Horse racing - horse race books, horse racing betting sites
Do I have to go to my local bookie shop to bet on horse racing?
We are lucky enough to live in a world where we can do almost everything right from the comfort of our own homes. Once upon a time, sure, you would have to go through a whole, lengthy process to be able to bet on horse racing. You’d have to get dressed (maybe shower if you are the hygienic type [let’s hope that you are]), get into your car, drive through frustrating and stressful traffic, find the bookkeeper, park your car, sit in the less than comfortable bookie store (sometimes for hours at a time), and then go through the whole traffic nonsense just to get home.
Today, however, placing bets on horse racing is one million times easier and more convenient (at least!). Brick and mortar bookies, although they still exist in certain places, are on their way out. Online gambling is the future and the now. There is an enormous world of online betting sites for you to explore (if you have not already done so).
In addition to some excellent horse racing sites, you’ll also find some of the best sportsbooks you have ever seen, great online casinos with live poker and blackjack (as well as tons of other games), online slot machines, and plenty of eSports betting sites as well. Thanks to the advent of the internet and mobile betting, now you can take Vegas with you no matter where you go.
What would you say if I told you, I don’t know, 20 years ago, that in your lifetime you would be able to carry an entire casino in your back pocket? Today, this is the reality. In the history of the whole world, there has never been a better time for gambling than today. Welcome to the future. Now it’s time to bet on it!
I am a little bit skeptical … are any of these horse racing betting sites any good?
I get why you might be concerned. There are so many moving parts when it comes to a horse racing site (I mean in addition, of course, to the horses themselves). Especially if you have never bet on horses online (or bet on anything online, for that matter), I totally understand why you might have some trepidation.
When it comes to placing bets on horse racing, you want to make sure that you are getting the real time experience. Every second matters on the track. Especially for those close races, those photo finishes. And let’s face facts: sometimes the internet is not the most dependable way to view content. Buffering can take forever. Connections can waver. There is sometimes lag. When your money is on the line, of course you would be worried about whether betting on horses online is viable.
Well, allow me to (hopefully) assuage your concerns. I have been betting online for years now. I have seen it all. I have seen horse racing sites in their infancy, when these things were serious concerns that frequently did hinder the enjoyment and the accuracy of the horse betting experience. These were in the early days, when horse race betting sites were still working out the bugs.
Today, however, I can say with confidence, horse racing sites are damn near perfect. They have had 20 years or so (in some cases longer) to get everything right. And I am happy to report that they have. Well, I can’t speak for every horse racing site on the web, but the ones that I have listed here – top notch, I guarantee it.
How can I say this with such confidence? Well, because that is the whole point of my site … to link only the best of the best betting sites. Whether I am reviewing online casinos, sports betting sites, or horse racing sites, I do not falter on quality. I am a stickler. Every site that I review must pass my rigorous checklist. But I will elaborate on the specifics of that in a moment. For now, all I mean to say is this: if you find a horse racing site here, it will without a doubt provide as good as (and in some cases better) horse racing experience than going to the bookmaker shop.
What kinds of features do horserace betting sites have to offer?
Well, to get specific about features and betting types, this depends almost entirely on what individual horse betting site we are talking about. However, there are certainly a few baseline features that any site deserving of the title “best horse racing site” must provide.
First off, naturally, you want your horse racing betting site to offer a solid selection of horse races. Anyone who has bet on races at a bookmaker before knows well the value and importance of widespread coverage. The logic is as simple as it is sound: the more horse races there are to bet on, the better your chances of winning more money. With horse racing sites, of course, this list can get rather lengthy (as one would expect).
The bets horse racing betting sites offer international coverage, from anywhere between 50 and 150 tracks around the world. From Africa to Ireland, the United States to France. The best horse racing sites put you in control of your bets by giving you the largest selection of bets to place possible. But it does not end, of course, at just allowing players to bet on horses from a plethora of races and tracks around the world … the best horse betting sites also provide a sprawling list of live streaming races as well.
