Betting on horse races has been popular since the Greeks and Romans climbed aboard their chariots. Today, many top-rated online sportsbooks offer a full-fledged sports betting racebook. From the Kentucky Derby to the Breeder’s Cup, as well as the races leading up to these events, you can post a variety of different wagers. As with betting on football and basketball, however, some sites are much better than others. We’ll share our list of the best horse racing sportsbooks below.
To help you get started, we’ll explain some of the fundamentals of horse racing, and describe the most popular wagers you can place. A lot of avid sports bettors try online horse betting, and discover they enjoy the experience more than other events. The following may convince you of the same.
Types Of Races At The Best Horse Racing Sportsbooks
Most people, even those who do not bet on sporting events, are familiar with the major horse races. They have heard about – and even watched – the events that comprise the Triple Crown: the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and Preakness. These races showcase the thoroughbreds. But there are several other types of events. Among them, you’ll find maiden races, claiming races, allowance races, and stakes races. Here’s a brief description of each:
- Maiden Races – These are typically the first events horses race. The steeds have never won. There are several classes of maiden races with the top runners participating in the Maiden Special Weight event.
- Claiming Races – These are events before which the runners can be purchased, or “claimed.” This prevents horses that are too-highly qualified for the races from being entered into them since anyone can claim them. Here, too, there are several classes, which are categorized by the price tags placed on the runners.
- Allowance Races – These races are ranked higher than claiming races. The runners cannot be claimed, and the purses are generally larger. The horses are regarded as promising, though not yet ready for stakes races.
- Stakes Races – Here, you’ll find the top runners. These are horses that have moved up the ranks by winning previous events. There are several graded and non-graded levels, with the Grade 1 stakes races including the Triple Crown. These events are where all horse owners aim. Purses can climb into the millions of dollars.
Betting Basics: Most Popular Types Of Horse Racing Bets
You’ll quickly learn there are dozens of bets you can make on horse races. That said, the most effective way to start at the best horse racing sportsbooks is to focus on a few. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular wagers you can make:
- Show – If your runner comes in first, second, or third, you win. The payoff is modest, but your chances of winning are good.
- Place – Your horse must come in first or second in order to win your bet. The payoff for your runner to place is better than the payoff to show, but your chances of winning decline.
- Win – As the name implies, your horse must come in first in order for you to win your bet. And as you would expect, the payoff is better than the previous two wagers.
- Daily Double – This is a bet you place on the winner of two races, usually consecutive events. The bet is hard to win, but comes with an attractive payoff.
- Pick 3 – This bet is the same as a Daily Double, but you wager on the winners of three races rather than two. The likelihood of winning is small, of course, but the payoff is bigger.
- Trifecta – This wager is a bet on the horses that come in first, second, and third in a single race. They must come in according to the order you select.
There are also variations of the bets described above. For example, a Pick 4 is the same as a Pick 3, but it requires you to choose the winners of 4 races. Similarly, a Superfecta is the same as a Trifecta, but you must select 4 horses to come in first, second, third, and fourth. Most of the best horse racing sportsbooks will offer these as well as other types of wagers.
Best Horse Racing Sportsbooks
When deciding where to bet on horse races, reputation is everything. It does no good to place winning bets if you’re uncertain whether you’ll be able to cash out. The sites below are considered the best horse racing sportsbooks online. Each has been in the sports betting industry for many years, and has attracted hundreds of thousands of fans. If you’re new to online horse betting, start with these:
- Bodog Sportsbook – Bodog has gained a reputation for top-notch customer support and no-nonsense sports betting. You’ll find thoroughbred racing at most levels, and at tracks across the country. In addition to win, place, and show bets, you’ll be able to take advantage of exotics, such as Daily Doubles, Superfectas, and Pick 4s. Visit Bodog today and use bonus code “130347” to claim an unlimited, instant 10% match on your first deposit. Also, visit our Bodog Sportsbook review page to find access to more links and information on this online betting site.
The betting sites above are the best horse racing sportsbooks you’ll find. Each is an ideal place to learn the ropes if you’re just getting started with online horse betting.