Horse Betting Tips

Horse betting is one of the most popular forms of gambling and is a huge activity in the UK. We’ve put together a handy guide about the different types of bets and get you started with some horse betting tips.

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Different Types of Horse Racing

Before we get started with horse betting tips, we should mention that there are four main types of horse racing. Each one of them follows different rules, and the number of horses varies.

  • Flat Racing (Ascot, Cheltenham and others)
    A race run over distances of between five furlongs and three miles. It generally tests the horses’ speed, stamina or both and does not require the horse to jump or hurdle. It’s the most common and well-known form of racing around the world.
  • National Hunt Racing
    A race run over distances of between two miles and four-and-a-half miles. This race requires the horse to jump hurdles or fences. It’s mostly popular in the UK and US.
  • Harness Racing
    A race in which a horse trots while pulling a driver in a two-wheeled cart called a Sulky.
  • Endurance Racing
    A race in which horses travel across the country over extreme distances, generally ranging from 25 to 100 miles.

Horse Racing Betting Online

Horse Betting at Mansion Bet

One of the most exciting parts of horse racing betting is standing right by the track and seeing your horse win the race. However, with about 10,000 races a year at more than 1,500 fixtures, it’s impossible to attend every event in person. At least if you’re not superman.

Luckily, in 2020, you don’t have to travel to racing events, and you don’t even have to walk to your local bookmaker shop. In the UK, the greatest regulated online gambling market in the world, you don’t need anything more than a laptop or smartphone to place horse racing bets. With more than 80 licenses online bookmakers currently operating in the UK (the number grows each year), all you have to do is registering with an online betting site, select the fixture and place your bets. Here is how it typically goes down at any online bookie.

  1. Find a betting site with the best odds and welcome bonus (free bets)
  2. Register and make your first deposit of as low as £10
  3. Select the race event you want to wager your money on
  4. Pick a horse that you feel has the best chance of winning
  5. Stake your money
  6. And action

If you stake your money on the winning horse, any winnings, which depend on the previous odds, are automatically credited to your player account. From there, you can either request a withdrawal in real cash or use that money to place further bets.

Now, horse racing betting can be a little more complicated than this as there are various ways and techniques of wagering your money. We’ve put together some horse betting tips to help you get started.

Top 10 Horse Betting Tips

Quick Tips Icon

We’ve got several horse betting tips to help you out, regardless if you’re a regular bettor or someone who is new to the activity. Our horse racing betting tips will hopefully help you make the best of your wagers and win some good money.

Horse Betting Tip #1: Know the horses

Before y0u do any horse betting, you should study the horses and jockeys. You might discover that one horse runs better with a certain jockey or that they run better in certain conditions. Some people even look into the horse’s genetics, family and even trainer. All of this could help work out whether the horse will have a chance at winning the race or not. Study the horses and make your own opinions on them to find your favourite. It’s one of the most important aspect of horse racing betting.

Horse Betting Tip #2: Horse Betting on favourites

Many new punters enjoy betting on the favourite horse because, generally speaking, you’re likely to win around 33% of the time. However, you must remember that it isn’t always worth it and you may actually be better off betting on a different horse. In horse racing betting, you should always keep an eye on the odds since risking your money for low returns is neither fun nor rewarding.

Horse Betting Tip #3: Start with low bets

Whether you’re a regular or new punter, you should always start with low bets to avoid spending too much. In fact, most successful punters make bets of just £2!

Horse Betting Tip #4: Research the jockeys

Most people fail to realise just how important jockeys are when it comes to horse racing betting. While they probably won’t get the horse to run much faster, they know how to work with horses to get the performance. It’s a good idea to look into some highly-ranked jockeys and see if they’re playing at any upcoming events you can wager on.

Horse Betting Tip #5: Watch plenty of races

Before you even start wagering on horse races, you should watch and study them. Learn the ins and outs of horseraces, memorise how they work and what you should look out. Watching horse races will also give you time to learn more about the different horses. Who knows, you might even develop a favourite…

Horse Betting Tip #6: Understand the terminology and bets

We know it can be hard for someone new to horse racing betting to learn the terminology quickly, but it can be extremely useful if you ever decide to visit a bookmaker or racecourse. You should also learn the differences in bets and how they work because you can eventually learn how to make combination bets which, while they cost more, can actually bring in more winnings!

Horse Betting Tip #7: Shop around for the best odds

Before you start wagering anything, make sure you shop around and search for the best odds that work in your favour. Take a look at the different bookmakers or betting sites, don’t be afraid to register at them all if you want. Just make sure to research the odds before wagering on anything.

Horse Betting Tip #8: Don’t bet on every race

This is pretty important, don’t try to bet on every race. Wager only on the races you feel confident with and the horses you feel strongly about. Wagering on every race in an attempt to make more money will probably lose you more in the long-run.

Horse Betting Tip #9: Set yourself a budget

This one’s just as important. In horse betting, you should always set yourself a budget and try not to exceed it. This will keep horse betting fun and will stop you from stressing out over wagers and how much you’ve spent.

Horse Betting Tip #10: Have fun

The most important thing you need to remember about horse betting is that you’re doing it to have fun. Don’t stress about any losses and just make sure you enjoy yourself.

Different Types of Horse Betting

Horse Racing

There are several different types of bets you can make on horse racing depending on the meetings. Most of them can be used for the races listed above. While there aren’t as many bets in horse racing compared to other sports, it’s important that you learn the differences between each bet and find out how they work before doing anything else.

