Horse racing betting dates back to the early 17th century, and thanks to our modern era, horse racing bettors have never had it better by being able to place off-track bets on their favorite races.
But with horse racing’s betting market booming, it can sometimes be tiresome to decide where to place your bets. And new bettors can often feel overwhelmed trying to decipher the vast betting options or odds – but we have you covered.
Below, we explain how the odds work, break down the popular wagers you can place and rank the top online betting sites based on scores from key benchmark categories.
Our top pick for online horse betting is Bovada, but there are many other options available for you.
Let’s take a look!
Best Horse Racing Betting Sites
- Bovada: Best overall
- BetOnline: Best for exotics
- BetUS: Most generous welcome bonus
- SportsBetting.ag: Best for horse wagering tools
- MyBookie: Best for parlays
Traditional Horse Racing Bet Types Explained
The three traditional wagers are Win, Place, and Show bets. These are straight horse racing wagers where you are betting on a single horse to place in the top three finishers:
- Win Bet: A Win bet is a wager on the jockey and horse who will place first in a race. Of the three traditional wagers, this one pays out the most.
- Place Bet: A Place bet is a wager that a horse and jockey will place either first or second in a race. This bet has less risk than a Win wager, but the payout is reduced.
- Show Bet: A Show bet is a wager that the horse and jockey will place in the top three finishers in a race. A Show bet pays out less than Win and Place wagers but provides the least amount of risk.
- Across the Board: This is three equal wagers on Win, Place, and Show; for example, if you are placing $2 stakes on a race, an across-the-board bet would require a $2 wager on Win, $2 on Place, and $2 on Show.
Understanding Traditional Horse Racing Odds
On the main race card, you will see the odds for the horses posted under the ML (moneyline) category, and this figure is for the Win bet.
In American racebooks, the odds are usually listed fractionally. For instance, Bovada features races from the celebrated Churchill Downs; here, you may see a card featuring Perfect Rose and jockey Jon Kenton Court with long odds of 50/1.
The first number (50) is the prize you could garner on a Win wager if Perfect Rose finishes first in the race, and the second figure (1) represents your wager amount. So, 50/1 (fifty to one) betting odds mean you would stand to win $50 from a $1 wager on Perfect Rose to win.
Or, if a horse race at Churchill Downs lists Fun and Feisty and jockey Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. as 2/1 (two to one) odds-on favorite, it means that you would garner $2 on a $1 bet if Fun and Feisty wins.
Best Online Horse Racing Betting Sites
1. Bovada – Best Site for Horse Racing Betting Overall
- Long-trusted online sportsbook
- Over two dozen global race tracks
- Great selection of futures
- Amazing welcome bonus for sports betting
- Super-fast payouts
- Limited deposit options
Bovada has remained a licensed and trusted off-track online betting site since 2011. We like that Bovada is a one-stop shop for everyone – it offers users an amazing sports betting section while also delivering a well-designed casino section.
Bovada’s racebook contains just under 30 global racing tracks, from Belmont Park to Churchill Downs to Kenilworth in Cape Town, South Africa.
Of course, you can place bets on all the major races, like the Kentucky Derby, the Breeders’ Cup, and the Preakness.
Other Betting Options: 5/5
The user interface of the racebook at Bovada is speedy and intuitive to navigate. A convenient button revealing the next five races makes it easy to swiftly locate your quickest betting options. It is truly a user-first experience.
The race card contains a convenient dropdown menu with betting options for all the traditional and exotic bets available on the race or at the track. And they also have a great platform for checking horse racing results from competitions worldwide.
Bovada offers more futures for popular races than all the other top betting sites that made our list, often providing over a dozen different future stakes on major races like the Breeders’ Cup, Kentucky Derby, and even options to bet on future Triple Crown winners.
Welcome Bonus: 5/5
Bovada is offering new customers one of the best sports and horse betting bonuses in the industry.
Use promo code TRIPLECROWN22 for a 50% match on your first deposit, plus 25 free spins on the smash-hit online slot A Night with Cleo. This bonus comes with a 5x rollover requirement, which is very low and competitive.
For deposits, you can use Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Zelle, credit cards, and Litecoin (LTC).
Most of these options are also available for withdrawals, too. BTC payouts are usually delivered within an hour!
2. BetOnline – Best Horse Racing Betting Site for Exotic Wagers
- Near 20-year bookmaker
- Over 30 worldwide racecourses
- Welcome bonus up to $1,000
- Daily track rebates of up to 9%
- A well-known betting site
- $55 minimum deposit req. for bonus
Operating since 2004, BetOnline is one of the most recognizable online betting sites in the industry. Let’s find out what makes it our #2 horse racing betting sites.
There are nearly 30 tracks at BetOnline for thoroughbreds, plus two courses are usually offered for harness racing.
