Horse Racing: A Beginners Introduction

horse racing

Horse racing has long been seen as a sport for the elite. The rich socialites who attend these events are known for their extravagant outfits and fine manners. Racing also attracts gamblers from around the globe, who place bets and hope for a huge win. Whilst we mostly write about poker strategy, I’ve taken an interest in horse racing recently and thought our readers might want a basic introduction into it too.

What is horse racing?

Horse racing is a popular way to bet on an event that takes place between two horses at one of many tracks around the world. There are several types of races in which you can participate, such as claiming races (which are run over a set distance), sprint races (often called ‘’the mile-and-a-half” or 1.5 miles), flat races (which take place over dirt or grass fields) and jump races (where riders try to compete while jumping fences).

How does a race work?

The first thing you have to decide is where you want to watch your favorite horse races. You could decide to watch them live, but this doesn’t always give you the best odds. Some horse races have betting windows before they start. These allow you to bet on the outcome of the race once it starts. This gives you the opportunity to get the best odds possible.

How do I choose my horse?

When choosing your horse, look for ones with good form. In other words, make sure they’ve won all their previous races. If they haven’t had any wins, find out what kind of rider they are. Does he/she usually go easy on their mounts or push them hard?

Can I use credit cards to place bets?

Yes! Most online sportsbooks will accept major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express. If you’re on a sportsbook that doesn’t accept credit cards, you need to leave as all major sportsbooks accept them.

Are races fixed?

No. Many people believe that all horse races are fixed based on the fact that no horse has ever won the Triple Crown. Despite speculation, like casino games, none of the major sites fix games. It is illegal for  real money online roulette site to not pay off on a wager, therefore the same is true for sportsbooks. If you pick a winner, you will be paid.


You should now have a basic understanding of horse racing and the betting component of it. Placing wagers on horse racing can be a fun exercise but remember to start of small and understand the different bet types. This post has only dealt with the basics of horse betting so we recommend you learn more strategy and specific terms before wagering large amounts.

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Narciso Baldo is the Director and Head Coach of Texas Hold'em Questions. He has been playing poker for over 16 years. After spending many years as a professional, he now runs UK poker training site Texas Hold'em Questions. Narciso regularly writes poker articles sharing tips, strategy, news and experience with gambling enthusiasts. Narciso also writes for reputable gambling portal Casino City Times, (bio here). Contact: