Best Horse Racing Betting Sites & Apps USA 2024

Horse race betting online in the United States is very popular, and there are many sites to choose from.

I’ve carefully selected and reviewed the best horse racing betting sites in the United States, offering insights into various betting types, easy registration processes, and regular updates on racing schedules, ensuring you’re always ready to place your bet.

You’ll find comprehensive insights into horse betting sites that provide the best odds, user-friendly interfaces, and diverse betting options, tailored to enhance your horse racing betting journey.

Our verdict: The best horse racing betting sites in the United States are TwinSpires, FanDuel, and DraftKings. TwinSpires is renowned for its comprehensive track coverage and expert insights, FanDuel offers a user-friendly platform with competitive odds, and DraftKings provides a wide range of betting options along with unique features for an enhanced betting experience. Each site caters to different preferences, offering varied experiences for horse racing enthusiasts.

Best Horse Racing Betting Sites in the United States Ranked

Here is a quick list of the 10 best horse racing betting sites to use in the United States based on my hands-on analysis:

  1. TwinSpires – Overall best horse racing betting site in the United States
  2. FanDuel – Best for diverse horse racing betting options & promotions
  3. DraftKings (DK Horse) – Best for integrating horse racing with extensive sports betting
  4. AmWager – Best for advanced features in online horse betting
  5. Caesars – Best for comprehensive track coverage & rewards program

Best Horse Betting Sites Bonuses Compared for American Punters

RankHorse betting siteBonuses
1TwinSpires100% deposit bonus up to $200
2FanDuel100% match on first deposit up to $50
3DraftKings100% deposit bonus up to $250
4AmWager100% deposit bonus up to $150
5Caesars100% deposit bonus up to $150

Best Horse Racing Betting Site USA Reviews

The overwhelming amount of advertising, betting sites, and apps available can make it confusing for newcomers to horse betting.

I’m here to shed some light and help American punters choose the best horse racing betting site for them.

Using my experience in this field, I’ve compiled a list of the best horse betting sites based on ten key criteria:

  1. Welcome Bonus
  2. Minimum Deposit
  3. Minimum Bet
  4. Maximum Payout
  5. Live Streaming Requirement
  6. Withdrawal Times
  7. Customer Support Availability
  8. License and Regulation
  9. Number of Races Covered
  10. In-Play Betting

Factors such as ease of use, licensing, customer service, mobile experience, and more were also considered.

All the horse racing betting sites I’ve reviewed below are regulated and safe to use in the US.

1. TwinSpires – Overall best horse racing betting site in the United States

TwinSpires – Overall best horse racing betting site in the United States.

TwinSpires, established in 2007 by Churchill Downs Incorporated, stands as a premier online horse racing betting platform in the United States.

Renowned for its comprehensive coverage of both US and international racing, TwinSpires is accessible in 39 states, offering legal, regulated online wagering.

The platform shines in its extensive range of betting options, presenting users with the opportunity to bet on countless tracks worldwide.

Its user-friendly website and mobile app enhance the betting experience, especially with features like live streaming, enabling enthusiasts to watch races unfold in real time.

One of TwinSpires’ significant advantages is its affiliation with Churchill Downs, the iconic venue for the Kentucky Derby. This association ensures a deep understanding of the horse racing industry, reflected in the quality of services offered.

The platform’s software and mobile app are praised for their functionality and intuitive design, facilitating effortless navigation and betting. Users can easily customize their experience by saving favorite races or tracks, and the versatile bet slip allows for creating a wide array of wager types.

While TwinSpires excels in various aspects, there are areas for improvement. The sign-up bonus, although attractive, comes with stringent conditions that may not favor all users, particularly beginners.

Additionally, the platform could benefit from expanding its withdrawal options and resolving occasional glitches in the website’s dropdown menus.

TwinSpires’ customer support system is comprehensive and resourceful, offering assistance through multiple channels like email, phone, and live chat. The platform’s commitment to responsible gambling is evident, with various tools and resources available to promote safe betting practices.

TwinSpires offers a robust and reliable betting experience for horse racing enthusiasts. Its extensive track coverage, user-friendly interface, and strong industry connections make it a top choice for both seasoned bettors and newcomers to the world of horse racing wagering.

Pros:

  • Extensive track coverage worldwide
  • User-friendly interface
  • Live streaming available

Cons:

  • Stringent sign-up bonus conditions
  • Limited withdrawal options

2. FanDuel – Best for diverse horse racing betting options & promotions

FanDuel – Best for diverse horse racing betting options & promotions.

FanDuel, primarily known for its sportsbook and daily fantasy sports, is also making strides in the world of horse racing betting in the USA.

Although its coverage of horse race betting isn’t as extensive as other segments, it still offers a solid platform for racing enthusiasts. FanDuel’s sportsbook is lauded for its user-friendly design and quick withdrawal processes, enhancing the overall betting experience.

