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The best horse race betting sites in the UK 2021
It’s one of the oldest and most popular forms of sports betting. For centuries, punters have made the pilgrimage track-side to watch the races and have a flutter.
But times change, and now all the action is making its way to the fans via the fantastic horse betting sites that you can find here on this page. The choices are seemingly endless and our job is to help you decide how to pick the right site for you.
List of recommended horse racing bookmakers
To help you choose between the top horse betting sites, our team has been busy learning all there is to know about them. They pick them apart and scrutinise every last detail. So you know that any one of the brands listed here on this page is 100% legal, secure and offers the very best horse betting online. Take a look at the deals up for grabs for new customers and you could be placing a free bet before you know it. It doesn’t get much better than that!
|Brand||Details & Bonus Data|
|First Deposit Bonus 100% Deposit Bonus up to £200!|
|Welcome Bonus Welcome bonus of up to €/£200 Offer is available for new customers that make a deposit. Wagering requirements on in-play markets only. enter bonus code LIVEBET. Deposit must be wagered 12 times. Must use bonus in 10 days T&Cs.|
|Free Bet Bonus Up to £50 Free Bet|
|Deposit Bonus $500 matched Deposit Bonus!|
|Welcome Bonus Get 50% up to 100 EUR New Customers; Min. deposit €20 (no Skrill/Neteller); Bonus=50% of deposit up to €100; 6x deposit and bonus turnover (min. odds 1.60 on singles and 1.40 per selection on combo bets), in 30 days, for bonus release; Each bet contributes max. 50% of bon T&Cs.|
Horse racing explained
Horse racing as a concept isn't exactly difficult to get your head around. A number of horses and riders compete to be the first to get from the start to the endpoint, which is known as the finish post. But obviously, not many races are that simple. There are several variations that bring with them their own rules and exciting twists on the main idea.
Some races are across flat courses while others include jumps. The distance of a race can vary drastically. And there are also handicaps in place to ensure an even running pack for any particular race. So you see, as a concept, there's nothing to it but as a sport, it can be an extremely varied and intricate form of entertainment.
The history of horse racing
Horse racing is believed to have landed on our shores with the Romans some two thousand years ago. It has been one of the most popular sporting attractions in the UK ever since it arrived. And betting on the sport is as old as the sport itself.
The Jockey Club, which standardises the rules and laws for horse racing in the UK has been an official body for nearly 300 years. It used to be known as the sport of kings but over time, it has opened up to people from all walks of life. The big horse racing festivals that take part each year in the UK are some of the most coveted social and sporting dates in many calendars across the world.
Our review process for horse race betting sites
Finding a place to bet on horses online isn't a difficult task as there are so many fantastic places to place your bets. However, that isn't to say that all horse betting sites are as good as each other.
With so much variety available it can be difficult to know where to play. And that's where we come in! Our job is to review all of the sites available online and to present you with the very best of them. It's a long-drawn-out process that takes our team of experts many hours to complete. But in the end, it is worth it as our readers come back to us time and time again looking for the very latest deals and fantastic places to have a flutter.
Many horse racing events to choose from
One of the most important elements of all the horse racing sites is a great selection of races. And this kind of goes without saying. As a punter, you don't want to be restricted by just a couple of races on which to bet. You want a fantastic array of choices so we only represent sites that can fulfil this criterion.
In the UK and several other countries in the world, there are some incredible race meetings. Big festivals play host to some of the best-known. But there are hundreds of other smaller races that can also offer some top entertainment.
Pricing and odds
All good horse racing sites must have the very best prices and odds. There is plenty of value to be found if you are prepared to shop around. And we only deal with bookies that are prepared to offer a fair deal for their customers.
Obviously, one operator can’t offer the best odds on every single race, so by grabbing an account with several bookmakers you have the opportunity to always secure the best prices. We will go into more detail about how to achieve this a little later on.
Plenty of betting markets
Along with the huge selection of race meetings comes a wide variety of markets. Each race will present a ton of awesome ways to have a punt. Some are, naturally, more profitable than others but these will carry far more risk due to the nature of the bet.
