How To Bet On Horse Racing

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One of the most unique aspects of the sports betting world is the segregation. The majority of horse racing fans tend to stay away from betting on the four major professional sports in North America. Meanwhile, those that do bet on the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL usually tend to stay away from betting on the ponies.

However, one of the notable exceptions is how those people will tend to bet on the bigger events like the Triple Crown races or the Breeder’s Cup. If it's the first Saturday in May, sports bettors do pay attention to the Kentucky Derby. And if there is a Triple Crown on the line, they'll be tuned in.

If you're new to betting on horses, don't fret. We took the time to break down some important tips to help the casual horse racing bettors when it comes to those bigger events. Here is a look at some important tips to remember when you bet on horse racing.

Starting From The Top

The most important rule for sports betting fans to remember when betting on horse racing is that the rules for betting on bigger events usually pertains to betting on bigger horse races. Just like with the Super Bowl or the World Series, the majority of value is gone when betting on the bigger horse racing events. Those betting strictly for their own entertainment should keep their wagers smaller.

There is no reason to wager a ton of money on an event that is very difficult to predict. Unlike the lower level races, the top horse racing events are loaded with talented horses. That makes them that much more difficult to predict.

Horse Racing Betting Basics

When it comes to actually placing the horse betting wagers, the main betting options are a horse to win, place or show. Those who bet to win will only collect if their horse crosses the finish line first. Those that bet on their horse to place will collect if their horse runs first or second. Anybody that bets on their horse to show will collect if their horse finishes first, second or third.

Of course, the bigger the safety net, the smaller the payout. In other words, betting a horse to win outright will pay more than betting that horse to finish in the top three. The latter gives you a greater chance to win. The potential winnings decrease for obvious reasons. With every passing bet, the smaller the risk the smaller the reward in the end.

Beyond that, you can also bet on all sorts of exotics. These are high-risk, high-reward bets that many casual bettors love to get a taste of. That includes bets like Exactor, Trifecta, Quinella and Daily Double. There are others but what you're doing here is predicting which horses will first first, second and third in that order. Or varieties of parlays like that. Of course, if you're right, you score big. However, it's often hard to be bang on with these.

Whether you're betting onshore, offshore or with the best bitcoin sportsbooks, these are all standard options that should be available to you.

Follow The Money

When it comes to the big races, bettors shouldn’t shy away from betting on the favorites. The bottom line is that these horses are bred at the absolute highest level. Those that follow them the closest will best understand their potential.

You can study-up yourself too. For example, for the Kentucky Derby, there will be lots of coverage on the contenders. You can track and see what's happened on the Kentucky Derby Trail. You can also use a site like to check the horse profiles. That will give you some clues.

On top of that, you should also follow the money. There is a reason why the favorites are being bet on the most for the biggest races. It makes sense to follow the money and it only makes sense to put your money on those horses.


As is the case with the biggest sports betting events like the Super Bowl, there isn’t much value available with the biggest horse races in North America. The smart money is on following the favorites and wagering reasonable amounts of money to make a decent profit.

The biggest horse racing events should be bet on for entertainment purposes more than for making money since it’s difficult to gain an edge in big events. The value simply isn’t always there. Betting on the big horse racing events can be a lot of fun, though. Just make sure you are doing it to add to the entertainment of the events rather than for making significant amounts of money.