Updated: 18/01/2024

Horse Racing Betting Guide

Updated: 18/01/2024

Horse racing is one of the most popular sports betting markets in the industry.

Not only is it fast-paced and exciting – it also offers you the chance to win big.

However, if you fancy a flutter but are not entirely sure of the horse betting basics, then getting to grips with it can be a tenuous task.

To make your life easier, we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to horse racing, so you can find out everything possible to make some informed bets and increase your chances of winning.

Below you can find some great horse betting tips for beginners, as well some of the other basics of the sport.

Types of races to bet on

For those of you who are new to the sport, there are two types of horse racing events that take place across the UK – flat races and National Hunt races.

Flat racing gets its name due to the absence of obstacles on the courses.

This form of racing is certainly one for horse racing purist, as they believe this is the most skilled form of the sport. A jockey and horse’s performance can be judged correctly for important traits such as speed and efficiency.

Races on flat surfaces usually stretch out for two miles, but races of shorter distances are referred to as a sprint.

National Hunt races are considered less ‘pure’ but more exciting as it’s a complex form of horse racing due to its inclusion of hurdles, fences and bumpers.

Fences are used in racing events called Steeplechases, which also includes water jumps and ditches, as well as other obstacles to negotiate.

Now you know what type of races you’re betting on, here’s how can become an accomplished horse racing punter.

How to bet on horse racing

Horse racing is one of the only sports in the UK to be purely associated with betting. This is why advanced horse racing markets are one of the key selling points of any bookmakers.

Via our free bets page, you can access some of the very best offers and promotions from some of the UK’s most respectable bookmakers.

Many of the trusted bookmakers we partner, have a vast range of horseracing betting markets available such as UK & Ireland Racing, International Racing and Ante post betting.

With standard horse racing betting, you can either bet on a horse to win, to place, to show, across the board to win/place or to place/show. Here are these betting types explained:

  • To win – You only receive winnings if your horse finishes first
  • To place – You will win cash if your horse finishes either first or second place
  • To show – Collect your winnings if your horse finishes in the top three
  • Across the board – This is three different separate bets. Rather than betting for your horse to show, you can choose the more expensive option of betting across the board, which includes betting on your horse to win, place or show. The initial bet may be more expensive, but this means that the returns are more rewarding
  • To win/place – You’re effectively making separate bets on them to either win or to win or come second in the same bet
  • To place/show – Collect winnings if either this or the option above happens but the two won’t be merged together like singular bets. You will only win from one

The bookies we work with have a strong dedication to responsible gambling, and have measures in place to give you complete control of how much you spend and intend to spend.

Now that you have a good idea of horse betting basics, check out our free bets page to get started!