The Premier League is back! Check out our guide to England's top football league here

The Best Horse Racing Betting Sites for 2020

The Definitive Guide to Betting on Horses

Horse racing is referred to as the sport of kings, and it is certainly an apt name. Steeped in rich history, racing has been enjoyed by millions of spectators for hundreds of years. From the sandy beaches of Maui to the downs at Epsom, there is no more exhilarating sight than seeing four-legged beasts hurtle down the course at speeds of upwards of 40 miles per hour.

Horse racing betting has always been big, but now with online horse racing betting, the industry is enormous. Many sites will now offer equine action from all corners of the globe, and it is our responsibility to get you the best horse racing odds and deals. We are experts in the field and by following our guidance, you can:

  • Get access to the highest-rated bookies for horse racing
  • Find out where you can get huge bonuses & promotions
  • Follow expert horse racing strategies and tips


the USABest Horse Racing Betting Sites in the USA - September 2020
100% up to $1000
T&Cs Apply
Accepts Large Bets Accepts Large Bets Signup Bonus Signup Bonus In-Play Betting In-Play Betting Regular Promos Regular Promos
125% up to $3,125
T&Cs Apply
Welcome Bonus Welcome Bonus Mobile Website Mobile Website Live Chat Live Chat In-Play Betting In-Play Betting
Special Offers Special Offers Bitcoin Bitcoin
+2 more
50% Up to $1000
T&Cs Apply
In-Play Betting In-Play Betting Regular Promos Regular Promos Signup Bonus Signup Bonus
50% Up to $250
T&Cs Apply
Accepts Large Bets Accepts Large Bets In-Play Betting In-Play Betting Regular Promos Regular Promos Partial Cash Out Partial Cash Out
100% up to $500
T&Cs Apply
Bitcoin Bitcoin Signup Bonus Signup Bonus Regular Promos Regular Promos
15% Up to $600
T&Cs Apply
Accepts Large Bets Accepts Large Bets In-Play Betting In-Play Betting Signup Bonus Signup Bonus
50% up to $1000
T&Cs Apply
Signup Bonus Signup Bonus In-Play Betting In-Play Betting

An Introduction to Horse Racing Betting

Without betting, it would be very doubtful that horse racing would exist as a sport today. The betting industry underpins the sport, and although the formats may differ around the world, in the vast majority of countries around the globe, there is an inextricable link between the two.

Sure, there would be some interested spectators if there was just horse racing, but in the words of one prominent bookmaker… it matters more when there’s money on it!

Trying to decode each horse race is essentially a puzzle in its own right, and the beauty is that there is a plethora of racing action almost every day of the calendar. Horse racing betting is available at the track, in betting shops and most prominently nowadays, online.

As with all sports, the chance a horse has of winning a race is represented by the odds the bookies have given it. In the next section we will get onto just how to bet on horse racing in more detail, so keep on reading.

How to Bet on Horse Racing

The rules, regulations and bet types when looking at placing money on horse racing vary around the world. Bookmakers from all corners of the globe have devised all sorts of weird and wonderful ways for bettors to have a financial interest in horse racing but let us start with the basics.

The most common and simple bet to strike is the ‘win’ bet. When the overwhelming majority of layers price up races, they are doing so to give odds on each horse’s potential chance of being victorious in a contest. So, for instance, if a bookie gave odds of +900 for the horse ‘On the Bridle’ to win, if a punter put £1 on, they would receive £11 (£10 for the win and £1 stake returned) if the horse was successful.

Most professional bettors operate by betting on singles. Another common single bet is an each-way bet. This is essentially two bets – one on the horse to win and one on it to be placed. The place terms are determined by the number of runners and race type, but they are typically ¼ to 1/5th of the win odds.

Bets that bookies love to take are multiple bets, such as a Lucky 15, Lucky 31, Yankee and Super Heinz. These are where there are four or more selections and the available bets are covered. So, for instance, in a Lucky 15, there are 15 bets – 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 fourfold.

Understanding and Finding the Best Odds

Horse racing odds come in many different forms, with fractional being the most prominent in the UK and decimal in Europe. There are other formats in the US and Asia, but ultimately, they all mean the same thing – the odds are the representation of the percentage chance of the horse winning a contest.

Trading teams at different bookmakers often have contrasting views on the chances of horses in each race, and horse racing is one of those sports where there are often big discrepancies in odds offered by the layers. That doesn’t happen so much in other sports such as football, but when it comes to racing there can be some big differences.

That is great news for customers – so long as the bookmaker is reputable and approved by SBO, then obviously the best way to make money is to pick the longest odds available for any horse. For instance, if ‘On the Bridle’ was +1000 to win a race with one bookmaker, and +1200 with another, it would make sense to bet with the bookmaker who gives the horse less chance of winning (the one pricing it up at +1200 ).

