What to know before betting on horses?

Horse races are an exciting and dynamic discipline and placing bets on them is full of adrenaline and positive emotions. Odds on winners, even clear favorites, are rarely lower than 2.0. Quotes are placed a few days before the start of the race when the list of participants is formed. These are the so-called “early prices”. The odds before the start of the race are referred to as the” starting price “. The values of these two types of quotes can vary greatly depending on the news about the condition of the horse/the jockey and the money supply movement.

Bets on horse racing is a whole science. In the United Kingdom and the United States, there are specialized radio stations and TV channels that tell about horse races. Books, magazines, and newspapers are published. Visiting the best sports gambling sites can help to place bets on horses and make money.

Horse racing also attracts the attention of bettors because of the speed of events. Unlike one-and-a-half-hour football matches, the duration of the average competition takes about 10 minutes. In addition, the races are held daily with a minimum interval between them, which allows you to apply different strategies and often bet.

A novice bettor should learn to read the racing form (program). This information is provided by the bookmaker itself, as well as specialized resources (for example, TimeForm).

The following information is usually visible on the racing form (card) :

  • venue and start time of the race, distance, countdown to the race;
  • the bookmaker notifies about the Best Odds Guaranteed, Best Price policy, guaranteeing that the best odds will be accepted if it changes by the time the event starts;
  • a reminder that the broadcast of the race can be viewed online on the channel “At the Races”;
  • list of horses with names, jockeys, trainers, and colors of ammunition;
  • form (places taken in the last races), age of the horses, and additional weight for the”handicap” type of racing bet. The weight is set by a special commission of handicappers and its translation from pounds to kilograms will not tell us anything, except for the well-known fact – the leaders are hung with more weight, the underdogs with less. Such manipulations are made to equalize the chances of the horses;
  • quote movement.

Some bookmakers indulge their customers with Racing Post comments. Comments are given both in general to the race, and separately to each horse. Racing Post – one of the oldest and top British publications about horse race (there is a website version). RP-a a storehouse of statistics and analytics: maps, online results, news, handicapper tips, bookmaker ratings, mobile app, etc.

Among the main types of horse races are the following:

  • Smooth (the most popular type when horses compete on flat tracks);
  • With obstacles (competitions are held with different obstacles at distances: ditches, fences, crossbars);
  • Endurance (participants overcome the longest distances, up to 1000 km);
  • Trotting (wheelchair racing, which is the least common in the bookmakers ‘ lines);
  • Maiden (horses that have not won before compete here. The winners receive a ticket to a higher division).
How are horse bet winnings calculated? Odds and bets

Horse racing is a sport in which bets are placed according to a special system. In the racing, the winner is the one who comes to the finish line first. Horse races differ from team games also in that there are not 2 opponents competing here, but much more so that for horse racing bets can be made on many outcomes.

The odds for a bet are traditionally high, but keep in mind that they change dynamically, and it is important to choose the right moment to make the most profitable bet on a horse race. At the racetracks there are such varieties of betting odds on horse racing:

  • AR – for long-term preliminary bids;
  • EP – early coefficients, set after the approval of the list of participants (1-2 days before the start of the competition), are valid until the horses are brought to the courtyard of the racetrack;
  • EP – board-coefficients, valid from the moment the horses are brought to the courtyard and until the start of the race;
  • SP – starting points, offered at the start of the competetion.

Some major bookmakers offer favorable conditions for players to bet: if bets on horse racing were made at an early or board coefficient, and the starting one was higher, in case of a win, it is guaranteed to be paid at the starting coefficient (a guarantee for the best odds).

Types of bets on horse racing
  • Win – a bet on one winner;
  • Win place (prize) bet– on the fact that the selected horse will take one of the prize places (their number in different races varies);
  • Show bet-indicates that the horse will come first, second, or third. If your horse finishes second, you get place and show money. A win, place, and show payout depends on the takeout and how accurate your picks are;
  • Forecast bet– you need to guess the first two winners in the correct sequence;
  • Treble (tricast) bet– the same, but for 3 horses; more difficult bet;
  • Reverse Forecast bet-on two likely winners; if one of the specified horses comes first, the bet wins.

