The Romans were fond of racing horse-drawn chariots around a closed circuit, but it wasn’t until the reign of James I at the beginning of the 1600s that organised horse racing as we know it became a thing. Below, we have compiled a list of the best new horse racing betting sites.
Today, horse racing is the second most popular spectator sport in the UK after football. And here’s a fun fact not everyone knows: horse racing attracted more betting action in the UK than any other sport last year, including football.
Almost all of the billions wagered on horse racing last year were processed through online sportsbooks, but which are the best horse racing betting sites in the UK? Read on to find out and learn about the top horse racing betting offers you can take advantage of.
The Best Horse Racing Betting Sites UK
UK Betting Sites
Our team has conducted many long hours of research and concluded that the following represents the best horse racing betting sites in the UK.
William Hill is an institution that has been providing punters with many ways to express their admiration for horse racing for nearly 90 years. They offer Best Odds Guaranteed on many races, always have a plethora of horse racing-related promo offers on tap for new and existing customers and, in recent years, they, have begun to offer an increasing number of live streaming options with one of the best horse racing apps on the market.
William Hill also provides a unique feature called William Hill Radio that augments its live streaming service and includes expert horse racing coverage and in-depth discussions about horse racing topics. If you are just getting started betting on horse racing, William Hill Radio can provide you with some valuable background knowledge about the sport to make well-informed wagers.
888sport has long enjoyed reputation as one of the top sites for betting on the ponies. They offer an array of tools intended to enhance the fun of betting on horses, including BetFinder, which assists you in selecting possible winners, and their “Each-Way+” feature that provides enhanced odds on different races.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention their BetFeed feature that highlights hot markets and promotions and their sign-up bonus wherein you get 30 in Free Bets for opening a new account and depositing 10. To top it off, they offer live streams of virtually every horse race in the UK and Ireland and select races from the US, France, Australia, the Middle East and elsewhere.
Because horse racing attracts the most betting action of any sport, you can be sure that all the top betting sites and all the best new betting sites feature it prominently. Bet365 is no exception. But they don’t just cover horse racing, they sink their collective teeth into it.
Bet365 is known to offer outstanding odds on horse races in the UK, Ireland, the US and elsewhere. They have also invested heavily in live streaming technology, with most UK and Ireland races available for live viewing and many overseas races we mentioned earlier. And let’s not forget that Bet365 has one of the best mobile apps around, so you can take your love of the ponies wherever you go.
Betfred is a top choice for any UK horse racing punter wanting to place their bets online. Horse racing is one of the leading sports at Betfred, which have a wide range of horse racing betting promotions for their customers to claim. This includes a free bet if your chosen horse finishes second in a race and their best odds guaranteed promise.
They have had an online presence since 2004 and have become one of the most-used amongst UK horse racing fans during that time. Betfred is, without a doubt, one of the best horse racing betting sites in the UK today and is also one of the most rewarding to their players.
Although many will associate the Grosvenor brand with their many land-based casinos across the UK, they also offer an excellent online sportsbook. Their list of available sports markets to bet on includes horse racing, which has a great emphasis on their site.
New customers at Grosvenor can get a double-your-odds bet on their first bet on any sport — something which could be particularly valuable for horse racing fans. Grosvenor also has the best odds guaranteed on all winners in UK and Irish racing and allows you to watch any race from the UK or Ireland that you place a 1 bet on.
BetUK has gained a reputation as one of the best new betting sites. However, they wouldn't have earned that reputation if they didn't pay lip service to horseracing. Instead, they took a hint from industry leaders and invested in live streaming, now available on an ever-growing number of races.
The good folks at BetUK also offer a steady stream of special horse racing-related promotions designed to keep punters coming back week after week. And finally, as far as horse racing betting promotions go, BetUK offer new customers 30 Free Bets to use on horse racing if their first bet is a 10 bet that meets certain minimum requirements.
Mr Play is another of the best new betting sites to emerge in the UK recently. Although they don’t offer a live streaming service, they offer markets from across the world and some of the most competitive odds you will find across the industry.