This online sportsbook does a great job of highlighting popular horse races that may slip through the cracks for casual bettors, such as the Fayette Stakes at Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky.
And on top of all the major American races like the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup, you can take your betting action to 15 international tracks, including Japan’s three most popular racecourses: Tokyo, Niigata, and Hanshin.
Other Betting Options: 4.9/5
BetOnline’s racebook design is largely user-friendly and very fast. What surprised us a bit is that this online bookmaker offers more exotics on average for States-based races than Bovada, so finding courses with races to place Pick 5 bets is not a problem here.
All in all, BetOnline has a really good betting platform that is sure to make your gambling a lot of fun.
Welcome Bonus: 4.9/5
New customers can use promo code BOL1000 on their first deposit of $55 or more to receive a 50% match with a max bonus of up to $1,000. There is a 10 rollover requirement for this bonus, which means that it should not be too hard to withdraw your bonus wins.
Keep returning to BetOnline for your horse wagering needs to capitalize on up to 9% in daily rebates on all eligible stakes and tracks: when you place your bets online (you can also place them by phone), you will receive a 9% rebate on exotic stakes and 4% for Win, Place, and Show wagers on qualifying races.
As far as banking options go, BetOnline offers more methods than most other betting sites. There are over 20 options for deposits and payouts, including bank transfers, money orders, BTC, LTC, ETH, e-wallets, and several other altcoins.
You can also use credit cards for deposits, but they often incur high fees. So, crypto is the best way to roll here because all transactions are feeless, and payouts are delivered within 24 hours.
3. BetUS – Most Generous Welcome Bonus for Horse Racing
- Tenured 25+ year online betting site
- 100% welcome bonus
- 27 total horse tracks, harness racing
- Great selection of futures for major races
- Fast payouts
- Fewer exotics for some races
BetUS is a pioneer in the online sports betting industry, dating back to 1994. This licensed and trusted bookmaker is also a go-to destination for customers who like to place action on the NFL because they offer more betting markets than most online sportsbooks. Let’s see what they are offering for horse bettors.
With 24 global tracks for thoroughbreds and three tracks on average for harness racing, BetUS has you covered for placing stakes on all your favorite U.S. and international races, such as the Breeders’ Cup and France’s Arc.
Some stand-out horse tracks here include Zia Park in Hobbs, New Mexico, and Australia’s A, B, C, and D tracks.
Other Betting Options: 4.8/5
Unlike the outdated design of the BetUS sportsbook, the racebook has a very clean and user-friendly interface.
BetUS provides a great offering of futures for all the major races, like the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup, but the exotic options here are hit-and-miss. There are usually several races with some exotics, but the selection does not compare to the options at Bovada or BetOnline.
Still, whatever BetUS has to offer should be enough for the majority of the bettors.
Welcome Bonus: 4.8/5
New customers can claim a 125% match on their first deposit for a max bonus of up to a whopping $2,500. This is a combo bonus with 100% going to sports or horses and 25% going to casino games.
The 100% bonus has a good wagering requirement of 10x, and the casino bonus is attached to a 30x playthrough (significantly lower than most casino bonuses).
For deposits, BetUS accepts credit cards, bank transfers, BTC, BCH, ETH, and LTC.
For withdrawals, you can choose all the previously listed methods, minus cards, plus check by courier. Most e-wallet and crypto payouts are delivered within 24 and 48 hours.
They do have higher minimum withdrawal requirements than most online betting sites at $50 crypto minimums and $100 for fiat, but the large welcome bonus should help regular players garner enough winnings.
4. SportsBetting.ag – Best Site for Horse Betting Tools
- Licensed & regulated 20-year bookmaker
- Useful wagering guides & tools
- Many races with a plethora of exotics
- $1,000 welcome offer
- Lightning-fast payouts
- Fewer tracks than other betting sites
- $55 deposit req. for bonus
Even if you have just briefly searched for online sportsbooks that offer horses, chances are, you have come across SportsBetting.
This licensed online bookmaker debuted in 2003, and in addition to its racebook, players like it here because of its excellent live in-game betting options for major league sports.
With 19 global tracks, BetUS does not offer the large selection of tracks as Bovada or BetOnline. But they do cover the 10 most popular stateside tracks, so all the major domestic races are covered here.
You can also bet on races at Canada’s Happy Valley track, and harness fans can place stakes at the largest harness racing venue in the Nordic countries: Sweden’s Solvalla track.
Other Betting Options: 4.8/5
While they may not compete with some other top betting sites when it comes to the greatest number of tracks offered, SportsBetting delivers when it comes to exotics, especially for major events like the Breeders’ Cup.
Rookies can take advantage of a large collection of horse betting manuals, and all customers will likely appreciate tools like the betting odds calculator, which makes it a cinch to figure out how much you stand to win with the more complicated bet types.
