Placing a bet can seem a daunting task for a novice bettor, it may be the first time you have placed a bet, or you may be placing a bet on an unfamiliar market or sport.
You are not alone, for example, over 35 million bets are placed on the Grand National with the majority being placed by bettors who only place one bet a year. It can be tricky to understand the different betting terms or how betting odds are displayed.
Below we have put together a guide on how to place a bet with an online bookmaker on a horse race, whether that is using a mobile, laptop or tablet. The same principles will apply when placing a bet in person at a bookmaker.
Table of Contents
Step 1 . You will need a betting account with a bookmaker.
There are so many online bookmakers to choose from and you could spend all day deciding. Ensuring the bookmaker covers the type of bet you would like to place is key as you do not want to deposit your money and find you cannot place the bet!
We would recommend from personal experience using the market leader bet365 (#ad), they generally cover more markets than any other bookmaker. We have put together a review if you would like to read more.
Once you have opened an online betting account and have made a deposit, you can move onto the next stage of placing your bet.
Making your selection
If you are betting on a horse race, you will need to decide which horse to pick.
Factors to consider when picking a horse:
- Form – This can be read from the race card and will tell you how well the horse has run recently. Although, previous form is no guarantee of future form.
- Ground – Some horses perform better when the ground is soft and others perform better on good ground, doing your research is key.
- Jockey – Who is riding the horse and how well have they been doing recently?
- Odds – Have a look at how the odds have changed recently, have the odds steamed (got shorter) or have they drifted (got longer). This determines on how much money is being bet on the horse and may indicate in some new information becoming available that will influence the race.
If you are watching the race on the TV you can see the number of the horse and the name of the horse. You can also do this by looking at the race card on the betting website.
Ensure that the name and number match when choosing your selection, some names are remarkably similar! Also, the jockeys can have similar jackets on which may confuse you!
Pick the correct racetrack and time of race, you do not want to choose the horse which is racing tomorrow!
Type of Bet
Next you can pick the type of bet you would like to place, you could pick the horse to win or place an each way bet which means that you are placing two bets, one for the horse to win and one for the horse to place a pre-determined amount of places. This will be shown next to the selection.
There are many other types of bet that can be placed if you would like to read further about them.
Choose your Stake
You are now in the position to choose your stake, bear in mind that placing an each way bet will be in fact two separate bets!
Double check you are happy with the odds and then place your bet.
Claiming your winnings
Once the race has finished and if your selection has won, you will be in the position to be paid out. You do not need to claim your winnings as it will automatically be added to your account.
There sometimes might be a delay in receiving payment this could be:
- A major event like the Grand national and there are a lot of bets to settle.
- A stewards enquiry and the race is being reviewed for rule breaches.
- A rule 4 deduction may be calculated if a horse was withdrawn.
Tips for placing a bet
- Only bet what you can afford to lose and are comfortable with
- Only use a UK licensed bookmaker, like the ones shown on this website.
- Read the rules of my market you are betting on.
- Enjoy Yourself!
Further reading to help you place a bet: