Racing is a basic form of competition, the first to cross the finish line wins the prize. But when you look past the outer skin, you see there are layers upon layers of strategy in what is actually a deep and highly developed sport.
This goes equally for both horses and greyhounds. No matter the mode of transportation, there are rules to learn, strategies to win and reams of information for punters to analyze. So with that, we welcome you to the OnlineBettingSites.com racing guide.
This is our collection of racing knowledge, strategy, tips and advice, below is our picks for the best online racing betting sites in the global market.
The racing betting sites listed here represent the finest online horse and greyhound wagering sites in the industry. We’ve invested a lot of time in reviewing, comparing, and studying dozens of online racebooks.
So what do we look for in a race book? Number one (as always) is the legitimacy and overall reputation of each operator. We list brands that have a verifiable history of processing wagers, paying out winners, and hosting fair bets.
Second-most important for us is the breadth of coverage. One of the primary reasons people even bet on horses or dogs online is because it grants access to a greater variety of tracks and races.
That’s the basic overview of why we pick some online racebook sites over others. There are other factors related to overall quality and ease-of-use, but those are the major factors. Read on to learn a little more about what it’s like to use a website to bet on horse racing and greyhounds.
Online Horse Racing Betting
Horse racing is one of the few sports in the world that actively endorse gambling. Without the betting action that accompanies nearly every race, there would be little incentive for tracks to remain open. This has been the case for as long as anyone can tell. Horse racing and gambling work well together.
You can take a look at our horse racing betting guide to learn more about the history of the sport, how to bet on horses and much more. Our goal with this guide is to give you all the basics you need to get started with betting and on the road to winning.
Read more in our horse betting guide:
What to Expect
It’s easy to get started with online racing betting. Most people get the basics down by jumping right in and placing a couple of small bets. That’s what I recommend for anyone completely new to the game. Get in there, place a $2 bet and watch it play out. It’s a cheap and fun way to gain some experience.
What you can expect from horse racing is a lot of sitting around marked by the occasional 2-minutes of fist-pumping adrenaline, followed by more sitting around. The actual races are short, but there’s a lot of build-up in the lead to any race. You will find yourself doing lots research, reading about the horses and discussing upcoming bets with your friends.
This all leads to the big moment of the actual race. Somewhere in the world, your picks will enter the starting gate, the gates will open and the race will begin. You can either watch it in person at the track or stream it live on your computer at your betting website. Or, you can just place the bets and check back tomorrow.
Online Greyhound Racing Betting
Greyhound racing has much in common with equestrian racing. All the same types of bets that you could place at a horse track are also found at any dog track. Both sports also share a similar relationship with gambling. Without betting, greyhound racing would be severely underfunded and most tracks would have to close.
The greatest difference between the sports is greyhound racing’s lack of jockeys. The lack of a jockey makes it simpler to analyze dog races. The outcome depends entirely on each dog’s individual performance. Some people may call greyhound racing “less sophisticated”but we like to call it “still just as much fun.”
Watch Races Online
All the major racing betting websites stream live races in real time on their websites. The racing industry has a cozy relationship with online gambling and most major tracks are happy to share their races with betting sites.
What this means for you is you can place a bet on your favorite horse and then watch it run in real time right before your eyes.
Streaming races is a great way to watch the action, even on mobile devices.
Racing Betting Welcome Bonuses
With so many racing betting sites on the market, competition has increased to attract and retain customers. Nearly all racebook sites offer some sort of cash bonus to all new customers. In most cases, the offer comes in the form of a percentage match bonus. Match rates of 50% and more are common. Some sites are even giving out 100% deposit bonuses that double your first deposit. You sign up and deposit $100, for example, and get an extra $100 on top of that. The vast majority of racing deposit bonuses are exclusive to new players only.
Loyalty Rewards Programs
Welcome bonuses may be exclusive to new customers, but loyalty programs are for everyone. The primary goal of each site’s loyalty program is to encourage you to wager frequently, and reward you for doing so. That’s one reason we love to see competition in the industry.
Most racing betting loyalty rewards and “VIP” programs work around the premise of rewarding you based on your betting action. The more you bet, the bigger the rewards.
Some of the things you can expect to receive from a loyalty program would include discounts on handicapping products, invitations to special events, birthday gifts, free withdrawals and short-term cashback promotions.
Depositing and Withdrawing at Racing Betting Sites
Watching horse and dog races is a great form of entertainment. You can try your hand at real money race betting by making an account at any racing site and making a deposit. There are a few different methods for moving money to your account. It all depends on where you live and which site you choose.