Operating legally in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, FanDuel ensures a high level of security and reliability. It is regulated by respective state authorities like the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

This focus on legal compliance and security, including partnerships with organizations like HackerOne, reinforces its commitment to protecting user data and providing a safe betting environment.

The platform’s user interface, both on the website and mobile app, is intuitive and easy to navigate, making it accessible for beginners and experienced bettors alike. The FanDuel app, available for both iOS and Android, mirrors the simplicity and efficiency of its web counterpart.

While FanDuel offers a range of promotions and bonuses, its horse racing segment could benefit from more diverse offerings. The current promotions, including a $200 No Sweat Bet, add value to the betting experience but leave room for more race-specific bonuses and rewards.

FanDuel’s betting markets span various sports, and while horse racing options are somewhat limited, the platform covers significant horse racing events in the USA and internationally. The absence of a loyalty program for horse race betting is a drawback, but the inclusion of features like live race streaming and analytical tools partially offsets this.

FanDuel is a strong contender in the US horse racing betting scene, particularly for those who value security, user-friendly interfaces, and reliable customer service. Its expansion into horse racing betting is a positive sign, suggesting that the platform may further enhance its offerings in this segment in the future.

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Quick withdrawals
  • Reliable customer service
  • Secure platform

Cons:

  • Restricted geographical availability
  • No loyalty program

3. DraftKings (DK Horse) – Best for integrating horse racing with extensive sports betting

DraftKings (DK Horse) – Best for integrating horse racing with extensive sports betting.

DraftKings, a well-known name in the sports betting landscape, has expanded its offerings to include horse racing betting with the launch of DK Horse.

This innovative app, available in twelve states with plans for further expansion, caters to horse racing enthusiasts by facilitating pari-mutuel betting on races across the country.

A standout feature is the live streaming of events, including those from prestigious Churchill Downs, enhancing the betting experience. While DK Horse supports various bet types like exactas and trifectas, it notably excludes place or show betting.

One of DraftKings’ strengths is its reliable and secure platform, ensuring a safe betting environment. However, DraftKings initially did not include horse betting in its repertoire, which might have deterred equine enthusiasts.

Yet, DK Horse, now offers a specialized horse racing product, although with limited track coverage and state availability. This restriction means bettors in some states can’t access the service, and not all races are covered.

Despite these limitations, DraftKings excels in its user-friendly interface, both on desktop and mobile, making it accessible and easy to navigate for all levels of bettors.

The platform is highly rated for its variety of sports betting and robust security measures.

While the reward system could be more straightforward, the overall experience on DraftKings, especially with the addition of DK Horse, is commendable for those in states where it’s available. It stands as a reliable option for those looking to diversify their betting portfolio to include horse racing.

Pros:

  • Extensive sports coverage
  • User-friendly interface
  • Reliable customer service

Cons:

  • Limited track coverage

4. AmWager – Best for advanced features in online horse betting

AmWager – Best for advanced features in online horse betting.

AmWager stands out as a noteworthy player in the online horse racing betting industry in the United States.

Known for its user-friendly interface and efficient service, AmWager caters to a wide audience with its comprehensive coverage of horse races.

The platform is recognized for its swift and straightforward betting process, bolstered by attractive promotional codes and a dedicated mobile app, enhancing the betting experience on the go.

One of AmWager’s key strengths is its diverse array of betting options, making it a go-to platform for both novice and experienced bettors. The site offers a range of bets including Win, Place, Show, Exactas, Trifectas, and Superfectas, among others. This variety ensures bettors have multiple ways to engage with their favorite races.

Another aspect where AmWager shines is in its commitment to security and trustworthiness. With high-security standards, users can bet with confidence, knowing their personal and financial information is well-protected.

Additionally, AmWager’s legal operation in numerous states across the U.S. adds to its credibility as a reliable betting site.

While AmWager’s customer support is somewhat limited compared to some competitors, it still maintains a solid reputation for responsiveness and helpfulness.

The platform’s user interface, which some may find complicated at first, is packed with features that experienced bettors find invaluable for informed betting.

AmWager is a robust and reliable choice for horse racing enthusiasts in the U.S. Its blend of user-friendliness, a wide array of betting options, and strong security protocols positions it as a top contender in the online horse betting landscape.

Pros:

  • Advanced betting features
  • Wide track selection
  • Attractive cashback rewards.

Cons:

  • Limited customer support options
  • Complex interface for new users

5. Caesars – Best for comprehensive track coverage & rewards program

Caesars – Best for comprehensive track coverage & rewards program.

Caesars, a renowned name in the gaming industry, has made a significant foray into the online horse racing betting scene.

Notably, in January 2022, it forged a partnership with the New York Racing Association, thereby becoming a crucial player in the Triple Turf series. This collaboration marks Caesars’ deeper involvement in the world of horse racing, offering pari-mutuel betting on a global scale.

Utilizing NYRA Bets’ platform, Caesars provides bettors with an enriched experience, including access to handicapping insights and race replays.

The launch of Caesars Racebook in states like Ohio, Florida, Indiana, and Kentucky showcases its expanding footprint in the horse racing domain.

A standout feature of Caesars Racebook is the enticing promotional code “VIBONUS,” designed to attract new users with a significant deposit match. This initiative underscores Caesars’ commitment to providing a rewarding experience for its customers.

Caesars Racebook’s mobile app, although currently limited to iOS devices, has been praised for its seamless interface and easy navigation. The app grants users access to over 300 tracks worldwide, along with live streaming capabilities and race replays. This level of accessibility and variety caters to both casual and serious bettors.

In terms of customer service, Caesars offers a comprehensive FAQ page, email support, and a live chat service, ensuring users have multiple channels for assistance. The range of deposit and withdrawal methods, including ACH Bank Transfer and Credit/Debit Cards, adds to the platform’s convenience.

Caesars Racebook is carving out a significant niche in the horse racing betting landscape. Its strategic partnership with NYRA, coupled with a user-friendly app and strong customer support, positions it as a go-to choice for horse racing enthusiasts.

While it’s relatively new in the horse racing sector, Caesars’ experience and reputation in the gambling industry speak to its potential for success in this arena.

Pros:

  • Extensive track coverage
  • Integrates with Caesars Rewards
  • User-friendly app

Cons:

  • Limited to iOS devices
  • Regional restrictions apply

How to Choose the Best Horse Racing Betting Site in the USA?

Choosing the best horse racing betting site in the USA involves considering several key factors to ensure a great betting experience.

Here’s a guide to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Legality and Licensing: Make sure the site is legally operating in your state and holds a valid license. This ensures the site adheres to regulations for fair play and security.
  2. Range of Betting Options: Look for sites offering a wide variety of betting options, including win, place, show, exactas, trifectas, and more. More options provide more opportunities to enjoy and win.
  3. Track Coverage: The best sites cover a wide range of tracks, both domestic and international. This allows you to bet on your favorite races no matter where they are happening.
  4. User Interface and Experience: A user-friendly interface is crucial for a smooth betting experience. Whether it’s through a website or a mobile app, navigating the site should be intuitive and easy.
  5. Bonuses and Promotions: Competitive welcome bonuses, loyalty programs, and regular promotions can enhance your betting experience. Look for sites that offer attractive bonuses with reasonable terms.
  6. Live Streaming and Replays: Sites that offer live streaming of races and replays add value, allowing you to watch the races you bet on and analyze past races for better decision-making.
  7. Payment Options and Security: A variety of secure deposit and withdrawal methods is essential. Ensure that the site offers methods that are convenient for you and has a strong track record of protecting user data.
  8. Customer Support: Reliable customer support is vital. Look for sites with multiple support channels like live chat, email, and phone support, and check their responsiveness and helpfulness.
  9. Handicapping Tools and Resources: Access to handicapping tools, race analysis, and expert picks can be beneficial, especially for new bettors or those looking to improve their betting strategy.
  10. Community and Social Features: Some bettors enjoy sites that offer community features like forums, tips sharing, or interactive elements.

Remember, what’s best for one bettor might not be the best for another. It’s important to choose a site that matches your individual preferences and betting style.

Is Horse Racing Legal in the US?

Yes, horse racing is legal in the United States, but its regulation and the legality of betting on horse races vary from state to state.

Here’s a general overview:

  1. Horse Racing Regulation: Horse racing in the U.S. is regulated at the state level. Each state that allows horse racing has its own regulatory body. These commissions or boards set the rules for racing, breeding, and wagering within their respective jurisdictions.
  2. Pari-Mutuel Betting: The most common form of legal betting on horse racing in the U.S. is pari-mutuel betting, where bets of a particular type are pooled and winnings are distributed among the winners. This type of betting is legal in many states.
  3. Off-Track Betting (OTB): OTB facilities allow people to wager on horse races at locations away from the racetracks. These are legal in several states but are subject to state regulation.
  4. Online Horse Race Betting: Many states also allow online horse race betting through licensed providers. Platforms like TVG, BetAmerica, and TwinSpires offer legal online betting on horse races across various states.
  5. Interstate Horse Racing Act: This federal law, passed in 1978, allows race tracks to broadcast their races to other states and accept bets on those races, facilitating the growth of OTB and online betting1.
  6. State Restrictions: Some states prohibit all forms of gambling, including horse race betting. It’s essential to be aware of the laws specific to the state you are in.
  7. Variations by State: The availability of different types of horse racing and betting (like harness racing, thoroughbred racing, or off-track betting) varies significantly from state to state.