When having a bet on horses online, you don’t have to restrict yourself to just picking a winner. There are many ways to get involved and a lot of them don't even require you to pick the winner at all. And this is partly why there are so many fans of this form of betting. It allows everyone with any amount of knowledge to take part. But it also gives those who have followed the sport for a long time a chance to take on the bookmakers with some more specific markets.
So plenty of betting markets is a must if a site is to make it onto our coveted list.
In-play horse betting
One of the latest horse racing betting methods is to place a bet during the race. And we love to see a bookmaker that is prepared to give punters the option to make bets while the race is running. It gives you a chance to see how a race is panning out and make a more educated prediction. This form of betting is especially useful for those who enjoy ante-post betting. Some people like to place a wager early on and effectively go long with the opportunity of changing at a later date. And this gives them the perfect opportunity to do this.
Horse racing online is always a lot of fun. But the entertainment level truly ramps up a notch when in-play betting is involved. You can watch the horses running out over the first few furlongs and see how they get on before deciding which one you think will eventually win the race.
An essential part of horse racing online, especially if you are in-play betting, is watching the race on a live stream. To get a feel for how the pack is forming and who might break away, you need to see it and assess the probable outcome. This is all made possible thanks to live streaming.
It has long been an important tool for many punters who like to place bets on the local high street. The Bookies televise many of the race meetings. But now, as the internet gives us access to every corner of the globe it is possible to live stream some of the smallest races that you would never usually get to see. This opens up the in-play market and creates a whole new world of entertainment.
We always check out the live streaming options that are on offer and it’s an important part of our review process.
Promotions tailored for horse racing
Horse racing sites will often hand out fantastic deals to new and existing customers. For a new punter, it’s a great way to try out the site and get a feel for how everything works. And this is without needing to spend any cash. And for an existing customer, it is nice to receive something in return for their loyalty.
But sometimes a bookie will simply offer up a generic deal that can be used across the board. And this is fine if you have an interest in other sports as well. But some don’t. And so a deal that is tailored specifically to horse racing can be a valuable bonus. We always keep our eyes peeled for deals and offers that can be used on some of the top horse racing events.
Last but by no means least, horse race betting sites need to offer their customers as many ways to pay as possible. There are some incredibly fast and secure methods available and we don't think it's too much to ask to have a great selection.
At the cashier section of the website, you are always presented with the most popular deposit and withdrawal options. But not everybody has one of the mainstream payment methods such as a debit card, for example. So we love to see a bookie catering for people with all manner of payment preferences.
Horse racing betting markets
Horse race betting sites usually present many different markets on which to place a bet. Some are far easier to get your head around than others so we will take a look at a few of the most popular markets available. You may have heard of some of them, while others will be completely foreign to you. But it is great to learn about different markets that you can bet on at the races. It opens up a whole world of entertainment that you never knew existed.
Let's start with the easiest of the lot. Placing a bet on the winner is exactly as it sounds. You need to decide which horse you think will prevail as the victor in any given race. It is not always obvious who the winner may be and it either takes a lot of luck or a good deal of knowledge to predict this regularly. Perhaps a little of both are needed!
Every race has a favourite. But betting on the favourite won’t always get you a big return. You need to risk a decent amount of cash, generally speaking, if you are going to get a sizable profit from betting on a race favourite. The best odds can be found on those horses who are not expected to win. Backing the underdog is a risky strategy but can pay dividends if they ever hold out and beat the rest of the pack.
An each-way bet is essentially two bets in one. The first part of the bet is known as a win bet and this works in the same way as the above bet that we just spoke about. You are given specific odds for your choice of horse to win that race. The second part of the bet is a place bet. And the place is determined by the bookie before the race. It may only be the second place or it may also include the third place depending on the size of the field.
The odds on the place bet are calculated as a fraction of the win odds. And this is very important for punters who are looking to find value in a bet. The place bet odds are not based on the bookie’s opinion of the chance of a horse coming second or third.
If you thought that predicting the winner of a race could be difficult, then how would you feel about deciding who will come first and second as well? This is exactly what a forecast bet requires you to do.