This is not a complete list of possible options. Racetracks accept specific types of horse racing bets that are often not available in the offices, for example, combined Win/ Place or Win/Place/Show.

The analysis of winnings

The “Form” column usually shows the places occupied by the horse in the last races. Based on this information, you can make an opinion about the chances of the upcoming competitions. Another important parameter in assessing the prospects of a particular horse is the personality of the jockey. The result of the performances directly depends on the skill of the rider. So it happens that a strong horse with a bad rider does not get into the prizes.

Conversely, a bet with a mediocre horse wins with a strong jockey. If you’re looking for one universal tip on how to correctly bet on horse racing, it is impossible to tell in a nutshell, it is a whole science. Professionals have been collecting statistics for years, creating databases, personally evaluating the shape of horses before the race, the condition of the surface, which is affected by weather conditions. Bets on a virtual horse race, for example, do not provide such an opportunity, so they probably will not bring as much pleasure as real ones, but they can still provide a decent win.

How do you win a horse bet?

The win depends on the chosen strategy. There are a great many strategies, most of which are related to gaming since the financial aspect has long been studied and remains almost unchanged for betting regardless of the sport. Let’s say even more when betting in bookmakers, you should adhere to conservative bankroll management – betting on high odds can sway the variance and lead to rapid bankruptcy. Before moving on to the strategy review, let’s give some more general tips on how to place bets:

  • Better not to use Martingale. Doubling the bet size after a loss, and wanting to win back immediately, will inevitably lead the newcomer to collapse.
  • Do not place a bet on everything – carefully analyze the racecards.
  • Don’t make yourself one horse as a favorite among the horses by betting on it just because this one horse has once won.

The “Betting on the Favorite” strategy

In its purest form, this line of behavior hardly makes sense. Otherwise, the players would follow the opinion of the bookmakers or the same Racing Post and would always be in the black. We can talk about competent selection, selecting those leaders who have good indicators for the season, rested more than competitors, did not change jockeys before the race, etc.

The strategy of “Betting against the favorites”

This is not even a strategy, but a whole direction in betting on horse racing. The bottom line is that the bettor selects overvalued favorites and makes a bet of the “against” type on the exchange. To limit financial risks, it is not recommended to assume excessive obligations. If you analyze the odds of winning favorites, they often rotate near the deuce. This fact can be used for profitable transactions. We will bet in those races when the competitors have a real chance to come first. The calculation here is that at least one horse will be ahead of the favorite.

The algorithm here is very simple and completely repeats the Martingale catch-up method. That is, the first bet is equal to 1% of the game bank. If it doesn’t go in, then the size of the next one doubles. In the same format, there is an increase in the following.

As soon as you win, the size of the next bet on horse racing returns to the original one. It should be noted that the win is always equal to the initial bet, regardless of which step of the catch-up will win the bet. On weekends, the number of competitions is always a lot. Therefore, during one Saturday or Sunday, you will be able to conclude enough deals to achieve a positive result. The most important condition for a successful game on this strategy of betting on horse racing is the correct choice of races. It is extremely important to have the statistics of the previous races of the favorites at hand. On its basis, those horses that do not always finish first are selected.

Trixie with three horses

The essence of the strategy is very simple. It is suitable if you’re betting on three horses on morning races at different racetracks and determine the favorite in each. Then make 3 double express bets with these three horses and one triple — the so-called “Trixie”. Thus, you ensure the risks and guarantee yourself a win, even if only two horses of the three favorites win. Choose the odds at least 2, otherwise, the winnings will be quite insignificant.

You want to place a Trixie bet on horse A, B, and B. You will have to make 4 bets in total:

  • win A + win B,
  • win B + win C,
  • win C + win A,
  • win A + win B + win C.

