Michael Tradford
Last Update:
September 10, 2021
This author was thoroughly tested and approved by the experts at before joining the editorial board to ensure a high content quality.
Author Bio:
Michael was Marketing Director in Atlantic City and worked in the casino industry for several years before shifting over to numerous newspapers in New York and Chicago working his way up to Editor-in-Chief. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports, gambling, and politics. He has a Marketing Degree, visited Columbia University during his time in New York and is now Editor-in-Chief at AmericaGambles.
Michael was Marketing Director in Atlantic City and worked in the casino industry for several years before shifting over to numerous newspapers in New York and Chicago working his way up to Editor-in-Chief. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports, gambling, and politics. He has a Marketing Degree, visited Columbia University during his time in New York and is now Editor-in-Chief at AmericaGambles.

Horse Betting 2021: Odds & Strategies

One of the oldest forms of sports betting is horse betting, as people have been placing wagers on the outcomes of horse races for centuries. The fact that horse races are settled within minutes of a bet being placed provides a level of instant gratification that few other sports can provide to bettors. Because of that, horse racing has endured as one of the most popular betting options despite there being so many sports to pick from. In this guide to horse betting odds, find out everything you need to know about how to participate in betting horses before you place your bets at the track or elsewhere.

Everything you need to know about Horse Betting
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  • Action available at tracks around the world

  • Single or exotic bets available

  • One of the oldest forms of sports betting

How does horse racing betting work?

Horse racing gambling is interesting in that it can work a number of different ways depending on the type of bet that is selected. On one hand, a simple act of betting horses on which horse is going to win a race can be one of the easiest things in the world. But there is also the ability to place a complicated system wager that require bettors have in-depth knowledge of how they work in order to avoid confusion and frustration from bettors at the track.

To place a horse bet is simple, as bettors first need to login to their racebook accounts. As long as their account is funded, a bettor can go to the horse racing section of their preferred wagering destination. Once there, they can pick which horse or horses they think will come out on top in a race or a series of races. Once they have done that, they can pick the stake amount that they wish to risk on the bet and lock that bet in by confirming it.

While this is all easy to do from a process standpoint, the understanding of horse racing required to place a wager and make them winners is much more involved. Bettors need to figure out which of the many betting markets that are out there for horse racing they want to pick from as a starting point.

What kinds of horse racing bets can I make?

Online horse racing betting has a large number of possible bet options that can be made throughout each day. This is because there are a lot of races and a lot of different combinations of finishes that can take place in each race. Here is a look at the different types of wager options that can be made in the world of online horse racing betting odds.

  • Win, place, and show wagers
  • Exacta, trifecta, and other single race multis
  • Multi-race multi wagers
  • System wagers

The win, place and show wager are the most basic types of horse racing betting odds, as bettors simply have to do some handicapping predict whether a horse will win, place, or show individually. For example, a bettor can bet on the favorite to show in a race, meaning that they will finish in third place or better in that event. If that horse does finish in the top three or better, the bet is won and the player is paid out. Of course, win and place picks tend to have longer odds than show selections, as there are fewer spots in which a horse can finish for those bets to be successful.

A single-race multi wager requires bettors to figure out the finishing order of a series of horses. An exacta requires bettors to use their handicapping and predict the top two finishers, a trifecta requires a prediction of the top three, and a superfecta requires a top four horse prediction. These can also be done through box plays, where the finishing order doesn’t matter so long as the horses themselves are correct in the finishing order of the race.

Multi-race multi bet options are enjoyed by many as they have the chance to have action across a series of races throughout a day or even throughout multiple days. To lock in one of these bet choices, players can use their handicapping abilities to pick horses to win across multiple races, with the odds increasing with every horse that is picked.

Finally, system wagers require bettors to make a series of selections that are then made into a series of single and multi wagers that can pay out huge if enough of the individual pick selections win. There are system wagers like the Yankee Bet and the Trixie bet that have a few pick combinations, or there are options like the Goliath bet that leads to a huge number of pick combinations to potentially cash in on.

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Important horse racing events

The most important events in horse racing can depend on where in the world a bettor is. In the United States, there are four huge horse racing events that stand about above the rest. The first three are the Triple Crown races that include the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Winning all three of those races in a single year is incredibly rare and usually enough to push a horse into horse racing immortality. The Kentucky Derby is interesting in that winning the Kentucky Derby often makes the Kentucky Derby winner a favorite in the next Triple Crown race. The other big American horse racing event each year is the Breeder’s Cup, which has a massive purse that goes to the winners.

Elsewhere around the world, there are other huge online gambling horse racing events. England has several of these events of their own, with the Grand National and Cheltenham Festival incorporating jumps into the races that create additional drama and excitement. There is also the Royal Ascot, which takes place on more of the American-style flat racing tracks.

Things to remember when placing horse bets

When betting horse racing, bettors should be sure that they are in a position to evaluate the recent form of a horse with the jockey that will be on them during a particular race. A horse could win its last five races, but if they all came with a different jockey, the horse might not respond the same way as they did to their previous rider.

Also worth looking into is how each horse has performed in the different tracks and conditions that they might face during a race. This requires bettors to take a look at the weather forecasts heading into a race and to look at how a horse has done in similar conditions throughout their career. For example, some horses might perform better on a sloppy track than others when it rains, as the mud can make running difficult for horses that have less experience dealing with those types of conditions. While there are of course times where horses buck those trends, knowing what those trends are can help maximize a bettor’s chances of coming away with a win when online horse betting on a race where tracks and their conditions create difficult circumstances.

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Horse racing gambling strategies

As far as horse betting strategy is concerned, when betting horse racing, bettors should be sure to look beyond just the favorites in each race. There are so many things that can go wrong for a horse during a race, from bad track positioning to getting boxed in behind other horses, that bettors could get better value from a horse that is considered less likely to win going into a race. At the very least, looking for value bets in each race is something that can help bettors learn more about the horses in each race so they can be a more sophisticated bettor for the future.

Another solid piece of strategic advice is to manage money wisely when it comes to online horse betting. There are typically several races that take place over the course of each race day, to where it can get easy for bettors to chase their losses in previous races by wagering more on the races that follow. Instead of doing that, keeping a strong bankroll management plan in place can help bettors keep more of their money. This approach also makes bettors focus more on their handicapping than on the amount they have won or lost, which lends itself to winning bets going forward.

Find your perfect racebook

Horse racing betting online can range from the simple to the complex based on the sheer number of horse wagers that are available to be made. Depending on your horse playing preferences, some sports betting sites might be able to meet your needs while others fall short. And with our sportsbook comparison tool, you can get an idea of which sites may be best for you. Whether you are looking for the best bonuses or other criteria to be met, our tool can help point you in the right direction. Don’t waste another moment! Check out our bookmaker comparison tool and find your ideal site today.

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Sports: 21+
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Min. Odds: -190
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Short, exciting action
With online gambling horse racing is made easier and more difficult at the same time by the fact that it’s competitors aren’t talking throughout each event. On one hand, bettors don’t have to worry about lapses in mentality or similar problems that can arise from human athletes. On the other hand, a bettor can never truly know how a horse is feeling heading into a race. But horse racing betting online is by far one of the most exciting types of wagering that exist in the sports world today, with the ability to place basic and complicated bets making for fun action that appeals to casual and hardcore fans.
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