It is extremely difficult to pull off a forecast. Generally, you will need to know your stuff and have a keen interest in the horses that are running that race. There is definitely an element of luck involved and some pretty fantastic odds as well.
A double bet requires you to make two bet selections. You will need the first bet to come good for the money to roll over on to the second bet. And if the second comes in as well, then you could see some pretty decent returns.
Doubles do not necessarily need to be placed on the same race. You could predict two winners from separate races. But you need both of them to win in order to see a payout. It offers enhanced odds for those who are prepared to take an extra risk. You could simply place one bet and then move the winnings on to another bet but keeping everything tied in together we'll see better odds and better returns.
If you thought a double bet was difficult, then you probably aren't going to enjoy an accumulator! A double bet only requires two selections to be made and this is, effectively, a type of accumulator or multi-bet. But usually, when we speak about an accumulator we are referring to perhaps 5 or 10 selections on the same betting slip.
Better payouts are offered due to the lower probability of getting each event correct. But you can see some massive payouts for very little outlay if your luck’s in. This type of betting is perhaps favoured more by those who like to place a casual bet. Watching the races with your friends and enjoying the possibility of a massive payout it's great fun. But for serious betting fans, the high risk of losing often puts them off.
For a bet that requires the result to be a little less specific, the reverse forecast could be the perfect solution. With a regular or ‘straight’ forecast you need to decide who will come first and who will come second. But a reverse forecast takes a little bit of the pressure off you. The two horses you choose can come in first or second in no particular order. The odds are, naturally, not as good as a regular forecast but it's still a fantastic bet type for those who like a little bit of a cushion.
Horse betting bonuses and promotions
Horse betting sites always have a great selection of bonuses and promos up for grabs. Attracting new customers and keeping existing ones happy is a full-time marketing task. And one of the most successful ways to do this is to hand out some bonus cash to keep everybody happy. Let's take a look at a few of the most popular bonuses that you will find at today's online bookmakers.
Free bets offers
Free horse racing bets are a top freebie that not many people would say no to. By signing up for an account with an online bookie, you could walk away with bonus cash to place on various betting markets. There may be some restrictions on the races that you are allowed to bet on as well as the types of bet that you can place. It is usual to have minimum odds requirements for each of the bets. Moreover, you should always check the terms and conditions to see how any winnings are treated.
Enhanced odds promotions
Landing yourself enhanced odds at horse race betting sites can be an extremely valuable promo. Every market has its own set of odds that are determined by each bookmaker. But don't forget that a bookie has the ability to change those odds as they see fit.
You could be offered some extremely favourable odds on various horse races that will pull in quite a sizable win. However, it is fairly standard that the winnings that result from such a bet will need to be wagered a number of times on some other regular bets.
Deposit match bonus
A deposit match deal can be one of the highest paying bonuses that you will find. Some deals that do not require you to make a deposit are usually quite small in value. And this is fine in the sense that it won't cost you anything to get your hands on the bonus. But if you are looking for a little more power behind your promo then you might want to consider making a deposit first.
A deposit match is exactly as it sounds. The bookmaker will match anything that you deposit into your new customer account. There will be a limit to the amount that can be deposited and matched by the site. But sometimes this can be quite a large sum of money.
As with other bonuses and promos, there will be some restrictions on how you use any bonus cash. So always make sure you are familiar with the T&Cs to ensure that there are no surprises along the way.
Types of horse races
There are several types of horse race and fans usually have one particular variety that they favour most. They fall into different categories depending on distance as well as a few other variables. Some races are perhaps easier to predict, especially those with smaller fields and no hurdles. But let's take a look at the different types to see what is available.
Flat racing is the most basic form of horse race. There is nothing in the rider’s way other than the course and the other horses. No jumps are included in a flat race. They can take place over various distances and are generally more exciting as the pack draws out and the likely winners begin to sprint for the finish.
Some flat races are more of an endurance test while others allow a horse to showcase its speed. There can be various age and weight restrictions on the horses, as with all other races, as well as the sex of the horse as well.
