Horse Racing Betting Guide

Horse racing has been one of the largest UK sports betting markets for many years now and continues to fly the flag at the top of the pile. It generates hundreds of millions each year for bookmakers and allows punters a constant stream of races to bet on.

There are very few sports like horse racing of which betting plays such a big role in its sport. In fact, if for whatever reason betting was made illegal tomorrow, it’s highly likely the sport wouldn’t attract nearly as many punters and in response, the sport would likely decline massively.

Betting is so deep into horse racing that it’s not uncommon to find many of the larger races – and even some smaller ones – sponsored by UK bookmakers hoping to get punters using their betting service. After all, where better to advertise for a bookmaker than a sport that is so heavily tied with betting.

The coverage of the sport is also a massive factor in horse racing’s popularity. Races can be found around the UK on a daily basis and often more than just one meeting. This means that online bettors can take advantage of daily racing cards resulting in the availability to bet is almost 365 days a year.

Popular Horse Racing Bets / How To Bet On Horse Racing

Horse racing betting can be as simple or as complicated as you wish to make it. Some of the bets can be quite complicated and even tough to work out potential pay-outs, but we will run you through some of the more popular with a couple of curve balls as well that you may not have known about.

  • Win Bet – Without the doubt, the most common bet is the win only bet. You simply pick your horse that you think will win and if it does, you collect your money!
  • Each Way Bet – Each way betting is where you essentially place two bets; the first on the win market and the second in the place market. Before the race, the bookmaker will tell you how many places they will pay in each way market depending on a number of runners. If you were to put £25 on each way, your stake would equal £50 (£25 on the win market and £25 on the place market). If your horse fails to finish outside the places paid then you will lose your bet. If your horse finishes first then you will receive money for winning the race and from placing in the race. If the horse manages to place but not win, then you will receive the odds on just the place market.
  • Place Only – Many of the betting exchanges will allow you to bet on the horse placing alone so you don’t need to essentially make two bets such as each way market.
  • Lay Bet – Sticking with the betting exchanges, you can lay a horse rather than backing it meaning you expect this horse to lose. It’s an easy way to become your own bookmaker, in reality, setting lines and then laying odds.
  • Accumulator – An accumulator allows you to pick the right result in more than one race to increase the odds and hit a potentially large payday. Many bettors like to take a few strong favorites on their accumulator to make what initially would be short odds placing on a single market, into much more appealing odds by taking on a few races.
  • Tote Betting – The Tote offers an array of betting types for its punters and is a good way to change up your betting patterns to keep everything fresh. Let’s take a look at a couple of the more popular ones.
  • Scoop 6 – The Scoop 6 is probably the Tote’s biggest betting pool where you need to correctly guess the winners of 6 races that are shown on Channel 4 on Saturday to be in with the chance of winning a massive jackpot. The Scoop 6 was the bet that made the first horse racing millionaire from just one bet.
  • Placepot – Similar to each way bet, you need to select the horse that finishes in in the paid places. The places depend on a number of runners in the event.

Horse Racing Betting Rules

There are quite a few rules when it comes to betting on horse racing. We have provided just a handful so if you require more information then please visit your bookmakers help section or contact their support.

  • Dead Heat – If a dead heat occurs then the stake money for each horse is divided by the number of runners and then paid out accordingly. This also applies to dead heats for second, third and so on depending on places paid in that race.
  • Rule 4 – Rule 4 is designed to protect the bookmakers when the favorites have to late withdraw from a race meaning the odds on the other horses are affected. It allows them to alter the odds to reflect the current starting horses and the fact that the (or one of the) favorites is no longer involved.