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How To Bet on Horse Racing 2021

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Our detailed horse racing betting guide has everything you need to know about how to bet on horse racing in one convenient location. Get tips, strategies, tutorials and even a list of the best horse racing betting sites.

Top 7 Sites to Bet on Horse Racing: Current Offers & Bonuses

The following table lists our top picks for horse racing betting in Canada including their current offers and bonuses:

Horse Racing Canada Betting Sites Bonus Offers Get the Bonus
bet365

Bet365 logo

Check the bet365 site
William Hill

William Hill logo

Up to $250 in free bets
Sportsinteraction

Sportsinteraction logo

100% bonus up to $125
BetHard

Bethard logo

100% BONUS UP TO $100
Betway

betway logo

100% Deposit Bonus up to $200
Unibet

Unibet logo

100% bonus up to $50 and a free bet
888sport

888 logo

100% Deposit Bonus up to $200

William Hill T&Cs: 

New customers with CAN250 sign up code only. 50% Free bet up to $,€ 50 on the first stake, min odds 1.50 (1/2), net win only. 4 x $,€ 50 free bets credited after placing a total of 12 further bets (3 bets for each $,€ 50 free bet) with min odds of 1.50, min stake $,€25. Free bets expire in 7 days. Player restrictions and free bet terms apply.

Sports Interaction T&Cs: 

New customers only. Max $125 CAD bonus. Rollover is 10x deposit + bonus.

Bethard T&Cs:

19+, T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly

Betway T&Cs: 

New Canada customers only. Opt-in required. Bonus based on 1st deposit of $10+. 5x deposit and bonus wagering at odds of 1.75+. Terms apply

Unibet T&Cs:

19+, T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly

888sport T&Cs:

19+, T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly

Beginner’s Guide to Horse Racing Betting

Learning how to bet on horse racing can seem daunting to newcomers, however, it’s never too late to learn the ropes. Not only is it a fun pastime but betting on horses can be rewarding if done correctly. While there is no guaranteed method of making winning bets, certain practices can greatly increase your chances. If you are about to bet on horse racing, do not hesitate to use the bet365 bonus code offer when registering as new customer.

bet365 code disclaimer: The bet365 bonus code can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.

For example, an important factor to consider when learning how to bet on horse racing is what bet types suit your betting style. If you’re looking for big wins with few bets, you may pick a certain bet type. Smaller but more frequent wins on the other hand will come from another bet type.

Another key consideration when learning how to bet on horse racing is finding a good betting site. Horse racing odds can vary from site to site, so you should definitely browse platforms to find the site that best suits you. Consider bonus offers and promotions as well for added incentives.

Different Horse Racing Bets: Types of Wagers

First up in our guide to learn how to bet on horse racing is bet types. There are two main types of wagers in horse racing: straight bets and exotic bets.

Straight bets are wagers made on a single horse to win or place in a specific race. Exotic bets on the other hand require a combination of outcomes to occur for the wager to win. The odds for exotic bets are generally on the higher side due to the lower probability of winning.

Straight Wagers

As mentioned above, straight wagers are bets made on a single horse to finish in a certain position. There are four major types of straight bets that you will encounter when learning how to bet on horse racing:

Win

As the name suggests, Win bets require you to pick the winning horse of a race. These types of wagers are the most common type of racing bet and have varying odds based on the horse chosen.

Show

Show bets require you to pick a horse that you think will finish first, second or third. Due to the higher probability of your horse finishing in one of three spots, the odds on Show bets are lower. This makes them a good choice if you’re looking for relatively lower risk bets with smaller payouts.

Place

Place bets are similar to Show wagers but only allow your pick to finish in first or second. This puts the odds and payouts of Place bets somewhere in between Win and Show bets.

Exotic Wagers

All non-straight wagers can be referred to as ‘exotic’ bets. These bets are generally harder to win than straight bets but carry with them higher odds and payouts. While exotic bets aren’t recommended to beginners, they can be a great way to make big money from relatively small bets.

