Horse Racing Betting Sites: How to Bet on Horse Racing Online

Horse race betting is hugely popular, and for maximum convenience, many prefer using virtual horse racing betting sites. In this guide, we’ll explore what they are and the top options.

Horse racing betting is a long-treasured gambling tradition. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians bet on horse racing every year, and the arrival of virtual betting has added a new layer to the experience. Sports betting sites allow Canadians to wager on horse racing odds from the comfort of their homes and take the experience to the next level. In this guide, we're going to explore some of the best horse racing sportsbook operators for Canadians. We’ll dive into what they are, why they’re ideal for horse racing gambling, and more key details. Ready? Let’s begin!

Best Horse Racing Betting Sites

There are many operators that offer odds for bettors trying to wager on horse races. However, the top online horse racing betting operators exceed the other options to stand alone as the top options on the market.

Let’s look at some of the top horse racing betting sites in Canada.

Bet365

bet365

Most Internationally Recognized Horse Racing Operator.

Bet365 is a global operator that has spread across the world to become one of the most popular sportsbooks on the planet. Beginning in the early 2000s, Bet365 has carved out a major niche as a professional sportsbook with fun features, a great-looking website, and deep coverage of a huge range of sports. They have earned their reputation as a top-tier operator.

Horse Racing Coverage: Bet365 covers just about every major horse racing and claims that they won't be beaten on odds.

Features: Bet Boosts, Bet Builder, Live Betting

App: Available for Apple and Android

Deposit Methods: Interac, Visa, MasterCard

✓Intuitive layout ✓Fast Payout

Betway

betway

Sportsbook with the easiest-to-navigate website design.

Betway is another operator based out of the U.K. that has extended its dominance across the sea. Betway is one of the most popular horse racing betting sites for Canadians, thanks to a clean layout, fun features, and even live streaming.

Horse Racing Coverage: Betway’s horse racing coverage could use some substantial improvement for it to be as acclaimed as other competitors.

Features: Live Streaming, Betway Boosts, Bet Builder

App: iOS App and Android APK

Deposit Methods: MasterCard, MuchBetter, Visa, Interac

100% Deposit Up to $300

Bwin

bwin

Excellent Horse Racing Markets and Coverage

Bwin is a highly popular betting site that has been carving out a major niche in the Canadian market. They have an appealing website with plenty of features that make them a top option for bettors of all experience levels. Bwin’s sports coverage is excellent, and their website stands out.

Horse Racing Coverage: Bwin has odds for races going on all around the world, which leads to never-ending gambling fun.

Features: Bet Builder, Cash-Out, Live Streaming

App: Android App

Deposit Methods: Interac, MasterCard, Visa, Skrill, PayPal

100% Up to $200

888Sports

888sport

Most Feature-Intensive Horse Racing Betting Site

888Sport has blossomed into one of the biggest and best sports betting sites on the planet. Known for its eye-catching website and plenty of features that appeal to bettors from around the world, it is a top option. While its horse racing options don’t serve Ontarians, bettors outside the province will still love this operator.

Horse Racing Coverage: For those outside of Ontario, 888Sport has great coverage of many of the top races around the world, plus many others.

Features: Bet Builder, Boosts, Many Promotions

App: Android and iOS

Deposit Methods: Visa, Apple Pay, MasterCard, Interac

100% Up To $500 + $10 Casino Bonus

Sports Interaction

Sports Intercation

A Horse Racing Betting Site by Canadians and For Canadians.

Sports Interaction is one of the most popular operators in the country and also one of the longest-running. They have an immaculately-designed website, deep coverage of a huge range of sports, and fun betting features to explore. They stand out as one of Canada’s premier options.

Horse Racing Coverage: Sports Interaction covers horse racing outside of Ontario. They have a huge page that showcases live events and the biggest races to know.

Features: Pinata Picks, Live Betting, Odds Boosts

App: iOS and Android

Deposit Methods: Visa, MasterCard, iDebit, Interac

125% Up To C$250

Pinnacle

pinnacle

Horse Racing Sportsbook with the Best Odds.

Pinnacle is a major operator that is known for its highly competitive odds. They have been serving bettors for more than 25 years. While they have a simple betting site, there is still plenty to enjoy here, with excellent coverage of major and minor sporting events.

Horse Racing Coverage: Pinnacle’s horse race coverage depends on your location. Outside Ontario, you’ll find a range of horse racing options with great odds.

