Quality Horse Racing Betting Sites for the UK
Consider this your go-to place for horse racing betting, the most popular betting market in the UK after football. It’s difficult to pinpoint the moment when horse racing betting began: surely, shortly after the first two horses began to race. If horse racing has only one winner, horse racing betting knows no limits.
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All you need is a perceptive horse racing enthusiast, a good internet connection, and you’re set for glory. Whether you’re into flat races or jumps, whether your gut feeling leads you to Royal Ascot, the Guineas Festival or Cheltenham, you have come to the right place. Here you’ll find only the best horse racing betting sites in the UK, and we’ll help you to choose the right one for you. There’s a whole host of different offers, odds and bonuses available to customers. The markets offered aren’t all identical either. And even within the same market, not all meetings are covered by all the bookies. And then, of course, there are the ever-evolving trends in the industry. Below, we’ll touch on all these different aspects so you don’t have to wonder whether you’re missing out on something or not. After the read, jump to our best sports betting sites list and have a look at all the distinctive features of the best UK operators.
The Best Horse Racing Betting Sites and How to Choose Them
There are innumerable aspects to consider when trying to decide whether a betting on horses website meets—or perhaps even surpasses—your expectations. But some of these aspects are far more important to the decision-making process than others. These are what we call Key Performance Indicators or KPIs. They determine whether a certain bookie does well in our ranking or, in some cases, fails to meet the bare minimum to even enter the list.
|Bookmaker||Welcome Bonus||Highlights||Rating||Visit Bookmaker||T&C|
|Betway||£30||Markets: 33, Bet Types: 14, Odds Levels: 95.61%||5.0 out of 5||www.betway.com||Full T&Cs Apply! *New UK and Ireland Customers Only. Min Deposit: £/€10. First Deposit matched up to £/€30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only.|
|Ladbrokes||£20 Free Bet||Markets: 32, Bet Types: 13, Odds Levels: 91.89%||5.0 out of 5||www.ladbrokes.com||Full T&Cs Apply! 18+ New UK+IRE customers only. PayPal and certain deposit types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account registration at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.|
|888sport||£30 Free Bet||Markets: 31, Bet Types: 12, Odds Levels: 89.03%||4.8 out of 5||www.888sport.com||Full T&Cs Apply! New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply & Full T&C’s apply|
|Coral||£20 Free Bet||Markets: 30, Bet Types: 11, Odds Levels: 88.57%||4.7 out of 5||www.coral.co.uk||Full T&Cs Apply! *18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions apply.|
|Grosvenor||x2 Odds!||Markets: 33, Bet Types: 11, Odds Levels: 87.12%||4.6 out of 5||www.grosvenor.com||Full T&Cs Apply! Offer applies to Sport bets only. Maximum total stake is £10. Each way bets are a maximum of £5 each way (£10 total stake). Exclusive to new members. 18+|
In the following sections, we’ll briefly discuss some of these KPIs, explain why they are important, and how they may be used to find the best horse racing betting sites. These indicators include the odds offered by the bookmakers, the markets they’ve made available to users, their different betting types and that each user can utilise the very important cash-out option, which has become an indispensable part of betting on horses.
Horse Racing Betting Odds Levels
When trying to decide what are the best horse racing betting sites, you may find yourself trying to make sense of countless figures and statistics. This can be a frustrating process which might not even yield the results you’re looking for. But here’s something you should always keep in mind before choosing an online horse racing betting site: odds margins, especially when considering in-play arena, as we explain in our page dedicated to live betting. So, what is meant by odds margins? Think of it as a marker of a bookmaker’s capacity when it comes to paying out customers. In other words, how stingy (or generous, depending on how you look at it) are they when it comes to paying out customers? For obvious reasons, we want this figure to be as low as possible. But be careful when trying to make sense of the horse racing betting odds levels.
|AVERAGE PAYOUT LEVEL AT MAIN RACE TYPE|
|Bookmaker||bet365||William Hill||Black Type||Betfair||Paddy Power|
|Flatground Short Distance||87.09%||86.40%||87.12%||90.11%||91.86%|
|Flatground Long Distance||89.60%||90.64%||89.71%||87.26%||89.80%|
But judging a bookmaker’s available odds doesn’t end there: there are different markets and races out there, and when it comes to odds levels, operators do not have the same performance. It may very well be the case that a certain bookie offers better odds on the Grand National than they do on the short distance races. With others, the exact opposite may be the case. Take Paddy Power, for instance, a name we’ve learned to trust throughout our years of experience with horse racing. They may well impress when it comes to short distance flat races, but this doesn’t automatically mean that they’re our undisputed favourite when only considering the Grand National.
