Top Tips for Starting Out With Horse Race Betting

Until recently, horse racing was the most popular sport to bet on worldwide. That honor now goes to soccer, but staking on the horses remains in second place with millions of followers for this historic sport.

Backed by that long history, interest in horse racing betting has increased in recent years thanks to the development of new technologies. Digital sportsbooks and mobile betting are among those elements responsible for the rise.

For those who have yet to get involved, the task may seem daunting, so if you want to know how to bet on horse racing, here are the essential facts.

Understanding Odds

Every horse race covered by the bookmakers shows a set of odds. These are based on mathematical probability, and they show the likelihood of each horse winning the event.

The horse with the shortest odds at the top of the market is the favorite, and is considered to have the best chance of winning. The rest of the field will follow on behind the market leader.

Favorites will not win every time, otherwise horse racing would be extremely boring, but it’s important to understand odds and their relation to probability.

Available Bet Types

Horse Racing Odds

The next step is to consider the types of bet that are available. Most will be familiar with the option to back a horse to win their race, and this requires a first placed finish in order for the bet to pay out.

Another popular option is the each way bet. This is a system where two bets are made and there is a possibility of a payout even if the horse doesn’t win the race. The bettor makes those two bets, a win and a place, and their stake is doubled to accommodate them.

If the horse wins, both bets are paid out, but the place bet will be met if the runner finishes second. Depending on the number of horses taking part in the race, an each way bet will also pay out for third and fourth place finishes.

As an alternative to the each way stake, many bettors look to the place bet. This option will also pay out if the horse finishes in a high position from first downwards, but there is no win bet. Your stake isn’t doubled, and that’s why many prefer the place option.

The horse racing betting community has other options. They can stake on forecast bets which speculate on the horses that will finish first and second, and possibly in third place as well. It’s also possible to stake on combination bets, such as doubles, trebles and more.

Studying Form

As with any sport, it’s important not to bet blindly when staking in the horse racing markets. Those who bet on one or two races a year might make a selection based on a name, or on the colors worn by the jockey. It may even produce a win, but it’s not a system that will prove consistently successful over time.

The best approach is to study the form of the horse you’re interested in. In the digital age, it’s easy to input the horse’s name to access the results from each of its professional races. Statistics relating to wins and highly placed finishes will appear, but the experienced bettor will look beyond these numbers.

A strong record of wins is encouraging, but it’s important to look a little deeper into those statistics. Does the horse have a good record on certain courses and in specific conditions? Do their wins come in strong fields, or do they only tend to succeed in meetings where there is weaker opposition?

The People Behind the Horses

British Trainers Championship Rankings

In addition to studying the horses, it’s important to look at jockeys and trainers. When you’re just starting out on your betting journey, take time to understand who the most successful people in the sport are. Horse racing can be unpredictable, but those with better track records are worth watching.

All of this information is readily available, but it takes time to fully understand the records and what they may indicate moving forward.

Follow the Experts

It’s acceptable to follow horse racing tipsters, but you must look deeper into their own results. Before placing a bet, study their selections over a period of time and look to see who picks out the most wins.

If you feel confident that a certain expert knows what they are talking about, you may want to progress and make bets with your own money. This approach doesn’t offer any solid guarantees moving forward, but the best tipsters tend to maintain good returns throughout their careers.

All of these tips should help you as you become involved with horse racing betting. There is no blueprint to success, but they may just help tip the odds in your favor.