UK Horse Racing Betting

How to place a bet online on Horse Racing

Before the advent of Internet betting, if you wanted to bet on Horse Racing, you would have had to visit a UK bookmaker and place a bet. Now however, it is much easier to place a bet online, with one of the numerous online bookmakers. It is worthwhile holding accounts with a number of them, as odds do vary greatly, and you can take advantage of these fluctuations by checking a few different bookmakers. The main bookies we recommend you open accounts with are the following:

Many of these bookies will also give you a free bet as a bonus either when you sign up, or when you make your first deposit/bet. This is usually in the form of a “matched bet”, so if you bet £25, you will get a free £25 bet. You normally only get to keep the winnings from any free bet though, as the “stake” is not refunded if you win. It’s something that’s worth keeping in mind when you make your first bet. At the time of writing, the bookmakers above were offing free bets totalling £185.00 – Not bad for a freebie!

Placing your bet

Once you have registered with the bookmakers, you can then start to plan your bet. For many people this will involve checking the form of your chosen horse, using guides such as those provided by the Racing Post etc. You will then want to also check the “going” of the racecourse – This tells you how the ground is holding up with regards to the recent weather, and will affect how well your horse will run – Different horses prefer different types of ground (horses for courses you could say!)

Once you are happy with the form and the going, the next thing you will want to is check the odds – For most horse racing events, you can do this online, using sites such as Searchum Odds which will automatically check the odds of the online horse racing betting for you, and tell you the best prices, leaving you free to place your bet with the best bookmaker.

To find the latest odds, either type the event you are looking for into the search box (for example “horse racing utoxeter”) or drill down the menus on the Left Hand Side to find the market you want to bet on. You’ll then see a list of all the possible outcomes, and the current odds being offered by a wide variety of bookmakers, allowing you to see at a glance the best available odds.

Armed with this information, you can then proceed to your chosen bookmaker. Almost all bookies will insist you register with them before allowing you to place a bet online. This is normally a fairly simple and painless procedure, and shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes. Once you are registered, check your emails for any confirmation link you may need to click on to activate your account, and then you are ready to fund your account.

This can be done in a number of ways, with your credit or debit card, or through an online payment processor, such as PayPal or Neteller etc. Either way, once you have funds in your account, you are free to place a wager. (Note that some bookies have maximum daily deposit amounts to prevent problem gambling)

So you know who you are place your online horse racing bet with, which horse to bet on (based on their form and current going), and the odds of each horse. All you need do now is decide how much you are willing to wager, and whether to place an each-way bet. As a rule, never bet more than you are prepared to lose, and always remember that gambling is a means of entertainment, not a revenue stream (unless you’re a bookie that is!)

Each-Way Bets

You’ve probably heard about each-way bets (sometimes listed as e/w on some sites). This is essentially two bets – One on the horse winning the race, and one on the horse finishing in the top four (or five with some sites depending on the number of runners) places. You place the same amount on each bet, and each bet pays out separately.

Your “place” bet normally pays out at a quarter (1/4) of the odds of the “win” bet. So if you bet on a horse that is 20/1, your place bet would pay out at 5/1. So if you bet £10 e/w (at a cost of £20), and you horse won, you would receive £10×20/1 + £10×5/1 = £200 + £50, plus your original £20 stake back makes a return of £270.

Using the same example, if your horse is a little unlucky and is just pipped at the post, your win bet would not pay out, but your place bet would, meaning you would receive back £10×5/1 = £50, plus your £10 stake on the place bet – Your win bet stake is lost.

Responsible Gambling

Always remember that you are gambling for entertainment rather than to try and make a living. Always gamble responsibly and within your own financial limits. If you feel you may have a gambling problem, then you should stop immediately and seek professional help.

There are many organisations that can help you if you feel you have a problem, such as Gamblers Anonymous and the Responsible Gambling Council. You will find their numbers in your local telephone directory or Yellow Pages.


Online horse racing betting can be an exciting and fun pastime – Whilst it can never match the adrenaline of actually being at the races, it does score highly for convenience – you can place a bet online wherever you happen to be – at home, in the office etc. And you don’t even have to remember to collect your winnings, as they are automatically deposited into your account.

Please always gamble responsibly and within your own financial limits.


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