Some of the most popular types of exotic bets include:

Exacta

Exacta bets require you to pick two horses to finish in 1st and 2nd in exact order. If your horses end up finishing the race in the top two spots in reverse order your wager will still lose. Exacta wagers generally give out fairly high odds depending on the odds of the two horses picked.

Quinella

To win Quinella wagers you must choose the first and second place finishing horses in any order. Unlike Exacta bets, if the two horses you choose to end up in reverse order you still win the bet. If only one of your horses ends up in the top two spots however your bet will still be a loser.

Quinella wagers give relatively good odds but are always lower than Exacta bets due to the higher probability.

Trifecta

Trifecta bets ask you to pick the first, second and third-place finishers in exact order. The difficulty level on Trifecta bets is very high but the payouts are also generally extremely large. Consider Trifectas to be very high-risk, high-reward wagers.

Superfecta

Superfecta bets push it one step even further, making you pick the top 4 finishers on the race in exact order. As you’d expect Superfectas are very hard to win but carry huge payouts if you can get one through. You should try to avoid making big bets on Superfectas without a big bankroll due to the unlikelihood of winning.

How to bet on horse racing

Horse Racing Odds Explained

Horse racing odds are key to learning how to bet on horse racing. Each horse in a race will be provided horse racing odds by the online bookmaker. The favourite to win will always be the horse with the lowest odds. Odds can be provided in three different forms: decimal, fractional or American.

Let’s take a simple example in decimal odds, where a horse is given 4.00 odds. In this case, if you bet $10, you would receive 4X10 = $40 if your horse wins.

If we take fractional odds of say 4-1, it expresses the amount of profit to the amount invested. So odds of 4-1 mean that for every $1 invested, you get $4 profit in return. So a $10 bet would get you $50 in total payout.

Exotic wagers can have more complicated odds structures due to the many factors that go into the calculations. Most top online bookmakers will provide you with pre-calculated odds to make your life easier.

How to Bet on Horse Racing Successfully: Strategies & Tips

There’s no guarantee that your horse racing bet will win, but there are a bunch of ways to increase the chances. Make sure to consider the following tips and strategies when online horse betting:

Research

Probably the most obvious of the tips for learning how to bet on horse racing successfully is to conduct research. Research allows you to get as much information as you can on horses, jockeys and race tracks before placing your bet. The more information you have the better chances your bet will have of winning.

Research should generally take into account the form of a horse or jockey and history at a select race track. For example, some horses could be more suited to running on certain types of race track surfaces. Or a horse and jockey may have won its last few races, giving them an edge over the competition.

Type of Bet

The type of bet you use can make a huge difference when learning how to bet on horse racing. In general, beginners should try to stick to straight bets which are much easier to predict. Exotic bets on the other hand have larger payouts but tend to require more skill to pull off.

The type of bet you should choose also depends on your betting goals. If you want to make one big jackpot-like win, then exotic bets are the way to go. However, if you want to take a more steady route, straight bets have a much greater potential of paying out.

Competition

There are different levels of competition in horse racing. What you’ll find is that horses go up and down levels based on their recent performances. So a horse that has won a few races in one competition level may go up a level and not have the same fortune. Thus, oftentimes a change in class can affect whether a horse will win or lose.

It’s best practice to check the competition level of each horse before making your horse racing predictions.

Odds

Finding the best odds for your horses can get you a lot of bonus money on your horse racing predictions. We find the best practice is to shop around at multiple sports betting sites to find the best odds. While it may take a little more effort to make accounts on multiple sites, the payout is worth the time.

Quantity of Bets

The number of bets you place can be a telling variable in how successful you are at horse racing betting. Usually the more bets you palace the more chance you have of being successful.

However, if you place a high number of low probability bets you might find yourself leaking money.