A Sprint is, as you might imagine, raced over a fairly short distance. This is usually over 5 or 6 furlongs which is the same as 1 kilometre and 3/4 of a mile respectively. Horses in this type of race are usually young and built for speed rather than stamina. There are several extremely popular races in the top category 1 class in the UK. And these include The King’s Stand Stakes at Ascot and The Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.
Jump racing is a completely different type of race thanks to the hurdles that stand in the way of the horses and riders. Horses that take part in this kind of race are a different kind of beast that have the ability to jump high, maintain stamina and also provide a strong finish.
One of the most famous jump races that takes place each year is the Grand National. The race is a long and unforgiving test for both riders and horses. The 4 miles and 2 furlongs includes 30 fences and has been going for a little under 200 years.
Trotting, also known as harness racing, is a strange sport to watch when you first lay eyes on it. The horses usually pull a cart behind them but sometimes there may be a rider on the horse's back instead.
It seems strange to imagine a horse maintaining a trot throughout the race. But this is achieved by adding tackle to the horse’s legs to stop them from opening up and galloping off.
The biggest horse racing events
There are some world-famous racing events that capture the attention of fans every year. Here are just a few of them that you might want to check out.
The Cheltenham Festival
If you like the sound of jump races then you will certainly love the Cheltenham Festival. It is the biggest 4 days of jumping on the UK horse racing calendar and has a total of 28 races. It is perhaps the only festival that can compete with the Grand National in terms of prestige and popularity. Over 500 horses take part in some of the biggest races of the year. And these include some of the best-known names in the sport.
The festival usually takes place in March each year and has been going since 1860. At this time it was the old national hunt meeting.
Royal Ascot began as a 4-day race meeting in Ascot in 1768 and became the festival that is known and loved today with the introduction of the Gold Cup race in 1807. This race is still the biggest race on the cards for the entire meeting. It shares the horse racing entertainment equally with the pomp and ceremony that spectators love.
There are all kinds of royal processions with the Queen arriving along the straight mile with other members of her family. A tradition that King George IV started nearly 200 years ago.
It is regarded as the most valuable race meeting in the UK with over £7 million in prize money up for grabs.
The Grand National
If you have lived in the UK for any length of time or alternatively have simply been a fan of the gee-gees, then you will have heard of the Grand National. It is perhaps the most famous horse race in the world. The festival takes place over 3 days, but it’s the handicap steeplechase over 30 fences and a little over 4 miles that gets everyone excited.
It takes place in April each year and has been going since 1839. There have been several big-name winners of the main race. But none bigger than Red Rum the champion thoroughbred that took the title 3 times.
Dubai World Cup
The Dubai World Cup is a series of races that take part in Dubai in March each year. It’s one of the newest racing festivals on the calendar and features a series of night races. This is presumably to avoid the daytime heat.
The meeting features a main race at the end of the festival called the ‘World Cup’. A race that carries a massive $12 million purse.
Live stream your favourite horse races
To enjoy the action at your favourite horse betting sites, there is nothing better than watching it live. Many of the top bookies listed here on this page will offer live streaming for many different races. It can be hard to find live coverage of horse races especially when they take place in another country.
But thanks to the live stream offered by your online bookmaker, you are able to access this live entertainment for free when you place a bet on that race. It is a fantastic addition to the world of horse racing and hopefully, we will be able to catch all races live one day. TV rights etc. make this a very difficult task, but fingers crossed!
In-play betting for horse racing
While watching a horse race you can get a better idea of what the outcome might be. It is often very difficult, especially for a novice, to read the form guide and make a prediction. But seeing the action take place can make it a little easier.
It is possible to place the majority of regular bets during the race. But obviously, you will have to account for a different set of odds that will unfold along with the action. You can't expect a horse that is way out in front to have great odds on a straight win bet.
Mobile horse racing betting sites
We live busy lives and quite often we can't be sitting at home in front of our computer when we want to place a bet on the best horse racing betting sites. A top way to enjoy all the action without being restricted to staying at home is to play on your mobile.