To guarantee a win when winning two horses out of three, choose odds on favorites above 2. In this scenario, any final coefficient will be greater than 4 And this is more than you spent on bets.

Simplified Trixie

If you can’t find three horses for a full-fledged Trixie, two horses will be enough. A simplified Trixie is two single bets on favorites in different races and one double bet.

The picture will be approximately the following:

Win A,

Win B,

Win A + win B.


If you’re betting on races with multiple favorites, then it is a dating bet. If there are two favorites in the race, the bookmaker will offer to bet on each of them with odds of 4 or higher. This arrangement will suit you. Place single bets on each favorite. The winnings paid will cover your expenses for the second bet. There can be more than two favorites. Then the coefficients for each will be higher. Make more single bets. But make sure that the winnings at the minimum coefficient cover the costs of the remaining bets.

Follow the money strategy

One of the most interesting and working tactics of betting on horse racing is to “follow the money”. It is designed for long-term use, so you should be patient and strictly observe financial discipline. The essence lies in betting on known outsiders, the odds on which start to fall sharply on the day of the race.

On the day of the race, we look at the maps that interest us. For example, we see a change in the early coefficient of 55.0 to 24.0 a couple of hours before the start. Two important nuances: quotes for the favorite should standstill; the form of the outsider should inspire optimism. The first indicates the absence of significant cash injections into the opinion leader, the second – the underdog is not hopeless. For example, he did not win, but there is progress in places. To reduce the variance, there is a variation of “follow the money”, when we do not bet on a clear victory of the” dark horse”, but use the” each-way ” type of bet (winning or getting into prizes).

Many game strategies for betting on horse racing are used in various variations of the combination of express trains so that one successful exhaust covers the losses. The weak point of these tactics is again in swinging the variance – it is not known how long you will have to wait for a successful arrival and whether the bank will remain at this point.

Can I make money betting on horses?

The answer is yes, and it is important to keep in mind several tips when you’re betting.

  • Watch live broadcasts.

In some sports, you can bet blindly, relying only on numbers and statistics. To earn money on horse racing, it is better to watch the races live. You will see the riding style of the athletes, their tactics, and their potential. You may be able to spot promising outsiders that no one believes in yet. If you choose between a trip to the racetrack or an online broadcast, it is better to choose an online broadcast. You’ll get a close-up view of the entire race. If necessary, you can enable replay. You can go to the racetrack for the atmosphere, but you will not see the details there.

  • Explore the racetrack.

The racetrack for racers is like a Formula One track. Some they know better, some they like better, some they are simply lucky. If you can calculate your favorite racetracks from the favorites, you will greatly improve the quality of your bets.

  • Don’t chase high odds.

In horse racing, it is better to stick to proven strategies and bet on the favorites so you will get chances of winning money. The odds are not high on them, but outsiders in horse racing rarely win. To increase the odds, it is better to bet the express on two or three favorites in different races than to bet on an outsider and lose.

When describing the shape of a horse, several acronyms and symbols are also used. Here are some of them:

  • The DNF-the horse did not reach the finish line;
  • BD-the horse was hit by other participants of the race;
  • F-the horse fell;
  • U – the horse threw the jockey;
  • The PU-the horse stopped running during the race;
  • SU-the steed slipped;
  • DSQ-disqualification;
  • The P-the horse is out of the race;

– – long break in the race;

/ – start of a new season.

Other tips when making bets

In horse racing, every detail is important. Wins in the last races indicate a good form of the horse, but this does not mean that it will lead in the upcoming race. It is better to take into account the level of competitions in which the horse participated, and the strength of his rivals. Young horses are dominated by sprinting qualities, but they do not know how to correctly distribute power over a distance. But in the age-old horses, endurance dominates. In short races, light horses have the advantage, but in a long race, heavy horses have the advantage. If the horse has not performed for 3-4 months, it can finish both first and last. The experience of a jockey does not play a secondary role. The more he has raced, the better the horse feels. Remember that a good jockey will not win a race with a weak horse, and a strong horse will not take the prize with an inexperienced rider.

