Horse racing betting has come a long way from its Roman chariot racing origins, with at least £10 billion bet on this fast-paced and unpredictable sport every year. Avoid getting lost in the vast selection of online betting sites with this practical guide, which will help you find the best option for you, whether you're a racing betting virtuoso or just starting out.
Before deciding on a site, the first question to ask is which kind of race you most enjoy betting on. There are two main types:
Of the 58 racecourses now open in the UK, 16 are flat, 24 jump and 20 have a bit of both, which is ideal if you like to hedge your bets on a range of horses and jockeys. Because flat racing jockeys have to be much lighter, they tend to stick to one particular style of race.
Whichever online betting site you choose, check it offers a range of events in the type of racing you most enjoy watching. Also remember to check that the results are up quickly and clearly laid out, so even if you miss the race, it’ll be easy to find out whether your luck’s in.
The first step to getting the best value from the site is to have a look at the odds and which has the best deal. Really understanding the returns you might get will pay off, as can choosing your type of bet wisely. These will depend on the site (and there are loads out there), but the four simplest to start off with are:
Other factors, too, can influence value. Some sites give great bonuses for specific events, betting combinations or for first-time players. You may also find a loyalty or VIP programme it’s worthwhile sticking with, giving you points or the chance to win prizes.
Stick to reputable sites, and check any data you're sharing will be encrypted. Making deposits should be flexible, to suit you. You’ll find most sites have a good range of payment options, from trusted mainstream banks to third party online services like PayPal. Check that the site has an informative FAQ page and good, fast customer service, so if you do run into problems, they’ll be dealt with quickly.
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