Welcome Bonus: 4.9/5
Click here to receive a 50% match on your first deposit of $55 or more with a max bonus of up to $1,000 and a fair 10x playthrough.
You can use credit cards, cashier’s checks, BTC, and over a dozen altcoins for deposits. For payouts, you can choose wire transfer, money order, check by courier, BTC, and over 10 altcoins. And crypto payouts are usually delivered in just minutes but can take up to 24 hours.
5. MyBookie – Best Horse Betting Site for Parlay Wagers
- 22+ tracks supported
- Rarely offered international tracks
- Parlays for most U.S. tracks
- Daily horse rebates of up to 8%
- Some banking fees
- Slim variety of withdrawal methods
MyBookie has been a trusted and licensed online gambling site since 2014. Aside from an impressive collection of international horse racing tracks, players like spending time here because of the large library of progressive slots and the early lines posted for NFL games.
From betting on the Kentucky Derby to England’s Grand National, MyBookie is a fantastic platform for all the major global races.
This is a great racebook for global horse racing with dozens of tracks like South Korea’s Seoul Racecourse Park, France’s Chantilly Racecourse, Galway Races in Ireland, and Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Other Betting Options: 4.8/5
MyBookie does not have an extensive selection of futures for major races, and they often post future odds late compared to most other betting sites. But they do provide plenty of exotic options for most races in the States, including parlays, which is very impressive.
Thanks to MyBookie’s brilliant software, you can easily combine multiple races into a single parlay bet, even if the races aren’t in consecutive order on the card.
This is a feature that is usually only offered within specific tracks for certain races at other bookmakers, so MyBookie is a must-visit horse betting operator for bettors who love placing parlays.
Welcome Bonus: 4.7/5
On your first-ever deposit of $50 or more, use code MYB50 for a 50% match with a max bonus of up to $1,000 and 10x wagering requirements. To claim this offer, use code MYB50 when making your first deposit.
And keep returning to MyBookie to place your parlays or for amazing global horse betting options, and you can secure a daily rebate of up to 8% on qualifying bets and races.
You can fund your horse racing account using BTC, XRP, MoneyGram, and several altcoins. For payouts, you can use e-checks and bank transfers. Crypto withdrawals are feeless and delivered within 48 hours.
How We Ranked the Best Horse Betting Sites
When working on our article, there were several things that our team focused on. Of course, the first and most important was the safety and security of our readers. We found online casinos that offer users the safest betting platform.
Horse Racing Tracks:
All the popular online horse wagering platforms provide options for the major races and racing tracks, so we gave additional points for the number of global tracks offered and additional points for rarely offered tracks or races.
Other Betting Options:
We gave points based on the options of exotics and futures the horse wagering sites supply, and we gave additional points for any unique stand-out features or tools.
We only listed bonuses that have fair wagering requirements because if a bonus is unattainable, then it is only a waste of your time and money. We rewarded additional points for very low wagering requirements, and we docked points for large deposit requirements.
Banking Variety & Payout Speed:
We distributed the initial points based on the variety of both fiat and crypto options, and we gave additional points for a larger number of options and docked points for fewer options or excessive fees. And betting sites with speedy payout options received additional points.
Guide to Online Horse Racing Betting
What Are Exotic Wagers for Horse Racing Betting?
Generally speaking, exotic wagers are pari-mutuel bets – wagers of a particular bet type that are placed together in a pool – on multiple horses, either in a single race or within multiple races. While all the top horse tracks have traditional straight betting options, the exotics available to bettors can vary from track to track and bookmaker to bookmaker.
Bookmakers have most tracks in the U.S. set with at least Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, and Pick 3 betting options for exotics, with a handful providing Pick 4 and a couple of other bet types.
What are the Main Exotic Wagers for a Single Horse Race?
Exacta: An Exacta requires you to pick the first and second-place winners in exact order. For example, if you use BetOnline to bet on the Kentucky Derby and choose horse Rich Strike to finish first and Tawny Port to follow, both horses must place in that exact order for you to win the Exacta.
Standard Trifecta: A Trifecta bet is when you pick the top three finishers in exact order within a single race.
Trifecta Box: A bet on picking the top three finishers to finish in any order.
Trifecta Key: The Trifecta Key bet is when you choose three winners, nominating one horse as the winner and the other two horses to finish in any order.
Superfecta: A Superfecta bet is when you pick the top four finishers in exact order within a single race.
Superfecta Box: This wager is when you pick the top four finishers to finish in any order.
Superfecta Key: A wager requiring you to pick the four finishers, nominate one horse as the winner, and three horses to finish in any order.
Quinella: A Quinella wager is less common than the aforementioned exotics and is only available at certain tracks. Quinella bets require you to pick the top two finishers in any order.