As I touched on earlier, you cannot truly be expected to enjoy the full horserace betting experience without being able to watch the races. In fact, this is, for me anyway, where a great deal of the excitement of betting on horses comes from. The thrill of picking a horse and seeing the race itself transpire, rooting and cheering for your horse to take the lead. A horse betting site that does not let you live stream nearly every race being offered is not one that is worth your time and money.
There is also a new era of horse racing upon us. In addition to hundreds of live horse races with real people riding real horses, there are also countless virtual horse races to bet on as well. Horserace bettors that I have spoken to seem to be pretty split down the middle when it comes to their opinions on virtual horse racing. The traditionalists, the purists, as you would expect, scoff at it and say things like that ‘it is a mockery of one of the most ancient and respected forms of sport of all time.’
However, more progressive (often younger, if we’re being honest) horserace bettors appreciate the technological nuances of it, claim that it is every bit as legitimate as the combination of chance and skill involved in betting on real horse races, thanks to the supreme accuracy of the simulations.
Whether or not virtual horse races are for you, the best horse racing sites will have them available as an option. Take advantage or ignore at your discretion.
Finally, the best horse racing sites should offer plenty of ways for you to hedge your bets, win extra money, and make the most of each bet. I am talking, of course, about promotional deals and bonuses. The most reputable betting sites will entice new users with free bets, deposit matches, etc. They should also have frequently offered bonus opportunities for existent customers, perhaps a loyalty program of sorts.
In addition to bonuses and promo money, horse racing sites might offer enhanced odds, in which the bookmaker artificially boosts the odds of select races, giving players the opportunity to win bigger. Plus, the more customizable your experience, the better. Some sites offer customizable race cards, for example. Whatever the case may be, you want to make sure that your horse race betting site of choice lets you bet on horses however you see fit, it should put you in control over your bets.
What makes one horse racing site better than another?
It is not all about features. It is a lot about features, sure, but there are plenty of other factors to take into account when evaluating the quality of a horse racing betting site. Remember earlier when I said that I would get to my criteria for reviewing betting sites in a bit? Well, here we are. I have devised this list of criteria as a way to come as close to an objective review of horse betting sites as is humanly possible. Let’s take a look at the categories I look at for every site…
History and reputation
Some sites have decades-long histories of good standing in the global gambling community. Some even have been around for 100+ years. Others have only been around for 5 or 10 years, but have quickly established credible reputations online. Still, though, there are sites that are marred in controversy. Sites that have sordid histories of customer complaints and sketchy behavior.
This is why I always try to dig up every horse racing site’s history, letting you know upfront should there be any issues that might be a dealbreaker for you in terms of the company’s ethics or customer service. Not every horse racing site is perfect, but some come much closer than others.
Design and user experience
It is hard to design a clean, neat, user-friendly, and intuitive sportsbook or race book, apparently. That is how it seems, because the majority of the betting sites that I see struggle with this. More often than not, horse racing sites are cluttered, chaotic, confusing, and hard to navigate.
It does not have to be this way, though. In fact, the best horse racing sites offer the opposite in the way of site design. They are neat, organized, easy to understand, and intuitive. It is rare, sure, but I don’t settle for anything but the best when it comes to horse betting sites or any other kind of online gambling site. We should be betting with our money, not with whether our site of choice will function properly and be easy to use.
Nowadays, if a site does not have some form of decent mobile accessibility, I don’t even consider listing here. To not have a mobile platform in today’s increasingly mobile world is unthinkable to me. This is why I also evaluate every horse racing site on its mobile capabilities.
Ideally, a horserace betting site will have a smooth and user-friendly mobile app. This makes everything much easier. However, if it does not, it better at least have a mobile site that is very well optimized and allows customers to easily and quickly bet on races from their phone or tablet.
Can I start betting on horseraces today?
In most cases, yes. All you have to do is read through my reviews, figure out which site is right for you, register, make a deposit, and, voila, you should be betting on the ponies by the end of the day. In some cases, it may take a few hours; in others, it may take a day or 2 (depending on the site and your bank).
Good luck, and I hope to see you at the track!