Markets on Offer
But generosity is not the only criteria when choosing between horse racing betting sites. Bookies are also judged based on the betting markets (or betting types) they offer punters.
Owing to several reasons, all the best horse racing betting sites do not have as many betting types as, say, football. This is partly due to the sport’s very nature. In order to make the best decisions, it is very important to first develop a good understanding of the various betting types out there. They include each way betting, which is one of the most popular types of online horse racing betting. This bet consists of two coexisting parts: a win and a place bet. As the name suggests, for the win part to produce a return, your selection must win in the race. For the second (place) part of the bet to produce an earning, your selection must either: (a) win the race or (b) finish in one of the predesignated places for the racing event, e.g., first or second place. But if each way betting feels a little too intimidating at first, then not to worry.
|HORSE RACING MARKETS AVAILABLE AT EACH OPERATOR|
|Bookmaker||Grand National||Flatground Short Distance||Flatground Long Distance|
There is also straight betting, which is the simplest type of horse race betting and enjoys great popularity amongst those at the beginning of the horse racing betting journey. Understandably, this class of horse betting requires less experience and skill, so it’s a perfect place to start if you want to test the waters first before getting down and dirty with far more tempting markets. If you are feeling unsure about all of this, then check our guide to horse racing betting, for a detailed rundown of all the bets you can place.
It’s worth mentioning that events such as the Grand National are generally offered by all the big operators. For races of this prestige, bookies provide their own unique offers, so it can be a little tricky at times to distinguish between them. One way to differentiate bookies is to check and see which operator includes the less prestigious events in their list of markets. The following table shows some of the biggest operators and the horse racing markets they offer.
Bet Types Available
A single bet is at times just not enough. That’s why bookies have come up with a range of different betting types that better address the preferences of individual punters. One of the most popular options made available by bookmakers is the accumulator or acca, which allows you to have multiple selections. Usually, there are limits to the number of selections. Your classic operators like Paddy Powers offer a whole range of betting options when it comes to betting types. They also offer the acca option. But remember that there are limits. Paddy Power, for instance, don’t let you choose more than twenty selections in multiple bets. The next section will briefly explain how the very popular cash-out option is utilised in horse racing.
Convenience of Cash Out at Horse Racing Betting Sites
Cash out capabilities that you may find in cricket or the best football betting sites aren’t necessarily always available in horse racing, it can sometimes depend on the race, type and operator. Not unlike the cash out option in football betting, the main idea behind the horse racing cash-out option is straightforward. Imagine it’s the middle of a race and the horse you’ve placed a bet on is in a fantastic position, but you’re not sure if this state of affairs will last. With the cash out option, you can eliminate this uncertainty—and the anxiety that accrues from it—by securing your earnings before the race even comes to an end. When you’ve found the cash out option that was meant for you, remember to also ensure that the process is a smooth one. Of course, you can always cash out multiple bets that are winning if they have selections still to run, which is often a strong approach.
Horse Racing Bonuses and Promotions
As hinted earlier, after football, horse racing is the most popular betting market in Great Britain. So, it’s easy to see why some of the best bonuses and promotions in the world of sports betting are found in horse racing. So, it’s really important to keep an eye out for the different bonuses and promotions that can be taken advantage of. Below, we’ll briefly touch on some of the classic promotions and bonuses provided by the best horse racing betting sites, including best odds guaranteed (or BOG), extra place winner, and the handy non-runner insurance. As always, a key question to ask is whether the promotion in question meets your needs or not. Don’t forget to take a look at our specific bonus page, in order to know about every topic connected to betting sites and promotions.
Best Odds Guaranteed
We’ll start off with the famous best odds guaranteed promotion or BOG. This promotion works something like this. Suppose that you’ve taken an early price or a fixed-odds price about your selection for a particular race. If the SP (Starting Price) turns out to be greater, a bookie offering BOG will pay you out at the highest odds. In recent years, this particular promotion has become almost ubiquitous, which means that you’re unlikely to find a bookie that doesn’t offer BOG. If BOG isn’t offered by a bookie, look around and you’re sure to find an operator that does offer it.
Here’s how you can claim the best odds guaranteed offer:
The best odds guaranteed promotion for horse racing betting ensures you get the best deal.
Place a bet at a participating operator and if your winning price is higher, reap the rewards.
You’ll be paid out at the higher price if your horse finishes the race on a higher price.
