Horse Racing Betting Guide: How To Bet On Horse Racing

Watching horse racing is a favourite pastime in the United Kingdom, it became well-established in the 18th century and since then its popularity has only increased. Placing a bet on horse racing is a great way to excitement when watching the races – we’ve created this guide to help beginners and expert punters alike.

Types Of Horse Racing

There are two main types of horse races that happen in the United Kingdom, these two types of races are highly televised and punted on daily.

Flat Racing

As you would expect by the name of this type of horse race, it is exactly as it’s described. Flat racing takes place on flat ground without any obstacles. Flat horse racing can be run from five furlongs also known as sprinters (1,000m) to over 2 miles which is called a ‘stayer’ (3,200m) – Middle-distance races are seven furlongs to a mile.


The flat racing season goes from late spring to autumn, and the all-weather season covers the winter. Many horse racing fans prefer betting on flat racing due to there being no obstacles such as hurdles in place, it will require the skill and judgment of the jockey.

Jump Racing

Jump racing also known as National Hunt racing will require the horse and jockeys to navigate through obstacles on the race track, the type of obstacles can vary depending on the type of jump race. These can be hurdles, which are smaller jumps for quick leaping, or steeplechase fences, big jumps that need strong jumping skills and power.


Jump racing are longer race than flat racing being between two miles and four miles long and the pace is a lot slower than flat racing due to the risk involved. These races tend to take place between October and April.

Horse Racing Terms You Need To Know

Before learning any horse racing betting strategies, it’s crucial that you understand the lingo in horse racing and can join in any conversation next time you are watching or at the races.

A unit of distance in horse racing is equal to 220 yards or about 201 meters.

A race where horses carry different weights based on their ability, to level the playing field.

A horse that has not won a race.

An official review of the race to check for any rule breaches.

The condition of the racecourse’s ground ranges from hard to heavy.

A tipster’s best bet of the day.

A close race where the winner is determined by a photograph.

The starting gates for flat races.

Betting on future races in advance of the final field being announced.

Racing on artificial surfaces can occur regardless of weather conditions.

Popular Types Of Horse Racing Bets

There is a whole range of different types of bets that you can choose from when betting on the horses, we have listed the most popular horse racing bets and how they work.


The most forward bet that you can do is a single bet which is one bet for the horse to win the race. This is the most common bet you can do.


Example: Number 6 to win at 3/1 – £10 would return £40


Fancy two horses in the day to win? You can double them up in a bet, both horses must win their races for you to win your bet. There is no added stake when doing a double bet, if you place £1 on a double, it will only be £1.


How much you win on your double will depend on the odds of both of your horses.


Much like a double but instead of two horses, you will be backing three to win their races. Many punters like to include three-backed favourites in trebles in order to boost the odds on horses they believe will win during the day.


An accumulator or an ‘acca’ is a bet when you choose four or more horses to win their races for you to get the returns. It works by the winnings of your first bet rolling on to the next race, the maximum number of horses you can select in an accumulator is usually twenty but it can vary depending on bookmakers.


A Trixie contains three horse selections but unlike a treble bet, it is made up of four bets.


Three doubles: 12, 13, 23

One treble: 123


To win two of the best must land in order to get a return so there is less risk involved than placing a treble. Since a Trixie is made up of four bets – if you stake £1 it will cost you £4.


Another option is if you want to select three horses on your bet – you can also select a patent which is made up of seven bets.


Three singles: 1,2,3

Three doubles: 12, 13, 23

One treble: 123


To receive a payout, only one of your horses needs to win. Due to it being seven bets £1 stake will cost you £7.


Moving on to four-hour bets, you can choose to select a Yankee which comprises 11 bets.


Six doubles: 12, 13, 14, 23, 24, 34

Four trebles: 123, 134, 124 and 234

A fourfold acca: 1234


To win this bet, a minimum of two horses must win – 11 bets if you place £1 on a Yankee, it will cost you £11.

Lucky 15

One of the most popular bets amongst horse racing punters is a Lucky 15 which is similar to the Yankee as previously spoken about but it also includes singles. You can guess from the name how many bets are involved in a Lucky 15.


Four singles: 1, 2, 3, 4

Six doubles: 12, 13, 14, 23, 24, 34

Four trebles: 123, 134, 124, 234

A fourfold acca: 1234


To win on this bet, at least one of the horses needs to win. Placing £1 on a Lucky 15 will set you back £15.


A Canadian bet in horse racing involves five selections in different races, combining them into 26 bets, it has also been called a Super Yankee.


