Betting Academy

Horse Racing: How To Bet On Horses Online and Win

Betting on horses is one of the most fun things you can ever do. But it’s always more fun when you know how to bet on horses so that you win more than you lose. 

I myself have been betting on horses for a few years now. And while it took me a little while to get into my groove, I don’t want that to happen to you. Instead, I want you to race out of the traps so that you can help me beat the bookies while making a nice little profit for yourself. 

In this guide, I’ll be taking a look at the best horse race betting sites, and I’ll also be laying down my own personal horse racing betting strategy that has helped me stay in profit for the last few years.

Sound good? Let’s make a start. 

Best Horse Racing Betting Sites


When it comes to horse racing betting sites, it’s crucial that you accept no substitutes. And this is certainly what you’ll be doing if you open an account with European bookmaker William Hill.

William Hill – which is also available in the U.S. – has made a comfortable name for itself as the go-to betting site for horse race gambling. Their online racing service is second to none, and the bookmaker provides itself on offering a huge amount of races from all over the world.

As well as races from the UK and Ireland, William Hill covers races from nations like the States, South Africa, Australia, Sweden, and many more. The odds are guaranteed to be the best, and there are always some ace promotions on offer, including a tasty ‘2 Clear’ promo.


As its name suggests, BetAmerica is an American racing site and sportsbook that does horse race gambling really well. In fact, BetAmerica is one of the U.S.’s most trusted racebooks, and it is with horse racing that it’s established its reputation.

However, there are a few state restrictions, and BetAmerica isn’t legal all over the country. Live video is also a bit delayed, but it’s free for all members. This means you can watch every single race you bet on.

It’s worth mentioning that BetAmerica is so focused on horse racing that, while it has an app specifically for horse racing, it doesn’t have one for its sportsbook. This horse racing app is top quality – straightforward to get to grips with and has good navigation.


888 launched a sportsbook in New Jersey, and you can now bet on horses in that state. If you live in NJ, it is excellent because 888 has a simple race card that’s easy to get the hang of. They also deliver videos presented by expert Emma Spencer, who regularly shares her horse race betting tips.

Betting On Horses: Full Guide

Helpful Stats & Facts For Betting On Horse Racing

Like any sport, your chances of winning each time you place increase when you’re fully informed with all the facts and stats. Success at horse racing betting is heavily dependent on the knowledge you have. The more you know =, the more you’ll win. You will still lose from time to time, but you won’t be taking blind shots in the dark.

Here are some stats and facts to bear in mind, but please take the time to do your own research as you go along, too. I suggest that you create a separate document for yourself in which you store your horse racing stats and facts.

  • Each racetrack comes with a TV simulcast commentator. This is the ‘expert’ who discusses the races. He or she will have some tips, so make sure to listen out for them
  • Favorites win a lot of the time. Favorites are favorites for a reason, and it’s because they win around 33% of the time. This doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed a profit if you back the favorite each time, though
  • Pay attention to the jockeys. The best jockeys win around 90% of the races they compete in. This is a fact that many recreational gamblers overlook
  • Don’t pay too much attention to the morning line because this is just the racetrack oddsmaker’s early prediction of how he thinks the public will react to the race

The Most Popular Types of Horse Racing Bets

There are numerous bets you can choose from. To make your life easier and ensure you don’t get overwhelmed, here are some of the most popular types:

  • Single bet – This is the most popular type of bet. It’s straightforward: You just place a bet on a horse to win. You could also go for a single place bet, which is when your horse can finish first or second. If you go for a single show bet, your horse must finish first or second or third. Place and show bets are really popular but these place and show bets also offer smaller payouts
  • Daily double – This is another straightforward bet, but it’s riskier than a single. This is because you’re choosing two different things to happen (for example, one horse to win one race and another horse to win another race). If just one of your wagers loses, the whole daily double is unsuccessful. The beauty of a daily double, though, is that the returns will be higher than if you placed your wager on two separate bets
  • Treble – More complicated than the double is a treble. This is when you pick three different things to happen in three selections, but which all form the same bet. For example, you can bet on three different horses to win their respective races. They must all win for you to win your bet. 
  • Accumulator – An accumulator contains four or more selections. For example, you could bet on four different horses (or more) to win their respective races. If all selections win, you will make a very handsome profit. 
  • Trixie – A Trixie is a bet that comprises four bets and three selections, for example, a treble and a double. At least two of your selections need to win in order for you to make a profit. 
  • Patent – This horse racing bet combines seven bets with three selections. These are a treble, a trio of doubles, as well as three singles. It’s kinda like a Trixie but with three extra singles on top. 
  • Yankee – The Yankee bet consists of 11 bets and four selections. That’s a fourfold, four trebles, and six doubles. You need at least two selections to come through in order to guarantee a return. 
  • Lucky 15 – Lucky 15 is a really popular bet among horse racing bettors who are having a day out at the races. It comprises 15 bets and four selections. Or, a fourfold, four trebles, six doubles, and four singles. It’s a lot to take in for newbie bettors, but you only need one selection to come good in order to guarantee a return. 
  • Canadian – You’ll also see a Canadian sometimes referred to as a Super Yankee. It comprises five selections and a whopping 26 bets, so it’s ideal for big race weekends, such as the Gold Cup in the UK, or the Kentucky Derby. Your bet would consist of a five-fold accumulator, five fourfold’s, ten trebles, and ten doubles. 
  • Lucky 31 – The Lucky 31 bet consists of 31 bets and five selections. That’s a fivefold, five fourfold’s, ten trebles, ten doubles, and five singles. To guarantee a return, you just need one selection to come through. 
  • Goliath – The Goliath bet is as gigantic as it sounds. It consists of eight selections that take part in numerous events. It consists of 247 bets in total, which are as follows: An eightfold accumulator, eight sevenfold’s, 28 sixfold’s, 56 fivefold’s, 70 fourfold’s, 56 treble, and 28 doubles.

