How to Bet on Horse Racing Online for a Newbie

April 19, 2022

With a recent survey finding that the average adult spends about six hours a day online, it’s no surprise that online betting has grown in popularity over recent years. Opening an account to bet on horse racing online is easy and simple, as our guide shows.

Below is our guide to horse race betting as a newbie, which can help in your Kentucky Derby picks.

How to Get Started with Horse Racing

Getting started with horse race betting is easy and can be done via the following steps:

Find a Bookmaker

There are dozens of Internet-based bookmakers globally, so it’s easy to find a service appropriate to your needs. Many sites offer comparison services where you can research the various online bookies to find one that offers exactly what you’re looking for.

Many online bookies also offer incentives and bonuses to new account holders, which can be worth up to several hundred dollars.

Open an Account

Once you’ve found the bookmaker that best suits your betting needs, you need to visit their site to open an account. You’ll then need to register your details and choose a log-in username and password.

Make a Deposit

You have to make a deposit to your account. Each online bookmaker has a section where you can access your account and deposit money. You can do this by bank transfer or via Visa or MasterCard.

Once the funds are in your account, you can then start to place bets on horse racing or other sports.

Place a Bet

Whatever site you’ve chosen, their homepage will have an easy-to-navigate screen where you can pick the event you wish to bet on. You can pick the horse race you want to bet on, click on your selection, and decide what type of bet you wish to place (win, each way, etc.).

Once you’ve made your selection, a ‘betting slip’ will appear confirming the details of your bet. After confirming the details, the money is deducted from your account, and the bet is placed.

You can place as many bets as you like simultaneously as long as you have the required stake money in your account. Many sites offer a huge range of betting options, including horse racing events from all over Australia and the world.


The profits are paid directly into your online betting account if your bet is successful. You can then leave the money in your account for future bets or withdraw them by accessing your account on the bookmaker’s site.

A ‘withdraw’ option will enable you to credit your winnings back to your bank account.

Multiple Accounts

Different bookmakers offer different services, so many people like to open more than one online betting account. This enables you to compare odds to find the best value and take advantage of different services offered by different bookies.

Two Great Ways To Bet On Racing

Even though it’s possible to bet on almost every sporting event, horse racing has long been the most common form of sports betting. Bookmakers originated in the 19th century around horse racing tracks, and since then, the growth of race punting has grown significantly.

From the early days of ‘SP bookies’ to the growth of internet betting, punting on horses has been a popular pursuit for over one hundred years. Two of the most popular ways to bet on horses are online and on-track.

Online Horse Betting

Betting on horse racing is a thriving industry worldwide, with over 12 billion dollars staked annually on horses alone. Over the last decade, the growth in online betting has made it easier for punters to place a wager on a horse race anywhere in the world from the comfort of their own homes. Many firms now take bets on thousands of race meetings in all four corners of the globe.

Online betting has made it easier to bet on horses than it ever has been. Competition between Internet-based bookmakers has resulted in better terms for the punter in addition to benefits, including bonuses and other incentives. You can now use the Internet to compare odds between bookmakers to make sure that you are getting the best value.

In addition to Australian horse and harness racing, many online bookmakers now offer odds on major international races such as the Grand National, Dubai World Cup, and Breeders Cup.

On-Track Betting

The alternative to staying at home and betting online is to head down to your local course and bet at the trackside.

It can cost as little as 10 dollars to buy a ticket for a day at the races, and many racing enthusiasts like to bet on the races at the track. In the early part of the 1900s, it was actually the only legal place to bet horses as bookmaking was outlawed in many parts of the world. This ban led to the rise of so-called ‘SP bookies’ that operated illegally in places like Australia to allow people to have a weekly bet on the horses.

Many race tracks now also offer a range of betting facilities. As well as on-track bookmakers, most courses also boast access to television coverage and markets from other race meetings happening at the same time.

Racing Betting

Thanks to modern technology, you can now access thousands of horse races every year through satellite television and internet betting. It’s possible to place a bet on a race on any Australian race at the click of a mouse if you’re not someone who enjoys an afternoon down at the track.

How Great Positioning Makes A Great Horse

Now, more than ever, horse racing is about the position a horse settles and races in during a race. Other factors such as the pace of a race and a horse’s performance mid-race (is it capable of obtaining the desired position?) are essential. Still, positioning is increasingly the key factor.

Slow Starters

If a horse misses the start of a race and gets away slowly, it can be the immediate end of its chances. You’ll often hear a race caller state that a horse may have lost several lengths at the start, and that mistake will generally cost a horse the chance of winning.

It isn’t so much that the horse loses some ground, but, more importantly, it loses the chance of a favorable running position in the race. This is particularly true if the horse is a front-runner.

It can be overcome in extreme circumstances – Sebring had a terrible start before recovering to win the 2008 Golden Slipper Stakes – but it does not happen very often.

Back Front-runners

It’s generally worth considering horses that can lead or be close to the front roundabout 400 meters from the winning post. One research found that over 50% of all winners are positioned in the first three at the 400 meter mark, yet they represent only 27% of all runners.

Similarly, backmarkers represent well over a quarter of all runners but win less than 9% of races. Backing front-runners is particularly profitable in sprint races. The research found that more than 56% of all winners come from less than 28 percent of all runners.

Use A Form Guide

The best way to establish how good a horse’s positioning is in a race is to use a reliable form guide. An alternative is keeping an eye out for positive, front-running horses. You can build up a database of those horses that have good positional sense in races. This is particularly true of sprint events.

Avoid the Slow Beginners

You may see a horse with its head cocked to one side in the early part of a race. Often, this trait means a mount will have a slow beginning, either hitting the starting stalls or other runners.

Alternatively, bad luck can play a part in a slow start as a horse is squeezed out in the early stages or it experiences interference from other runners while jumping.

While this type of slow start can be considered, once a horse gets a reputation for being a slow starter, it should be avoided at all costs. By far, the biggest reason for a horse’s failure to run as expected is the failure to establish the desired running position early in the race.

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