Ten doubles

Ten trebles

Five fourfolds

A fivefold acca


In order to receive a payout, a minimum of two horses on your bet must win. A £1 stake on a Canadian means you will pay £26.

What Is An Each Way Bet?

An each-way bet is a wager offered by bookmakers consisting of two bets: a win bet and a place bet. If you fancy an outsider in a race with a strong favourite, it may be beneficial to back your horse by placing an each-way bet meaning that if it finishes 2nd or 3rd, you can still win money.


Different bookmakers will offer how many places they pay out from, in a big field such as the Grand National, you can be offered to be paid out if the horse finishes 6th on some betting sites.


If your each-way bet wins, you get paid for both the win and place parts of your bet. The win part pays out at the odds you took, and the place part pays out at a fraction of those odds, depending on the race terms.

How To Bet On Horse Racing Online

For beginners, it can seem daunting to place a bet on horse racing online, no need to worry, we’ve got you covered on a step-by-step guide that you can follow:


Choose a reputable betting site that specialises in horse racing.


Before you place a bet on the race, you must choose your horse. You can pick a horse through studying the race by looking at the card, hearing a tip or even just picking the horse because you like the name!


Click on the odds of the horse, this will add the selection to your bet slip. If you would like to make it an each-way bet then tick the box ‘Each-Way’ or EW for short.


Deposit the money you wish to stake on the race or have any free bets ready and simply press the place bet button. It will update with your betting slip confirmed.


Sit back and enjoy the race!

Tips For Betting On Horse Racing

Here are a few tips that can help you maximise your profits when it comes to placing bets on horse racing.

Find the Best Odds Guaranteed

Having a quick browse online, you can find sports betting sites that offer the best odds guaranteed on any horse racing meets meaning that you are getting the most value from your winners if they come in.

Study The Race Beforehand

Studying horse racing form is super important when it comes to winning your bets, not only should you check the horse’s current form but the trainer aswell, if they have good success in a certain meeting there is a high chance they could carry on their form. Taking the time to study the race can give you great insight.

Bankroll Management

You should never stake more than what you can afford to lose, set a realistic amount that you are willing to wager. By tracking how much you are depositing you can see your profit and loss, you can start to see your most successful days and what you were doing on them days to find a strategy that works for you.

Know What Tipsters Are Saying

Just a quick browse online, you can find hundreds of horse racing tips so it can be difficult to cut through the noise. We always recommend that never follow tipsters religiously. It’s about taking in the information, considering the form, the going, and other factors, and then trusting your own judgment to place your bets.

Best Horse Racing Betting Strategies

When it comes to horse racing betting, having a solid strategy can be the difference between a day to remember and one to forget. With the right approach, you can increase your chances of success and make the whole experience a lot more enjoyable.

Double Bets

A Double Bet involves two selections in different events. Both selections must win for the bet to be successful. It’s a straightforward way to potentially increase your winnings, as the return from the first selection is used as the stake for the second selection. This strategy is popular for its simplicity and the enhanced returns it can offer compared to single bets, especially when you’re confident in your picks.

EW (Each Way) Trixies

An EW Trixie is a bit more complex, combining three selections into four bets: three doubles and a treble, all as each-way bets. This means that you’re not just betting on your selections to win, but also to place. It’s essentially eight bets in total – four betting on the wins and four betting on the places. This can be a great strategy when you have confidence in your selections performing well, but you want the added insurance of earning a return.

Each Way Bets

Each Way Bets are a popular choice in horse racing, splitting your bet into two parts: one part on the horse to win and the other on it to place (finishing in the top positions as defined by the bookmaker). It’s ideal for races with uncertain outcomes or when you’re betting on an outsider with a strong chance to finish in the top three or four.

Frequently Asked Questions About Horse Racing Betting

We understand wrapping your head fully around the world of horse racing can be difficult, we’ve put together this frequently asked question section to help answer any lingering questions you may have.

If your horse wins and the betting odds are longer at the start of the race than when you placed your bet, most bookies will pay out at the higher odds, thanks to the Best Odds Guaranteed offer. This ensures you get the maximum return on your win, making it a good bet for punters.

Yes, you can place multiple bets on multiple horses in the same race. This is a fun way to spread your chances of winning, especially in races with uncertain outcomes like those at Royal Ascot. Betting shops and betting exchanges often provide options for exacta betting (picking the first two finishers in order) or each way betting on more than one horse, which can have a significant impact on your returns.

There are many sources offering free horse racing tips for today’s racing, including Australian racing tips, Irish racing tips, and ITV racing tips. These can usually be found online. Remember, while tips can guide your decisions, it’s important to consider the previous form and course information to make informed bets.