Top Horse Racing Betting Sites in 2021
Horse racing and betting have always gone hand in hand. Watching races such as the Kentucky Derby, Grand National, or Melbourne Cup is exciting, but it’s even better when you have real money wagers at stake.
Betting on horse racing couldn’t be any easier than it is today, thanks to the internet and the abundance of horse racing betting sites. Online horse betting is very simple, and offers many advantages over the alternatives.
It’s important to use the right racebooks, though, which is why we encourage you to stick to the best horse racing betting sites as per our recommendations.
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When it comes to online betting for real money, we believe that choosing the right site is among the most important decisions you’ll make.
The reason why is because the internet is still the Wild West in many ways. There are a few “bad actors,” operators who don’t follow the rules and take advantage of unsuspecting and vulnerable bettors.
You could accidentally join one of these sites and not know until it’s too late. But chances are, this won’t happen because you’re here, on this page, where we don’t recommend anything but the best sites for betting on horse racing online.
Best Horse Racing Betting Sites
One of the things that makes our rankings of the best horse betting sites unique is that we routinely update it to make sure it’s as accurate as possible at any given time. We don’t just pick a list of sites at the start of the year and then forget about it.
Part of our reasoning for this is that safety is our utmost concern. It’s the first thing we look for when we review any type of online gambling site, and if any currently recommended site shows signs of dropping its standards then we’ll pull it from our rankings.
Let’s now take a minute to talk about how we come up with our list of recommended horse racing betting sites.
About Our Recommended Horse Betting Sites
We get it, you’re skeptical. You want to know where our recommendations come from. And you want to know why you should trust us. We don’t blame you.
The racebooks we recommend are truly top-notch if you want to bet on horses online. However, instead of just stating how great our recommendations are, we’ll show you how we come up with them.
Firstly, fancy features such as live streaming or promotions like free bets are worthless if you join a betting site that’s unsafe, untrustworthy, and inattentive.
That’s why we don’t recommend sites like that. Here’s how we filter out the legit sites from the shady ones.
Check for a License
Obtaining a license is a small hurdle for an operator to jump.
However, if they’re issued a license, it means they paid a fee, applied, and were vetted by a gambling commission. It also means they’re operating legally in the jurisdiction in which they’re based. This is clearly a good indication that they’re safe to use.
Read Customer Feedback
We scour the internet looking for customer feedback for each online sportsbook we recommend.
We check to see if a betting sites pays their customers (quickly). It’s important that they uphold their terms and don’t retroactively change them. And we want to know if the site has ever resorted to shady tactics to keep their customers’ money on-site.
The best online horse racing betting sites do none of these things.
Submit a Support Ticket
It’s inevitable that, during our reviews, we come up with questions about a site’s promotions, betting options, and features. And if we do, even with our vast experience in online gambling, you likely will, too.
This is why we send at least one support ticket to every betting site we review. Once we hit send, we’re looking to see how fast the bookmaker’s support team responds, how helpful they are, and how many emails it takes to solve our problems.
That’s the general process for ensuring that every site we recommend is safe, trustworthy, and attentive. It has consistently helped us identify the horse racing betting sites we’d trust with our hard-earned money.
This isn’t all we do, though. This part of our process only ensures that an online bookmaker or sportsbook is a safe option regardless of what you like to bet on. It doesn’t mean it’s a good site for horse racing bettors.
Whenever we review a site for a specific audience, such as those looking for the best places to bet on horse racing online, it’s important that we double-check that our recommendations are a good fit.
We look for the following qualities whenever we review a horse racing betting website.
- Types of Bets – Can you make bets such as exactas, trifectas, superfectas, futures, and others?
- Odds – Betting odds are always changing, but what we try to do is recommend sportsbooks who routinely post the best odds. The less you risk and the more you can win, the better.
- Races – What races can you bet on? Can you bet on the Kentucky Derby? Epsom Downs? The Everest? The more races, the better.
- Features – There are two key features we look for, live betting and live streaming. For live streaming, we prefer sites that don’t have any requirements or minimums you must meet before you can watch a race.
- Promotions – Our favorite horse betting promotions are free bets and rebates. Free bet offers are reimbursements on bets that you make and lose. And a rebate is a percentage of your net losses paid back to you every week.
The more of these boxes a site can check off, the more eager we are to recommend them to our horse racing bettors.
We also look for other details, such as banking options and limits, other gambling options such as blackjack or poker, and whether they offer mobile apps. These factors matter, too.
But so long as they tick the boxes in this section, we have no doubt that we can recommend them to our readers.
And this is how you know you’re joining one of the top horse racing betting sites online when you join any of the recommendations on this page.
More Top-Rated Horse Racing Betting Sites
Our main recommendations are for the best of the best horse racing betting sites. These sites are great for anyone with a general interest in gambling on horse races online
But we also recommend the best horse racing betting sites for people who have a specific need or interest. You might want to go this route to find the betting site that is the right fit for you if you have particular preferences.
For example, we recommend horse racing betting sites for people living in specific countries or regions.
