A Beginner’s Intro to Online Horse Betting

Posted by: Charlie Smith
Online Horse Betting Guide

Online horse betting is a relatively modern invention, but people have been betting on horses since the ancient days. In fact, it was the early Greeks who introduced these contests around 700 B.C. Later on, around the 17th Century, horse racing got a boost from King James I, who had an obsession with the “Sport of Kings”. Thanks to his passionate efforts, the British nobility took note of the festival and the rest is history. Following the passing of time, the sport soon evolved to become what we know and love today.

Online Horse Betting As We Know It

Since then there has been no shortage of people who bet on horses, or even betting on ponies. Nevertheless, the sport has developed an unusually strong following in both the UK and Ireland. Thankfully, modern day tech has allowed us all to partake in the enticing action thanks to online horse betting sites.

In the UK and Ireland, horse racing is categorized in two different arenas; National Hunt racing and flat racing. Of the two, most people are generally familiar with flat racing. Flat racing is also the simpler of the two, since horses just go around the starting track once the starting gate opens. The track can either be straight or elliptical and the first horse to cross the line triumphs.

Online Horse BettingIt follows that National Hunt racing is more complicated. These types of events require the jockey to maneuver the horse around an obstacle course. Additionally, National Hunt races come in two types; hurdles and steeplechases. Both of these events require the horse to jump over barriers, but steeplechases are unquestionably the more difficult event. The reason being, that they feature sturdier, taller fences than what are seen in standard hurdles. Furthermore, steeplechases draw a lot of racebook hype because they include water hazards that must be jumped or crossed in some fashion.

Types of Racebook Events

Those unfamiliar with horse races might be out of the loop when it comes to the tier-ranking system, but it’s pretty simple to follow. Races are ranked depending on the quality and popularity of the event, as well as how high the winnings are. Group/Grade 1 are the highest, which feature the best and most notable horses as well as the highest payouts. These races descend all the way down to Group/Grade 3.

However, beneath each Group/Grade are handicap races. These are generally more light-hearted in nature as the horse is required to carry additional weight. The Jockey Club assigns this weight depending on each horse’s natural ability. So because the best horses have the most weight, these tend to be more competitive events.

Modern Day Horse Betting

Horse races and online horse betting are inseparable nowadays. However, it’s important to have a modest understanding of the sport before making bets.

Oftentimes, punters will find the odds displayed in fractions. For example, some horse at any given event could be facing 9/1 odds. Simply put, if you picked this horse and he won, then you would receive 9 dollars/pounds for every dollar/pound you bet. On top of that, you would also receive your initial bet. Fractional odds can also be listed in decimal form, where the digit will also include your initial bet. Ergo, 9/1 odds would be 10.00 in decimal form.

Placing a bet solely based on whether a horse will win or not is called ‘on the nose’ or ‘to win’ bet. These are very common but there’s no shortage of options. Another popular bet is an ‘each way’ bet, which are generally twice as expensive. These types of bet allow you to cash in if your horse wins or if it places. ‘Placing’ refers to finishing within the top-3. So with an ‘each way’ bet, you’re essentially placing 2 or more bets, hence why their more expensive.

But the action doesn’t stop there. In addition to those aforementioned bets, racebooks generally offer a multitude of fun, conditional wagers. However, there are too many to list here and online horse betting players will have to do some homework.