It’s always recommended to check the specific laws and regulations regarding horse racing and horse race betting in your particular state to understand what is legally permissible.

Biggest American Horse Racing Betting Events to Watch Out For

The United States hosts several major horse racing events each year, drawing significant attention from both racing enthusiasts and bettors. Here are some of the biggest American horse racing events to watch out for:

  1. Kentucky Derby: Known as “The Run for the Roses,” the Kentucky Derby is the most famous horse race in the United States. Held annually on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, it marks the beginning of the Triple Crown.
  2. Preakness Stakes: The second jewel of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, is held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. It takes place at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. This race is known for its festive atmosphere and is a significant event for horse race bettors.
  3. Belmont Stakes: The third and final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, is held in June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. It’s known for its demanding distance, making it a true test of stamina for the competing horses.
  4. Breeders’ Cup: A two-day event featuring some of the richest horse races in the world, the Breeders’ Cup is held at various locations across the U.S. It typically takes place in late October or early November and attracts international competitors.
  5. Travers Stakes: Also known as the “Midsummer Derby,” the Travers Stakes is held at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. This event in August is one of the oldest stakes races in the U.S.
  6. Arlington Million: A prestigious turf race, the Arlington Million is held at Arlington Park in Illinois. It attracts some of the best turf horses from around the globe.
  7. Santa Anita Derby: Held at Santa Anita Park in California, this race is a key prep race for the Kentucky Derby. It typically takes place in April and is one of the most important West Coast races for 3-year-olds.
  8. Florida Derby: Hosted by Gulfstream Park in Florida, this event is another crucial prep race for the Kentucky Derby, usually taking place in late March or early April.

These events not only offer thrilling racing action but also significant betting opportunities for horse racing enthusiasts. Each race has its own history and set of traditions, adding to the richness of the sport in the United States.

What Horse Racing Betting Offers Should I Look Out For?

When delving into the world of horse betting in the US, it’s crucial to keep an eye out for key offers that can enhance your betting experience.

These offers not only provide value but can also increase your chances of winning and make your betting journey more exciting.

Welcome Bonuses: Most betting sites entice new users with welcome bonuses. Look for generous offers, but also pay attention to their terms and conditions. A good welcome bonus should have reasonable wagering requirements and be easy to claim.

Best Odds Guaranteed: This is a must-have offer for any horse racing bettor. With this, if you take an early price on a horse and the starting price (SP) is higher, you get paid out at the higher odds. It ensures you always get the best value.

Free Bets: Many sites offer free bets on specific races or as a part of weekly promotions. These can be a great way to bet without risking your own money, though they often come with wagering requirements.

Money-Back Specials: Look out for offers where your stake is returned (sometimes as a free bet) if your horse finishes second to the favorite, falls at the first jump, or meets other specific conditions.

Enhanced Odds: Some sites boost odds on certain horses, races, or bet types. These enhanced odds can offer exceptional value, particularly for high-profile races.

Loyalty Programs: Regular bettors should benefit from loyalty programs that reward ongoing betting activity. These can come in the form of free bets, odds boosts, or other perks.

Accumulator Insurance: For those who enjoy placing accumulator bets, this offer is a safety net. It typically refunds your stake (as a free bet) if one leg of your accumulator fails.

Extra Places: This offer is particularly valuable for each-way bettors. In races with large fields, betting sites often pay out on extra places beyond the standard first four. This means if your horse finishes in these additional places, you still earn a portion of the each-way bet.

Non-Runner, No Bet (NRNB): Essential for ante-post betting, NRNB protects your stake if your chosen horse doesn’t start the race. It’s particularly useful for big festivals like the Kentucky Derby, where you might bet well in advance.

Live Streaming Services: While not a direct betting offer, access to live streaming of races adds value to your betting experience. Some sites offer free streaming if you have placed a bet on the race.

By keeping an eye out for these offers and understanding how they work, you can significantly enhance your horse racing betting experience in the US.

Benefits of Placing a Bet With a Trustworthy Horse Racing Betting Site

  • Security and Safety: Trustworthy sites ensure your personal and financial information is securely protected, reducing the risk of fraud and unauthorized access.
  • Fair Play and Reliability: Reputable betting sites operate under strict regulations and licenses, ensuring fair play, accurate odds, and transparency in betting practices.
  • Customer Support: Reliable sites offer robust customer support, providing assistance for any queries or issues, which enhances your overall betting experience.
  • Reputation and Trust: Using a reputable site means betting with peace of mind, knowing that the bookmaker is well-established, respected, and trustworthy in the industry.

How Do You Sign Up With One of the Above Horse Racing Bookmakers?

Signing up with a horse racing bookmaker is a straightforward process.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  1. Choose a Bookmaker: First, pick one of the top horse racing bookies in the United States. Consider their offers, odds, and features that suit your betting style.
  2. Visit the Website or Download the App: Go to the bookmaker’s website or download their mobile app if you prefer betting on the go.
  3. Find the Sign-Up Button: Typically, you’ll find a “Join Now” or “Sign Up” button prominently displayed on the site’s homepage.
  4. Fill in Your Details: You will be asked to provide personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, and contact details. This is standard practice for verifying your identity and ensuring responsible gambling.
  5. Create a Username and Password: Choose a unique username and a strong password for your account.
  6. Set Your Deposit Limits: Responsible gambling is important. Set deposit limits if the option is available during the sign-up process.
  7. Enter Payment Details: Enter your preferred payment method details. This could be a debit card, bank transfer, or an e-wallet like PayPal.
  8. Verify Your Account: Some bookmakers require you to verify your account by sending a copy of your ID and a recent utility bill to confirm your identity and address.
  9. Claim the Welcome Offer: If there’s a welcome bonus, make sure to opt in or enter a promo code if required.
  10. Make Your First Deposit and Start Betting: Deposit your chosen amount and explore the bookmaker’s horse racing markets to place your first bet.

Remember, always read the terms and conditions associated with signing up, especially concerning welcome offers and bet requirements.

How to Pick a Horse to Bet On?

Choosing a horse to bet on involves a combination of knowledge, analysis, and sometimes, a bit of luck. Here are some key factors to consider:

Form: Look at the horse’s recent performances. A horse that has been finishing well in its recent races is often a good bet.

Class: Consider the level of the races in which the horse has been competing. A horse moving up or down in class can affect its performance.

Trainer and Jockey: Successful trainers and jockeys are often a sign of a good horse. Check their win rates and experience.

Track Conditions: Some horses perform better on certain surfaces (turf, dirt, synthetic) or under specific weather conditions. Check the horse’s history on similar tracks.

Distance: Each horse has an optimal distance where it performs best. Compare the race distance with the horse’s past performances at similar lengths.

Running Style: Horses have different running styles – some lead from the front, others prefer to come from behind. Consider how the horse’s style fits with the race setup.

Post Position: The horse’s position at the starting gate can impact its chances, especially in shorter races or on smaller tracks.

Race Type: Horses may specialize in certain types of races, like sprints, marathons, hurdles, or flat races. Choose a horse that excels in the specific race type.

Odds: While odds shouldn’t be the only factor, they indicate what the betting public and bookmakers think of the horse’s chances.

Tips and Expert Opinions: Consider tips from seasoned punters or experts. They often have insights that can be valuable, especially for high-profile races.

Remember, no bet is a guaranteed win.

Betting on horse racing should be fun and considered a form of entertainment rather than a reliable way to make money.

How Do You Bet on Horse Racing Online?

Betting on horse racing online is a straightforward process that involves a few key steps:

  1. Choose a Betting Site: Select a reputable online betting site or app that offers horse racing. Look for ones with good reviews, competitive odds, and a range of betting options.
  2. Create an Account: Register for an account on the chosen site. You’ll need to provide some personal information like your name, address, email, and date of birth to verify your identity and age.
  3. Deposit Funds: Before you can place a bet, you need to deposit money into your account. Most sites offer various deposit methods, including credit/debit cards, e-wallets like PayPal, or bank transfers. Choose a method that’s convenient for you.
  4. Understand the Odds: Familiarise yourself with how odds work in horse racing. Odds represent the likelihood of a particular outcome and determine how much you’ll win if your bet is successful.
  5. Choose a Race: Navigate to the horse racing section of the site and select the race you want to bet on. You’ll find races categorized by location and time.
  6. Select Your Bet Type: Decide on the type of bet you want to place. Common types include win (betting on a horse to win), place (betting on a horse to finish in the top two, three, or more positions), each-way (a combination of win and place), and accumulators (multiple bets combined).
  7. Pick Your Horse(s): After analyzing the race card, form, and tips, select the horse or horses you want to bet on.
  8. Place Your Bet: Enter the amount of money you want to wager and confirm your bet. Most sites will have a bet slip where you can review your selections before confirming.
  9. Watch the Race and Collect Winnings: If the betting site offers live streaming, you can watch the race through your account. If your bet wins, your winnings will automatically be credited to your account.
  10. Withdraw or Keep Betting: You can choose to withdraw your winnings or use them to place more bets. To withdraw, go to the cashier section and select your preferred withdrawal method.

Remember, it’s important to bet responsibly. Set a budget, stick to it, and never chase losses.

Types of Horse Racing for Online Betting in the USA

In the USA, online horse racing betting encompasses several types of races.