You can also join a betting site that specializes in specific horse races. When you join a site that we recommend for a particular race, you can bet your bankroll that the site will have the best odds, betting opportunities, and offers for that race.
This is an awesome opportunity. If you think about it, these prestigious races are held all over the world. Are you able to travel to Europe, the United States, or Australia just to watch and bet on a race?
Probably not. That’s not in the cards for most people.
But what you can do is join one of our recommended horse betting websites and place your bets there.
Now, what if you love to bet on horse races but you also like to bet on other sports, such as basketball, baseball, MMA, or golf?
In that case, we recommend that you don’t join a dedicated horse racing site. You should join a general sports betting site that excels in areas such as bonuses and payouts instead.
You might like to check out our main sports betting sites page. This page covers ALL the sites we rank and recommend.
Getting Started With Online Horse Racing Betting
If you’ve never placed a bet online before, getting started can be intimidating. There are so many steps to take before you make your first bet. None of the steps are difficult, but it can feel like a lot when you see them all.
Joining one of the best horse racing betting sites is your first step. The good news is that step isn’t hard, seeing as how we did all the work reviewing and ranking all the quality options we could find.
This is just the beginning, though. There are a few other things you’ll want to think about before you place your first real money wager. Let’s look at those now.
Make Your Deposit
Want to place real money bets? You’ll need to have real money in your account. To do that, you’ll have to make a deposit.
Most sportsbooks accept an assortment of banking methods. The following are a few of the most common options you’ll have.
- Credit/Debit – Use cards with a Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover logo.
- E-wallet – Your options include PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, and others.
- Cryptocurrency – Many betting sites accept Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and other cryptos.
- Bank Wire – Ship a wire directly from your bank to the sportsbook’s bank.
- Money Transfer – Ship cash via MoneyGram or Western Union.
- InstaDebit – An option for Canadians.
- POLi – An option for Australians.
- WebMoney – An option for Russians.
- UKash – Prepaid card available to bettors in various locations.
The options you have will depend on where you live and what the gambling site accepts.
Making a deposit isn’t hard, especially if you’ve done any shopping online. You’ll go to the cashier, choose your banking method, and follow the instructions. All this usually entails is you inputting your banking info and the amount you want to deposit.
That’s all there is to it!
If you run into any troubles, every online bookmaker and sportsbook we recommend is more than happy to help you make your deposit. Just ship them a message, and they’ll get you sorted.
App or Desktop?
Another decision you’ll have to make is whether you want to place your bets on your mobile device using an app or via the desktop app.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to go. It’s a matter of preference.
Using a mobile app is convenient. You can take it anywhere you have internet access. And most sportsbook apps are as robust as their desktop app.
However, mobile devices are smaller. If you struggle to read smaller text or you don’t want to stream a race on a 9” screen, then using the bookmaker’s desktop app might be a better choice.
Sometimes, the desktop app will have more features, too. This is becoming less and less the case, though, as the mobile side of the industry continues to grow.
Either way, you’ll have the same deposit options, access to bets, and the same promotions to choose from. Of course, there’s no rule saying that you can’t use both options.
Your Horse Betting Bankroll
Bankroll management is a loaded topic, so we’ll only cover a few of the basics here. How much money you have on hand to bet will depend on a few factors.
For one thing, what’s the amount of money you can dedicate to betting? Your win rate also matters. Losing bettors will need more money than winners will. The types and bet sizes matter, too.
Generally speaking, we like to err on the side of caution and have more money. A good rule of thumb is to keep at least 100x your betting unit on hand.
A unit is the amount you wager. For example, if you make $1 bets, your betting unit is $1. This means you should keep at least $100 in your bankroll. If you routinely make $10 bets, then you should keep $1,000 on hand.
From here, we recommend increasing your bankroll if you like to make risky bets or the occasional big bet. Both types of bets increase the risk to your bankroll, either due to the odds of you winning or variance.
Beginners can get a lot of experience depositing $100 to $500, assuming you use proper bankroll management and an analytical approach to sports betting.
Races You Can Bet On
You’ll also want to think about the races you want to bet on. This will impact a lot, including the horse racing betting sites you should join, the wagers you can make, how much you can bet, and loads more.
The following events are some of the largest races held all over the world.
- Kentucky Derby
This is the first race in the US Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby is a 1.25-mile race that takes place on the first Saturday in May.
- Preakness Stakes
This is the second leg of the US Triple Crown. It takes place two weeks after the Kentucky Derby.
- Belmont Stakes
This is the final race in the US Triple Crown and is nicknamed the “Test of the Champion.”
- Breeders Cup
This race attracts the best horses each year to compete for some of the largest purses in the sport.
- Epsom Derby
This race is held the first Saturday in June at the Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, England. The purse for this race is about $2 million.
- The Everest
This 0.75-mile race is held the second or third Saturday in October at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, Australia. This purse is a MASSIVE $14 million.
- Melbourne Cup
This is a 2-mile race that’s held every November in Melbourne, Australia. The purse for this race is $5.3 million.
- Dubai World Cup
This race is held in Dubai the last Saturday of every March. Competitors race for a piece of the $12 million prize pool.
- Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
This race is held the first Sunday in October at the Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, France. Competitors race on this 1.5-mile track for a piece of the $5.6 million purse.
- Sheema Classic
This 1.5-mile race is held the last Saturday in March in Dubai. More than 80,000 spectators can watch the horses race for their piece of the $6 million purse.
These are some of the most popular and prestigious races you can bet on. However, most sportsbooks take action on other less popular races, too.
What Bets Do You Want to Make?
The bets you want to make is another important consideration. This decision will impact where you bet and the races you can bet on.
Each bet has a different amount of risk, which means your decisions will also impact your bankroll. So, don’t take this decision lightly!
The following are the most common types of bets you can make. Terms vary slightly depending on where you live.
- Straight Bet
This is a bet on whether the horse wins (first), places (second), or shows (third).
You’re betting on the horse you think will win the race.
This is a bet on the horse you think will take second.
Bet on the horse you think will take third.
There are two types of exotic bets, horizontal and vertical. Horizontal bets require you to pick the winner of anywhere from two to six straight races. Vertical bets are choosing the exact order of the top two, three, or four horses.
- Daily Double
Choose the winner of two back-to-back races.
- Pick 3, 4, 5, 6
The same as the Daily Double, except that you’re choosing the winner for three to six straight races.
Pick the win and place in that specific order for any particular race.
Pick the top three horses that will cross the finish line in the exact order that they cross the finish line to win.
This is the same as a trifecta, except that you’re betting on four horses and the exact order that they win.
We recommend beginners make straight, win, place, or show bets. Though the payouts aren’t nearly as large as the riskier bets, your chances of winning are significantly higher. With a solid strategy, you’ll win more often and can get by on a smaller bankroll.
There’s nothing wrong with making a riskier bet, however. Just be prepared for losing these bets more than you win them and having a bankroll large enough to sustain those losses.
These are some of the important considerations you’ll want to think about before you make your first bet. There are other things that matter too, such as betting odds, the types of horse races you can bet on, and even the lingo that’s used in horse racing and betting.
We’ve created a horse racing basics guide that will help you in these areas and then some. Check it out if you’re newer to horse race betting.
Horse Racing Betting Sites FAQ
- How much can I bet on horse races?
AThis depends on the site. The minimum you can bet at most places is $1. The maximum varies widely, but the best horse racing betting sites will accept bets ranging from $100 to $20,000, or more, depending on the bet.
Keep in mind that bet limits will vary due to the type of horse race you’re betting on, the track, and your own personal limits.
The best way to find this information is to read our reviews. You can also reach out to the sportsbook and ask them.
- What is the safest bet in horse racing?
AThe win and place bet is a safe option, as safe as betting on horses gets, anyway. This is two bets in one. The first bet is on the horse you think will win. The second bet is for the horse you think will place.
What’s great about this bet is that if one horse loses the win or place, but the other bet wins, you’ll still receive a payout for that horse.
Some horse racing betting sites call these “each-way” bets.
- How do betting odds work?
ABetting odds tell you how likely an event is to happen. The larger the odds, the higher the payout, but the less likely the outcome will happen.
For example, a horse with 3-1 odds is more likely to win than the horse with 4-1 odds. And a horse with 5-2 odds (which, when simplified, is 2.5-1 odds) is more likely to win than the horse with 3-1 odds.
The upside to choosing a horse with lower odds is that your bet is more likely to win. The downside is that your bet won’t pay as much because it’s closer to a sure thing.
Some people get this backwards, thinking the larger odds are best. That’s not true. They’ll pay more, but it’s a longshot wager that won’t pay off nearly as often.
It’s worth noting that the best horse racing betting sites typically have the best odds.
- What is the best site for betting on horse racing online?
AThe sites we recommend on this page are the best betting sites you can join for horse races. However, if there’s something specific you’re looking for, then you’ll want to dig a little deeper.
We recommend thinking about the following variables before you choose a betting site.
- What races and horses do you want to bet on?
- What types of bets do you want to make?
- How little or how much do you want to wager?
- What features do you want (like live streaming or early cash outs)?
- Do you want to claim promotions like rebates or free bets?
- Where do you live?
- What banking options do you want to use?
Your answers to these questions will help you figure out which horse betting website is the best one for you to join.
Horse races are prestigious events and used to be reserved for “fancy” people.
A couple decades ago, you’d have to get dressed up and attend the races in person if you wanted to bet on them. Or visit one of Las Vegas’ sportsbooks, or a bookmaking shop.
But times have changed for the better. Nowadays, you can bet on the ponies from anywhere in the world where you can access the internet.
You can make bets for as little as $1, win thousands on the back of a single wager, and claim deposit bonuses worth hundreds and thousands of dollars.
You can bet on the world’s largest and most prestigious races …and you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to do it.
If that sounds good to you, then the first step is to join one of the top-rated horse racing betting sites. Don’t get this wrong, though, as you and your bankroll could be in for a world of hurt.
It doesn’t have to be hard to find a safe and trustworthy betting site to join. Stick to our recommendations where we only share the best horse betting sites, and you’ll be off to the races!