Only a few years ago, this type of gambling action would not have been possible. But thanks to the incredible advances in technology and the clever software providers who work tirelessly behind the scenes, it is all now a reality. Let's take a look at the different ways in which you can enjoy the fun on your mobile phone.
Android or iPhone?
It doesn't matter what kind of mobile phone you have, you can still enjoy gambling website action on both an Android or iPhone. OK, some of the older models may struggle with connecting to the internet. But there can't be many of those phones around anymore, can there?
Top betting sites will offer their services on both of these popular operating systems. And both work just as well as each other. There are a couple of different ways that you can enjoy mobile gambling regardless of the type of phone you have. One of them is to download an application to your mobile. And the other is to access the site directly through your mobile browser.
Mobile betting apps
Betting apps offer a fantastic way of accessing your account rapidly and securely. Downloading a brand's app to your mobile desktop allows you a one-click access point. And this makes placing bets incredibly simple.
It will use up some of the memory on your mobile phone but this is the payoff for having the speed of connecting to your account so easily. It is not essential to download an app but some customers do prefer this. Having your details on your handset means that you won't have to search for payment information each time you want to make a deposit. It is all contained securely on the app.
Browser based betting sites
If you decide that he would prefer not to have yet more applications clogging up your mobile phone, then you can always access the site directly through your mobile browser. This is incredibly simple and requires nothing more than opening your internet browser and tapping in the website address of the bookmaker. Some brands will only offer this way of accessing the site. But it's becoming more common to offer customers the choice. You may even find that there are some bonus incentives to download the app.
New horse race betting sites in 2021
Finding yourself a new betting site this year could not be simpler. We have made it incredibly easy for you by compiling a list of the very best sites right here on this page. New brands come onto the market every month and it is our job to make sure that they are worthy of your attention.
Beginners guide to horse betting
If you are new to betting on the horses then you may be a little confused about making your first bet. We have put together a short guide to the essential things you need to know before you go handing over your cash.
Compare UK betting sites
When shopping for anything online, it always pays to compare the market. If you simply take the first offer that you see then you will never know what you are missing out on. There are a ton of fantastic places to place your bets so why not place them at the very best sites with the best odds that also have a focus on fantastic customer experience? And that's exactly what you'll get when you choose one of the sites we represent here.
Compare odds between different bookies
One of the best pieces of advice that we can give you is to check the odds on various sites before you place any bets. Everybody has their own odds and they will vary from place to place. So it can really pay dividends if you take a few extra minutes to compare the prices that are available on the event that you wish to place a bet on. It can be the difference between winning a decent amount and winning an amazing amount.
Make use of horse betting promotions
The vast majority of top sites will have some fantastic promos available for new customers. And you would be crazy not to take advantage of them. You can land yourself free bets or bonus cash sometimes for doing little more than creating a new account. So take a look at our list of trusted providers and see what you could get your hands on today.
Only place bets on horses and races you know well
If you’re new to betting on horses, then it’s super important that you stick to what you know. Your betting knowledge may be limited at the moment but you’ll soon get to know the names and form of some of the top jockeys and horses. If you have a favourite race like The Grand National, for example, then try placing a bet on that meeting first.
How to sign up to a horse betting site
Signing up to a site is very simple. There are a few steps that you need to follow that are pretty standard across the board. Below we will take a look at the most common things that you will need to comply with when picking up your new account.
Research and pick a suitable bookmaker
The first thing you need to do is decide where you would like an account. One way to do this is to research some of the best names in the industry and decide for yourself. But this could take you many hours and you are probably eager to get on and place a bet fairly soon. So why not try out one of the tested sites listed here on this page and let us do the hard work for you?
Choose a username and password
When you have decided where you would like an account, then it is time to sign up. This is usually straightforward and only requires you to give a little information to the bookmaker. The first step is usually creating the basic part of the account. And this involves choosing your username and password. Always pick a username that you can easily remember. And never write your password down anywhere. Make it something memorable if you wish but try not to make it too easy for anyone else to guess.
