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Horse Race Betting Online: The Odds Shark Guide

For some, horse racing is concentrated into just a few events per year when the mainstream hype of the Kentucky Derby and the other Triple Crown races dominates headlines in May and June.

For many others, betting on horses is a daily labor of love with wagering happening at tracks across North America and around the world. With rebates on every wager you make and sweet horse racing bonus offers (that can see you double your deposit and more), Odds Shark is helping you learn horse race betting online to start making some cash.

Start Betting on Horse Racing today!

How to Bet on Horse Racing

Odds Shark is the internet’s top source for horse betting odds, analysis and picks. Make sure to stop in often during Triple Crown season and for every other big race for the latest horse betting news.

Best Horse Races to Bet on

Finding horse racing odds and learning the lingo associated with the “Sport of Kings” is not always easy, but we have aimed to make it simpler for novice bettors to learn how to bet on horses online, at the track, or at an OTB location.

Not sure the best way to bet on horses or how to tell the difference between an exacta and a trifecta? You’ve heard of a Pick 6 and daily double betting, but how does it work and how can you get started? Check out the horse racing tutorials from our handicapping expert, Mike Dempsey, who has more than three decades in the business and knows the sport inside and out. Good luck at the track!

Horse Race Betting Online Guides

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Horse Race Betting Online Tips and Strategies

While Odds Shark's How To Bet On Horse Racing Guides give deep insight and strategies into all the ways you can bet on the ponies, we will go over some of the most key strategies and options to know before you get started:

Reading Odds

How does horse race betting work, you may ask? Before you learn the intricacies of betting on the ponies you should first learn how to read odds. You can find odds for daily races or any of the Triple Crown events at Bodog, and you’ll see odds listed like this:

  • Cowboy Sutter +400
  • Big Save Dave +1400
  • Money Money +3300

The horse with the lowest odds (+400, in this case) is favored to win the race, and the rest of the horses are underdogs.

If you think Cowboy Sutter will win the race and you bet $100 on that horse, you’d get a payout of $500 if they win. You get your $100 back plus your winnings of $400. Betting on an underdog like Big Save Dave (+1400) could net you $1500. Our Odds Calculator will show you how much you’d win based on the odds and amount bet.

Types of Bets for Horse Race Betting Online

Win, Place, Show Bets

Win, place, show bets are some of the most popular and easiest forms of horse race betting online and at the track. You can bet on the winner, at the odds they are listed to win. But you can also bet on a horse to place, or come first or second, for a smaller payout. If you are just looking to bet on a horse coming top three, a show bet allows you to do so for an even small potential payout than a win or place bet.

Futures Betting ​

Like for all major sports betting markets, there are futures markets in horse racing. Futures bets, or betting on an event long before it occurs, are popular for the Triple Crown races like the Kentucky Derby, Belmont, and Preakness. The exact fields for these races aren't known until close to race day, but odds for likely horses are given weeks and months in advance by many books.

Exacta Bets

An exacta bet is similar to a parlay bet in that you must choose two horses to finish in the top two. Bettors don't have to get the order of these horses correct, but the exacta bet allows you to increase your potential earnings by nailing the win and place horses of a race. 

Similar to an Exacta bet, a Trifecta Box Bet requires you to choose the top three horses in order, for a large payout.