Best Horse Racing Betting Sites USA 2022 – How to Bet on Horse Racing?

There are so many horse racing betting sites online today, it can be tricky to know where to begin. If you’ve found your way to this page, the chances are you’re looking for some assistance. And that’s what we’re here to deliver!

In this guide, we’ll help you to understand everything about betting on horse racing. From interpreting the odds and discussing popular betting markets, to bonus offers and wagering tips, we’ll leave no stone unturned. But before we do any of that, let’s reveal the best horse racing betting sites online today.

Top Horse Racing Betting Sites in the USA

Our team is full of big betting brains, with decades of combined industry experience. We trawl the internet comparing bookmakers to find the safest betting sites that offer the best odds and the most rewarding promotions.

Here’s our expert verdict on the USA’s top horse racing betting sites.

Code: BBCSUSA

1

BetMGM-Sportsbook

Bet

$1000

Risk-Free

Bet

$1000

Risk-Free

99

points

  • Risk-Free First Bet up to $1000
  • Excellent sports betting app available
  • Wide range of sports and betting options in the US

99

points

BetMGM review
Code: BBC

2

pointsbet-sportsbook-free-bets

Risk

$2000

Free Bet

Risk

$2000

Free Bet

98

points

  • Get two Risk-Free Bets up to $2000
  • Huge range of sports and betting options
  • Promo code: BBC

98

points

PointsBet review
CODE: BBCFULL

3

Caesars-Sportsbook

Risk

$1250

Free Bet

Risk

$1250

Free Bet

98

points

  • Take advantage of a $1250 Risk-Free Bet
  • Wide range of betting opportunities
  • Promo code: BBCFULL

98

points

Caesers review

4

Draftkings-Sportsbook

Bonus

$1000

20%

Bonus

$1000

20%

98

points

  • Get a 20% sports betting bonus up $1000
  • Massive range of sports and markets
  • DFS and Casino games available

98

points

DraftKings review

5

Fanduel-Sportsbook

Bonus

$1000

Risk-Free

Bonus

$1000

Risk-Free

98

points

  • Licensed US Sportsbook
  • Get up to $2000 in bonuses and refunds
  • Fanduel has a great reputation and excellent customer service.

98

points

Fanduel review
NJ,PA,IN,IO,VA,AZ

6

Unibet-Sportsbook

Risk Free

Up $500

Bet

Risk Free

Up $500

Bet

97

points

  • Generous risk free bet welcome offer worth up to $500
  • American and international leagues are well covered
  • Extremely competitive odds

97

points

Unibet review
NJ Only

7

Borgata-Sportsbook

Bonus

$100

Free Bets

Bonus

$100

Free Bets

94

points

  • Wager $20 and get $100 in Free Bets
  • Excellent Sportsbook App for iOS and Android
  • Promo code: BORGSBBC

94

points

Borgata review

Contents

Okay, now that you’re familiar with the best horse racing betting sites, let’s crack on with the rest of our guide. If you’re looking for some specific advice, feel free to jump straight to that section using the links below.

About Horse Racing Betting

Horse racing is known as the “sport of kings” for good reason. Organized racing in the UK can be traced back to the 1600s and King James I. Racing has a similarly lengthy history in the USA, due to the links between the two countries. But if you look at any part of the world, you’ll find horse racing associated with wealth and the aristocracy.

Wherever there are organized horse racing events, you’re sure to find betting. There are many different ways to wager on horses, as we’ll discuss later in this guide. But the most common method is through pool betting, or pari-mutuel.

However, fixed odds betting was pioneered by UK bookmakers and is now available at many horse racing betting sites in the USA. This enables you to guarantee the odds on a horse so that you’ll know your potential returns before the race begins.

Best Horse Racing Betting Sites USA - How to Bet on Horse Racing?

Understanding Racing Odds

As we mentioned, you have two distinct types of horse racing betting. Some bookmakers use fixed odds and other sites offer pari-mutuel betting. Let’s talk a little more about both.

Pari-Mutuel Betting

This type of betting is seen most frequently in the United States. Every bet placed on a specific market is pooled together. After the race is run, the total fund is split evenly between the winning tickets. A dividend is declared, which determines your total payout.

