The sport of horse racing has been around for almost as long as civilization itself. The sport can be traced back to Ancient Greece, Babylon, Syria, and even Egypt. There are archaeological records all over the world that indicate the existence of horse racing and chariot racing long before anyone would imagine. In fact, horse racing can even be found in Norse Mythology.
Naturally, horse betting wasn’t far behind. It started right at the tracks with parimutuel betting which is still widely practiced. That is the type of sports betting that has all bets pooled and once the vigorish is deducted, the payout odds are calculated based on the total and then winnings are paid out proportionally.
It is important to understand the fact that the sport differs based on where an event is held. This includes different standards when it comes to horse breeds, racetracks, distance, obstacles, and others. Additionally, placing bets on the sport is not legal everywhere.
Interestingly enough, given the current audience of horse races, the sport seems to be quite dependent on punters. As it turns out, the majority of viewers are punters. The prediction of experts is that the sport would die out if gambling on it was not allowed. In fact, a large portion of the reason for this sport’s economic importance is due to the fact that the gambling activity associated with it generates $100 billion annually in over 50 countries.
Features of Horse Betting Sites
It is a controversial topic whether betting online or on the spot is better when it comes to horse racing. However, most often the odds on the internet are far better which is a clear indicator. On the other hand, the prize pool might be better on the racetrack, but, unless you are in Hong Kong, that is hardly of importance. Why Hong Kong? Well, if you take a look at the revenues generated from gambling on the sport during the past decade, Hong Kong is a clear winner, with a turnover 6 times larger than any other.
Back to betting sites, not only do they offer better odds than racetracks on average, but you can also go around the net and compare different websites’ odds and pick the best ones for you. Of course, that would mean that you’d need to have an account at more than one online sportsbook but that costs nothing, so there is no reason not to do it. Additionally, some sportsbooks offer “best odds guaranteed”, so that when you place a bet, if the odds are initially worse but end up being better, you will be paid out according to the higher odds.
It is also far more convenient to bet online. All you need to do is register and deposit. You can choose from a wide variety of bets and the one you choose is placed immediately. No crowds, no hassle. Most importantly, you do not have to be at the racetrack, or even at home for that matter – thanks to technology and the rapid advancement in the gambling industry, you can place a bet from your smartphone regardless of where you are.
Another feature of sports betting sites is that they always offer bonuses, rewards, and sometimes even cashbacks. In fact, you can get a bonus just as soon as you’ve signed up, before even depositing. These bonuses are usually small but they are a great way for punters to experience the website before deciding whether they should deposit or not. Once a bettor has decided to deposit, they will in most cases be able to claim a welcome bonus.
Along with those come many others, usually with some terms and conditions, but, after all, it’s free playing money. After a punter has been using the website for a while they may be invited to join the sportsbook’s VIP club. Even if that is not the case, reputable online sportsbooks all offer rewards for loyal players.
Of course, it is also hard to go around the world for every single horse race you wish to bet on. Sometimes it can even be hard to find coverage of the event. Usually, a bookmaker will cover horse races only in a particular country, or of a particular type. However, online you can find coverage of pretty much any sporting event you could imagine, and even e-sports.
Odds Types at Horse Betting Sites
Usually, online, you can easily find a website that offers sports betting with your preferred odds format. However, when it comes to really reputable online sportsbooks you will find that you can actually pick the format of the odds available.
Once again, if the sportsbook you have picked simply does not offer your preferred type of odds, you can just find another one that does. But, let us say that perhaps you have found the best odds online but they are in a different format and you cannot change it, so you cannot understand what you have discovered and keep on looking, without ever realizing you’ve missed a great opportunity. In that case, you would need to be acquainted with how other odds types work.
This is especially necessary when you have decided to bet on a foreign event. For instance, if you are used to placing bets on horse races in Europe, you may find it difficult to place bets on American ones as they are more likely to be covered by sportbooks that work mainly with American or Moneyline odds.
