Betting on Horse Racing

Horse racing and betting have been synonymous with each other for centuries. The first documented horse race was held in 1651 as the result of a wager between two noblemen and the sport has since grown monumentally, especially in the UK. There is rarely a day on the calendar where there is not a meeting somewhere in the UK meaning bettors are spoilt for choice. Whether it’s Cheltenham, Newmarket, Goodwood or Ascot; every week some of the best sprinters and jumpers in the world are welcomed into the country and punters can back them as they please.

Most horse racing odds will be fractional unless you choose to change it in the settings of your sportsbook. They are typically written with a slash or hyphen e.g 3/1 (Three-to-one). The first number indicates the return for every one unit of currency wagered, so in our example a £1 bet on a horse priced 3/1 would return £3 along with your stake or £10 would return £30 and so on.

One of the best pathways to success in horse racing is by doing your research. Use all resources available such as tipsters, form of the jockey, trainer and horse and more. Choose your bets carefully rather than throwing money at a number of selections and follow the advice of the experts.

It is important that you find a reliable sportsbook for horse racing, especially for big markets like Cheltenham betting. 888 Sport is one of the most reliable sportsbooks in the world and offers some of the best offers across a multitude of sports for both new and existing customers.

With so many meetings, horses and jockeys there are tonnes of ways to back them. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of horse racing bets and their pros and cons.


Single bets are the simplest horse racing bet to place. Simply choose the horse you want to win; wager your chosen amount and you are ready to watch them gallop to the finish. If the horse you backed wins, then you’re in the money! It’s as simple as that. Although they are easy bets, they will often offer lower pay-outs for smaller stakes, unless betting on a big-priced horse, which of course means it is less likely to win.

Each Way

Each way bets are great when you are backing horses in big fields or at slightly increased prices. It works the same way as a singles bet if it wins, but you also cover the ‘places’ which offer you a fraction of your winnings. The number of places and the fraction of the winnings will differ depending on the size of the field, but typically places are 1-2-3 at a fraction of 1/5. This means that if you backed a 10/1 horse each way and they finish 2nd or 3rd, you receive your winnings at a price of 2/1 rather than the original price. As you are essentially placing two bets (one to win, one to place) each way bets will double your stake, so £5 each way is a £10 overall bet. You can also cover other types of bets each way aside from singles.


These bets, known as ‘multiples’, cover the result of multiple races in which all selections need to win for the best to be successful (or place if each way). Doubles and Trebles of course cover selections of two or three horses respectively whilst accas are four+. These bets often offer high pay-outs for smaller stakes, however can be very difficult to land due to the number of variables. Additionally, if an each way acca for example three horses win whilst one places, all selections are settled at their each way prices.

Trixies/Patents/Yankees/Luckys etc.

These bets are only encouraged for those who really know their stuff as they can get difficult. The rules for each bet are as follows:

  • Trixie – Consists of 4 bets: 3 doubles and 1 treble. When placing a ‘Trixie’ bet, you need at least 2 of the 3 horses you have chosen to be successful. The advantage of a Trixie is that should 1 selection fail, you will still get a return.
  • Patent – Includes 3 selections consisting of 7 bets: 3 singles, 3 doubles and a treble. The main advantage of a Patent is that you only need 1 successful horse to generate a return.
  • Yankee – Includes 4 selections consisting of 11 bets: 6 doubles, 4 trebles and a 4-fold accumulator. With a Yankee, you need at least 2 selections to be successful to generate a return.
  • Lucky 15 – Includes 4 selections consisting of 15 bets: 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and a 4-fold accumulator. With a Lucky 15, you only need one selection to be successful to generate a return.
  • Lucky 31 – Includes 5 selections consisting of 31 bets: 5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 4-folds and a 5-fold accumulator. With a Lucky 31, you only need at 1 selection to be successful to generate a return.
  • Lucky 63 – Includes 6 selections consisting of 63 bets: 6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 4-folds, 6 5-folds and a 6-fold accumulator. With a Lucky63, you need at least 2 selections to be successful to generate a return.
  • Super Heinz – Includes 7 selections consisting of 120 bets: 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 4-folds, 21 5-folds, 7 6-folds and a 7-fold accumulator. With a Super Heinz, you need at least 2 selections to be successful to generate a return.
  • Goliath – Includes 8 selections consisting of 247 bets: 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 4-folds, 56 5-folds, 28 6-folds, 8 7-folds and an 8-fold accumulator. With a Goliath, you need at least 2 selections to be successful to generate a return.

Hopefully this has given you a good understanding of how to place your bets and pick your selections. Be sure to read terms and conditions of your sportsbook of choice and research as much as you can in your mission to beat the bookies.