Betting On Horse Racing – A Simple Guide

Betting On Horse Racing – A Simple Guide
© Racing Post / Patrick McCann
James Prosser
Friday 4th January 2019

Perhaps the biggest betting sport in the UK & Ireland, horse racing is quite simply, massive. To newcomers of the sport, it can look extremely complicated, with lots of numbers and letters that present a minefield.

We have tried to make things easier for you with a simple guide on how to bet on the sport. If you’re looking for a guide on picking winners, then we have you covered.

Where can I bet on horse racing?

The main places to bet on horse racing are:

  1. Online
  2. In a bookmaker’s shop
  3. On course bookmaker
  4. On course Tote shop

The top two are available around the country, while the latter two are only available at horse racing tracks. If you are at a horse racing track, you’ll find you can watch and bet on all the other meetings on in the country at the on course bookmaker shops.

Where should I bet on horse racing?

Our recommendation is to always place your bets online where you can, for the following five reasons:

  1. Ease of Access – bet on your PC, phone or tablet whenever you want, without having to find the nearest shop.
  2. Better Odds – with so much competition online, you’ll have a much better chance of getting the best odds on offer to maximise your returns.
  3. Special Offers – competition also leads to more promotions; Best Odds Guaranteed, First Past The Post and much more.
  4. Free Bets – nearly all bookmakers online will give you free bets when you sign up. See our Free Bets page for the best offers around.
  5. Bet Tracking – all online bookmakers will provide you with a clear breakdown of your profit & loss, making it much easier to track your spending.

It’s also good to bare in mind that many bookmakers will allow you to collect your winnings in store, such as Paddy Power and Coral. If you have one those local to you and don’t want to wait for the withdrawal process, it might be most convenient to you to open an account with a bookmaker that has a shop in your city/town.

How do I place a bet at the racecourse?

You have several options when at the racecourse, with the most popular being the oncourse bookmakers. You’ll find them in the betting ring, with long signs displaying the numbers, name and odds of each horse. To place a bet with them, you simply need to say your desired stake and then the number of the horse – which you can find on the board.

Remember, if you’re going each-way, you’ll want to half how much you’re wanting to spend and say each-way afterwards.

So to stake £5 on a horse which has the number 1 next to it, you would either say:

To win only: “£5 win on number 1 please”
To back it Each Way: “£2.50 each-way on number 1 please”

You can also bet using the tote at all racecourses, and our definitive guide on how to do so can be found on our making money with the tote guide.

How do I bet on horse racing in a shop?

Betting in store is much the same principle as using on course bookmakers, though instead of telling them what you want, you write it down. Using one of the the blank slips, simply write them done as follows:

  • Time of the race
  • Racecourse
  • Your selection (name and/or number)
  • Stake amount
  • Bet type (e.g. £5 to win)
  • Most bookmakers will have Tote slips in store, so you can also bet that way too.

How do I bet online?

Perhaps the easiest and most convenient way to bet, using online bookmakers gives you the most amount of options and the best way to track your bets. Betting online is the most simple way to bet, as all you’ll need to do is head to the horse racing section and pick the race you’re looking for.

Once on there, you can select the horse and you’ll be guided to put in your stake. If you’re unsure what bookmaker to use, you can find our best bookmakers guide online now.

How do I start betting on horse racing?

Once you have an account opened, betting on races is made simple with myracing. You can find all the races for each day in our Racecard section, with most races each day having runner by runner analysis written by our expert team.

Aside from our analysis, we also have pointers for each runners, which can include course winners, in form trainers/jockeys and winning form on the ground. Whether you’re going with our selection or with your own, you’ll find the best odds on the racecard.

Once you’ve clicked on the odds, you’ll find a breakdown of the odds each bookmaker is offering. From there, you can choose your stake and complete your bet.

We also offer multiple tips on a daily basis, so if you’re more of a bigger return, you can find accumulators and Lucky 15s on our daily horse racing tips page. Just like with the individual runners in the racecard, you can compare the odds of each bookmaker on all of our selections on that single page.

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