How To Bet On Horses

Horse racing is one of the most popular sports when it comes to betting in the world. Events such as Cheltenham attract millions of eyes to the sport but also to betting on the sport. For those who are new to the sport of horse racing, however, placing a bet can be perceived as quite a daunting task due to the number of bet types and the complexity of betting odds.

In this article we are going to walk you through how to bet on horse racing so that you can  make money online. Knowing exactly what the different bet types are and how the odds work is crucial to ensure you are placing the bets you actually want to place. 

The Different Types Of Bets 

The first thing you need to do when betting on horses is to select your preferred bet type. There are multiple different types of bets so it’s important that you know the differences between each one. 

There is a ‘win’ bet which is where you predict which horse will finish first. Then there is ‘place’ which offers its highest payout if your chosen horse finishes first, and also pays out smaller returns if the horse finishes from places 2nd up to potentially 5th depending on how many horses are in the race. Then there is ‘Exacta’ which is where you predict which horses will finish both first and second in a specific order. Then there is ‘trifecta’ which is the same but you also have to predict the third horse. Then there is a ‘quinella’ bet which involves placing a bet on which horses will come first and second but in any order. Finally, there is the ‘daily double’ which is where you pick the winner of two consecutive races. 

It’s important to note that different variations of these bets exist and the specifics of the bet can change depending on the track and number of horses in the race. It’s important to understand these types before you place any bet as to ensure you are placing the right bet for you.

How Do Odds Work? 

Before picking your horse it’s important to understand the odds that come with each horse. Odds are a constant foundation of betting used in every kind of sports betting. They are a mathematical number or fraction that represent how much you can expect to earn based on the size of your bet. 

The bookmakers decide horse racing odds by how likely a horse is to win. They decide the odds based on multiple factors such as past performances, the condition of the track, the horse’s performance on said track, and the skill and condition of both horse and jockey. 

The odds presented decide how much you can expect to be returned if your bet wins. For example if a horse is 3/1, that means for every £1 you will receive £3 + £1 (your stake). Understanding the odds can be very helpful when deciding which bet to place. A horse with low odds means that they are favourites to win the race, meaning that they would be considered a safe pick with a not very rewarding payout. Whereas a horse with high odds would be a very risky pick but also has high reward. 

When trying to calculate odds a betting calculator can come in very handy. A betting calculator is a calculator that takes in all the necessary information surrounding your bet and tells you how much you are expected to receive if the bet wins and how much you can expect to lose if it fails. Betting calculators are very useful for fine tuning bets and strategies.

How To Pick Your Horse

The final step in betting on horses is to actually pick the horse or horses you would like to back. You have your bet, you know how to read the odds now you just need to make an actual prediction. Before choosing a horse however there are a few ways to research the options available to ensure you are making an informed bet. 

First you should review the horses. Make sure to look at a horse’s previous performance history, including not just the results but also the type of race and the conditions of the track. Some horses perform better in certain environments and knowing this can give you an edge. This data should always be applied in context though. A horse that has won 7 out of 10 races sounds great on paper until you realise that it has finished dead last in its last 3 races. As previously mentioned the race conditions should also be reviewed and compared against the horses to find the right horse for the right race. Finally consider the odds of each horse as that can give an indication on how likely they are perceived to win the race. 

You can also look at the jockey’s form and race history. You could have an average horse but if it is being ridden by a world class jockey then you should keep an eye on them as they could be a dark horse.

Once you have processed all this information you can use your findings to make a decision which will give you a light edge. It’s important to note that your chances of winning will still be down to just that chance, no matter how much research you do. 


Horse racing is one of the most popular sports in the world and one of the most bet on sports in the world. If you would like to join the fun then we hope this article has been informative on not just how to bet on horse racing, but how to bet efficiently to give yourself the best chance of winning.