Enter personal information
Once your username and password are up and running, you will now need to enter a few more details to get your account open. This usually involves your name, address, phone number and probably an email address as well. An email is always useful because the operator will need to confirm that it is you creating an account and not someone else using your name.
And this goes without saying but we are going to mention it anyway. Never open an account for anyone else in their name. It is against the law and you could get yourself in a lot of trouble even if they have asked you to do it for them.
Check for bonuses and free bets
Now that you have your account open and ready for business, you can check out the offers and promos that likely attracted you to the site in the first place. Head to the promo section of your account and you will see what offers are valid at the moment. There may be several available and you will usually have to opt-in to receive any promotional cash. Always read the terms and conditions before you accept a deal.
Pick a deposit method and fund your account
Some bonuses will require you to make a deposit into your account before they release any promotional money. If this is the case, then you will need to select a deposit method and get some cash from your bank or e-wallet into your bookie’s customer account. There are many ways to transfer money and we will take a look at some of the most popular right now.
Payment methods for horse betting
As we said, there are plenty of ways to deposit money and withdraw it as well. Online horse racing requires a little cash to change hands so you will need a payment method to get your money moving. There are some big players in the world of payment platforms and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Debit cards are an extremely easy way to transfer money to and from horse betting sites. Usually, a debit card connects straight to your bank account. So you will take funds directly from that and place them in your betting account. Most sites won't charge to use this method or any of the others. But you should make sure you read the details before choosing any particular payment option. It is usually instant to get money into your account. But withdrawing any winnings can take a couple of days to complete the transaction.
E-wallets are great as they offer a super secure transaction method, they are extremely fast and also offer a top level of privacy. You can add funds to your account via a bank or you can accept a transfer from someone else. You can then use these funds to send straight to your betting account. It is also possible to withdraw money directly back to your e-wallet. Withdrawals are usually instant so many punters prefer to use this method. Some of the top products available are PayPal, Skrill and Neteller. The last two aren’t usually available for collecting a welcome bonus.
It is super easy to get your hands on one of these products. Simply visit the provider’s website and complete the registration form. It won't take long to have your account up and running and you can be betting at some of the top sites listed on this page in no time at all.
One thing that you should be aware of is that Neteller and Skrill will charge you to add funds to your account.
Pay by Phone
One payment method that you may not be aware of is paying by your mobile phone credit. If you use top-up credit to make telephone calls, then this money is also available to send to a betting account. However, the limits are very small. There is a transaction limit of £10 and this can only happen 3 times in one day. Another downside to this product is that it is not possible to send money back the other way in the event of a win. You will need an alternative method to receive a withdrawal. This will either usually require you to enter your bank account details to collect the cash.
Horse racing betting online shouldn’t cause you any headaches. And we hope that you now have everything you need to go off and start enjoying the action. If you are missing any info, then you may find it in our FAQ section, below.
What's the UK's best horse betting site?
Deciding which is the best horse racing site is a matter of personal preference. You should take a look at the welcome offers available as well as the payment methods and size of markets that they cover. You can have an account at more than one site if you wish. This is often a great choice as it allows you to access several prices for the same bet.
Are there free bets for horse racing?
There are plenty of free horse racing bet offers available. Simply take a look at the sites listed here and see what they have right now. Always check the T&Cs to make sure you understand the offer fully.
Is horse racing popular in the UK?
Yes, it is. Online horse racing betting in the UK is incredibly popular. It is one of the most followed sports in the country and offers loads of ways to have a flutter. If you have never tried UK horse racing betting before, then grab yourself an account and give it a go!
Is horse race betting available at all bookmakers?
This type of betting is probably the oldest around. In the UK, punters have enjoyed having a flutter on the horses for centuries. So bookies became an entity specifically for the purpose of facilitating these bets. You will find it difficult to find a bookmaker that does not allow you to place bets on a horse race.
How do I find the best horse racing betting odds?
Betting on horse racing can sometimes require a little research. Every bookie will offer odds on the main race meetings but they won’t all share the same prices. You can find great value odds by shopping around a little and having an account at several bookies. This way you can enjoy a variety of odds for every event.