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Horse Betting Tips

Horse betting is one of the most popular forms of gambling and is a huge activity in the UK. However, it can be pretty confusing for new punters, which is why we’ve decided to create a handy little guide, providing you with explanations on the different types of bets as well as some of our useful horse betting tips.

What is Horse 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 was enjoyed for centuries.

It’s still hugely popular today and it’s claimed that horse racing itself generates over £3.7 billion for the British economy. Meanwhile, events such as the Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival prove just how popular the sport is in the UK. It’s also a popular sport in the US and throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It’s also extremely popular in Australia and New Zealand, the two countries responsible for one of the most famous racehorses in history.

The main source of entertainment that comes from horse racing is wagering on the outcome of the race. Countries all over the world allow horse betting and it’s only becoming more popular. But how exactly does horse betting work?

Famous Racehorses

Horse racing is a sport that has been played for centuries so it’s no surprise that the sport has managed to make some famous horses. 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.

Horse Racing

There are four types of horse racing. All follow different rules and feature a different number of horses. They are:

Flat Racing: 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.

Different Types of Horse Bets

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

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 horse racing bet. 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.

Horse Betting Tips: Placing A Bet Online

In today’s modern world, it’s never been easier to place a bet. You don’t even need to visit your bookmakers or the racing track anymore as you can do it from the comfort of your own home on your PC, laptop or smartphone device. When it comes to betting online you just need to follow the steps:

1: Select a bookmaker, or betting site with the best odds to place a wager, register and deposit
2: Select the race or event you wish to take part in and look at the horses running
3: Select a horse and memorise its name and number
4: Select which wager you want to place and decide on a stake and click ‘confirm’ or ‘place bets’

When this is done, you simply need to watch the race unfold or look up the results later to find out whether you’ve won or not!

Note: If you’re unsure of how odds work, just click here to find out.

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! If you’re interested in Tote Placepots and want to learn more, just click here.

Our Horse Betting Tips

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 betting tips will hopefully help you make the best of your wagers and win some good money.

Tip #1: Know the horses

Before making any bets, 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.

Tip #2: 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.

Tip #3: Start low

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

Tip #4: Research the jockeys

Most people fail to realise just how important jockeys are when it comes to horse racing. 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.

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…

Tip #6: Understand the terminology and bets

We know it can be hard for someone new to horse racing 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!

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.

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.

Tip #9: Set yourself a budget

This one’s just as important. 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.

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.

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