Analyze the capabilities of a person and a horse you’re betting on as a whole, not separately. The track surface can be unpaved, grassy, or artificial. Also, the track can be soft, hard, dry, wet, or frozen. On a dry track, the favorites run better. On a soft surface, the hooves get stuck in the ground, so in addition to speed, strength and endurance are important. On an icy road, the probability of falling and damage increases. Good weather is a plus for the favorites, but in bad weather, sensations often happen.

Before making a bet, find out about the last race of the horse that’s your choice now. Will the horse have time to recover? The weight of the horses is estimated to equalize the chances of the participants. They throw an additional load on them, which is problematic to assess by eye. This skill comes with experience.

Analyze racetracks while placing bets. There are tracks with non-standard features, such as sharp turns or a rise at the finish line. If the horse has performed on this track before – this is an advantage and a sign to place a bet here.

Consider the type of racing: smooth, barrier (with obstacles), trotting (in harness), and others. The number of participants in the race: the smaller, the easier it is to predict the winner.

Disassemble the race card before making a choice. It is provided on the bookmaker’s website for each race. The table shows the shape of the horses, weight, and other parameters.

Horse races today

Equestrian sports (show jumping, dressage, vaulting, triathlon) are popular all over the world. However, if we are talking about horse racing, then this sport has long been crowding football, tennis, and other top sports mainly in the UK and other English-speaking countries (for example, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa).

If you’re looking for the most famous and largest events in the world here they are:

  • Melbourne Cup (held since 1861 and called “the race that stops the nation”, i.e. it is considered a matter of honor not to work during the final races and watch them on TV, the competition stretches for a week, up to 4 hundred horses participate, the prize fund exceeds 5 million Australian dollars, the winner is awarded a cup of gold weighing 2 kg);
  • Kentucky Derby (one of the 3 pompous races in the United States, the first Kentucky Derby was held in 1875, the race is called “Two great Minutes” and “Racing for Roses”, as in about 2 minutes the horses overcome the distance of 2011 meters, the winner’s horse is decorated with a wreath of 554 roses, the festival takes 2 weeks);
  • Royal Ascot – the pearl of racing in Great Britain, the tradition of holding the race goes back to 1711 from Queen Anne Stewart (18 races, the presence of the royal family, a strict dress code, the attention of the whole of Britain);
  • The World Cup in the Dubai-the Arab Emirates would not be such if since 1966 they did not start holding competitions that have no equal in terms of luxury (only for the right to enter the race you need to pay about 60 thousand dollars, the total prize fund is more than 26 million, of which the winner will get 10 million);
  • The Japan Cup is the youngest elite race, which began in 1981 (the distance is 2.4 km, the main prize is 5 million dollars, the age limit for horses is not less than 3 years old).

Daily Racing Form newspaper reviews all these events. Major horse races with million-dollar prizes are also held in France, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Ireland, and South Africa.

Choosing a bookmaker for race betting

The best option to bet will be English offices like William Hill. Here you will see a huge mural and the highest odds. It is necessary to take seriously the action line of the race. The more outcomes offered, the better because successful players in most cases make combined bets. Pay attention to the presence of video streaming. In live streaming, you can make adjustments to your forecasts, which will bring you more profit, and it is extremely difficult to do this without visual analysis.


Successful horse racing betting requires careful preparation and analysis. To bet successfully you need to take into account the shape of the horse, but you can not rely on one statistic. Take into account the track surface, the age of the horse, and the experience of the jockey. Remember that the result of the race is also affected by the weather. Analyze the horse and rider together, not separately. In the race, consider all the participants. Place two bets or three bets if you have not decided on a single favorite. Manage the bank competently and you will earn money on your knowledge.

There are a huge number of options for horse race betting. We have told you about the most interesting and profitable of them, but you can try your options, as the races are held regularly. Therefore, try to learn as much information as possible before the race to make a high-quality and accurate analysis, increase your chance of winning and bet productively.