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How To Bet On Horses – Top 12 Horse Betting Tips And Guide

By Michael Flynn, Jun 10 2015 08:55PM

How to bet on horses – Top 12 Horse Betting Tips and guide
How to bet on horses – Top 12 Horse Betting Tips and guide

Picking a winning horse can be tricky, there isn’t a magic formula and I will not give you one. However, what I can offer is twelve tips that will help you make more informed decisions.

1. Use a bookmaker that has Best Odds Guaranteed

Using a bookmaker that offers Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG) is a no brainer, this is where you take the offered price on a horse, i.e. 3/1, and if the starting price is higher you will be paid out at the higher price.

It amazes me that some bookie still don’t offer BOG so it is always worth checking, also be careful as some online betting companies only offer Best Odds after a certain time.

2. Take the current odds and not SP

As explained in point one you will need to use a bookie that offers BOG. Always take the current odds on a horse, if it starts at a higher price you will get paid at the higher price. If you think the odds are too low and they will rise but drop before the off, wait a while and take what you are happy with.

3. Use the bookies promotions

As like any other business, bookies will use promotions to attract new customers and keep existing customers playing with them. Using a bookmaker that offers a promotion on a race that you are already going to bet on is just common sense.

Please be advised that betting on just promotion races at a bookmaker could get your account limited and bonus banned. This will not be the case all the time but can happen.

4. Consider doing an each way bet

An each way bet is where you bet on the horse to win and the horse to place in a specific position (outlined below). This is a good idea if the odds are large or there are many horses in the race. It increases your chances of a return from your original stake.

5. Check how many places are being paid and the price being paid

Below is a guide on how places are paid, however some bookies will offer enhanced place terms on specific meetings and extra places.

2-4 runners - No places, just the winner.

5-7 runners - 1st and 2nd @ 1/4 the odds

8+ runners - 1st, 2nd and 3rd @ 1/5 the odds

Handicaps 12-15 runners - 1st, 2nd and 3rd @ 1/4 odds

Handicaps 16+ runners - 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th @ 1/4 odds

6. Check the max winnings limit

Obviously if you are placing a small bet on one horse you probably won’t exceed the bookies pay-out limit. However, if you are placing a bet on several horses to win the odds could stack up and you don’t want to have a winner that could have been more at another online bookie. Always worth checking.

7. Do your research

Checking the previous 5 races is a good idea, but remember not all races are equal and a horse can win against a lower grade horse but might struggle with in higher grade race. Also a horse might be specifically trained to win a certain high profile race. This information can be found on the bookies website.

8. Check the weather

Horse racing is an outdoor sport and the weather does come into play. Some horses will perform better when the ground is softer and others will not.

9. Does the horse have a Handicap?

There are more handicap races in the UK than any other. This is done to give all horses a chance of winning or it could be rather drab and the same horse would win every race. It is worth checking how much extra weight your horse is carrying.

10. Be aware of the Non Runner rules

A Non-runner will change the odds as there will be less horses competing in a race. If the non-runner is a favourite this would put the bookmakers at a disadvantage because now the long odds you took on the outsider will shorten. So because of this, Rule 4 was invented to protect bookmaker, there is a rule 4 deductions page here. If your horse is non-runner you will receive your stake back.

11. Be wary of a Tipster

If you knew the winning lottery numbers would you share them? Of course not! Tipsters are not in the know about which horse will win every race. Most high profile tipsters prosper by tipping a horse which they have backed, this then brings the price down as lots of people bet on the horse, and then the tipster can lay the bet.

If you look online you will find every horse in every race will be tipped to win. Someone somewhere will have tipped the winner for the race you want to bet on. Doing your own research and understanding that there is not a magic formula to picking winners is the best way forward.

Some tipsters will have better win percentages and it might be worth looking into his tipping history, but at the end of the day you will not know the real reasons they have picked a certain horse.

12. Don’t gamble more than you can afford

It is really important you set your limits and don’t gamble more than you can afford. All bookies have signed up to responsible gambling guidelines and you can set a limit on how much you deposit/bet.

Make use of this feature.

Remember Enjoy the race.

You will not always pick the winning horse, but make sure you can watch the race and learn for next time!

Good Luck, Michael.

Recommended horse racing bookmaker with BOG – bet365

Further reading – Betting Guide.

Aug 13 2015 11:41AM by rebecca

Very useful info, that even i understood, thank you.

Sep 27 2015 07:40AM by Alex Ndubuisi

Am interested in this sort of stuff, how do I get start,where do i bet?Or how do i collect cash in case if I bet and win. Thanks Alex

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