Here’s a breakdown of the main categories you’ll encounter:

  • Thoroughbred Racing: This is the most popular type of horse racing in the USA, featuring the classic image of jockeys on sleek horses racing around a track. It includes prestigious events like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, collectively known as the Triple Crown.
  • Harness Racing: In these races, horses (usually Standardbreds) pull a two-wheeled cart called a sulky, in which the driver sits. These races require the horse to trot or pace, not gallop. The Hambletonian is a well-known harness racing event.
  • Quarter Horse Racing: Involving American Quarter Horses, these races are usually shorter sprints, often less than a mile, with a focus on acceleration. The Quarter Horse has been bred for performance in these short distances.
  • Steeplechase Racing: These are distance races over obstacles, including fences and ditches. Steeplechase races test both speed and endurance and are more common in Europe, but there are notable events in the USA as well.
  • Endurance Racing: These races cover much longer distances, sometimes ranging from 50 to 100 miles. The horses are often Arabian, and known for their stamina. Endurance races test the horse and rider’s ability to manage distance and terrain.
  • Maiden Races: These are races for horses that have never won a race. They are common across different types of horse racing and serve as a starting point for many racehorses’ careers.
  • Claiming Races: In these races, all horses are up for sale for a specified price. This type of race is designed to ensure competitive balance and is very common at many racetracks.
  • Allowance Races: These races are a step up from claiming races, with better horses that are not for sale. They have specific conditions set by the racetrack.
  • Stakes Races: These are high-level races with large purses. They include graded stakes races, which are the top-tier races and often have a significant impact on a horse’s breeding value.
  • Handicap Races: Horses in these races carry different weights to even the playing field. The idea is to give every horse an equal chance of winning, making for more competitive and unpredictable races.

Each type of race offers its unique betting challenges and opportunities, making horse racing a diverse and exciting sport for betting enthusiasts.

Types of Horse Racing Bets

Horse racing offers a variety of bet types, each with its level of risk and potential reward.

Understanding these different types can enhance your betting experience.

Here are some common types of horse racing bets:

  • Win: Bet on a horse to finish first. If the horse wins the race, you win the bet.
  • Place: Bet on a horse to finish either first or second. This bet offers lower payouts than a win bet but has a higher chance of winning.
  • Show: Bet on a horse to finish in the top three (first, second, or third). This bet has lower payouts but offers a better chance of winning.
  • Each-Way: A combination of Win and Place bets. If your horse wins, you get both the Win and Place payouts. If it only places, you get the Place part of the bet.
  • Exacta: Bet on two horses to finish first and second in exact order. Higher payouts due to increased difficulty.
  • Quinella: Similar to Exacta, but the two horses can finish in any order.
  • Trifecta: Bet on three horses to finish first, second, and third in exact order. This bet offers high payouts due to its difficulty.
  • Superfecta: Bet on four horses to finish first, second, third, and fourth in exact order. It’s a challenging bet but can result in significant winnings.
  • Daily Double: Bet on the winners of two consecutive races. You must select the winning horse in both races to win.
  • Pick 3/Pick 4/Pick 5/Pick 6: Similar to the Daily Double, but involves picking the winners of 3, 4, 5, or 6 consecutive races, respectively. These bets offer high payouts, especially the Pick 6.
  • Accumulator (Parlay or Multi-Bet): A single bet that links two or more individual wagers and is dependent on all of those wagers winning together.
  • Lay Betting: Betting on a horse to lose, available through betting exchanges.
  • Forecast (UK)/Exacta Box (US): Selecting horses to finish first and second in any order. A variation of Exacta betting.
  • Tricast (UK)/Trifecta Box (US): Selecting horses to finish first, second, and third in any order.

These bets can range from straightforward to complex, with payouts generally increasing with the difficulty of the bet.

It’s important to understand the risks and odds associated with each type of bet and to choose a betting strategy that matches your knowledge level and risk tolerance.

What Are the Best Betting Strategies for Horse Racing?

Successful betting in horse racing often involves a combination of knowledge, research, and strategic planning. Here are some of the best betting strategies to consider:

Study the Form: The form guide provides crucial information about each horse’s past performance. Look for patterns in how a horse performs under certain conditions, like track type, distance, jockey, and weather.

Understand the Odds: Betting isn’t just about picking winners, but also finding value. Sometimes, a bet on a less favored horse can offer better value than betting on the favorite.

Specialise in a Particular Type of Race: There are many types of horse races, including flat, jump, and harness racing. Specializing in one type can improve your expertise and increase your chances of successful betting.

Bankroll Management: Set a budget for your betting and stick to it. A common strategy is to only bet a small percentage of your bankroll on a single race.

Bet Type Selection: Beyond the simple win bet, explore other types of bets like place, show, exacta, trifecta, or quinella. These can offer better odds or a higher return on investment.