For example, let’s take a look at the result of the 2022 Kentucky Derby. The race was won by the outsider Rich Strike, so not many people would have backed the winner. Here are dividends based on a $2 bet:

  • Win: $163.60
  • Place: $74.20
  • Show: $29.40

What does this mean? If you’d placed a $2 bet on Rich Strike to win the Kentucky Derby, you’d receive a whopping $163.60! So if you’d bet $5 instead, you’d be walking away with $409 in returns.

Fixed Odds Betting

This is the most popular way to bet in the UK. It is becoming more common in America as offshore betting sites now provide their services to US residents. The main reason for its success is that you know what you stand to win ahead of time. With pari-mutuel betting, you don’t see your returns until after the race.

Let’s take a look at a fictional horse racing market as an example:

  • Mo Donegal: -150
  • We The People: +330
  • Rich Strike: +700
  • Creative Minister: +750

The lower the number seen in the odds, the stronger the chance that horse has to win the race. If the probability of a win is greater, bookmakers are naturally going to pay out less. With any form of sports betting, the rewards are much bigger for successfully predicting an upset.

If we see a positive (+) value in the odds, that tells us the profit we’d earn from a bet of exactly $100. So in the case We The People, a $100 would make a $330 profit. Because your stake is always returned with a winning bet, the overall returns would be $430.

Sometimes, a horse will have a negative (-) odds value. In that case, the number represents how much you’d need to stake in order to win exactly $100. So in the above example, a $150 bet on Mo Donegal would produce a profit of $100. Therefore our total returns for a winning bet would be $250

Different Odds Formats

In our above examples, we used the US odds format, but many horse racing betting sites do things differently. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the traditional way to bet on racing is using fractional odds.

The European decimal system is increasingly common at betting sites across the globe, due to its simplicity. But Asian countries all have their own ways of displaying the odds too. The table below shows how certain odds would look in different parts of the world. Visit this page to learn more about how odds work around the world.

StakeAmericanDecimalFractionalMalayIndonesianHong KongReturn
$1+1502.506/4-0.671.501.50$2.50
$5+2253.259/4-0.442.252.25$16.25
$20-2001.501/20.50-2.000.50$30

How are Horse Racing Odds Compiled?

The art of bookmaking is a well-established practice that involves plenty of skill. These days though, it’s made much easier by the use of computer algorithms and betting exchanges. Lots of factors are taken into account, including the horse’s recent results (form) and the weather conditions affecting the ground (going).

Once the bookmaker has determined the relative probabilities of each horse winning the race, they can be converted to odds. But not before building in what we call the “vigorish”, or “juice”. The probabilities should add up to 100%, but they never do. The total is always higher, which is known as “over round”. That’s because the bookies need to ensure a long-term mathematical edge in order to turn a profit.

Once the market has been formed, the bookmaker starts to accept bets. If the betting public feels that the bookie has made a mistake, money will pour in for those horses. Naturally, the bookmaker will then trim those prices accordingly, lengthening the odds of other selections to balance the book.

Popular Horse Racing Markets

Okay, let’s talk about the most popular betting opportunities found at online horse racing sites.

Win

As the name suggests, a bet to win only requires you to identify which horse will cross the line first. It’s the easiest and most common way to partake in horse racing betting.

Bet on what horse finishes first

Place

In the USA and Canada, a “place” refers to a front two finish. So if you back the horse to place, you will be paid the same whether it finishes first or second. The returns are reduced when compared to a win bet, as you have two chances to be successful.

Show

To land a show bet, your pick must finish the race in the front three. The returns are likely to be lower than betting to win or to place, as it’s much easier to succeed.

Exacta

Sometimes called a “forecast”, the exacta bet requires you to identify both the winner and the runner-up. Crucially though, you need to have them in exactly the right order for the exacta to win, hence the name.

Quinella

A quinella is similar to an exacta, but you will win if the two picks finish in any order. For example, if you predict 3 to beat 6 and 6 wins with 3 finishing second, you will still be paid. Since you have two chances with a quinella, the payout will be less than that of an exacta.

Each-Way

This is effectively two different wagers. A $10 each-way bet will actually cost $20, as $10 goes toward the horse winning and the rest towards it making the frame. The exact terms of an each-way bet depend on the type of race and the number of horses. But it might be something like 1/5 of the odds for finishing in the first three.

Parlay

It’s very common for bettors to link multiple picks from different races together into a parlay. That’s because the odds are multiplied together, producing some potentially mouth-watering returns. Beware though, for it makes it much tougher to win!