Extra Place Winner
The extra place tool is geared towards punters who prefer not only to engage in each way betting but also to enhance their horse racing experience. The extra place winner promotion is when a bookmaker decides to pay an extra place. For instance, if they usually pay five places, they may boost the offer to pay out on six.
There’s also the non-runner insurance. As the name implies, think of this promotion as an insurance policy. It applies to races that are available well in advance of the actual race day. It works like this: if your horse ends up not running at the event, you’re still allowed to secure your bet. This concession is offered by bookies such as bet365 and William Hill.
Emerging Features in Horse Racing
Horse racing betting has not been immune to the latest trends and developments in the betting industry. Every day, the best horse racing betting sites are trying to find innovative ways to take their job to the next level. For punters, this just means even more fun and excitement when betting on horses. Here, we’ll discuss some of these latest trends that have left an indelible mark on the world of sports betting in general and horse racing betting in particular. We’ll start off with virtual horse racing betting and then provide a brief discussion of the lesser known bookies out there.
Virtual Horse Racing Betting
Unlike real life horse racing, which cannot go on endlessly and must inevitably come to an end at some point, virtual horse racing betting allows for users to carry on betting on computer-generated horse racing at any time of the day, just as long as there are punters who are willing and ready to punt. Virtual horse racing is more popular than you think. A quarter of all online horse racing betting at the top bookies is on virtual horse races. Like real-life horse racing betting, there are different tracks to choose from. However, because of licensing restrictions, virtual races can’t assume the names of real races like Ascot, even though they’ve come a long way in producing the same atmosphere of the major events. Most of the major bookmakers offer virtual horse racing. William Hill, for instance, holds a race every three minutes.
New Horse Racing Betting Sites
Like any betting sport, the horse racing betting sites industry is not stagnant. Though there are always your classic names that everyone’s heard of (e.g., Paddy Powers) there are always new names entering the fray, which you should always watch out for. Take Betway, for instance. An objective glance at their features and offers is enough to lure one in. They offer a welcome bonus of up to £30, a staggering number of events: 34. Furthermore, their high payout right commands our respect.
- Up to £30 Welcome Bonus
- High payout level of 88.76%
- 34 horse racing events for betting
- Get non-runner insurance
And for those of us who prefer to punt while on the go, Betway offers a slick mobile app which is compatible with your major operating systems and has an intuitive and rather smooth, interactive and intuitive design. But there’s more to Betway’s foray into the world of horse betting. They also offer the non-runner insurance that horse betting enthusiasts have learned to cherish throughout the years. If you want to discover more on this topic then check our best new betting sites page.
Horse Racing Betting by Race Type
Veteran horse betting experts may find this part of the review a little tedious, but it is always helpful to ensure that punters, both beginners and the more seasoned ones, are on the same page regarding terminology. The same principle applies to horse betting. Not all punters enjoy the game in the same exact fashion and may prefer to bet on different race types for a variety of reasons. Some prefer the Grand National, while others tend to opt for flat races which themselves split into two categories. And who can forget about harness racing? Below, we’ll quickly go through some of these types so that you have a better idea of what is best for you.
Steeplechases are distance races with obstacles, like ditches and fences. More than just a horse race, The Grand National is easily one of the most iconic symbols of British culture and is perhaps the world’s most famous Steeplechase. Held annually at Aintree racecourse, this race is the most valuable jump race in Europe and draws an audience of global proportions as well as the world’s armies of horse betting devotees. Even people who may otherwise not consider themselves diehard punters are far more likely to bet on The Grand National, which had its first running in 1839.
Flat races, that is to say, horse racing with no obstacles, are both far more global and profitable. When choosing the best bookie for you, make sure, for instance, that you know who has the highest number of ante-post markets. Bet365, Betfair and Paddy Power are usually high on the list. And when searching for bonuses, don’t just look for best odds guaranteed. Some bookies offer BOG on all daily racing, both on the UK and foreign markets. Some offer BOG on the day of the race, while others give you an odds boost on top of the BOG. But be careful, because bookies have been known to remove this offer after a while. This is not to be mistaken with the odds boost offered by bookmakers.
Q&A / FAQ
For more fantastic discussions about the world of online sport, head over to our homepage for the complete breakdown of the UK’s best betting sites.
Can I hope for good bonuses when it is not peak season?
This really depends on the operator. Operators do have a habit of enticing users during peak season, so it's important to take a step back and examine the situation carefully. A bookie like Paddy Power, for instance, offers daily promotions that can be exploited even when it is not peak racing time.