Here’s an overview of a few of the most widely-used deposit methods. There are many more available depending on which site you choose and what part of the world you live in, but these are the ones that most people use.
- Credit Card / Debit Card: This is the easiest deposit method of them all. You type in your credit card number and tell the site how much to transfer. The money normally shows up in your betting account instantly.
- EZ Money / eCheck: Another simple-to-use deposit method. This one transfers money directly from your checking account to your betting site. Just fill out the information in the deposit screen and you’ll be placing wagers in minutes.
- Green Dot MoneyPak: This is the method to use if you have actual cash on hand that you’d like to use to bet. Visit your local convenience store and you can buy a MoneyPak with cash or credit. Then, you redeem the code online to fund your account. Available in the US.
- Wire Transfer: This one is best for very large deposits. Your racing betting site gives you instructions which you then take to your bank. You send out a wire transfer, pay a flat fee of $15 and send the money directly to the betting site’s bank account.
- Skrill / Moneybookers: Skrill (formerly Moneybookers) is an e-wallet that works at a wide variety of gambling sites around the world. You can visit Skrill.com to set up an account and then fund that account with your own money. From there, you can move that money on to any betting site that accepts Skrill. Available to most of the world.
What You Should Know if You Live in the USA
There are a couple of subjects specific to US residents that we need to touch on. The first is the law and the other is a little note about the max payouts at offshore sportsbooks.
US Horse and Greyhound Racing Betting Laws
Horse and greyhound racing both received exemptions from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). The legislation targeted sports betting, casino games and poker but it specifically mentioned horse and dog racing betting as exceptions to the law.
In other words, online horse and greyhound racing are fully legal inside the United States. Site operators are free to operate in the open and process real money wagers for US citizens. They pay their taxes, openly advertise in major media outlets and have licenses to operate right here on US soil.
Max Payouts at Offshore Racebooks
There are some advantages to using offshore betting sites for horses such as better bonuses and sometimes higher-paying odds. However, there is one potential drawback: maximum payouts.This varies from track to track and event to event. The reason there are maximum payouts at offshore books is because they do not pool your money with the actual tracks in true
This varies from track to track and event to event. The reason there are maximum payouts at offshore racebooks is because they do not pool your money with the actual tracks in true parimutuel fashion. They set the payout odds just like they do for any other sporting event.
Offshore sites need to get action on both sides of every wager to limit their risk. Smaller tracks don’t typically get as much action and books don’t want to take a huge loss if a specialist comes in and drops a $10,000 bet on an obscure race. Parimutuel racing (where the wagers are all pooled together) don’t face that risk. The maximum amount you can win in parimutuel wagering is naturally limited if only a few people play that race.
Offshore racebooks offer better odds for smaller races in many cases, but they have to be careful that they don’t take big losses. So what they do is limit the amount you can wager and the amount you can win at different tracks.
Typically, the maximum bet amount at major tracks and during major events is $1,000 with a max payout of $50,000. This drops down to $30,000 at second-tier tracks, $10,000 at third-tier tracks and down from there.
This is something you should keep in mind at all times. A reputable racebook will always reject wagers that could possibly exceed the win cap. Not-so reputable betting sites just might let you exceed the max bet and then only pay you up to the win cap if your wager is successful.
A Few General Tips
The number one thing to keep in mind with any form of racing betting is that it is not as simple as it looks. Yes, the objective is simple: be the first one across the finish line. In no way does that mean it’s easy to bet on racing or that it all comes down to luck. There are just as many factors to consider in racing as there are in any other sport.
If a jockey is involved, you have to look at both the vehicle (horse in this case) and the person commanding said vehicle. You need to know how these people and animals perform under varying conditions, how they prepare for races and how they have performed in the recent past. Weather, track conditions, mental state and health all play critical roles in handicapping.
And, I’m sorry in advance for repeating it once again, always remember bankroll management! No matter how great you are at predicting winners, it is impossible to win for any length of time without some form of bankroll management in play. You cannot win them all. You can’t even expect to win the majority of the time. Things happen. People go on bad runs. Even the greatest handicappers in the world go on losing streaks.
The basic rule of thumb is to never risk more than 5% of your bankroll on a single bet. Most professionals take it even further and refuse to bet more than 1-2% at a time. These are very conservative standards to be sure, but they are necessary for surviving the inevitable downswing.
Finally, it’s better to specialize in one form of racing than to try to be a jack of all trades. Specialization leads to a deeper understanding of the sport. You can keep better track of the news, become more familiar with the prominent names, tracks and events. You will have significantly better results if you know one form of racing very well than if you are merely “pretty good”at several forms.