Futures

Horse racing experts enjoy the futures markets found at online betting sites. Trying to predict the winner of a big race months into the future is a tricky puzzle, but extremely rewarding when you win. Both in terms of satisfaction, but also financially, since the odds tend to be bigger.

In-Running Horse Racing Betting

Live betting has revolutionized the world of sports betting, allowing you to bet after a game has started. But the concept was actually developed in horse racing, when betting sites began offering “in-running” bets.

Betting exchanges like Betfair were the first to offer live horse racing betting. During the race, you can bet on the horse to win. But you may also choose to “lay”, which is effectively betting on the horse to not finish in first place.

As technology developed, internet speeds improved and everyone transitioned to smartphones. This has driven online bookmakers to improve their live betting sites in all areas, with horse racing proving no exception. Nowadays, it’s possible to stream live races and benefit from all kinds of in-running markets, promotions and features like cashout.

Horse Betting Apps

The aforementioned improvements in technology also led to the production of horse racing betting apps. There’s a lot more to these apps than just live streams, in-running bets and mobile betting promotions though.

They’re optimized to suit your specific device, making for a really smooth betting experience. So no matter whether you’re team Android or Apple, mobile betting apps make for faster page loading and bet placement times. Graphics are sharp and streams less laggy, with less data usage all round. But apps are also just convenient, as you won’t need to constantly log in and remember usernames, passwords and bank details.

If you’d prefer not to use mobile betting apps for horse racing, that’s no problem. Most online bookmakers today have mobile-first websites. So even if you load the regular betting site up in your mobile browser, all of the elements will display properly. Simply log in as you would on a desktop computer and enjoy the full range of betting products with no loss of functionality.

In-Running Horse Racing Betting

Top 5 Horse Racing Betting Tips

Now it’s time to reveal some horse racing tips to help you get the most out of your betting.

Tip 1: Shopping for odds is crucial

You wouldn’t pay $100 for a watch if the same product was on offer elsewhere for $70. Gambling is no different. With hundreds of horse racing betting sites out there, it’s important to shop around. Use comparison sites to make life easier, but make sure to open multiple accounts and always take the best odds.

Tip 2: Avoid placing parlay bets

It’s tempting to parlay your selections to try and increase the potential returns. But if you understand the mathematics of bookmaking, you’ll know that you’re just multiplying the bookmaker’s edge. It’s so much harder to win parlays, due to the increased risk. That’s why the betting sites encourage you to place them. Disappoint them!

Tip 3: Avoid the so-called experts

There are lots of “experts” in the world of horse racing. While it’s important to listen out for the opinions of top jockeys and trainers, avoid the pundits. Do your own analysis, trust your knowledge and research and don’t be distracted by media personalities paid to spout nonsense. And avoid paid tipping services at all costs. If they really worked, the tipsters would simply bet on their own picks. There’s no need to sell the advice.

Tip 4: Don’t force a bet

So you spent a long time poring over videos of past races and analyzing the form. But you’re still none the wiser about which horse will win. That’s fine, simply move on to the next race. Don’t try to push a tiny edge. If you’re not sure, come back another time. There are dozens of horse races every single day and there’s no need to rush!

Tip 5: Become an expert

Lots of new bettors spread themselves too thinly. It pays to know one specific niche inside out. Master the three year old races, or focus on one specific track, for instance. You could specialize in National Hunt racing in the UK, or major international events. Whatever you choose, focusing all of your time into mastering one specific area will improve your long-term results.

Major Horse Racing Betting Events

EventLocationWhen
Kentucky DerbyChurchill Downs, Kentucky, (USA)May
Preakness StakesPimlico Race Course, Maryland (USA)May
Belmont StakesBelmont Park, New York (USA)June
Breeders CupVarious racecourses (USA)November
Royal AscotAscot Racecourse, Ascot (UK)June
Grand NationalAintree Aintree, Liverpool (UK)April
Cheltenham FestivalCheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham (UK)March
Dubai World CupMeydan Racecourse, Dubai (UAE)March
The Queen’s PlateWoodbine Racetrack, Toronto (Canada)June/July
Melbourne CupFlemington Racecourse, Melbourne (Australia)November

Common Horse Racing Bonus Offers

In the world of horse racing, you’ll find all kinds of different bonuses and promotions. That’s because there are so many betting sites around today, fighting for your attention. Here are some of the most frequently observed offers that you can take advantage of.