Track Conditions and Weather: Be aware of the track conditions and weather forecast. Some horses perform better on certain surfaces or under specific weather conditions.

Follow Expert Tips and Trends: Keep an eye on expert betting tips and trends in the racing world. However, use these as guidance, not as a definitive answer to which horse will win.

Watch the Market Movements: Odds can fluctuate based on how much money is being wagered on each horse. Significant shifts can indicate insider knowledge or a trend worth noting.

Diversify Your Bets: Don’t put all your money on one bet. Spread your risk across different races or bet types.

Non-Runner, No Bet (NRNB): This strategy is useful for ante-post betting. If your selected horse doesn’t start the race, your bet will be refunded.

Record Keeping: Keep track of all your bets, wins, and losses. This record can help you analyze which strategies work best for you.

Stay Informed and Updated: Horse racing is dynamic, with many changing variables. Stay updated on horse health, trainer form, jockey changes, and other news that could affect race outcomes.

Remember, there is no foolproof betting strategy in horse racing as it’s a sport that inherently involves uncertainty.

Therefore, always bet responsibly and within your means.

How To Increase Your Chances of Picking a Winning Horse?

Increasing your chances of picking a winning horse in horse racing involves a blend of thorough research, understanding key factors, and sometimes a bit of intuition.

Here are some strategies to improve your odds:

  • Study the Form: Examine the horse’s past performances, focusing on recent races, performances on similar tracks or distances, and any changes in conditions or equipment.
  • Check the Horse’s Fitness: A horse that has been consistently racing and performing well may be in better shape than one returning from a long break.
  • Consider the Track Conditions: Some horses perform better on certain surfaces (turf, dirt, synthetic) and under specific weather conditions. Match the horse’s history with the day’s track condition.
  • Look at the Jockey and Trainer Records: Successful jockeys and trainers often indicate a horse’s potential. A change to a more successful jockey or a trainer with a good track record can signal improvement.
  • Watch the Odds: While odds shouldn’t be your only guide, they do reflect public sentiment and information that bookmakers have about the horses.
  • Analyze the Competition: Assess the quality of the field. A horse might look good on paper but could be up against particularly strong competition.
  • Pay Attention to the Parade Ring: Before the race, look at the horses in the parade ring. A calm, alert, and well-muscled horse is often a good sign. Signs of nervousness or fatigue may be red flags.
  • Understand Race Types and Classes: Different types of races (maidens, handicaps, stakes, etc.) and classes can have varying levels of competition. Know what level the horse has been racing at and how it has performed.
  • Use Tip Sheets and Handicapping Resources: These provide expert opinions and analysis which can offer insights you might have missed.
  • Watch for Market Movements: Sharp changes in betting odds can indicate insider knowledge or a trend that’s worth considering.
  • Distance and Post Position: Some horses perform better at certain distances. Also, in some tracks, certain post positions might have statistical advantages.
  • Pedigree Analysis: For races, especially with younger or less experienced horses, pedigree can give clues about a horse’s potential.

Remember, even with all this information, horse racing is unpredictable, and there’s no guaranteed formula for success.

History of Betting on Horses in the USA

Betting on horse racing in the United States has a rich and varied history, intertwined with the development of the sport itself.

Here’s an overview of the history of horse race betting in the U.S.:

Early Days

  • Colonial Times: Horse racing in North America began during the colonial era. The first racetrack was established in Long Island as early as 1665. Betting was a part of these early races, though not as organized as it is today.
  • 18th and 19th Centuries: Racing grew in popularity, with tracks sprouting up in various colonies. Betting was primarily a pastime for the elite, but it gradually started to become more widespread among the general public.

Growth and Regulation

  • 19th Century Expansion: The 19th century saw a significant expansion of horse racing and betting. The introduction of prestigious races like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, which together form the Triple Crown, added to the popularity of horse race betting.
  • Parimutuel Betting: Introduced in the early 20th century, parimutuel betting replaced the traditional bookmaker system. Under this system, bets are pooled together, and payouts are determined by the total amount bet on each horse after the house takes its cut.

Legal Challenges and Prohibition Era

  • Anti-Gambling Sentiment: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, anti-gambling sentiment grew in the U.S. Many states banned bookmaking, and by 1908, most racetracks in the United States were closed due to betting bans.
  • Revival and Regulation: The sport was revived in the 1920s and 1930s with the legalization of parimutuel betting2 in several states. This period saw the establishment of state racing commissions and the regulation of betting.

Modern Era

  • Interstate Horse Racing Act of 1978: This was a pivotal moment in U.S. horse racing history, as it allowed off-track betting and simulcasting, leading to a significant increase in the sport’s betting handle.
  • Online Betting: In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, online betting platforms emerged, revolutionizing the way people bet on horse races. Companies like TVG, BetAmerica, and TwinSpires became prominent.
  • Recent Developments: Today, horse racing betting is a multi-billion dollar industry3. The advent of mobile betting apps has further increased accessibility to horse race betting. While the industry faces competition from other forms of gambling, major events like the Triple Crown races still attract significant betting interest.

