How To Make Bets On Horse Races >> Online Racebooks >> How To Bet On Horses

This page is designed to help you get better acquainted with how to make wagers on horse racing. We know this can be confusing and it is probably the #1 reason why even most gambling enthusiasts do not take advantage of this form of wagering. For this reason we have put together some information that readers will find useful when venturing into the world of horse betting.

This page is just designed to show you the basics of horse racing as well as how to actually place a wager. We're going to cover several of the popular wager types and you can even find tips for betting on horse races by following the preceding link. Keep reading more below and we'll do our best to get you prepared to make your first bet on a race.

Jump To: Best Racebooks - Steps For Placing A Wager - Popular Wager Types

We Recommend These Sites For Online Horse Betting

Below we have a few of the sites we trust the most when it comes to betting the ponies. And, when we say that we trust them, we actually use them with our own money which is why we can testify for them. If after reading the content on this page and you are still confused then do not hesitate to visit any of these sites. We learned a lot of what we know about betting on horses by visiting these sites and going to the help section. Plus, you can really learn a lot by just making bets... learn from experience. But, if you do try to learn on the fly then we suggest starting with very modest wagers which most of these racebooks allow wagers as low as $1 on a single bet.

Sites We Trust With Our Own Money

Bovada - 5% Cashback On Horses

The undisputed leader for online horse betting in North America is Bovada's racebook. They accept U.S. players from all states except Washington and Maryland plus they have numerous racebook deposit methods that are approved for US players. And, international depositors are well taken care of too with the numerous, big name e-wallets that Bovada accepts. A perk that Bovada offers it's bettors is a 5% rebate for losses accumlated in any given week. Plus, Bovada has deposit bonuses for all types of gambling, horse racing included.

Bovada Offers Betting At These Tracks (seasonal):

Aqueduct, Arapahoe Park, Arlington Park, Belmont Park, Beulah Park, Calder Race Course, Canterbury Park, Charles Town, Churchill Downs, Colonial Downs, Del Mar, Delaware Park, Delta Downs, Dubai Meydan, Ellis Park, Emerald Downs, Evangeline Downs, Fair Grounds, Fairmount Park, Fairplex Park, Finger Lakes, Fort Erie, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Hawthorne Thoroughbred, Hollywood Park, Hoosier Park, Indiana Downs, Keeneland, Kentucky Downs, Laurel Park, Lone Star Park, Los Alamitos, Louisiana Downs, Meadowlands Thoroughbred, Monmouth Park, Mountaineer Park, Oaklawn Park, Parx Racing, Penn National, Pimlico, Pleasanton, Portland Meadows, Prairie Meadows, Presque Isle Downs, Remington Park, River Downs, Ruidoso Downs, Sam Houston Race Park, Santa Anita Park, Santa Rosa, Saratoga, Solano, Suffolk Downs, Sunland Park, Tampa Bay Downs, Thistledown, Turf Paradise, Turfway Park, Woodbine, Yavapai Downs, Zia Park

Bovada Racebook Review Visit Bovada Racebook

BetOnline - 7% Rebate Program

USA bettors seem to really like what BetOnline has in their racebook and it's not just because all USA players are welcome to wager on their horse racing lines. Like any respectable racebook, BetOnline takes wagers on races that are run at tracks all over Europe, Australia, North America, and South America. BetOnline offers numerous deposit types for players all over the world including credit card deposits for Americans. Their 7% rebate is a sweet deal but you should also know about their lifetime 25% deposit bonus good for up to $900 in freeplay each time!

BetOnline Offers Betting At These Tracks (seasonal):

Aqueduct, Arlington, Balmoral, Belmont Park, Belmont Stakes, Beulah, Calder Race Course, Canterbury Park, Charles Town, Churchill Downs, Colonial Downs, Del Mar, Delaware Park, Delta Downs, Dover Downs, Ellis Park, Emerald Downs, Evangeline Downs, Fair Grounds, Fairmount Park, Fairplex Park, Finger Lakes, Fort Erie, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream, Hawthorne, Hollywood Park, Hoosier, Indiana Downs, Keeneland,Laurel Park, Lone Star Park, Louisiana Downs, Maywood Park, Meadowlands, Mohawk, Monmouth Park, Mountaineer Park, Northfield Park, Oaklawn Park, Penn National, Philadelphia Park, Pimlico, Pocono Downs, Pompano Park, Prairie Meadows, Presque Isle Downs, Remington Park, River Downs, Sam Houston, Santa Anita, Saratoga, Suffolk Downs, Sunland Park, Tampa Bay Downs, The Meadows, Thistledown, Turf Paradise, Turfway, Woodbine, Yavapai Downs, Yonkers

BetOnline Racebook Review Visit BetOnline Racebook

Logo Best Online Racebooks Bonus USA Players? Location Visit
Bovada Racebook 5% Rebate YES Antiqua VISIT
BetOnline Racebook 7% Rebate YES Panama VISIT
Sportsbetting Racebook 7% Rebate YES Panama VISIT
5Dimes Racebook 9% Rebate YES Costa Rica VISIT
BoDog Racebook 100% - $200 YES Antigua VISIT

Steps On How To Make A Simple Bet On Horse Racing

Below, we are going to include the steps that you will need to take if you were making a simple bet in Bovada's online racebook. These steps assume that you already have an account at the racebook, have money deposited, and that you signed in. And, though these are the steps at Bovada, these will not vary much when betting with other racebooks.

1) Once in the racebook section under the "Horses" tab across the top nav, simply select the track that has the race you want to wager on. Bovada lists all the active tracks for that day, for which they are going accept wagers on the track's races.

