How to Bet On Horse Racing Online

Author Tom Wilson


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Guide to Horse Racing Betting Online

Whether you’ve experienced the excitement of a live horse race or you’re just now getting interested in horse racing, you’ve probably noticed that racing and betting go hand in hand. The thrill of a horse race is that much bigger with a bet slip in your hand, so this guide will prepare you to wager on horse racing like a pro.

Newcomers will be able to learn all the tricks, while experienced bettors will surely find a few tips that will help them take their game to the next level. Read on to find out more about the legality of horse betting, strategies and bet types, most popular racing events, and much more.

Legality Surrounding Horse Racing Betting

Horse racing in Canada is not regulated by the Canadian Criminal Code but by the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency. Although horse racing has been present in Canada since the 1920s, it was not legalized until 1969. Off-track betting was legalized precisely 20 years later, on June 29, 1989, in Ottawa. Since then, other Canadian provinces and territories have welcomed betting on horse racing with open arms.

Keep in mind that each Canadian province and territory has the right to make its own regulations and laws regarding betting. Currently, horse racing is legal across the country.

Horse Racing Betting Strategy

All bettors want to see their horses cross the finish line first, so there are bound to be a few strategies to help players pick the right horse instead of just relying on intuition. If you want to make educated bets, study the tips below.

No Sure Bets

Before we go on, you should remember that nothing is certain when it comes to betting. Moreover, avoid reading or listening to people claiming to be horse racing experts. In most cases, you will be disappointed with the results as no bets are guaranteed. So, remember not to get hung up on other people’s tips but to go with what you think is best.

Study the Jockey

Many bettors forget that researching the jockey is as important as analyzing the horse. Look at the jockey’s history, their previous experience with the horse if there is any, and the jockey’s track experience as not all are the same. Once you get more information about the jockey, you will be able to make an informed bet.

Horse’s History

It is crucial to read and understand the horse’s history. Start with the horse’s experience and previous records — previous experience at the same track, previous wins, and performance in the past few races.

Now move on to the horse’s condition, including its health, injuries, and how competitive the horse has been lately. Lastly, look at the horse’s style, meaning does the horse have a late start or it sprints off the line, whether the horse is a pacer or not. All of that in combination will surely give you a good picture of the horse’s racing history.

Look at the Owner

What horse racing has taught us is that certain owners know how to raise a winning horse. That’s why it is essential to do your homework when it comes to owners, too. We don’t want to dismiss first-time owners, but it’s best to stick to proven winners if you want to maximize your chances.

Track Conditions

Similar to some other sports, track conditions are an essential factor when determining a horse’s performance. Not all horses run the same on a muddy track compared to a dry one. Also, pay attention to the forecast as weather can significantly impact both the track and the horses.

If you’re new to horse racing betting, you will need some help understanding the bet types. Although there are numerous betting types available, this guide will introduce you to the most popular ones to narrow down your choices. Take a look.

Win, Place, Show

This is arguably the most straightforward bet type available when it comes to horse racing.

If you choose a win bet, you need to select a horse you think will win the whole race and place your bet on it. Opting for a place bet means you will win if your horse finishes first or second. The show bet allows your horse to finish in any of the first three places for you to win.


Once you’ve mastered the first bet type, you can move onto exotics. These bet types are a bit more complicated, so pay close attention. Keep in mind that you must get every part of the bet right to win. Take a look at the different types of exotic bets:

  • Quinella — Bet on two horses in the same race to finish first and second. It doesn’t matter which horse finishes in which place.
  • Exacta — This bet is the same as the quinella bet, but you need to guess the exact order this time.
  • Trifecta — Same as exacta but this time for the first three places.
  • Superfecta — With this bet, you pick the top four horses in the exact order you think they’ll finish.
  • Daily double — Pick the winners of two consecutive races.
  • Pick three — Same as daily double but for three consecutive races.

Most Famous Horse Racing Events

There are hundreds of horse racing tournaments and events happening in over 30 countries every year. However, some events are more significant than others. So, if you’re interested in getting the most out of your horse racing betting experience, try your luck at one of the ten most famous horse racing events around the world.

  1. Kentucky Derby
  2. Dubai World Cup
  3. Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
  4. The Cheltenham Festival
  5. Pegasus World Cup Invitational
  6. Japan Cup
  7. Melbourne Cup
  8. The Nakayama Grand Jump
  9. The Everest

Horse Racing Live Streaming

A growing number of sports betting sites have introduced a live streaming option directly to their websites. That way, players won’t need to switch from tab to tab or open another browser window to watch a horse racing event they’re betting on. It is one of the most convenient ways to keep up with exciting horse racing tournaments and watch your favourite horses.

This has proven to be a successful method of attracting new players and keeping the regulars coming back. Canadians can find many sports betting sites with live streaming and closely follow top horse racing events year-round.

Final Thoughts

Although it might seem intimidating at first, horse racing betting online is not that challenging to master. If you have read this guide carefully, you are ready to dive into this thrilling experience.

Remember to read through our strategy tips to make sure you’re on the right track. Do your research and start with the most straightforward bet types on some of the most renowned horse racing events out there.

Good luck!


Yes, it is. Betting on horse races is legal all over Canada, so you can rest assured that there will be no legal consequences for your online horse racing bets.

How can I choose the winning horse?

Before you make your bet, it is crucial to go over some simple strategy tips to maximize your winnings. Read the most useful strategies in the guide above.

Which horse racing bet is the most popular?

If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with a win, place, or show bet, as these bets are quite straightforward. Once you’re ready to place more serious bets, take a look at the exotic bet types.

Can I watch horse racing via live stream?

Yes, you can. There are plenty of online sports betting websites that offer a live streaming option as well. That way, you will be able to place bets and watch your horse race simultaneously.

Author Tom Wilson

Chief editor and creator, Tom drives the direction of with the goal to provide the best and most honest resource for online gambling enthusiasts in Canada