New customers at Mr Play can receive a 10 bet token when they sign up for their sports betting service today, which can be used on any horse racing selection you wish.
LiveScore is far more than just a place to check football scores. They are now one of the best new betting sites and have an enticing welcome offer to claim. LiveScore is currently offering a bet 10 get 20 promotion to their new players, and these free bets can be applied on their various horse racing markets.
There are two ongoing horse racing promotions currently available on their site too. The first is different places on selected races each day across the UK and Ireland horse racing schedule, while the second is the best odds guaranteed on all winning horse racing bets if the starting price is higher than the one you took.
Paddy Power takes horse racing seriously. Over the past 40 years, their rise to prominence owes more than a little to their dedication to the equine competition. Since expanding to the UK, they have retained their focus on horse racing while at the same time branching out to offer comprehensive coverage of all other types of organised sport.
Paddy Power offers an incredible variety of markets for every race they cover. And they offer blanket coverage of all major events, including the Grand National, the Triple Crown, the Dubai World Cup, the Everest in Australia and many more. They’re also the only major UK betting site where you can view all of those races on an HD live stream, and their welcome bonus for horse racing fans is one of the best.
One of the giants of sports betting and horse racing betting in the United Kingdom is Betfair. Established in June 2000, they have more than two decades of online experience behind them, and a loyal army of customers continue to place their horse racing bets with Betfair — on both their sportsbook and betting exchange platforms.
They are serious about horse racing on Betfair and have an enormous selection of races that can be live-streamed on their site. Betfair is one of the more generous bookmakers regarding horse racing promotions, particularly around the time of the biggest events such as the Cheltenham Festival, Grand National and Royal Ascot.
BetVictor is well-known for offering Non-Runner No Bet guarantees on most horse races. The few other sites will typically refund you with Free Bets, which can never be withdrawn from your account. BetVictor, on the other hand, returns your stake as cash if your horse withdraws at the last minute.
But that’s not the only thing that makes BetVictor one of the UK's best horse racing betting sites. You’ll also find Best Odds Guaranteed on most horse races enabling you always to extract maximum value from a winning bet. Their new customer promo will provide 30 Free Bets if your first wager after joining is a 5-wager on the ponies.
No, The Tote is not a designer handbag. It's a betting pool founded nearly a century ago and is still going strong. When you place a bet on horse racing via The Tote, your stake is combined with the bets of others, and any wins are divided up from that pool of money.
The Tote offers a unique set of promos, including a fantasy game in which you select 10 horses to follow throughout the season. If they wind up the 10 biggest winners, you share a pool of money created by others betting into the promo. The Tote also offers a Bet 10 Get 30 bonus to bet on any horse race held anywhere in the world.
How to Choose a Horse Racing Betting Site
The good news for horse racing fans is that many online sportsbooks do justice to the sport of kings. The trick is finding one. But if you want to make up your mind or maybe examine sites not included in our list, certain criteria should make it easier to choose among the best horse racing betting sites in the UK.
The Breadth of Their Racing Coverage
Some sites do a better job covering the horse racing world than others, and all the sites profiled above are good examples. So if you want as many betting options as possible, ensure the site you’re about to sign up with provides comprehensive coverage.
On the other hand, if you are only interested in betting on big-name events, such as the Grand National and the US Triple Crown or just want to discover new betting sites for Cheltenham, just about every online bookmaker will cover those and other significant horse races.
Most novice punters think that odds are odds and are all pretty uniform from one online sportsbook to another. But this is not the case. Some online gambling sites offer better odds than others, not always across the board, but on certain sports such as horse racing.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to determine which of the best new betting sites (as well as the established sites) have the most competitive odds, as most online bookmakers will display their odds on upcoming races for all to see. You do not have to have an account with or sign in to see them.
The Number and Quality of Banking Options
A couple of years ago the UK government banned the use of credit cards for gambling, and many industry folks worried that would mean the end of online bookmakers. Fortunately for everyone, that wasn't the case and most sites barely skipped a beat.