What Are the Primary Exotic Wagers for Multiple Races?
Daily Double: A Daily Double is a bet where you pick the winning horses of two back-to-back races. Many racebooks list the Daily Double simply as the Double because there are often rolling doubles throughout the day of horse racing at certain tracks.
Pick 3 & Pick 4: A Pick 4 bet is a wager on the winners of four consecutive races, and a Pick 3 bet is the same concept but with three horses for three consecutive races. Depending on the track, some online racebooks provide Pick 5 and 6 bets.
What Are the Horse Racing Odds of Exotic Wagers?
The odds for exotic bets vary because they are pari-mutuel wagers. Traditional Win, Place and Show bets have fixed odds that are calculated before a race starts.
With exotic bets, you will not know how much you stand to win because all the bets are gathered in a betting pool. When a horse race is finished, the winning tickets are determined, and the betting pool is distributed among those who successfully predicted the end result.
What Are Future Horse Wagers?
A Futures bet is a prediction on which horse will win a race long before racing day, and they are usually only offered for the major races. Two of the most popular races for Futures are the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup.
Futures offer larger payouts than betting money on even the same horse on race day because it is not yet known which horses will qualify to run in the race, so it is the ultimate predictor contest.
How Do I Choose the Best Horse Betting Site for Me?
Many of the top and trusted online betting sites and sportsbooks offer a racebook for off-track horse betting. The most vital factor, above all, is that you are betting on horse races at reputable and licensed horse betting sites.
Our overall top pick for online horse betting is Bovada. This licensed sportsbook and horse betting site provides over 23 global tracks and very generous bonuses.
Comparison of the Best Online Horse Betting Sites
We covered a lot of ground in our online horse betting guide, so let’s have a quick refresh of the top online sportsbooks for wagering on horse races.
- Bovada: It ranked at the top of our list because Bovada has an amazing reputation among bettors and offers over 20 tracks, solid exotic options, and the lowest rollover bonus for horse betting of all the bookmakers that made our list.
- BetOnline: A 20-year online betting site known for offering exotic bets for more U.S. horse races than most other sportsbooks, they cover over 30 tracks plus harness racing, and they are offering you a 50% match on your first deposit with a fair playthrough.
- BetUS: Known for offering one of the biggest bonuses for horse racing (up to $2,500!) for providing 25+ tracks, they also have robust options for futures!
- SportsBetting: They have amazing horse betting tools and guides, a good offering of futures, super-fast payouts within minutes, and new customers can claim up to $1,000 in the welcome offer.
- MyBookie: Known for offering more parlays to bet on horse racing than most online bookmakers, they also have a weekly rebate worth taking advantage of, and they are one of the best platforms for betting on global tracks and rarely offered horse races.
How to Bet on Horse Racing Online
Getting started at the best sites for horse betting should not be too hard. We did the hard work for you and created a step-by-step guide for signing up at our top pick, Bovada. Here’s how it works:
Step One: Sign Up for a New Account
- Head to Bovada by clicking here
- Click the “Join” button at the top of the page
- Fill out the brief information page
Step Two: Verify Your Mobile Number
- You should immediately receive a text after signing up
- Enter the code from the text to verify your mobile phone number
Step Three: Deposit & Claim the Bonus
- Head to the cashier at the top of the page
- Enter code TRIPLECROWN22 to claim the welcome offer
- Make your deposit
- You are now ready to bet on horse racing
More Horse Racing Guides:
So, What Is the Best Horse Racing Betting Site?
We hope our in-depth guide and reviews of the top horse betting sites provide you with ample information to better help you decide where you want to place your action and the type of wagers you should make.
You can start betting on races at Bovada with a 50% first-deposit match plus 25 free spins on A Night with Cleo when you use the promo code TRIPLECROWN22.
But no matter where you decide to bet on horse racing, if you choose any of the sites that made our list, you can bet with peace of mind knowing you are wagering at a licensed and regulated bookmaker.
Remember, it is a give-and-take activity, so please bet on horses responsibly and remember to have fun!
DISCLAIMER: While online gambling can come as an entertainment form, you should never prioritize gambling to solve financial problems. When you’re thinking of placing wagers exceeding your bankroll, the “house always wins” phrase should be a guiding principle.
Do you have problems with gambling, or do you know someone that does? Regardless of what party it might be, it’s crucial to quickly get a hold of this situation by calling the National Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700. When you call, you’re immediately transferred to an advisor on hand to give you the desired help needed to make gambling safer for you and your loved ones. That said, it’s crucial to remember that all gambling sites and guides are for those who are 18+ only.
Remember, casino sites listed in our reviews might not be accessible in your region. As a result, it’s necessary to check local laws and regulations to see whether online gambling is legal or not.
For resources free gambling addiction resources, visit these organizations: