Horse Racing Betting
The UK has a long and proud history of horse racing betting and thanks to the arrival of the internet it has never been easier to make money off sports betting sites.
Picking winners is still tough but the vast amount of information out there about horse races makes it straightforward to carry out research, while bookies offer a vast array of promotions.
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Events such as the Cheltenham Festival – which takes place every March – are the highlight of the racing calendar but as an all-year sport there is always going to be a race to bet on.
Here at Betting Top 10 we want to give you all of the information you need to be a winner when you are betting on horse racing and this guide should give you an edge on the many bookmakers.
We’ll be covering odds, tips and winning strategies so read on – and good luck!
Horse Racing Odds
A lot of people who bet on horse racing may only do so once or twice a year for a big race like the Grand National or the Gold Cup, so it is worth having a quick refresher on how odds are calculated by sports betting sites.
In the UK, odds are typical shown in their fraction form, so for instance a horse might be listed at a price of 10/1 to win whatever race you have picked out.
This means that for every £1 you opt to stake on the horse, you would be in line to win £10. Fraction odds are always simple to work out as the number on the left is the winnings you would receive if you were to stake the number on the right.
You can also choose to have your odds displayed in decimal form, which some gamblers find easier to follow. Most bookies will allow you the option to switch between the two.
A price of 10/1 in decimal odds would be 11 and it is easy to convert fraction odds into decimal as it is simply the price plus 1 for the stake. It really is that simple.
Many people who follow the sport of kings like to bet each way, which can be very fruitful particularly in an accumulator, but this is where the odds can get a little bit more complicated for those who are not already experts in the field of gambling.
Each way odds
An each way bet means you have two bets in one – the horse to win, and the horse to finish in a place position. How many places are paid out depends very much on the race and which sports betting site you are using.
For a race like the National that has a very big field, you can expect for the each way odds to be around 1/4 the odds for a finish in the top five.
So if you were to pick out a horse that was offered at a price of 40/1 by a bookmaker for example, and you decided to place £1 each way on the selection, you could win a total profit of £50 if the each way odds were offered at 1/4 by the bookie.
This is as you win £40 for your £1 to win bet, while the £1 each way is also a winner but at 1/4 of the odds to win, which works out as £10 in this case. Your total returns would be £52 from your bookmaker, including the £2 you chose to stake on your selected horse.
A horse racing bet calculator can be useful to follow how much money you are in line to win.
Horse racing betting tips
Success in betting on horse races does not come easily, but by setting aside plenty of time to carry out research into your predictions it is definitely possible to beat the bookie when horse racing results come in – and build the amount of money in your accounts.
Just like with gambling on most other sports, taking value is always recommended so if you think that a top price listed by a bookmaker is much too big then it can be a good idea to take that bet.
An odds comparison across different betting sites will help you to find the best value too and some people like to follow free horse racing tips as well.
Learning how horse racing form works is a must if you are going to be serious about making horse racing predictions and after a while you will soon learn which trainers and jockeys you want to look out for.
Jockeys go through periods of good form and bad just like a motorsport driver, a golfer or a football team, while they also often excel on one particular racecourse and struggle on others.
Here at BettingTop10 we also recommend making the most of the best betting promotions and sign-up offers for horse races as this can maximise your profits with sports bookmakers.
Most of the major UK bookies will be running headline promotions around major horse racing events such as the Grand National and Cheltenham.
Keep your eyes peeled at this time of year, as there can be a lot of money to be made as long as you know what you are doing and can pick out top horse racing best odds.
Types of betting
We have already covered odds, but now it is time to investigate the many different types of bet it is possible to place on this sport.
Not only can you bet on a horse to win a race or to come in the places, you can also pick out what is called a forecast, which involves picking out the horses you think will finish in first and second.
Various accumulators from a double to a 10-fold or even more can also be placed on horse racing, with the more selections you pick boosting your potential return but also reducing your chances of being a winner.
One of the most popular types of horse racing bet in the UK is the lucky 15, which involves four selections, which do not have to be at the same meeting or even on the same day.
A lucky 15 bet is so named because it includes 15 different bets – four singles, six doubles, four trebles, and one fourfold. You could also opt to place the bet each way, which would double the number of lines in the bet up to a total of 30, so small stakes are recommended for these bets.
The major benefit of the lucky 15 bet is that you will receive some winnings even if only one of your horses turns out to be a winner, while profits can be massive if all of your horses win.
As well as the many other types of accumulator you can place on horse races, you could also bet on the winning distance of a race or in some cases whether the trainer is from the UK, whether they are Irish, or if they are from elsewhere in the world.
You can also bet in advance on the biggest races rather than waiting for the day itself, which is called ante-post betting, while horse racing live betting is possible in play as well.
Annual horse racing events
There are two types of horse racing – flat and jump – and each has their major annual events.
In the UK, the races calendar typically runs almost all-year round, but there are no major meetings in either January or February, due to the poor weather that would likely disrupt matters.
The first big event of the horse racing year is in March when the Cheltenham Festival takes place over a long weekend in the south-west of England.
The Gold Cup is the feature race of the festival, with the Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and World Hurdle among the other big races taking place at Cheltenham.
April sees the Aintree Grand National, which is arguably the biggest single gambling day in the UK, with a flutter on the big race one of the big traditions even non-sports fans join in with.
Royal Ascot is one of the most glamorous sports events of the year and it takes place each June, while Glorious Goodwood catches the eye of most horse racing aficionados in July.
From there the calendar starts to wind down a little, but betting sites will still be offering odds on races at August’s Ebor Festival in York, Doncaster’s St. Leger Meeting in September and the Hennessy Meeting in November at Newbury, among many others.
Away from the UK and Ireland, the global big races to be aware of include the Dubai World Cup, the Melbourne Cup, the Kentucky Derby and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Winning horse racing betting strategies
There are no completely foolproof horse racing betting systems, but sticking to a few simple rules can give you a good chance of turning a profit in your bookmaker accounts.
For instance, it is impossible to be an expert in both flat and jump racing, as well as racing in the UK and Ireland, and specialising on one area could instead prove to be more fruitful.
As an example, some racing fans concentrate only on Grade 2 races, as the quality of horses involved is still high enough to reduce the unpredictability of lower-quality races, while offering enough of an angle compared to the headline events.
Taking advantage of promotions on horse racing betting sites – and their sign-up offers – is a must to maximise returns, especially around the biggest events of the year, like Cheltenham.
Lastly, keeping track of winnings and losses by checking today’s horse racing results can ensure you learn from your mistakes and see where your horse racing betting strategy is working, and where it might need tweaking.