Features: Live Betting, Virtual Sports, eSports Hub

App: No App

Deposit Methods: MasterCard, Visa, Crypto Transactions

✓Best Soccer Odds

LeoVegas

leovegas

Massive Welcome Offer for Horse Racing Bettors

LeoVegas is a lesser-known option that many Canadians are embracing. Thanks to its quality licensing, it has become a trusted brand. They are known for a chaotic but fun main webpage and for offering fun bet boosts on a daily basis. They also have tons of other unique features and have a major casino betting app.

Horse Racing Coverage: Outside Ontario, you'll be able to wager on major and little-known horse races spanning the globe.

Features: Live Betting, Bet Boosts, Cash Out

App: Casino App Only

Deposit Methods: Visa, MasterCard, Interac

Up to $1,000 Cash + 100 $1 Free Spins

BetMGM

betmgm-white

One of Canada’s Newest Rising Sportsbooks with Plenty to Offer

BetMGM has arrived in Ontario as one of the best sportsbooks on the planet. The website has everything, from deep coverage of the major sporting events to one of the best betting apps you’ll find. They have managed to attract a huge group of new users in a very short period of time.

Horse Racing Coverage: Unfortunately, there is no horse racing coverage on BetMGM. They are only legal in Ontario, where the rules around legal horse racing betting are strict.

Features: Live Betting, Bet Boosts, Bet Builder

App: Android and iOS

Deposit Methods: Visa, Interac, MasterCard, PayPal

✓Live Stream Games ✓Variety Of Betting Markets

Bodog

bodog

A Well-Known Operator with Cutting-Edge Features.

Bodog was one of the first sportsbooks to make a splash in the online gambling world. Unlike other operators on this list, their horse racing page is massive no matter where you are in the country, although that does conjure some legal questions. They have fun, modern features despite being a sports betting site that has been around since the 1990s.

Horse Racing Coverage: Bodog covers all the major races going on at any location, with several major trending events.

Features: Crypto Betting, Live Betting, Cash Out

App: No App

Deposit Methods: Visa, Interac, MasterCard, Cryptocurrency

Bodog Rewards

How We Rank Horse Racing Betting Sites

So far, we’ve thrown a lot of sports betting terms at you when trying to discuss the best horse racing sportsbook operators. But we haven’t delved into the important nitty-gritty of how we actually rank these operators.

At BettingTop10, we like to consider several important factors when coming up with the top online horse racing betting sportsbooks. Let’s look at some of the criteria we take into consideration. 

  • Markets and Odds: Markets and odds are the different outcomes within a sport or event that bettors can wager on. A great horse racing betting site will have plenty of markets to choose from.
  • Horse Racing Coverage: There are constantly horse races going on around the world at any given time. Our top-rated sportsbooks will have coverage of a huge range of different events on any given day.
  • Betting Offers: Sportsbook bonuses are what incentivize many to start gambling. We will check the website to see what offers an operator has for their users, particularly if they pertain to horse racing.
  • Mobile Experience: Betting apps are all the rage, and mobile gaming is incredibly popular. We take a look at betting sites and see what mobile offerings they provide for their users.
  • Banking: Banking is a common part of the gambling experience. You will need to deposit and withdraw at some point, so we check the options available and how easy and fast the process is.
  • Security and License: If you want to have a positive betting experience, you’ll need a secure, legal website. We check the operator’s cybersecurity, as well as the legal certifications they’ve achieved.
  • Customer Support: If you ever run into problems on a betting site, you’ll want to get in contact with someone who can help. We gauge how easy and effective that process is on different operators.
  • Key Features: We check the many different features a sportsbook has available to see which ones are the best for horse racing betting.

Promotions and Bonuses

One of the big reasons many people start sports betting online is the bonus offers they can find there. Unlike at casinos and racetracks, most gambling websites will provide bonus offers to their users. These are rewards and offers bookmakers will dole out for users who take a specific action.

There are many different kinds of bonuses. Generally, they are all meant to encourage bettors to try new things, like placing large parlay bets or wagering on a specific market. Typically, these offers will give bettors rewards for their actions, like boosted winnings, a free bet, or more.

Many sportsbooks will have offers specific to horse racing, while others won't. If you are interested in learning about the many bonus offers on the market, we've got you covered with a quick look at some bonuses and promotions that horse racing gambling enthusiasts can seek out.