Each Way

In horse racing betting, the most common type of bet is an each way which is made up of two different parts; the ‘Win’ and the ‘Place’. Both parts of equal value and you will win if your horse wins but also if it places in the race. It costs double that of a win bet because of its two parts and punters can get a return on either the ‘Place’ or ‘Win’ bet or both.

Generally speaking, an each way bet is when you wager on a horse to win and place in the race, though this varies depending on the number of horses running. For example, if there are five to seven runners, the first two places pay out, if there are eight to 15 runners, the first three places pay out and if there are 16 or more runners, the first four places pay out. However, if four or fewer horses are running, an each way bet is not accepted.


A win bet is another popular bet in horse racing betting. It’s simple and straightforward to learn: A straight win bet is placed on a single race and punters win only if their selection wins the race.

Place Only

This bet is pretty self-explanatory. You basically bet that your selection finishes in one of the placings. The placings depend on the number of horses running and generally follow the rules laid out above.


A double is when a punter bets on two outcomes in different events, essentially placing two bets. However, both bets must be successful in order to receive a return.


A treble bet works similarly to a double in which a punter wagers on three outcomes in different events. All three bets must be successful in order to receive a return.

Four-fold and More

A four-fold and beyond works just like a double and treble bet. It sees punters wager on several different outcomes in various events. However, all bets must be successful in order for the punter to receive a return.


A bet that is made of three selections and four bets of three doubles and a treble. According to rules, a minimum of two selections must win for a return.


A wager that is made of three selections and seven bets of three singles, three doubles and one treble. It’s equivalent to the Trixie but punters make three single bets rather than three doubles.

Lucky 15

One of the most popular bets around. It is made of four selections and 15 bets of four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold. It’s equivalent to a Yankee but only features four singles.


A Yankee consists of four selections and 11 bets of six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold. A minimum of two selections must win for a return.

Lucky 31

Lucky 31 is a wager that consists of five selections and 31 bets of five singles, ten doubles, ten trebles, five four-folds, and one five-fold. One selection must pass for a return.

Lucky 63

Similar to a Lucky 31, this wager consists of six selections and 63 bets of six singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, six five-folds and one six-fold.


A straight forecast sees the punter wagering on which horse finishes first and second.

Reverse Forecast

A reverse forecast is wagering on which two horses will past the finishing post in any order.


Tote betting encompasses different variations with the most popular being Placepots, but more on that later.

Tote Betting

Tote betting is another popular form of horse betting. It’s named after the Tote, a bookmaker in the UK which was owned by the Government and was the only bookmaker allowed to offer parimutuel betting on horse racing. It was bought out by BetFred in July 2011 and after a seven-year exclusive deal between the two companies in which BetFred offered tote betting through the Tote, tote betting is now available at various bookmakers.

There are several different types of tote betting, they include:

  • Win
  • Place
  • Each-Way
  • Exacta
  • Trifecta
  • Quadpot
  • Placepot
  • Jackpot
  • Scoop6
  • Toteswinger

Tote Placepots are the most popular form of Tote betting. It works similarly to a lottery in which punters make a series of wagers across six races as part of one event. The stakes are added together to form a prize pool and punters must win all six wagers to win part of the prize pool.

Placepots are popular because punters do not need to wager on which horse will place first, they just need to wager on horses that will place in all six races. It couldn’t be easier! Learn more about Tote Placepots and place your first bet today!

The History of Horse Racing Betting

Horse racing is an ancient sport that dates back to around 4500 BC when the nomadic tribesmen of Central Asia became the first people to domesticate the horse. The sport quickly became popular among kings and knights but over the past centuries evolved into a global phenomenon for everyone.

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Today, horse racing is among the most frequented sporting events in Great Britain and a huge driver of the British economy. As per a Deloitte impact study, British Horse Racing had a direct expenditure of more than one billion pounds and a total spending of £3.45bn. Its tax contribution to the economy was north of £275m. If you want to learn more about British racing, download the economic impact study.

Events such as the Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival prove just how popular the sport is in the UK. In 2019, around 300,000 guests attended the Royal Meeting alone wit 70,000 racegoers attending the Thursday’s Gold Cup day.

Here are some more fun facts about last year’s Royal Ascot:

  • The grass is cut to a regulation 4 inches for the Flat season
  • 250,000 sandwiches, 240,000 hand-crafted afternoon tea cakes and 120,000 buttermilk scones were serves
  • 12 million user engagements across social media channels
  • 531 million households were reached across 201 countries

Horse racing is also a popular sport in the US and throughout other parts of Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Even in Oceania, Australia and New Zealand to be exact, people love horse racing. No wonder Australia is the country responsible for some of the most famous racehorses in history.

With all the hype, horse racing betting is an integral part of the spectacle. Punters from all over the world try to apply their knowledge about the racehorses and stake money on the potential winners. It’s fun, and if you haven’t tried it yet, you should surely place a few quid on a horse race today.

Famous racehorses

Horse owners pay several million for talented racehorses as they guarantee success, wealth, and prestige. One of the most famous racehorses was Phar Lap, a New-Zealand bred horse who became a national hero after winning multiple races before his murder in 1932. There was also John Henry, a famous racehorse who became the first to surpass $4 million in career earnings in 1983.

Affirmed was another hugely famous racehorse who managed to rake in over two million dollars over his career. At the same time, the horse was involved in an intense rivalry with fellow racehorse Alydar, and the pair famously raced against each other. However, controversy ensued, leading Affirmed to be disqualified from the race after cutting Alydar off.