Free Bets

A free bet is a token given which permits you to place a wager without needing to stake real money of your own. If the bet comes in, you’ll keep all of the profits, though not the value of the free bet itself. But of course, should the bet lose, it’s the bookmaker who’s footing the bill.

Risk-Free Bets

Some horse racing betting sites prefer to award risk-free bets. They might sound the same, but it’s a very different type of promotion. You’ll need to spend your own cash on placing the bet. But if it loses, you’ll be compensated in some way. That’s usually with a free bet token equal to the value of the real money bet.

Caesars Sportsbook Risk-Free Bet

Deposit Match Bonuses

The most common form of welcome bonus found at the top horse racing betting sites is a deposit match. Fund your new account with real money and the bookmaker will match the value of your deposit with bonus credits. Sometimes, the match bonus will be in excess of 100%, giving you even more bang for your buck!

Bet and Get

The “bet and get” is increasingly common at online bookmakers offering horse racing or sports betting. It’s a simple premise: place a specific number of wagers at a certain value to receive a reward. For instance, three wagers of $25 on horse races of your choice might earn you a free bet token of $25.

Best Odds Guaranteed

This promotion is unique to horse racing betting sites and it originated with British bookmakers. Betting markets can be volatile, so the odds might go up as well as down. Best Odds Guaranteed, or BOG for short, protects you against this. Let’s say you bet at odds of +300 but by the time of the race, the odds have risen to +350. In that case, a bookmaker offering BOG will pay your winning bet at +350 instead.

Enhanced Each-Way Terms

The horse racing betting industry has standard each-way terms, as discussed earlier in this article. But for big races, many bookmakers offer improved terms as a promotion. It might be that they pay out more places than normal. Or it could be that the odds themselves are enhanced.

How To Start Betting on Horses

You’re probably getting in the mood to place a bet if you’ve made it this far through the article! If you’re still not sure about how to register with horse racing betting sites, simply follow the below steps to get going.

1: Choose a bookmaker

Although most online horse racing betting sites are honest, there are a few questionable operators. Take your pick from our list of trusted brands, to ensure you don’t get ripped off.

2: Open the account

Once you’ve loaded up an online betting site, you’ll need to register. Click the button to open the signup form and fill out your personal details. This is standard with all properly licensed bookmakers, so don’t worry about sharing sensitive data.

Getting started with betting on horse racing

3: Claim your bonus

All betting sites approach this differently, so pay attention to the terms of the welcome bonus. Some require you to input a promo code on the signup form. Others will allow you to choose from a list of bonuses immediately after registering. While many ask for a code when making your first deposit.

4: Fund your wallet

Next up, it’s time to visit the cashier and make your first real money deposit. Choose your payment option and enter the amount you wish to deposit. Pay attention to any information on the screen, such as minimum deposit limits, and wait for the transaction to complete.

5: Place your bets

See, we told you it was easy! That’s all there is to it. Now that you have money in your wallet, you’re free to browse through the various horse racing markets and strike a bet. Good luck!

Conclusion

Thank you for reading our guide to betting on the sport of kings. We’re certainly covered a lot of ground! Hopefully you are now well versed in the most popular ways to bet, the most common promotions and you fully understand the odds.

If you’re ready to saddle up and start playing, be sure to register at one of our top-rated horse racing betting sites. Firstly, you’ll collect a sizable welcome bonus to help get you started. But above all, they’re safe and secure places at which to bet. Good luck!

FAQs

Is betting on horse racing legal in the United States?

That depends on your exact location. In many states, horse racing wagering is legal in some form, either through betting sites or at the racetrack.

What are the USA’s top horse racing betting sites?

There are so many high quality horse racing betting sites in the USA today. You can see the verdict of our expert panel by scrolling up through this article.

How can I win at horse racing betting?

We’ve supplied five tips to improve your results elsewhere in this guide to the best horse racing betting sites.

What is each-way betting in horse racing?

An each-way bet is effectively two different wagers. You’re backing the horse to win, as well as making the frame. However, the number of horses in the race directly affects the specific each-way terms.

How do you place horse racing bets?

Placing bets on horse racing is really easy. To learn how to use online betting sites, check out our step-by-step guide a little further up the page.

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