Betting frequently on higher probability straight bets is a good way of making consistent money. You can throw in some high-risk, high reward wagers as well to round out your bets.

Horse racing betting

Handicapping Horses: How to know which horse to bet on

Use our horse racing predictions and tips section to help you find winning horses:

Behaviour in the Paddock

A popular method for making horse racing predictions is analyzing horses before the races in the paddock. By watching the horses to see how they’re behaving, you can get a general sense of the horse’s confidence.

If a horse is sweating a lot, it likely means the horse is nervous. Jittery horses also tend to extend their energy before the race. Most horse race bettors believe it’s best to go with the calm but alert horses.

Surface and Weather

The surface of the racetrack and weather on race day are two important factors when learning how to bet on horse racing. Certain horses run better on certain surface types, while some run much worse. Be sure to keep surface type in consideration when looking through past performances of horses.

The weather can change the whole race outlook on race day. Rain or overcast conditions can level out any playing field.

Jockeys

Often the jockey can be as important to victory as the horse itself. If a jockey consistently does well no matter what horse they ride, it’s a good indicator of talent. Also, check to see the history of a jockey with a particular horse. If you see that a horse/jockey combination has consistently done well together it’s a good indicator of how they’ll do in the future.

Horse Racing Live Streaming

Horse race live streaming is available with many of the top horse racing Canada bookmakers. Streams can be critical in watching horses before the races and checking weather conditions. A schedule of live-streamed horse racing events will generally be posted well ahead of time.

Some horse racing Canada betting sites may require you to hold a positive balance to use live streaming features. Others may require a bet to also be placed.

How We Selected Our Bookmakers for Horse Racing Betting

When choosing the right bookmaker for horse racing betting, it’s important to take specific criteria into consideration. We looked at the following criteria when making the selection of our picks for the best horse racing bookmakers:

Betting Offers

Betting offers can really make a difference in your overall earnings from a bookmaker. Many bookmakers give you the chance to pick up bonus funds or insurances for online horse betting. These rewards can end up adding to your betting balance and winnings.

Welcome bonuses are a common type of betting offers provided by almost every major bookmaker. We suggest taking a look through each welcome offer to find one that suits your betting objectives. Check the bookmaker’s promotions section before placing bets to ensure you don’t miss out on any offers.

Odds

Each bookmaker’s odds are an obvious aspect to take into consideration when picking top horse racing betting sites. We attempted to only pick bookmakers with odds that were competitive with other sportsbooks in the region.

Sometimes it’s best practice to have accounts for multiple bookmakers to ensure you get the best odds on your horses.

Betting Markets

The number and variety of horse races was a big factor taken into account when picking our top sites. We also had to consider how many bet types and exotic wagers were on offer at each bookmaker. Our selections all have a great collection of horse races from around the world along with a variety of betting options.

Live Streaming

Horse race live streaming gives you the ability to watch races you bet on as they occur. Streams can be helpful in providing information about weather conditions and other factors which may have an impact on the race. We made sure to look through each bookmaker’s live streaming capabilities and consider how easy it is to use the live stream. The horse racing betting sites with the best streaming feature and lowest barriers to watching were rated the highest.

Major Horse Racing Events

As you learn how to bet on horse racing, you will come across a variety of popular horse racing events. Some of the best and most popular horse racing events to wager on are:

Kentucky Derby – USA

One of the biggest races in the world, the Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May every year. The competition is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds with a total distance of one and a quarter miles. Purses for the event can get well into the millions with last year’s winner taking home close to 2 million dollars.

Grand National – UK

The Grand National is a race held annually at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. It brings in one of the biggest viewership of all races and is considered a top betting venue. The last purse for the Grand National was 1 Million pounds.

Woodbine – Canada

Woodbine hosts Canada’s most famous race, The Queen’s Plate every year. The race has been running for over 70 years and is considered a top betting opportunity amongst horse race bettors.

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