How to Bet on Horse Racing In 2024

From England’s Cheltenham Festival to Australia’s Melbourne Cup, thoroughbred horse racing has a long and diverse history of celebrated races around the world.

The sport of thoroughbred horse racing is hundreds of years old. Documents show racing was enjoyed for much of human history long before online sportsbooks existed. The Cheltenham Festival in England dates back to 1860, and it’s not the oldest race in England. The Breeders Cup was first run in 1984, while the Melbourne Cup was born in 1861.

A sport that’s steeped in history, but horse racing is as popular today as it has ever been in the past. More races and meetings are shown on television or through live-streaming apps, and the crowds at significant tracks continue to grow post-pandemic. The prize pools offered to the winners of the top races are substantial, with connections of the winner often banking a check for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What’s your experience with horse racing? Perhaps you’re a regular at track and have experienced some memorable events on the course? You may have had a long-term interest in betting on live racing on TV but needed help figuring out where to start. If you want to bet on racing, this page is here to help.

We explain how to bet on horse racing, the free bets available, and the best way to follow your picks. This page has everything you need to increase your knowledge of betting on racing or making your first steps into gambling.

Joining an Online Bookie


Before placing a bet on horse racing, you must register an account with a legal online bookie licensed to trade in your city. Research the best betting app with the most generous odds and bonuses. Your bets will only be as good as your bookie allows. So aim high from the start.

When you have the right bookie, it’s time to create an account. Visit the sportsbook’s homepage using your desktop computer or smartphone and click the ‘Join’ button. Complete the registration form, providing your name, age, email address, and other required information.

Create a username and password that’s memorable to you but not basic or obvious, or it will be at risk from hackers. Your account details are verified and registered if everything is in order. You can then start betting on horse racing.

Claiming the Free Bet Promotion

The biggest and best online betting apps offer all new players a welcome bonus free bet. This promotion helps a bookie stand out and attract new players. The online gambling market has become so competitive since 2018 that apps must work hard to catch your eye.

When you register an account, make your first deposit, and gamble, you qualify for the welcome bonus. It will usually be a free bet equal to your first wager. For example, sign up and bet $100, and you’ll land a $100 free bet. Getting your hands on the free bet tokens takes just a few minutes.

You’ll notice the free bet tokens in your betting balance. When you place your next bet, you can take the stake from your available free bet allowance or your cash balance. Winnings are in real money instead of more bet credits minus the free bet stake. Check your bookie’s terms and conditions for details.

Markets and Specials


There are dozens of ways to gamble on the most famous horse races. The most common method is to back the horse you think will win. If it does as expected, you get the profits, but if it loses, the bookie keeps your stakes.

You can also wager on the race each way or back your favorite to land a place. There’s match betting, winning distances, winning trainers, a horse to finish the race or not, the SP favorite not to win, and plenty more. There’s a bet to suit every gambler’s style, race, and budget.

Placing a Bet

Now that you have your account, funds available, and selected the horse and market you want to back, it’s time to bet. This takes less than a minute to use your smartphone.

Click the odds of the horse that’ll carry your stake and click the odds to add to your bet slip. Input a stake, check, and confirm. Your bet will be live and can’t be changed.

About Nina Smith