Check out the best promotions

Bet on the World’s Biggest Horse Racing Events

The main countries for horse racing around the world are England, Ireland, USA, France, Dubai and Australia. These countries play host to some of the most prestigious races in the world every year.

Some are flat races, where the goal of the horses is simply to run from A to B ahead of the competition. But in the
UK and Ireland especially, jumps racing (also known as National Hunt racing) is extremely popular, with the season in full flow over the autumn and winter months. Regardless of the season, the extraordinary number of meetings that take place each year guarantees that you’ll always find a race to bet on.

Let’s take a closer look at the some of the biggest horse racing events that take place across the globe.

United Kingdom

With 60 racecourses spread across the United Kingdom, punters are treated to more than 10,000 races per year. These races can be watched live on two dedicated racing channels in the UK (At The Races and Racing UK), ensuring you can watch all the action after placing your Lucky 15.

Grand National – First run in 1839, the Grand National is held annually at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. It is one of the most famous and unpredictable races in the world, with horses required to jump 30 fences over two laps for a total distance of about 4 miles and 2½ furlongs. Famous fences include Becher’s Brook and The Chair, while notable winners include Red Rum and Tiger Roll.

Cheltenham Festival – Considered the Olympics of National Hunt racing, the Cheltenham Festival attracts huge crowds from all over the UK and Ireland. First held in 1860, the four-day festival takes place every March at Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire, South West England. The Cheltenham Gold Cup is held on the last day of the festival, with famous winners including Arkle and Sprinter Sacre.

Royal Ascot – Founded by Queen Anne in 1711, Ascot Racecourse attracts the Queen and other members of the royal family every June for Royal Ascot. The Queen’s own horses have won races at Royal Ascot a number of times, including top-class thoroughbreds like Estimate and Whitechapel. The five-day festival features 13 Group 1 races each year, including the Gold Cup and Coronation Stakes.


Outside of the United Kingdom, horse racing is extremely popular in European countries like Ireland and France. There are 26 major racecourses in Ireland, with more than 350 race meetings held annually. Half of the European horse racing venues are in France, with more than 250 racecourses in operation.

Galway Races – Ireland’s biggest racing festival begins on the last Monday of July every year. The seven-day festival takes place at Galway Racecourse in Ballybrit, providing a mix of flat and jumps racing. The Galway Plate and Galway Hurdle are two of the most prestigious races of the week. In addition to racing action, Ladies Day sees stylish ladies compete for Best Dressed Lady and Most Elegant Hat titles.

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – Also known as the Arc, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is the richest race in Europe. The 2,400-metre turf race usually takes place on the first Sunday in October every year at the ParisLongchamp Racecourse in Paris. Eight horses have won the Arc twice, including Treve and Enable. French trainer Andre Fabre is known as the king of the Arc as seven of his horses have won the race.

Prix de Diane – Run at Chantilly Racecourse over a distance of 2,100 metres, the Prix de Diane is often referred to as the French Oaks. The Group 1 race is open to three-year-old thoroughbred fillies and takes place every year in June. Six horses have completed the Prix de Diane/Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe double, including Trève and Zarkava. The others were Pearl Cap, Nikellora, La Sorellina and Allez France.

Horse Racing Betting

United States

The United States is home to the highest concentration of horse racing tracks in the entire world, with more than 75 located across the country. American racing is famous for its Triple Crown, a title awarded to a three-year-old thoroughbred that wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

Kentucky Derby – Almost always held on the first Saturday in May, the Kentucky Derby takes place at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville. Often referred to as “the most exciting two minutes in sports”, the first leg of the Triple Crown is run on a dirt racetrack covering 1 1⁄4 miles. Secretariat, arguably the greatest racehorse of all time, won the race in a record-breaking time of 1 minute, 59.4 seconds in 1973.

Preakness Stakes – First held in 1873, the second leg of racing’s Triple Crown takes place on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is the shortest of the three Triple Crown races, run over just 9.5 furlongs. Secretariat set a still-standing record of 1 minute, 53 seconds to win the race in 1973 on his way to becoming the ninth Triple Crown winner in history.

Belmont Stakes – The third and final leg of the Triple Crown usually takes place on the first or second Saturday in June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Nicknamed the “Test of the Champion”, the Belmont Stakes is the longest leg of the three races, covering a distance of 1 ½ miles. The one and only Secretariat clocked a record time of 2 minutes, 24 seconds in 1973 to win the race by 31 lengths.

Rest of the World

Horse racing betting is extremely popular outside of Europe and the United States. Meydan Racecourse is home to the world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup. Australia’s greatest race is the Melbourne Cup. And more than 21,000 races are held in Japan each year, including the prestigious Japan Cup.

Dubai World Cup – Held annually since 1996, the Dubai World Cup is known as the “richest day of racing” on the international racing calendar. The Group 1 race is contested at the Meydan Racecourse, with previous winners including Prince Bishop and Thunder Show. The race was created by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and owner of Darley Stud and Godolphin Racing.

Melbourne Cup – The “race that stops a nation” takes place on the first Tuesday of November each year. First held in 1861, the richest two-mile handicap in the world is held at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. Kingston Rule holds the record for the fastest Melbourne Cup win, crossing the line in just 3 minutes, 16.3 seconds. Other notable winners include Makybe Diva, Think Big, Rain Lover and Peter Pan.

Japan Cup – Japan’s flagship race of the year is contested annually on the last Sunday of November. The race takes place at Tokyo Racecourse in Fuchu, Tokyo, with a maximum of 18 horses competing across a distance of 2,400 metres. The Japan Cup was inaugurated in 1981 and is renowned for producing some of the most memorable finishes in recent history. Notable winners include Almond Eye and Gentildonna.

Choosing the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites

The following are some important factors that should be considered when looking for a bookmaker to use to strike horse racing bets on:

Best Odds Guaranteed

Choosing a bookmaker that offer best odds guaranteed on horse racing is a big plus. Just what is best odds guaranteed, and why is it important? Well, best odds guaranteed is a concession many bookies offer and it basically gives the punter a little advantage. With best odds guaranteed, if clients take the odds on a horse at the time they place a bet, then if those odds subsequently drifts and it starts at a higher price, in the event that the horse is successful, the customer will be paid out at the larger odds. In essence, it means the bettor gets the best possible price on a horse.

Range of Banking Methods

When looking at horse racing betting and which bookie to choose, it is important to look at the banking aspect of affairs. Banking refers broadly to the deposit and withdrawal options available to punters, and more specifically what methods are available, what the minimum and maximums are and if there is any fee for using a specific payment type. Everyone is different, but it is nice for bettors to choose a horse racing bookie that has plenty of options when it comes to payment types. Most sites offer debit and credit cards, and most have e-wallets, prepaid cards, bank transfers and more.

Generous Bonuses and Promotions

Horse racing bettors should take into consideration the bonuses and concessions that the bookmakers offer when choosing which site to go with. Most firms now offer a sign-up bonus, but they vary in both monetary value and in terms and conditions. Those firms that have strict and sneaky rollover requirements for any first deposit that stimulates a bonus, should be avoided. We can help you lookout for the right bookies who offer you great bonuses and continued loyalty and VIP concessions. New UK bookmakers are a great place to start if you’re looking for bonuses – new sites often have big offers to attract new punters.

Live Betting Markets

With horse races typically only taking between 1-6 minutes to run, you would think it would be difficult to get live betting action on the Sport of Kings. That used to be true, but now several of the big operators are providing in-running live betting for horse racing betting. Why should bettors look for bookies that offer this? Well a couple of reasons; firstly in case they miss the start of the race and still want to bet, and secondly because a punter might like the way a race is unfolding and want to bet more on the horse they had already backed.

Cutting-Edge Security Measures

Security has to be high up on every bettor’s list of attributes when considering which bookmaker to use. After all, there is no point in picking a bookmaker, depositing and winning bets, if you never get your money. Here at SBO, we take security very seriously and only recommend reputable and safe sites. When looking at a bookie, it is always important to check out where they are licensed. Furthermore, other security considerations should be the website.

Be a King When Betting on Horse Racing

Horse racing is one of the most exhilarating sports to bet on, with most races over from start to finish within two minutes. The adrenaline is pumping with the opportunity to win big for a relatively small stake. Online horse racing betting can be even more enjoyable when you are given the absolute best opportunity to make money from the sport, and if you follow our advice then you will be on the right tracks.

We specialize in locating the most trusted online horse racing betting websites that give the best odds, strongest bonuses and top customer service. Only those firms that really go above and beyond for their clientele get the thumbs up from the SBO team, so what are you waiting for? Check out our list of the most highly recommended horse racing betting sites, sign up and start making some money from the sport of kings.

Suggested Horse Racing Betting Content

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely! The best horse racing betting sites offer free bets and deposit bonuses when registering for their site, but some go one step further and offer exclusive promotions for specific horse racing events like the Grand National and the Cheltenham Festival. Make sure you check out the terms and conditions.

The answer is yes – 99.99% of online bookmakers will accept bets with more than one selection, and the odds of each horse will then be multiplied to give a return. For instance, a £1 treble on three runners all priced at 9/1 (10.0) would return £1,000!

UK winnings are tax-free! Otherwise, it depends on which country you are betting in, your desire to declare any winnings, and the amount that has been won. However, in Europe it is unlikely you will have to pay any tax on your winnings.

Of course, it depends on which bookie you are using, but most betting sites accept NETELLER as a payment method nowadays. Check out our reviews to see which payment methods are available with our recommended bookmakers.

1 What is your preferred device?
Desktop Desktop
Tablet Tablet
Mobile Mobile
Go back
Only Verified Betting Sites