Challenges and Adaptations

  • Economic and Ethical Challenges: The industry has faced various challenges, including economic downturns and concerns about animal welfare.
  • Adapting to Change: The industry has adapted by introducing synthetic tracks, enhancing safety measures, and exploring new marketing strategies to attract a younger audience.

The history of betting on horses in the U.S. is marked by periods of both prohibition and revival, reflecting the nation’s changing attitudes toward gambling. Despite its ups and downs, it remains an integral part of the country’s sporting culture.

FAQs

What is the safest bet on horse racing?

The safest bet in horse racing is often considered to be an each-way bet, where your chosen horse needs to either win or finish in one of the top positions. This type of bet splits your stake into two parts – one for the win and the other for a place, reducing the risk compared to a straight win bet. It’s a popular choice for minimizing losses while still offering a chance for a return.

What is the hardest bet to win in horse racing?

The hardest bet to win in horse racing is typically the Superfecta, where you must correctly predict the first four horses in their exact finishing order in a single race. This bet demands precise accuracy and is challenging due to the unpredictability of races and the large number of possible combinations, making it a high-risk, high-reward option for experienced bettors.

Is horse betting risky?

Yes, horse betting can be risky as it involves a degree of uncertainty and relies on variable factors like horse performance, track conditions, and jockey expertise. Like all forms of gambling, it carries the risk of financial loss and should be approached with caution and within one’s financial means. Responsible betting practices and informed decision-making are essential to minimize risks.

What is a welcome offer in horse race betting?

A welcome offer in horse race betting is a promotional incentive provided by bookmakers to new customers. Typically, it includes bonuses like free bets, enhanced odds, or risk-free bets upon signing up and placing an initial bet. These offers are designed to attract new bettors and provide them with an opportunity to start betting with added value or reduced risk.

How do horse racing betting sites protect my personal information?

Horse racing betting sites safeguard personal information using advanced security measures like SSL encryption, which secures data transmission between servers and users. Additionally, they adhere to strict privacy policies and regulatory standards, ensuring data protection and confidentiality. These measures are crucial in preventing unauthorized access and maintaining the integrity of user information.

Is horse race betting online secure?

Yes, horse race betting online is secure when using reputable and licensed bookmakers. These sites employ advanced encryption technologies and robust security protocols to protect user data and transactions. Moreover, regulatory bodies ensure these platforms adhere to strict standards for online safety and fair play.

What is the best starting position in horse racing?

The best starting position in horse racing often depends on the specific track and race distance. Generally, middle gates are preferred as they allow for more strategic positioning and reduce the chance of getting boxed in. However, the ideal gate can vary based on the horse’s running style and the track’s layout.

What is an outsider in horse racing?

An outsider in horse racing refers to a horse that is not expected to win and typically has long odds. These horses are often overlooked by bettors and considered less likely to perform well compared to favorites, making them a riskier but potentially high-reward choice for wagering.

What are the best horse racing apps in the USA?

The top horse racing betting apps in the US include TVG, TwinSpires, and DK Horse App. These apps offer comprehensive coverage of domestic and international races, live streaming, handicapping tools, and various wagering options. They are known for user-friendly interfaces, secure betting environments, and integration with rewards or bonus programs.

What is the most profitable way to bet on horse racing?

The most profitable way to bet on horse racing typically involves thorough research and understanding of the horses, jockeys, and track conditions. Utilizing handicapping strategies, focusing on value bets rather than just picking winners, and effectively managing your bankroll are key aspects. Experienced bettors often employ a combination of win, place, and each-way bets, while also taking advantage of exotic wagers like exactas and trifectas for higher returns.

What is the best betting system for horse racing?

The best betting system for horse racing depends on individual preferences and risk tolerance. For beginners, the flat betting system, where you bet the same amount regardless of confidence level, offers a conservative approach. More experienced bettors might prefer the Kelly Criterion4, which adjusts wager sizes based on perceived value and probability, aiming to maximize profits and minimize risks.

Can you bet on horse racing in America?

Yes, you can bet on horse racing in America. Horse race betting is legal and regulated in many US states, both at physical racetracks and through licensed online betting platforms. The availability and specific regulations for horse race betting vary by state.

Sources:

  1. https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title15/chapter57&edition=prelim ↩︎
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7780079/ ↩︎
  3. https://www.twinspires.com/edge/racing/horses-dollar122-billion-annually-to-the-us-economoy/ ↩︎
  4. https://www.princeton.edu/~wbialek/rome/refs/kelly_56.pdf ↩︎