  • Welcome Offer: The Welcome Offer is the bonus bettors receive from a sportsbook for joining up with them. It is a reward that is given only to new users, often in the form of bet credits, which can be used to make risk-free wagers.
  • Free Bet: A Free Bet offer is when sportsbooks offer bettors free bets, where bettors get to keep the winnings if they lose. Often, bettors will have to earn free bets by taking a specific action. For example, bet $25 at the Belmont Stakes to earn a $10 free bet for the Melbourne Cup.
  • Parlay Boosts: Parlay Boosts are when a betting site will boost the payout bettors receive on parlay bets by a specific percentage. The more legs there are in the parlay, the more they win.
  • Close Call Refunds: Close Call Refunds are one of the most common promos for horse racing. This is a promotion where a bet is refunded if the race is close and the wagered-on horse loses by a certain slim margin.
  • Weekly Insurance: Weekly Insurance is a bonus where bettors will receive a certain percentage of their losings refunded every week if they bet to a certain threshold. It is a loyalty reward for bettors. 

Horse Racing Betting Guide

There are a lot of things to know about horse racing betting. Many people are unfamiliar with the sport or unfamiliar with how they can start wagering on it online. This is understandable, and we are here to help. Below, we’ll break down some of the crucial things you need to get your time using horse racing betting sites off the ground.

How to Start Betting

For many bettors, horse racing betting online will not seem like something that needs much explaining. However, the reality is that getting started with a sportsbook can be a confusing process, and horse racing works uniquely different from other sports. So, before we do a step-by-step guide on how to bet on horse racing, let’s break down some crucial information.

To start your gambling journey, you’ll need to register and deposit with an operator. Registering is the process of creating an account on a licensed operator that allows for horse racing wagering. Depositing is the process of filling your account with money so you can wager real currency.

Once you’ve put money into a created account, you can start horse racing betting. Horse racing is different from most sports because websites use a pari-mutuel model and only have odds on horse races they have contracts with.

Most major operators will have contracts with a ton of significant horse racing tracks, so this shouldn’t be a concern, but what is the pari-mutuel model?

Essentially, what it means is that rather than each bet going against the house, the bets are made against other gamblers. All the money wagered collectively on a race in a sportsbook is pooled. Sportsbooks and the racetracks take their cut, and winnings are distributed according to the group who bet the winner based on the odds. The odds for horses are determined by how many people wager on each horse.

Now that we’ve explained a little bit about how horse racing works and the processes to know, let’s look at how you can get started in a step-by-step guide.

  • Step One: Visit one of the operators we’ve listed or another of your choosing. For the sake of this example, we’ll say you’ve selected Bodog. Good choice!
  • Step Two: Click the Red “Join” tab to get started on registration.
  • Step Three: You’ll now have to input your personal information. The information required by Bodog includes your first and last name, your date of birth, your mobile number, your email, a postal code, and a password. Once you have entered all those details, you can certify that you are the minimum legal age for gambling in your jurisdiction and click Register.
  • Step Four: Once you’ve registered for an account, it is time to deposit. To do this, click on the upper-right-hand side of the screen on your profile, then click Bank. Bodog has several deposit methods to choose from, including Visa, MasterCard, Interac, and cryptocurrency.
  • Step Five: Now that your account is funded, visit the Bodog Horses page. Here, you’ll find all their available horse racing betting odds. Click on the odd you like, and a bet slip will pop up. Input how much you want to bet, and you are good to go. Now, you know how to bet on horses online!

Markets, Betting Types and Odds

Before you start wagering on races like the Kentucky Derby, the Dubai Cup, or the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, you should probably consider learning about the betting markets, betting types, and odds that horse racing gambling sites utilize.

We’ll break these details down for you one by one.

Markets:

Markets are the different outcomes within an event that bettors wager on. Every sport has different markets. Horse racing markets are different outcomes within a race that bettors can put their money on to either happen or not happen. There are many different kinds of markets to be aware of. Below, we’ll provide a quick look at some of the top horse racing markets to know.

  • Win Bets: A win bet is very straightforward. It is a wager on the horse that you believe will win the race.
  • Place Bets: Place bets are wagers on horses to finish within the place section, which is typically considered first or second. There is slightly more margin of error on this bet.
  • Show Bets: A Show Bet is a wager on a horse to come in the top three in any position.
  • Each Way Bet: An Each Way bet is a split bet. Bettors will wager each way on a horse, and their bet is split between win and place/show. So if your bet hits, you'll receive less than a direct win bet but more than a place/show bet.
  • Exacta Bet: An Exacta bet is a risky wager where bettors try and pick the two horses that will finish first and second in the correct order.
  • Boxed: A Boxed bet is when bettors try to pick the horses that will win, place, and show in the correct order.

