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Horse racing betting in the US – A complete guide for beginners

Horse racing is a popular sport in the US and players love staking money on a wide range of horse races every day.

If you’re new to horse racing wagering you might be unsure of how to profit from playing the races. But we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll check out some of the key things you need to know in order to start betting on the races.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

The popularity of horse racing in the US

As I say, horse racing in the US is incredibly popular. With various famous tracks throughout the country and some of the richest horse races in the world, there’s plenty of racing to get excited about in the US.

Some of the most well-known races include the Breeders Cup Classic and the Kentucky Derby both of which are watched by thousands of racing fans throughout the US.

Breeders' Cup Classic - Richest horse races

Whilst racing events on home soil are very popular, American punters also like placing wagers on other horse racing events around the world especially from the UK.

Best US horse racing sportsbooks

When getting started with horse racing wagering the first thing you need to consider is a sportsbook to place your bets.

As gambling in the US becomes more popular, the number of sportsbooks is increasing very quickly. For any beginners out there, it can sometimes be difficult to choose the best horse racing sportsbooks.

But we’ve got you covered… Below we’ll take a look at three of the best sites for horse racing wagering.

  • Bovada
  • William Hill
  • Betfair exchange

Let’s check out each of these in more detail.


One of the most popular sportsbooks in the US, Bovada is great option for placing your horse racing wagers.

They have a huge range of markets on offer along with some brilliant promotions and bonuses for new and existing players.

Placing bets on the go with Bovada is incredibly easy thanks to a brilliant mobile web site. So when you’re out and about and looking to place a bet on your favourite horse race, Bovada has you covered.

William Hill

William Hill, the popular UK sportsbook is another great option for US residents looking to wager on horse racing events.

William Hill

They offer a great range of racing markets along with brilliant promotions for new and existing customers. The William Hill platform is incredibly easy for beginners to use and is available in a range of different US states including:

  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Rhode Island
  • The Bahamas
  • West Virginia

I expect the number of US states where William Hill is available to increase in the near future as the betting landscape continues to change in America.

Betfair exchange

Another popular horse racing betting site in the US is the Betfair exchange. This is a relatively new betting platform that US punters can use in certain states.

An exchange is slightly different from a traditional sportsbook in that you place bets against other players rather than against the sportsbook. This has various benefits such as better value odds along with the option of laying your bets.

The Betfair Exchange is currently only available to American citizens living in New Jersey. However, I expect this to change soon as Betfair expand their platform into other states.

Betfair US

In New Jersey, you have access to a beta horse racing exchange platform that is proving very popular with many players throughout the state.

Maximise your profit with horse betting

So the question a lot of you are probably asking is how you can maximise your profit from playing the horses?

Well, there are various strategies we can consider which we’re going to check out below.

Use the best value odds

One of our key horse racing betting tips is to use the best value odds possible. This is essential if you’re looking to maximise your profit from horse racing betting.

As more and more sportsbooks become available for US punters, there is a greater benefit in checking for the best odds. You’re potential from winning bets is much higher.

Searching for the best value odds is a process called line shopping and it’s used by all serious punters looking to maximise their profit.

Use matched betting

Matched betting is a brilliant way to make money online and it’s gaining popularity in the US. For those of you who don’t know, matched betting is a way of taking advantage of sportsbooks free bets and promotions.

Thousands of individuals already use this strategy to make money in the UK and Europe and it’s starting to appeal to those in the US since the abolishment of the PASPA Act.

With access to a betting exchange like Betfair, matched betting is now a possibility in certain US states.

For more information on matched betting and how it works, check out this article.

Horse racing is one of the best sports for matched betting. With so many racing events happening each week, there’s a huge range of markets to place your bets on.

Best horse racing markets

Another question we often get asked from beginners is what markets to place your horse racing bets on. Similar to the number of sportsbooks available, there can sometimes be too many betting markets making it difficult to choose one.

If you’re just getting started, I recommend you stick with simplest form of betting and stake money on a given horse to win a race.

As you become more experienced, you can look into different markets such as each way bets etc.

Horse racing betting in the US

All in all, horse racing continues to be one of the most popular sports for US residents to wager their money on. As gambling becomes more main-stream and other states legalise sports betting, there’s lots to come from horse racing in the US.

Stay tuned for all the latest information on horse racing in the US and the latest states to legalise betting.