Horse racing was once called the “sport of kings,” back during a time when British royalty took a keen interest in the races. Today, betting on horses is an experience enjoyed by millions of people, both at the track and online. For those who are unable to travel around the country and visit the various parks, numerous sport betting racebooks bring the races to their computer screens. Aside from the pounding of the hooves and cheering from the crowd, online racebooks offers all of the excitement of horse betting without the inconvenience of travel.
To say that you can place wagers on horse races online is an oversimplification that skirts a few important issues. For example, as with online sportsbooks, the challenge is picking a reputable race book. There are several trusted racebooks with solid reputations as well as many that have yet to prove themselves. More than a few are saddled with poor reputations, and thus should be avoided.
This page was created to accomplish three things. First, we’ll point you to the top sports betting racebooks online, and explain the reasons we recommend them. Second, we’ll provide some of the basics of horse race betting. If you’re new to the races, you’ll be able to get started quickly. Third, we’ll give you a 3-minute crash course on exotic bets you can place at the top online racebooks.
Online Racebooks for USA Sports Bettors
A Guide To Horse Racing Bets And Race Book Lines
The goal of betting on horse races is not to win a major event, such as the Kentucky Derby or Belmont Stakes. The goal is to beat the odds displayed by the race book lines. Or, to put it another way, worry less about choosing horses that win. Focus instead on selecting runners for which the payout – based on the odds – is more than it should be. That is the way to make money consistently at the online racebooks.
Horse racing betting odds is a complicated subject that deserves a more exhaustive treatment than we have space for here. But it’s worth learning at some point. Having a good understanding of the odds will help you to make informed handicapping decisions, regardless of whether you’re placing bets at Bovada, Bookmaker, or BetOnline. (Check out their reviews by clicking the links.)
When you visit racebooks online, you’ll see several types of bets that sound familiar, but may be confusing if you’re just getting started. Basic bets include Win, Place, Show, and Across The Board.
In that order, here’s how each of these wagers work:
- Win – You win if your horse comes in first.
- Place – You win if your horse comes in first or second.
- Show – You win if your horse comes in third place or better.
- Across The Board – This wager is a bit more complicated. You choose a horse to win, place, and show (technically, three bets). If your horse comes in first, you win all three wagers. If your horse comes in second, you win two of the three wagers (Place and Show). If your horse comes in third, you win one of the three wagers (Show).
The four bets above are the simplest with which to get started. Once you have some horse race betting experience under your belt, we recommend taking a closer look at the exotic bets.
Exotic Bets At Online Racebooks
Exotics can be thought of as wagers that require you to pick multiple horses. These include Exactas, Quinellas, Trifectas, and Superfectas. Because they are more complicated than basic bets, it’s a good idea to get some experience with Wins, Places, and Shows, beforehand. Here’s how they work:
- Exacta – You pick two horses to place first and second. You must also choose which horse finishes in which position in order to win the bet.
- Quinella – Same as an Exacta, with one difference: you do not need to choose which horse places first and second to win.
- Trifecta – You pick three horses to place first, second, and third. Like an Exacta, you must also choose which horse places in which position.
- Superfecta – Same as a Trifecta, but with four horses that must place in first, second, third, and fourth. You must choose the order.
The trusted racebooks on our list of recommendations below offer each of these exotic bets. Again, unless you have experience with horse race betting, resist the temptation to jump into them too soon.
There are, of course, many other types of bets that you can place. But the straight bets and exotics listed above are among the most popular.
4 Top Sports Betting Racebooks For Placing Horse Bets
Each of the online racebooks we’ve added to our list offer a different set of advantages. For example, the odds at 5Dimes are often better than those you’ll find at Bovada (though this is not a hard-and-fast rule). On the other hand, Bovada has a reputation for getting payouts to their members more quickly than other racebooks. We’ll highlight the key features we enjoy about these sites, but ultimately, we encourage you to test drive each one for yourself.
Bookmaker – They’ve been around since 1985, and have a fantastic grasp of the features horse race betting fans – and sports betting fans in general – enjoy. You’ll receive an 8% cash rebate (paid daily), regardless of whether you win or lose your bet. Also, since a lot of race book fans enjoy betting on other sports, it’s worth mentioning that the Bookmaker sportsbook offers a 15% sign-up bonus (4X rollover requirement on the bonus). You’ll also get a 10% reload bonus (3X rollover). Visit Bookmaker.com and use promo code “AMP” to lock in your bonuses.
Bovada – As the new face of Bodog for USA sports bettors, Bovada maintains most of the features offered by its predecessor. Their racebook is currently giving members a 3% rebate on basic bets, such as Win, Place and Show. Exotic bets, such as Quinellas, Exactas, Trifectas, and Superfectas earn a 5% rebate. The Bovada sportsbook offers a 20% match on your first deposit up to $100. With reliable software, top-notch customer support, and fast payouts, Bovada should be on your short list of preferred online racebooks. When you visit the site, use promo code “130347” to grab your bonus.
BetOnline – Horse race betting fans receive a 7% rebate on their wagers, win or lose, each day at BetOnline (bets placed over the phone receive a 4% rebate). In the racebook, you’ll have access to dozens of the most popular tracks around the U.S., such as Santa Anita and Churchill Downs. In the sportsbook, you’ll receive a 25% match on all qualified deposits (6X rollover). As mentioned earlier, the site makes it easy to fund your account; they accept Visa, MasterCard, and gift cards as well as many other options. In addition, you’ll have several options for withdrawing your money. Visit BetOnline and use promo code “TXBONUS” to claim your sign-up bonus.
5Dimes – 5Dimes has been around since the late 1990s. They offer no-nonsense racebook betting for USA bettors as well as a poker room, casino, and sportsbook. You’ll receive up to a 9% rebate on your horse racing bets with no caps on volume. Additionally, 5Dimes will give you an extra 10% bonus on your wins for certain types of bets placed at the major tracks (e.g. Aqueduct, Hollywood Park, and many others). Visit 5Dimes today to learn more and get started.
Online horse race betting is not only fun and exciting, but also offers countless opportunities to profit. You can gain access to all the major tracks and best race book lines from the comfort of your home. To get started, we recommend that you test drive the four sports betting racebooks profiled above.