Here is a simple way to calculate the profit you’d make:
- for decimal odds – payout = (your wager) x (the odds)
- for fractional odds – 10/15 odds with a wager of $100 = $100 + $150 = $250
- for moneyline odds – you can convert them into decimal odds with the following formulas, one for positive odds – Decimal = (Odds + 100) / 100; and one for negative odds – Decimal = (Odds + 100) / Odds
In case you do not want to convert US odds into decimal ones but instead seek to understand them – the baseline for understanding moneyline odds is $100. So, if you are placing a bet on something with negative odds, you need to match them in order to make a net profit of $100. On the other hand, if you want to place a bet on something with positive odds, a wager of $100 exactly, would make your net profit match the odds.
Most reputable sportsbooks offer their own mobile apps for iOS and Android users. This way you can load it within seconds and place a bet immediately, whenever and wherever you are. Some of the apps are more advanced than other, therefore you will not be able to experience the live betting feature on all of them.
Aside from apps, online sports betting websites are also accessible through mobile browsers directly. At the moment, websites of the sort are mostly built with HTML5 which allows for full cross-platform compatibility and adaptability. Of course, not all features will be available on mobile regardless of which of these two options you use, but most of them definitely will be. So, rest assured that if you want to place a bet on a horse race from your phone, you will be able to do so.
Common Horse Bet Types
The main type of horse bets is actually the most familiar type of bets to all punters – straight bets. However, the tricky part here is that they very based on the location of either the event that is held or the bookmaker.
The main differences are between the US, along with a few more regions, and, well, everywhere else. In the former, straight bets are Win, Place, Show, and Across the board. Meanwhile, in the latter, they are Win, Place, and Each-way. As you can see, there are two straight bets that are the same regardless, and so, let us delve a little deeper into them.
Well, the win straight bet is as simple as it sounds. You would be placing a bet on the horse you expect to win. Since sports betting websites work with fixed odds, you will be able to see exactly how much you would potentially win. If the horse does not win, then you simply lose your bet. This bet does not differ across the globe.
The place bet, however, varies. The basic idea behind it is that you are placing a bet on a single horse to finish in the top positions. That’s right, multiple ones. In the US those would only be the first two, in the rest of the world, that could be up to 4 positions. The number of positions covered by the place bet depends on the number of participants in the race itself.
The US show bet is basically a place bet that covers the initial 3 positions. However, it is only available if there are 8 or more participants in the race. As for the bet called across the board, it is simply a way of combining all other 3 US straight bets.
So, if you place that bet and your selected horse lands first place, you get a payout on all three bets. If instead, it finishes in second place, you get a payout for the place bet and the show bet. If it ends up at number three, then you only get a payout on the show bet. Finally, if your selected horse ends up outside of the first three spots, then you lose your entire wager. The each-way bet works in the same way with the only difference that it combines two bets instead of three.
Now that we have covered the traditional bets, let us introduce you to the exotic ones. Once again, they vary depending on whether you are located in the US or not, however, this time, the only variation is in their names.
The Exacta (US) or Dual Forecast is a bet on which two horses are going to be in the top two positions. To win, punters must get both horses right and they have to be in the right order. As you can tell, this is not an easy bet to get right but the payouts for a winning bet of this kind are unbelievably high.
The Quinella (US) or Reverse Forecast exotic is almost the same as the aforementioned one with the exception that you do not have to bet on the correct order. This means you will win as long as the two horses you have placed a bet on end up in the first two positions. Naturally, the payouts are lower.
The Trifecta (US) or Tricast bet is like the Exacta, except for three horses. This means that you have to accurately predict which the top three horses will be. Not only that, but you also have to know the exact order they will be in. If you get this bet right, the payoffs will be out of this world.
There are many more bets that can be placed on horse races including more exotic bets, prop bets, matchups, lay wagers. Of course, there are also accumulators and exchange betting is allowed. They are simply too many to go over.
Betting in-play, or live, is simply betting as the event is taking place. Some online sportsbooks allow players to watch the event on their website and place bets at the same time. As the race progresses, the odds of all bets change. Of course, if you have placed a bet before the beginning, it will not be affected unless you have also chosen the option ‘best odds guaranteed’.