I understand that some of these bets will sound a little overwhelming to anyone who’s new to horse racing betting. But that’s okay – you can start off small with a single or a double, before working your way up to bigger, more exciting bets as you get the hang of things.

With that in mind, let’s now turn our attention to developing a horse racing betting strategy. 

Horse Racing Betting Strategy: How To Choose One

Just as there are different ways to skin a cat, there are various horse racing betting strategies. None of them are silver bullets that will guarantee you a win each time, but you must find a strategy that works for you and then stick to it. This will ensure more profits over the long term than taking wild, random punts all the time. 

Here are two betting strategies that I use: 

The Point Betting Strategy

With this one, you score a horse over its last three races. Doing so will give you key insights into its current form. 

For example, take a look at an upcoming race and single out the favorite. Then, take a look at its last 3 races. For each race, score it like this: 

First = 5 points 

2nd = 3 points 

3rd = 2 points 

4th = 1 point 

Then, add the points to this system: 

3 points if it’s in the top 3 of betting 

2points if it lost to a favorite 

4 points if the horse won over both distance and course 

3 points if the horse claimed victory over the distance 

2 points if the horse won over course 

You can then take a look a the odds that the horse in question has for its next race, and assign it more points:

Evens – 23 points 

11/10 – 21 points 

5/4 – 20 points 

11/8 – 19 points 

6/4 – 18 points 

13/8 – 17 points 

7/4 – 16 points 

2/1 – 15 points 

9/4 – 14 points 

5/2 – 13 points 

11/4 – 12 points 

3/1 – 11 points 

7/2 – 10 points 

4/1 – 9 points 

9/2 – 8 points 

5/1 – 7 points 

To figure out whether you have a potential winner or not, you’ll need to go through each horse that’s lined up for the race you’re betting on and assign them all a point. Naturally, this can be very laborious, and I don’t personally recommend that you assess every single horse. Just the favorite, the second favorite, the third favorite, and the fourth favorite should do. 

Whoever has the most points after you’ve totted up the points is the one you should bet on. 

Laying The Favourite 

The points betting strategy can guarantee solid profits over the long term if you’re willing to put in the required time and effort. However, it can be really time-consuming and, as such, many recreational punters would rather avoid it. 

If you’d prefer something less complicated, you could lay the favorite. What does this mean?

Laying the favorite can only be done using a betting exchange (there are lots of these available), and it essentially means that you back the favorite not to win. 

You probably think this sounds crazy right now. But remember what I said earlier – the favorite only wins 33% of the time. Which means it only wins one race out of 3. By laying the favorite at a betting exchange, you’re playing the role of the bookmaker. If the favorite wins, you payout. If the favorite doesn’t win (and, likely, it won’t), you make a profit. 

Laying the favorite requires a decent bankroll, as well as a level-head. You must also make sure never to lay a favorite that’s reading at higher than 3/1 because this could seriously decimate your bankroll. 

Like all horse racing betting strategies, laying the favorite can be seen as high risk because you will lose a fair amount if the favorite wins. But if you stick at it over the long-term, and if you study the form and statistics and can find horses that are overpriced (and which you’re pretty sure shouldn’t be the favorites), you can make a good profit. 

Top Tips For Betting On Horses 

Now that we’ve covered two strategies that I use for horse racing betting success, let’s take a few extra tips that will help you: 

  • Know the starting position – Before a race begins, find out where the horse you’re thinking of betting on started its previous races and how it fared in each race. If it’s performed well from the same starting position, this is a good indicator that it will fare well again 
  • Know the track conditions – Track conditions are very important, but so many recreational bettors overlook this aspect of horse racing betting. Take a look at the weather, too, and keep monitoring these things. Over time, you will develop an intimate knowledge of track conditions, and this will help your betting 
  • Shop around for the best odds – Earlier in this article, I outlined a few of the best horse race betting sites. It’s actually a good idea to sign up to a few so that you can shop around for the best odds when it comes time to place your bet. You might find that a horse is underpriced on one betting site, but that it’s priced more fairly on another 
  • Bet on lots of races – I say this because so many people stick to just one race each year. For example, around 70% of horse race bets taken from American’s every year are on the Kentucky Derby. The math is simple: The more bets you place, the more chances you’ll have of winning 

Common Online Horse Betting Tools 

It’s a very smart idea to get the most out of horse racing betting to use tools. Here are some of the most common online ones that are used by bettors:

  • Racing Synergy – This a software tool that lets you find overpriced horses that offer lots of value. It’s only available for the UK and Irish races, but as long as you use a good racebook (such as the ones I mentioned earlier) that covers these races, it’s all good.
  • OddsChecker – OddsChecker is exactly what it sounds like: A tool that helps you compare odds to get the best price. It also offers betting tips and insights so that you make better betting decisions.
  • Google Sheets – The most successful bettors typically use spreadsheets to track their bets so that they can spot patterns, keep track of form and stats, and generally make stronger decisions. You can use MS Excel instead of Google Sheets if you prefer.
  • Bet Calculator – Figuring out odds, especially if you’re laying the favorite or betting on two horses in the same race, can be a difficult pursuit! This is why it’s really important to use a bet calculator, such as Bet Calculator.

Final Word On Horse Racing Betting

Thank you for reading my guide to horse racing betting. Now you’re all set to place bets on horses! Make sure to use the tips and strategies in my article, but don’t stick to anything too rigidly. If something isn’t working for you, pivot, or take some time to clear your head before going again.

And lastly – never bet more than you can afford to lose. Good luck! 


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