Types of Bets:

Types of bets are similar to markets, although slightly different. A type of bet is a way of betting rather than an individual market within a race or sporting event. Let's look at two of the most popular types of bets. 

  • Parlay: A Parlay bet is a wager on multiple bets that are tied into one. Bettors will place bets on multiple outcomes (such as Horse A to win their race and Horse B to win their race), and for the bet to cash, both outcomes need to happen. If one, or two, or three of the outcomes happen, but not every single one does, the bet doesn't cash.
  • Live Betting: Live Betting is wagering on an event that is already underway. For horse racing, bettors can bet after the race has started and some of the positioning has become clear. Odds update as the race continues.

Odds:

Odds are the different lines that showcase bettors the projected likelihood of an event occurring as well as the payout they would get if they wagered on that outcome and it hit.

There are several key kinds of odds that bettors should know how to read. However, for the sake of keeping things concise, let’s look at how American Odds work.

American Odds are a form of odds that show bettors how much they would need to bet to win $100 or how much a bet of $100 would win them. Confusing? Let me explain.

If something is -, it shows bettors how much they'd need to bet to make a $100 profit. For example, if something is -200, that means you'd need to bet $200 to make a $100 profit. If something is -140, you'd need to bet $140 to make a $100 profit.

If something is +, it shows how much a bet of $100 would give you in profit. If a line is +300, a bet of $100 would earn you a $300 payout in profit. If a line is +260, a $100 bet earns you $260 in profit.

Now, bringing it back to horse racing, if a horse's odds of winning are +120, its odds of placing are -120, and its odds of showing are -150, a bet of $100 would earn you a $120 profit if the horse wins. To earn $100 in profit, you'd need to bet $120 if the horse places or $150 if the horse shows.

Type of Horse Racing

Horse racing is not a uniform sport. There are several different types of races that are run throughout the year. Bettors can find odds on horse racing betting sites on many kinds of races, so it is important to know the differences between each one. 

  • Flat Racing: Flat racing is a short-distance race that typically plays out over the course of around a mile. It is on flat ground where the horse is not expected to jump.
  • Steeplechasing: Steeplechasing is horse racing where riders are on horses that jump over fences and navigate different obstacles. It is held over a longer distance.
  • Harness Racing: Harness racing is a form of racing where the rider is on a two-wheeled cart behind the horse and is pulled along.
  • Endurance Racing: Endurance racing are long-term races that stretch out for miles on horses. These events play out over a much longer period of time than other horse races.

Horse Racing Betting Features

Horse racing betting is hugely popular, and we’ve introduced you to some of the best betting sites for horse racing. But what are some of the features that users should seek out when using these operators?

Features are the different embedded aspects of a sportsbook that define how users experience them. There are different ways to gamble or use a website that makes a sportsbook stand out. Let's look at some of the key features to know.

  • Cash Out: Cash Out is a feature that allows bettors to exit bets before the bet has finished. You can cash out at a win or a loss, depending on how your bet is performing.
  • Live Betting: Live Betting is a feature that allows users to wager on events that are already underway. For horse racing betting, gamblers could keep betting after the race has started.
  • Bet Boosts: Bet Boosts are a feature where an operator will increase the odds of an event to be more favorable to gamblers. They’ll do this despite no real-world change in the odds.
  • Live Streaming: Live Streaming is a feature that allows users to watch a live sporting event directly from a website. Many horse racing betting sites have this feature for horse races, so it is an important one to know.
  • Cryptocurrency Betting: Cryptocurrency betting is when a sportsbook accepts transactions with cryptocurrency. This allows for rapid transactions.

Betting Strategies and Tips

While getting started on horse racing betting sites is step one, there is much more you are going to need to do. If you want to win, a strategy is a must.

Bettors who have strategies avoid making foolish decisions and ensure that they are playing their hand in the best way possible. While there is never a guarantee of winning with sports betting, a strategy helps. Below is a quick look at some tips and strategies to successfully bet on horse racing.

