The home of intelligent horse racing discussion
The home of intelligent horse racing discussion

How does horse racing betting work?

Horse racing is one of the most popular sports around and is as well-loved globally now as it ever has been. From the USA to Australia, Hong Kong, France and more, millions of people love to follow the action each year.

Of course, the two countries most linked with horse racing are the UK and Ireland. Both these countries have a long-standing connection with the sport and a fine history of top jockeys and horses. With world-famous meets like The Grand National Festival and Galway Summer Festival, it is no wonder these two countries shine so brightly in the sport.

It is not only watching the action unfold which Irish and UK fans love to do though, betting on horse racing in Ireland is just as popular, and this is also true in the UK. While this might have involved betting at a racetrack in person before or at a land-based bookie, online betting via mobile apps or desktop sportsbooks is now the way most go about it.


Is horse racing betting different in Ireland compared to the UK? 

There is lots to find out about horse racing – such as does kissing spine syndrome affect racehorses and how do people become pro jockeys. When it comes to betting on the sport, there is certainly much to learn. Many people may wonder if betting on racing is different in Ireland than in the UK.

In essence, betting on horse racing in Ireland is no different than betting on it in the UK. It is 100% legal in both countries and punters in both the UK and Ireland have a large choice of secure apps and sportsbooks to place bets with online. In the same way as racing offers escapism for the Queen when required, many people in both countries use racing to inject more fun into their lives.

But how exactly does betting on the horses work?


Horse race betting 101

It goes without saying that your first job is to find a safe place to bet online which offers competitive odds, is easy to use and comes with good bonus offers. Once you have done this, it is worth learning more about the sport before putting any money down.

To begin with, it is key to know that there are two main types of races to bet on. These are flat races (where there are no jumps) and National Hunt races (which do have jumps). It is also worth remembering that some races will be handicapped, where all horses in theory have an equal chance, or non-handicap, where horses carry no extra weight to even up the field.


What else should you look at when betting on horses?

 Once you have found the type of race you fancy betting on, it is also worth knowing the key pieces of information to look for on the racecard. Recent form of the yard, jockey and horse are all worth checking out, as they give an indication of how the horse might run again.

In addition, you should look at how the horse has performed at the same distance, in the same class and on the same ground as the upcoming race. Some punters will also look at when the horse last ran. If its last race was more than a month or so ago, it might be a little rusty on the first race back.


What type of bets can you make on horse races?

The simplest and most common is a Win bet – this sees you backing the horse to come first. Many people though also like to put down Place bets, which see your bet win if the horse comes in the top few places. Each-Way bets are also popular and work in a similar way to Place bets.

The main difference is that you win more on an Each-Way bet if your horse comes first. If you fancy going a little more exotic, you can bundle individual bets together for a bigger payout, should they all come off. This can be two bets together as a Double or bigger Accumulator bets.

At this point, it is also worth talking about odds. This is the figure shown next to a horse in the betting and shows how much you will be paid out should your bet win – plus how likely your bet is to come off. While fractional odds, such as 2/1, are still favoured by many punters, decimal odds, such as 5.00, are also very popular.


Horse race betting explained

 As the above shows, betting on horse racing in Ireland, the UK or anywhere else in the world is not too hard when you get into it. If you spend some time getting familiar with betting on this sport, it will all become clear.