Bet on Horse Racing and Win Big! Here’s How it Works in the USA

Horse racing has long been an iconic part of the sports betting scene in the United States and around the world. With its roots dating back to the 1700s in the USA and boasting jackpots worth millions of dollars, it’s no surprise that horse racing continues to attract a massive, diverse fan base. But despite the long-held fascination with the sport, the sport of betting on horse races isn’t without its complexities.

If you’re ready to take the plunge into horse racing wagering, understanding the basics of betting on horses is essential. Whether you’re new to the sport or an experienced punter looking for an edge, this guide on how to bet on horse racing in the USA should get you all the way there.

Where to Bet on Horses in the USA

In America, betting on horse racing takes place primarily at licensed and regulated tracks, which are located in 43 different states. Aside from those venues, most American states also have off-track betting facilities (often referred to as “OTBs”). OTB facilities enable real-time wagering on live races and simulcasts of races at tracks across the United States and beyond. or take bets over the phone and offer simulcasting of horse races overseas.

Types of Horse Race Bets in the USA

Once you’ve decided to jump into the horse racing betting pool, you need to choose your bets. Here are just a few of the more popular horse race bets you can make in the USA:

  • Win and Place Bet –A win bet involves choosing one horse to win a race, while a place bet is choosing one horse to finish either first or second. Both bets pay out based on the odds.
  • Across the Board Bet –This bet combines a win bet, a place bet, and a show bet to cover all possible outcomes in a single wager.
  • Pick 3 & Pick 6 –Pick 3 and Pick 6 bets involve picking the winner of 3 or 6 consecutive races.
  • Exacta and Trifecta –These are two of the most complex wagers. An Exacta bet involves choosing the top two finishers in exact order, while a Trifecta bet involves choosing the top three finishers in exact order.
  • Daily Double, Quinella & Superfecta –Daily double bets involve choosing the winners of two separate races, a Quinella bet involves picking the top two finishers in any order, and a Superfecta bet involves picking the top four finishers in exact order.

Different Betting Systems in Horse Racing

Betting on horse races can be a profitable activity if you know when and how to bet. It’s helpful to keep in mind that there are various types of betting systems in horse racing. Some of the most popular betting systems include:

  • Value Betting –This type of betting system involves betting on horses whose odds are higher than their expected probability of winning.
  • Longshot Betting –This type of betting system involves betting on horses whose odds are lower than their expected probability of winning.
  • Class Betting – Class betting involves betting on horses based on their class and level of competition.
  • Handicapping Betting –This type of betting involves attempting to predict which horse has the best chance of winning a race by examining the horses’ handicap points.
  • Mix and Match Betting –This type of betting combines short-priced horses with longer-priced horses in a single bet.


To conclude, horse racing has been a popular form of sports betting in the United States since the 1700s. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, understanding how to bet on horse racing in the USA is essential. To make the most of your experience, it pays dividends to familiarize yourself with different types of bets, betting systems, and tracks where horse racing is held. With the right knowledge, you can ensure you’re set up for success when betting on horse racing in the USA.

How can I bet on horse racing in the USA?

In most states, horse racing betting is legal and can be done either in person at horse racing tracks or through online or mobile racebooks. Horse racing betting can take many different forms, including straight wagers, exotic wagers, and daily fantasy sports. To find the best betting options for a specific track or race, it’s best to research the racebooks those exceptional bets are offered from. You’ll also need to know the local rules and regulations for placing legal bets on horse racing.

What age do you have to be to bet on horse racing in the USA?

In most states in the US, you must be at least 18 years old to place a bet on horse racing. Some states may require a minimum age of 21. It is important to always check the legal gambling age in your state before attempting to place a bet.

What is the minimum age to bet on horse racing in the UK?

The minimum age to bet on horse racing in the UK is 18. It is important to check prior to placing a bet.

What is the minimum age to gamble in the UK?

18 years old.

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