  • 80/20 System: The 80/20 system is something bettors can use to guide their wagering. Essentially, how this system works is that bettors will wager 80% on a horse to place and 20% on a horse to win. This increases their likelihood of a win and gives them better margins.
  • Careful with Parlays: Parlays can be incredibly risky, so be careful. Horse racing has a lot of luck involved, and the more legs you put on a parlay, the more you stretch your luck.
  • Exacta Bets Are Risky but Can Pay Off Big: Exacta bets require bettors to pick the top two horses in a race in order. That is no easy task. That is why the payout for making these wagers tends to be really high.
  • Use a Key: A Key is a system for bettors. Essentially, picking a key means picking a horse you believe will win and then basing your strategy around that result. Using that horse as the foundation for several bets means you can really cash in.
  • If You Want to Take a Swing, Go with a Superfecta: A Superfecta is a wild form of betting with a very low success rate but massive payouts. If you want to try something wild, put a very small amount on a Superfecta. To win, you need to pick the top four winning horses in order.

Major Horse Racing Events

Horse racing is a global sport watched by millions on every continent. Online horse racing betting is naturally massive as well. But where should bettors focus their efforts? Should they bet on any local race online? Or should they concentrate on specific events?

There are several major events throughout the year that bring together the top horses from around the world. These are the top events for gamblers who want to wager on horse racing online betting sites.

Let’s look at some of the biggest global horse racing events to be aware of, as well as Canada’s top horse racing spectacles.

  • Kentucky Derby: The Kentucky Derby is one of the world’s best-known horse racing events, a massive spectacle that features three-year-old thoroughbreds racing at the famous Churchill Downs for a prize purse of $3 million.
  • Breeder’s Cup Classic: The Breeder’s Cup Classic is another American three-year-old thoroughbred race. It has a massive prize purse and features a range of horse sizes and weights, and was once held in Toronto.
  • Dubai World Cup: The Dubai World Cup features nine races. While not as historic as other major races, it is an event with one of the biggest prize purses of any horse race. It is a huge spectacle that features world-class horses.
  • Preakness Stakes: The Preakness Stakes is a U.S.-based race that is held in Baltimore every year. It is a historic event that features horses running a distance of 1+3/16 miles on a dirt track.
  • Gold Cup at Ascot: The Gold Cup at Ascot is one of the oldest still-running races in the world. It is a prestigious event that has been held since 1807.
  • The King’s Plate: The King’s Plate is North America’s oldest-running race. It is held at Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack and features horses foaled in Canada. It is Canada’s biggest race and part of the Canadian Triple Crown.

Horse Racing Betting Terms

If you are unfamiliar with the world of horse racing betting sites, there are a lot of things that likely will be confusing. Horse racing has its own lingo, and whether you are using horse betting apps or on your favorite websites, there will likely be some times when you encounter some unfamiliar language.

To help prepare you for some of what you might encounter, we’ve created a brief look at some of the most common horse racing betting terms.

  • Entry: Two or more horses with the same owner that are running a race that are paired as a single betting unit
  • Closer: A horse that does best at the end of a race, turning on the burners for the final stretch
  • Pacesetter: The horse that is currently in the lead of the race
  • Box: A bet where bettors have to pick all the potential positions for the horses running
  • Pari-Mutuel: The system of betting horse racing uses where bets are pooled together
  • Underlay: A horse that has odds that are too high and has a low chance of winning
  • Overlay: The opposite of underlay. A horse with worse odds than their chance of winning a race.
  • Furlong: An eighth of a mile.

Frequently Asked Questions About Horse Racing Betting Sites

Horse racing betting uses a vernacular that is entirely different from most sports. It has different markets and unique traditions and can be confusing. Bettors may find themselves with a lot of questions about the sport.

Luckily, we are here to help. Below, we’re addressing some of the most frequently asked questions about horse racing betting sites.

For the most part, yes. Using a horse racing sportsbook is allowed in most parts of the country, but not everywhere. There are specific rules that govern each province, and they are different. So check the laws in your locations.

Unfortunately, horse racing betting online is not allowed in Ontario. Horse racing is federally regulated, and Ontario's gambling system is provincial, so any sportsbooks that use Ontario's gambling system don't have horse odds.

Yes! If you want to wager on horse races from your phone, you will find numerous great options on apps across the country. Canada has several excellent mobile apps that can be downloaded directly to your phone.

The best-known horse racing event is the Kentucky Derby. This is a massive spectacle that is watched by millions of Canadians every year. The Derby brings out major celebrities and is an exciting event with massive potential winnings.

No. Horse racing has very different markets from most other sports because it is entirely unique. Horse racing betting has been going on for centuries, and the gambling industry around the sport is super flushed out. So there are many unique markets to enjoy.

The feature that is most important for a horse racing betting site to offer is live streaming. Live streaming allows users to watch horse races live directly from the website they are betting on. It is something offered by many of the top websites that allow you to bet on horse racing.

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