2) After selecting the track, find the particular race you want to wager on. Bovada has individual races listed by race number as well as the post time so finding the right race should not ever be a problem.

3) While these steps are supposed to cover simple win/place/show bets, this would be the point at which you would select which wager type you want. This is done by selecting between several tabs across the top of the betting ticket. The ticket is located below the list of races and post times for the races available today. If you are making a simple wager then you will not need to worry about this because the ticket is set to win/place/show as default.

4) Select which horse you want to wager on by choosing between Win, Place, and Show checkboxes listed to the right of the horse. Be sure to note the gate number (listed to the left of the horse) because it will be listed on your wager slip. You can select multiple wagering options for the same horse, or you can bet the same wager across several horses all on the same ticket which really speeds things up. The odds for the race are listed in the same row with the horses. There are two columns for the odds, the current odds and the morning line however most races just run on the morning line.

5) Once you have made your selections, click the button "Add To My Ticket" and your selections will be appear in the box above where you will then decide how much you want to wager on each. The selections in your ticket will be defined by four things: the track you're wagering at, the race number, the gate number of the horse you're wagering on, and the wager that you're selecting (win/place/show, etc...).

6) Once you have entered the amount you want to risk on each horse/wager, click the button "Proceed With Bet". From there, you will be taken to one more screen where you will then confirm the wagers you want to place. As long as you have the money to cover the wagers you're places and the race hasn't already hit it's post time, your bet will be placed. Once your wager is placed, you can always go back and review the wager, even after the race has already been run.

10 Most Popular Horse Racing Wagers Made Online

Listed below are the ten most common types of horse betting wagers. Refer back to this guide when you're just starting out as a horse racing bettor and avoid the confusion so often encountered by amateur horse racing bettors.

Win/Place/Show: The most common types of bets. A win bet is when you pick the horse that will come in first overall. A place bet means the horse you pick will come in either first or second. A show bet pays off the least of all three, but you win if your chosen horse comes in first, second, or third.

Combination Bet: Combination bets are a great way to wander out of the kiddie pool of "Win/Place/Show" bets and into the more exotic wagers. Combination bets are available at the top horse racebooks online and at live horse racing tracks, and are bets that cover anywhere from two to four horses to finish in a chosen order. Obviously, a combination bet on four horses will pay off more than a combo bet on just two horses, but is more difficult to win.

Pick 3: A fun exotic bet that many beginning horse gamblers will take a stab at is the Pick 3 bet. The Pick 3 bet requires you to pick the first-place finishing horses of three consecutive races. Not every race track offers Pick 3 bets, but the best Internet horse race betting sites will offer them even if the live track isn't laying odds on Pick 3s. If you want to get a little more complex, some race courses have what is called a "rolling Pick 3" where the gambler has the option of continuing his successful Pick 3 into the next 3 races, offering even bigger payouts if you can continue your lucky streak.

Pick 6: Similar to a Pick 3, and almost identical to a rolling Pick 3, a Pick 6 bet asks you to pick the overall winner of six races in a row. If you lose any one leg of your Pick 6 bet, your entire wager is lost. Horse racing tracks tend to set Pick 6 bets at the beginning of the day's races, though some have been known to offer Pick 6 options in the middle of the card or even at the end. At the more popular online horse betting sites, so-called "carry over pools" are formed for Pick 6 bets that swell pool betting on any 6 races up into the millions of dollars, so a Pick 6 bet online can be one of the most lucrative wagers you can place on horses on the Internet.

The Daily Double: Not offered at all race tracks, but usually available at the Internet's best horse racing sites, the Daily Double asks you to pick the overall winner of the first and second race of the day. This is a common live bet at horse racing tracks in America, where you'll often hear the bet called out something like this: "$5 daily double on 3 and 7," where the first number refers to your pick for the first race and the second number for the second race. This is an easy exotic bet for amateur horse bettors to get into, as it only involves picking the overall winner of two races, and not three or six like some of the more exotic prop horse racing bets.

Quinella: This common exotic bet, known as the Reverse Forecast bet at international tracks, is a winner if you pick two horses that come in first or second. The cool thing about a Quinella bet is that it doesn't matter which horse comes in which position, and you can usually bet a Quinella on any race on the card for that given day. The payoff for a Quinella may not be as big as other exotics, but it is an easy way for those of you new to horse betting to get out of the old "Win/Place/Show" rut and into some more lucrative forms of horse race wagering.

Perfecta or Exacta: Known as the Straight Forecast bet in international races, a Perfecta or Exacta bet is similar to the familiar Quinella bet, except that you're required to pick the top two finishing horses in the correct order. The payout for a Perfecta bet is higher than for a Quinella, but it is also a more difficult wager to win.

Straight Trifecta: Known internationally as a Tricast or Triple Forecast bet, a straight Trifecta requires the bettor to pick the exact finishing order of the first three horses in a given race. Trifecta bets pay out big, but are also more difficult to win, since you have to figure not just which horse will win overall or come in second, often easy to determine based on odds and handicapping information, but which horse will come in third place as well.

$1 Trifecta Box: This wager is not common at race tracks but can commonly be found at online horse racing sites—it asks you to pick three horses to finish first, second and third, in any order. When you place this bet, you are actually laying down six $1 bets, so your total wager is $6. Since your three horses can finish in any order, it is a much easier wager to win than the Straight Trifecta.

Superfecta: The superfecta bet requires you to pick the first four horses in their exact finishing order. This is considered one of the tougher wagers to win at any horse racing event. The payoff can be huge, but the odds against you picking the first four finishers in exact order are high.