Horse racing and betting go together like steak and chips and there is no end to the betting opportunities that racing offers.
Whether online, in the bookies or on course, there’s a ton of betting markets to fire into as you look to snag a big win.
Read on to get a handy breakdown of the most popular horse racing bets and hopefully we can guide you to a juicy winner or two.
Bookies offer prices for every single race in the UK and Ireland, every day of the week, plus action from the US, France, South Africa, and Australia.
Most punters will have a bet before the race but you can also have a punt in-running if something catches your eye once the race has started and the action unfolds.
Horse racing betting in its simplest form – you’re placing a bet on a specific horse to win the race.
If the horse does the business, you’re a winner but if it doesn’t win, it’s time to come up with another plan.
Here, you’re basically placing two bets in one – a bet on your horse to win and a bet on it to nab a place.
The number of places paid out depends on the number of runners in a race:
If your horse is placed, the win part is beat but you’ll be paid on the place bet.
If your horse wins, you’re paid out on the win AND the place – job’s a good’un.
Keep a lookout though, some bookmakers offer extra places, so it’s well worth shopping about if you’re having an each-way bet.
Forecast & Tricast Betting
These bets are trickier to hit but they offer you a roll of the dice to land some hefty returns for a small stake.
To scoop a Forecast you need to pick the first two horses home in a race, and for a Tricast, it’s the first three.
Just like footy, Accas are a super popular bet on horse racing, especially when you fancy the favourites.
This bet’s a multiple, so every horse has to win for it to land and if your luck is in, you can net a sexy return for a small outlay.
For many, a Saturday afternoon Acca on the racing is standard – get the bet on, sit back and watch the racing over a couple of pints down the pub.
Multiples Betting – Lucky/Yankee
Lucky 15s and Yankees might look complicated but you can bag a tasty payout for small stakes.
A Lucky 15 needs four selections and the clue’s in the name, it’s 15 bets – 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and an acca.
One winner will get some cashback in your pocket but any more and you could be buying the next round…or five.
Like a Lucky 15, a Yankee needs four selections but it’s only 11 bets – 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and an acca.
Two winners will see you collecting but three or four winners can see a big payout – kerching.
Ante-post betting is having a bet on a horse weeks or even months before a specific race.
Many punters look to back horses for a big meeting well before race day in the hope they can nab some extra value at a big price.
If your horse is in-form, its price can shorten as race day approaches – on the flip side though, if your pick shows poor form and doesn’t make it to the big race, your bet’s a loser.
Live betting on horse racing has exploded in recent years – all the main bookmakers plus the betting exchanges (such as Betfair) now offer in-running opportunities.
You might be watching a race and think a horse is running well – add it your slip and get that bet on, but be quick before the odds shorten.
Horse racing is the beating heart of UK betting – the bookies are queuing up every day to offer you some tasty Odds Boosts on the action.
Make sure you check out our Odds Boost page, where we do the hard work for you by flagging the best Odds Boosts, seven days a week.
Horse Racing - FAQ
Now you’ve read our horse racing guide, you’re all set.
Just log into your bookie account, check out the horse racing markets, pick your horse, get that bet on and then cheer it home…hopefully.
When having a bet on horse racing you want a bookie that offers a range of markets plus some hot Odds Boosts.
The top three bookies who offer all this are bet365, Paddy Power, and William Hill.
In the UK, horse racing is shown on three channels - ITV, Sky Sports Racing, and Racing TV.
The easiest way to watch all the live-action though is to have a bet at one of our recommended bookies and you can then stream the race live on their website or their app - simple.
National Hunt racing is horse racing over obstacles - either hurdles or fences and is the main racing focus over the winter months in the UK and Ireland.
The Cheltenham Festival is the ‘Olympics’ for National Hunt racing and is held annually in March.