Horse racing is incredibly popular in the UK, where many the most prestigious races in the world are held, and horse racing has been widespread for hundreds of years. On top of this, there are lots of different bookmakers and betting companies providing options for those who want to bet on horse racing.
Whether someone spends a lot of their time at the track or prefers to watch on their phone or television, there are many different ways to gamble and to follow the big racing events.
In this guide, we’re exploring some of the different ways people gamble, the top betting sites, and some of the different terms and odds explained.
If you plan to bet on horse racing in the UK then you will need to be able to read and understand the odds. Gambling odds are usually presented in a fractional way at UK bookmakers, which means that you will see them advertised in ways like 3/1. For example, if you bet on a horse that is 3/1, then for any successful £1 bet, you’ll get £3 back, plus your original stake. This means that a winning £10 bet at 3/1 would return £40 to the gambler.
There are options on most of the mobile apps and odds sites to change odds to a fractional display.
Horse racing odds can move very quickly and they can vary from one bookmaker to the next, so most people choose to shop around to find the best odds on the market.
The most popular horse racing bets usually revolve around single win bets, but there are a lot of other bets that are possible, and some bookmakers offer more variations than others.
The simplest bet is a single. This means a player will choose the horse they think will win, and simply bet on the horse to do exactly that and finish in first place. Only if the chosen horse takes first place in the race will the gambler win.
Another popular bet in horse racing is a place bet, where you are betting on a horse to finish in one of the top places in the race. The criteria for this can change – some pay out if the horse finishes in the top four, while others pay out on more or fewer places. Sometimes this depends on the number of runners in the race too, and bookmakers may vary their offers. Winning a place bet only provides a percentage of the winnings compared to the outright win, usually 1/5th of the odds of the horse that is backed to win.
A bet that is also popular and continues to grow in popularity due to some high-profile wins is the parlay or accumulator bet. This is where people bet on the outcome of multiple races combined. This can lead to much longer odds, but all of the horses need to win for the bet to succeed.
These are the most popular examples but there are many more, and different ways for people to bet if they so wish.
One way that customers can make the most of their deposits when they sign up to bet on horse racing is to sign up for a site that has specific betting offers.
In an incredibly competitive market, there are often several different bookmakers that are trying to encourage people to try out their site or app. One of the ways in which they can do this is by providing offers on horse racing.
Signup offers provide bonuses, such as free bets, when a player signs up for an account and deposits or bets for the first time.
A lot of gambling companies also provide periodic offers, especially on big events like the Grand National or other big days in the calendar. Cheltenham Festival, for example, is a huge week for gambling and many of the bookmakers offer some unique promotions for that particular week.
When signing up for new accounts, it certainly makes a lot of sense to check out the horse racing bookmakers and the offers that they provide – some will provide a way to boost the sum of money you are betting with in the first instance.
As technology improves, the process of placing a bet is changing, but it is generally a very simple matter.
The UK is one location that still has in-person bookmakers, so it is possible to go in and place a bet. However, in this guide, we’re mainly focusing on how to place a bet from your mobile device. It couldn’t be simpler to place a bet on the horse racing in most scenarios.
You can navigate to the bookmaker’s app or you can go to their website to place a bet. Make sure you have an account, then log in and deposit a balance that you wish to gamble with.
- Navigate to the horse racing area of the website, which is usually pretty prominent on most bookmakers.
- Choose the race or races you wish to bet on. You will be able to find them categorised by race track as well as the time of the race.
- Choose the bet type – there are usually a lot of different options for the type of bet that you can place.
- Select the horse you wish to bet on from the list. It will load in your bet slip.
- Choose your stake and place the bet.
There may be some slight variations on this, and each of the sites out there has its own unique processes. It is a good idea to go through the steps well in advance, if possible, to ensure that you know exactly how it works.
There are a lot of different sites that you can use, but you need to be sure that you are betting with a trusted site that has many different options and coverage of a number of different markets. Coverage is key, as there are some sites that offer a lot more coverage of horse racing meets than others.
Bet365 is one of the betting sites that provides a promotional offer for new customers. Players can get up to £30 in free bets when they sign up and deposit on the site.
On top of this, Bet365 has a very popular mobile app that makes it easy to find a variety of markets and to bet on horse racing in the UK as well as in other countries, including America and Australia, where horse racing is popular (the Melbourne Cup has been running since the 1800s).
Bet365 is also a site with a lot of options for other sports, and they live stream many different events, which means that players can watch the sports right there on the app.
Paddy Power is an Irish-founded company with a long history of offering odds on horse racing. As well as lots of different markets, they also offer streaming on some of the events.
Paddy Power is known for providing good loyalty bonuses and rewards to customers, as well as signup bonuses for those who want to try the site. They have a website as well as an app that has a decent layout and quick options for deposits and withdrawals.
Sky Bet is a popular site for betting on a variety of different sports. They are known for their ‘request a bet’ feature that allows people to request odds on a certain market, even if it is not on the site by default. Sky Bet also has one of the easiest websites to use out of all of these platforms.
Sky Bet’s coverage of events is excellent and they have great in-play betting too. On top of this, the site is simple to navigate, making it really easy to find the event you are interested in. Sky Bet offers generous signup offers for new customers and some rewards for regulars.
As always, it is absolutely crucial to understand responsible gambling and how you can stay safe and secure while you gamble. If you need help and support, the best betting sites will guide you to services such as GambleAware, who can help.
Only bet what you feel you can afford to lose on any bet, and never bet when you feel angry or frustrated. Make use of the bookmakers’ tools such as self exclusion if you feel like gambling is getting too much.
We’ve covered some of the top sites here as well as some basic information about gambling on horse racing. Whether you’re going to an event in person or plan to bet online, there are a number of different options available to you.
Always gamble responsibly and take some time to check the advice of professional organisations.