That’s because there are myriad other ways to finance their betting activities, including debit cards, PayPal, bank transfers and a dozen or more popular e-wallet options like Neteller and Skrill. Not all sites accept all methods, but most will have their payment options prominently displayed, so make a note and compare to determine which site best suits your needs.
Their Horse Racing Promos and Sign Up Bonus
Every online bookmaker offers promotions and bonuses, some more so than others. So before you pick an online betting site, take a few minutes and look to see if they have a welcome bonus for horse racing and if they run any horse racing betting promotions.
Sign-up bonuses and ongoing promotions can add significant value to your betting experience. The welcome bonus for horse racing, in particular, can help you get off on the right foot, and who knows? You might even hit pay dirt with the Free Bets you get for signing up.
Different Horse Racing Betting Offers
Above, we mentioned that most online betting sites offer some type of promotion, but you may be wondering what form those promotions and bonuses take. Here are some of the most common horse racing betting offers you’ll find on the UK's best horse racing betting sites.
Free Bets: Free Bets are by far the most common welcome bonus you will find on betting sites. A Free Bet is essentially house money you’re given after you sign up and meet specific betting requirements. Free Bets can only be used once and cannot be cashed out.
Price boosts: The top horse racing betting sites in the UK will almost all offer to enhance the odds on various horse racing markets occasionally. These price boosts can significantly increase your potential winnings.
Money back offers: Money back offers vary from bookmaker to bookmaker and from time to time. A typical money back offer will take the form of the sportsbook offering to refund your stake if your pick comes in second to the race favourite or if your pick finishes ahead of the favourite.
Exotic money back offers: Horse racing betting promotions sometimes take a more exotic form. For instance, some betting sites will offer to refund your stake in Free Bets if your trifecta scores on 2 out of 3 legs.
Matched deposits: One of the most common types of welcome bonus for horse racing is when the bookmaker matches your initial deposit amount up to a given limit. That limit can sometimes be as much as 100, although it’s typically in the 20 to 50 range.
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Things to Consider Before Betting On Horse Races
It’s in your self-interest to carefully consider where you will place your money before you begin betting on horses (or football, tennis, or any other sport). In the case of betting on horses, you should always try and be mindful of the following:
The recent form of the horse
Who is the trainer?
Who is the jockey?
The condition of the track
The strength of the competition
The gate assignment
The horse’s record at the track
Once you have considered those factors, you should have a pretty good idea about whether a horse is worth backing or not.
Various Types of Horse Racing Bets
Finally, before you start betting on horse racing, understanding the different types of bets associated with the sport will be helpful. All of the best horse racing betting sites in the UK will accept the following types of wagers:
To Win: “To win” is the most straightforward type of horse racing bet. You win if you bet on a horse to win the race and it crosses the line first.
Each-Way: An “Each-Way” bet involves betting on one horse to win and a second horse to place. The number of “places” in a given race will depend on the number of horses entered into the race.
Double: With a Double, you bet on two separate horses to win or place in two separate races. You only cash in if both horses deliver.
Treble: The Treble involves betting on three horses to win or place in three races. You only win if all three horses win or place.
Accumulator: This type of bet is usually referred to as an “acca”. This is essentially the same idea as the Double or Treble, but with four or more horses involved.
Trixie: With a Trixie, you place a single wager on three horses spread across three Doubles and a Treble. Every leg of the bet must deliver to you in order to cash in on this bet.
Yankee: With a Yankee, your bet encompasses four horses spread out over 11 individual bets that are all brought together as a single wager. The Yankee includes six Doubles, four Trebles and a four-fold acca.
Forecast: With a forecast bet, the punter picks the horses he feels will finish first and second in a given race.
Tricast: The Tricast calls for some world-class prescience because you must correctly predict the first, second and third-place finishers in a given race.
Ante-Post betting: Ante-Post bets - typically called “futures” bets in the US and elsewhere - are bets placed well in advance of the running of the actual race. You will see many Ante-Post betting on major horse racing events like the Kentucky Derby and the Grand National.