 3.5 feet tall. There are at least 8 panels like this on the track, each pair within a minimum distance of 3km. Steeplechase on the other hand is held with an additional challenge of ditch obstacles, along with the fences.

Endurance Racing 

As you can imagine, this is a very difficult race for the horses since it tests their overall endurance within a limited time period. However, the racing track length is not the same for all endurance races. Sometimes the tracks are set at only 16 km (10 miles), and sometimes they can be as long as 160 km (100 miles)! The races with tracks crossing that 160-km mark tend to take place for multiple days. To mitigate the high class of obstacles, a natural terrain is used for such races instead of man-made ones. The assigned veterinarians check up on these horses at particular intervals to make sure the animals are in healthy condition. The horses can then continue their race only if they pass this fitness test.

The typical rules of sports betting apply to horse racing as well. You must place your bet on the targeted horses before the race begins. For any online or mobile sportsbook, choose the type of bet, your chosen horses, your stake amount applicable on them and all such information. The total amount of your stake and potential rewards will show up on screen.


Since horse racing is one of the most ancient markets in betting, it has developed many variations over the centuries. In modern times, all the horse racing bets can be divided into these three broad categories:

Straight Bets

Straight bets are the most basic forms of horse racing wagers. These bets are made on a single horse but you can make several straight bets in one race. As a result, the option of earning more is always available to you. A straight bet can be any of these three types:


As the name suggests, these bets are focused on a horse winning the race. They depend on the associated odds and usually, such horses are listed at 10-1. Without odds these high, bettors don’t tend to risk their money on a horse. Understandably, such horses stand out from the crowd and are easy to spot in the racing field. The bigger these fields get, the more rewards you can win.


Instead of winning, these bets are for horses you expect to just place in the top three. This is one of the bittersweet bets since even if your wagered horse becomes the winner, you will only get the rewards reserved for placing. However, since you don’t have to place all your faith in one horse, your chances of winning the bet increases!


The show bets are placed on horses who you expect to come first, second or third in the race. Since the result options are higher for these bets, the concurring rewards are much smaller than the previous two bets. Even then, the majority of bettors go for show bets for the highest chance of winning.

Single-Race Exotic Bets

If you are one of the true fans of horse racing and don’t mind a little higher risk in these games, you can go for exotic bets. Your chances to win these bets will be the thinnest. But what excites bettors the most is the enormous amount of rewards you can land if luck chooses to smile on you. The stakes in such bets are quite minuscule compared to the rewards. The first type of exotic bets we will dive into is the single-race bets which are valid only for one race.


Here, you must predict the first and second horses to finish, as well as their correct order of finishing. Undoubtedly, this is a tough job to do and thus comes with great prizes. However, you don’t need to put too much at stake to win an exacta bet. For all these reasons, it is the most common exacta bet among gamblers. If you like the concept of such bets but don’t wanna risk too much already, you can decide for boxing an exacta bet. This means you are predicting the first two horses to finish but without an exact order. As a result, the rewards will be half than the original amount.  These boxed exacta bets are also called Quinella.


Here, similar to the exacta bets, you need to predict the exact order of finishing horses. But the bars of risk are raised even higher since you need to make these predictions for the first three horses instead of two. You can also box this one for half the rewards by eliminating the order factor.


This one takes the bar even higher by asking you to predict the four horses to finish the race, along with their exact order of crossing the finishing line. Boxing for a superfecta is available but not recommended since this might cost you a lot without leaving many rewards.


Correctly predict the first five horses to finish in a race and you will go home winning the Hi-5 exotic bet rewards!

Multi-Race Exotic Bets:

These exotic bets deal with more than one race at a time and thus are a little more tricky to win. They have two variations called daily double and pick n (n can be any number starting from 3). For winning a daily double bet, you need to correctly predict the absolute winners of two consecutive races. Do the same for three or more races to win the pick n bets.

Horse Racing Odds

The odds of horse racing are presented a little differently from other betting sports. They follow the pari-mutuel scheme which means you can play only against other bettors but not an entire house. The race tracks also charge 15-20% of the total pool while the rest is distributed among the winning bettors.

Racebets Odds

Racebets Odds

So each odd comes in the form of a percentage and is applicable for one horse. You can figure out your share of potential wins from these odds from the following formula:

Potential win = [(numerator of odd / denominator of odd) * stake] + stake 

So if you are betting $2 on a horse at 7/2 odds, your potential winning amount will be:

Potential win = [(7/2)*2] + 2 = [3.5*2] + 2 = 7 + 2 = $9

William Hill – Horse Racing

Horse Racing Major events

The biggest events of horse racing are spread out throughout the world. There is no one place of prominence in this sport, which is rare among the betting events. In the case of flat racing, you need to keep an eye on events like Dubai World Cup of UAE, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe of France, Melbourne Cup of Australia, Kentucky Derby of the USA and Epsom Derby of England. As for endurance rides, the most famous event is the Tevis Cup held in America under the supervision of the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC). If you are a fan of jump runs, the Grand National Run is your best bet.

Horse Racing Favorites

There are certain breeds who draw the attention of all bettors waiting to make big bucks on a race. The most common ones among these horses are thoroughbreds, Arabian horses and quarter horses. Typically, only the male horses take part in such races. The female and young horses have their own edition of racing in separate events.

Horse Racing Betting FAQ

What is a stallion?

A stallion refers to an uncastrated adult male horse. They are considered the best of the racing horses and is promoted to a “stud” after winning a large number of races.

What if the horse I had bet on gets scratched?

Racing horses can get scratched for a number of reasons. If the one you had bet for also gets scratched, any standard sportsbook would get you a refund of that amount. To make sure of such facilities, choose the sportsbook wisely.

Horse Racing Betting Conclusion 

A reliable, reputable and efficient sportsbook makes all the difference in the betting world. Horse racing is no different! Gather all necessary knowledge about this sport and find yourself a suitable sportsbook to start betting on these stallions.

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