The main reason why punters like live betting is that it gives you a chance to see how things are going and make a more accurate prognosis. Research is necessary but it does not always suffice. Of course, that does not mean that you should only place live bets. Bets that have been placed before the start of an event have higher payouts precisely because they are harder to accurately predict.
Payment Solutions at Horse Betting Sites
You can use a wide variety of banking solutions online. Their availability depends on two factors – the online sportsbook and your location. However, regardless of where you are currently situated, there will still probably be at least one method of each type.
The first and most common type is credit or debit cards. Mainly, these will be Mastercard and Visa. As you may already know, cards by Visa can be used for withdrawals but when it comes to Mastercard, only a limited number of countries can cash out with a card by this company.
Naturally, a bank transfer is always an option. However, the most significant difference between the two types of banking solutions is the amount of time it takes to complete a transaction. Credit and debit cards are quick, if not instant, while a bank transfer can take up to a week.
Another common type of banking solutions is the e-wallet. These are mostly available for both deposits and withdrawals. Transactions with them are instant, however, you need to create an account, provide some personal details and sometimes authentication.
Prepaid cards are another quick and efficient way to deposit funds, though the same is not true when it comes to withdrawals. Despite that, they are the most anonymous and safe way to make a payment online.
Of course, there are even more payment methods that you can use, these are only the main types. You will find Visa and Mastercard as a deposit option at every online sports betting website, and the others should be available if you have picked a reputable one.
Security at Horse Betting Sites
You can tell that a horse betting website is secure quite easily – you need not look further than your own browser’s address bar. On the left is situated a lock that will be green with ‘Secure’ written next to it, if the website is indeed secure. If you click on it, you will be able to view more details.
What this means is that the website is encrypted and the industry standard right now is SSL encryption be it 128-bit or 256-bit. Additionally, you should be able to see the website’s SSL certificate displayed on its homepage.
The most important thing to look for when it comes to assessing an online sportsbook’s level of security and overall reliability is its license. If an online sports betting website has no license, we highly recommend that you avoid it.
Hallmarks of a Good Horse Betting Site
As we all know, the internet is a tricky place and one has to be extra careful with money on the line. So, in order to make sure that your funds and your privacy both remain entirely safe, please make sure that the sports betting website of your choice covers our standards.
First and foremost, the legality and security of a sports betting website are of the utmost importance. A sportsbook’s license is one thing, but the legality of its operation in a given country another. However, there are plenty of loopholes in the law, so you need to make sure that everything is absolutely legal. This is especially important in case something goes wrong because if you or the sportsbook have breached the law in any way, you will be left to deal with the issue by yourself, without the help of the authorities.
Along with those, you need to make sure that the sportsbook you are considering is entirely trustworthy and acquaint yourself with the opinions of other punters who have used that sports betting website. You cannot rely solely on opinions of the sort, though, as they can easily be faked. So, you need to take a lot of things into consideration.
This is only the top of the list, though, after you have made sure that everything is in order, then you need to start browsing the website and see if it offers what you are looking for, in this case, perhaps betting on a specific horse race. Naturally, you also need to compare the available odds to those offered by other websites. If they are in no way competitive, then you may as well get scammed.
Of course, the sportsbook you settle for needs to offer the banking solutions you wish to use, or, in some cases, are restricted to using. A wide variety of payment methods is always a good sign, however, if yours simply is not included, then it is of no importance.
A good customer support team and multiple means of getting in touch with them are also essential. After all, they are the people responsible for your account and if you are ever having trouble with something, they will be the ones you will need to reach. That would not be quite so easy if there is only an e-mail address left, because regardless of how insistent operators may be that their team replies within 30 minutes, that is almost never the case. This is quite easy to test – simply send them an e-mail with a genuine query and wait.
Last but definitely not least, the bonuses and rewards a sportsbook offers also matter. Of course, the expression quality over quantity applies. If there are a ton of bonuses that have horrible terms and conditions, then find a sportsbook that offers better ones.