The Most Legit Guide to Betting on Horse Racing
Horse racing, “The Sport of Kings,” as it has been called, is more accessible now than it has been during any other part of its many-centuries-old existence. For bettors that take the time to find the best horse racing betting sites, nearly every noteworthy race being run on the planet is accessible to bettors without the need to visit a track or even an OTB (off-track betting) location.
You merely need to pull a smartphone out of your pocket, press a few buttons, and you’ve got action anywhere from Churchill Downs to Meydan.
The only things you’ll need to gain access to all of the world’s top races are an internet connection and either a computer or mobile device. But first, you’ll want to find the best horse betting sites available. If you don’t use reputable, trustworthy horse racing betting sites, your track betting dreams can quickly become a nightmare.
Our List of the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites for 2018
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Selecting Legit Horse Racing Betting Sites
To give you an idea of what exactly we look for when determining if a horse racing betting site is legitimate, here’s a few key characteristics and of some of the most important factors our team of experts takes into consideration.
The very most important factor to look for when finding a betting site of any kind is that it’s safe and legitimate. There are tons of scam websites out there hoping to trick you into depositing money or sharing sensitive information. It can be exhausting combing through them all to verify that they’re safe to use and trustworthy.
Our experts spend countless hours vetting online betting sites and writing reviews so that we can be certain we don’t send out readers to an unsafe betting site. If you’d like to learn more about the particulars of what we look for and how we determine if a horse racing betting site is safe, here’s an article explaining more about our process:
Another vital component we consider is a website’s overall design. Quality horse racing betting sites should be easy to navigate and find the events and races for which you are looking. Their interface should also be aesthetically pleasing and well organized with no broken links or confusion.
When you’re betting on sports, for the most part, bets will be taken off the board as events begin. This means that there are moments when you have to rush to get your picks in before it’s too late. You can’t be wasting time with a poorly-designed site; if it’s too confusing, you’ll miss your opportunity to place your wagers.
So, that’s why we so heavily emphasize a website’s design and layout. We want to send our readers to professional-looking, well-run pages that are straightforward and stress-free to use.
Range of Races and Wagers
The best horse racing betting sites have a wide range of wagers and races on which to bet. Every day on tracks across the world there are events being run, and our readers should have access to as many of them as possible. That way, the better you get at handicapping the sport, the more often you’ll be able to profit from your system or strategies.
We look for betting sites that offer the most events as well as a variety of wager types within each race. We want you to be able to bet on more than just the winning horse. The highest-ranked horse racing betting sites will also offer exotic bets like exactas and trifectas, just like your favorite local track’s betting window.
Helpful Customer Service
When you’ve been in the online gambling business as long as we have, you quickly learn the value of quality customer service. It’s not only instrumental in providing an excellent customer experience, but it’s also one of the primary factors that separate the legit betting sites from the rip-offs. In fact, customer service is so crucial that we encourage you to test a company’s helplines before signing up.
Ideally, a horse racing betting site should have a clearly-marked customer service section with contact information and frequently asked questions. There are typically three methods of contact, minimum. You’ll want an email address or two, phone numbers, and an instant messenger chat option.
Before signing up with a site or making a deposit, take the time to send an email, call the number, or chat in the IM to verify that they’re monitored and answered promptly. This can save you lots of headaches when there’s an actual issue.
Payout speeds are a major point of contention for many online gamblers. There are some operations out there that do unethical things like set ridiculously low withdrawal limits or purposely withhold payouts altogether. They do this hoping that you’ll forget about wanting to take back your money and will just gamble it away instead.
This criterion is one of the most important in differentiating the reliable, safe betting sites from the frauds. The top horse racing betting sites will process withdrawal requests quickly and make sure you have your money as soon as possible. Sure, different payment types will require different timelines, but for the most part, a gambling site that cares will get the money turned around fairly quickly.
Variety of Banking Options
Speaking of payment types, we tend to prefer websites that take a full range of banking methods. Depending on where our readers live, some forms of transferring money may not be an option.
Gamblers in the United States cannot use their debit or credit cards due to laws forbidding financial institutions from processing transactions with gambling companies.
For these cases, they may need to buy some Bitcoin or put money in an e-wallet first. It’s better for everybody if the top horse racing betting sites accept all of these payments so that users may find the best way of funding their accounts for themselves.
However, there are sites that specialize in a particular banking type, and in turn typically process those transactions faster than average. Should you find one specific method of moving the money that you like, dedicated online betting operations can be useful as well.
As we mentioned earlier, mobile betting is the direction things are headed. The world continues to move towards convenience, and there’s nothing more convenient than pulling out your phone and placing a bet from wherever you please. For this reason, we take mobile compatibility into consideration when forming our recommendations for the best horse racing betting sites.
Mobile compatibility can mean both working within a smartphone’s internet browser or through a dedicated application. In most cases, the app is the most stable, user-friendly option because it’s specifically designed for use on the phone it’s downloaded on. But there are some websites that are equally compatible with web browsers, which is another quality we take into account.
Bonus and Rewards Programs
You’ve probably noticed by now that all of these horse racing betting sites are clamoring to give you free money! It’s one of the huge advantages that online casinos and sportsbooks have over their brick-and-mortar competitors. Nearly all horse race betting sites offer some form of entry-level bonus upon either signing up for an account or making a first deposit.
There are also loyalty rewards programs that are offered to players that consistently gamble with the same website. Depending on how much money you tend to wager and how frequently, these loyalty rewards can range from a few free games to free vacations. It just depends on the level of a gambler you are and how determined the betting site is to keep you coming back.
Introduction to Betting on Horse Racing
So, maybe you’ve seen the biggest horse races like the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness on television and you’re interested in betting on some ponies at our recommended horse racing betting sites. What next? Well, we’ve got you covered with our guide all about the basics of horse racing. Horse racing has its own set of vocabulary and a unique range of wagers that may intimidate some newcomers.
We will break down everything from “trifectas” to “across the board” bets. Our guides will also cover which races are the most important, how to spot a winning runner, and why partaking in this great betting tradition is worth your time.
Once you’re done with our guides, you should feel comfortable logging into any betting site or walking up to any track’s betting window and giving them the exact picks you’re wanting to make on a given race.
Here are a few basic terms to get you started:
- Win – This is a bet on which horse you expect to finish in first place
- Place – This is a bet choosing one horse to finish either in first or second place
- Show – This is another one-horse bet that is won if the chosen runner finishes in first, second, or third place
- Trifecta – The bettor picks three horses to finish in the top three, and the order in which they’ll finish. The bet only wins if the race ends with the horses finishing in the positions they were picked
- Length – The distance between a horse’s nose and its tail, which is usually approximately eight feet. It’s used as a measurement of the distance between two runners
- Stretch – The final straightaway piece of track before the finish line
There are tons of additional terms and concepts to learn if you’d like to truly become acquainted with horse racing betting. It’s not necessary in order to participate and have fun, but the more you know, the more you’ll win. You can further extend your horse racing education with the following article:
Horse Racing Apps
If you haven’t noticed, which is nearly impossible, the last decade or so has seen a significant change in how we interact with the internet. What was once designated for computers and laptops tethered to a modem is now merely a swipe or two of our phone away. In fact, mobile devices make up more of our internet usage than ever before.
So then, it shouldn’t be a surprise that horse racing betting has evolved in much the same way. Where you’d once need to go sit in the bleachers of a local track or in a seedy off-track horse racing betting site, now you simply access a website or download an app. The apps take the convenience of online gambling and take things to the next level.
Most of the big-name horse racing betting operations have their own specific mobile app. These applications put access to the betting window only a click away from your phone’s home screen. These programs are designed specifically for mobile use and thus are usually more stable, better formatted, and generally more user-friendly.
You’ll find our article on finding the best horse racing betting apps in this article:
Essential Sports Betting Articles
No matter what type of sports betting you are interested in partaking in, there are some general rules and ideas with which you should be familiar. Gambling, in general, carries with it certain risks and responsibilities, the same as any other adult hobby.
We want to make sure you get started with your eyes open to the possible pitfalls of gaming, as well as the strategies to ensure that you prevent any problem behaviors before they begin.
We’ve also written several guides to cover some betting basics like odds and handicapping. While our horse racing guides will cover the many variations of wagers available at the races, they may not cover how to calculate odds and what they mean. Our experts even break down what handicapping is and how you can use it to increase your success with gambling.
For tons of gambling-related information that can help you build a sturdy foundation on which to begin your sports betting career, check out these many guides breaking it all down for you:
Horse Racing Betting Strategy
Once you’re ready to dive into the nitty-gritty of horse race betting strategy, we’ve got everything you need. Having a strategy is what separates the winners from the losers. Sure, there’s no perfect system that can guarantee winning bets every time, but with the correct approach, you can drastically improve your chances.
There are so many variables involved with betting strategy when it comes to gambling on horses that we may never stop delivering more guides, each covering different concepts worth focusing on. We’ll tackle concepts such as pedigree analysis and how to use it to make your picks.
We will even touch on betting syndicates and using a team of handicappers to maximize profit with a combination of statistical analysis and timing.
Our experts will continuously look to expand on our library of horse racing betting strategies and systems. We’ll break down all the math and rationale behind these approaches to track betting and leave the fun stuff to you. Just take the time to read them and place your wagers! The following links all navigate to strategy guides for betting on the horse races:
About the Sport of Horse Racing
Aside from its close relationship with gambling, there’s plenty to learn about the sport of horse racing itself. Not all races and tracks are created equal, and you’d be wise to learn about the various terminologies, tracks, and races. Some of the races require runners that can preserve stamina over a longer distance, while others are an all-out sprint. Different animals will be better suited for the different lengths.
Then there are races that have varying age limits, track surfaces, and stakes.
Some competitions have a three-year age limit. Others only allow colts or fillies to participate in the running. So, the die-hard horse racing enthusiasts are always keeping track of the talent out there, how they are performing, and what their prospects are for showing up in the big-time events down the road.
In the United States, the major horse racing events are part of the Triple Crown. These contests are called the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. Around all three of these races are teams of owners, trainers, jockeys, and horses, all of which play a role in the overall outcome. The entire industry can be quite fascinating if you take the time to learn about it.
If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, it will definitely help your betting. Here are some articles about the many facets of horse racing:
The Biggest and Greatest
As we mentioned previously, horse racing has an extremely long, rich history. With that history comes a wealth of awe-inspiring performances, one-of-a-kind horses, and championship pedigrees that have been passed down through generations. We celebrate some of the historically great horses and races in our guides dedicated to the very best of horse racing.
We also break down the highest-stakes events around the globe. Contests like the Dubai World Cup and Pegasus International reward enormous purses to the winning runner. These competitions consistently attract the biggest names in racing and put on incredible matchups. For a breakdown of all the top horse racing performers as well as the richest events in racing, check out our guides dedicated to these subjects:
More Recommended Horse Racing Sites
For our readers that are interested in finding the top horse racing sites organized by specific criteria, we’ve even got options for you. The most obvious way we’ve organized these sites is by country since you’ll need to be able to access the betting odds from wherever you’re located. But we’ve also taken things a step further by ranking them in terms of different factors, as you’ll see below.
Horse Racing Sites by Location
Having our horse racing betting sites broken out by country is a helpful tool for readers all over the globe looking to engage in this hobby. Jurisdictions throughout the world treat online gambling differently. Some are heavily regulated and only accept customers from within their borders.
Others are off-shore operations that cater to areas without legal gambling. Whatever your case is, we’ve found the best horse racing betting sites available to your location.
Horse Racing Sites by Category
You can also find our recommendations based on whichever aspect of online gaming you prioritize the most. If having access to the horse betting sites that offer the best mobile compatibility is what’s important to you, we have sites ranked accordingly. If all you care about is how quickly you’ll receive your payout, we have those options available as well. Here are several of our guides to the best horse racing betting sites, organized by category:
The Future of Horse Racing
Once you’ve learned the basics of horse racing, learned the lingo. and studied a few systems or strategies, it’s time to look to the future. Technology is forcing most sports to change and evolve to incorporate a larger audience and a smaller world. Our experts will look into the future of the horse racing and betting world and hypothesize where things will go from here.