Online horse betting guide - top websites for placing your bets

Horse racing has come a long way from ancient times to the present. It actually seems to appear at the same moment as the sport itself. There is also no doubt that the bets were placed just when the first-ever horse race started. Nowadays, online horse betting is among the most popular gambling entertainment all around the world. It is enjoyed by the Royal family members, TV and pop stars as well as thousands of ordinary people. No surprise it was legalized in most states of the USA.

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📖 Published on: June 27th, 2023

✍️ Updated: 3 months ago

⏳ 14 mins read

Websites to place a legal horse racing bet - list of the best options

The age of global digitalization has freed us from the need to be physically present at the racetrack. Moreover, there is no monopoly of one online betting service in the US, so you can choose the one you like best to place your wager. The most popular websites that offer the best horse race bets are below.



Established in 1999, this web source grew from a broadcaster to one of the main betting platforms. It still provides you with an option to watch thematic news (available channels are TVG and TVG2), as well as live broadcasts from racetracks all over the country. Betting itself at TVG is rather intuitive, so you won’t get lost even if you are a beginner. Moreover, on this website, you can find helpful guides and dedicated blog articles.

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TwinSpires gives you even more opportunities than TVG while it contains not only the best horse racing betting options but also traditional online casino games. Switching between sections is as simple as ABC, and you won’t have any trouble with it. Don’t forget to check the page with iconic horse races to feel the spirit of historical moments on a racetrack. BetAmerica became a part of TwinSpiners in 2021 by reason of sharing the same parent company.

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The website covers over 300 racetracks from different countries and offers a welcome bonus to newly-registered bettors. However, some may complain about the interface which is not user-friendly enough.

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Keeneland Select

Keeneland Select is an online betting platform for horse racing worldwide. It reinvests a portion of profits into Thoroughbred racing, offering live streams, free Brisnet Past Performances, and high-quality replays. With no subscription fees, the platform has a mobile app for easy wagering. Members benefit from online handicapping tools, podcasts, and special bonuses.

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WatchandWager is an online horse racing betting platform. It offers real-time race updates from global tracks and highlights significant carryovers. Owned by Webis Holdings PLC and regulated by the North Dakota Racing Commission, the site provides up to $100 in bonuses for new members.

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Caesars Racebook

Caesars Racebook is an online platform that allows users to engage in horse racing betting. The site showcases upcoming races from various tracks worldwide, such as Colonial Downs, Kentucky Downs, and Woodbine. Users can view real-time updates on races, track changes, and carryovers. The platform also offers features like account management, deposit options, bet history, and promotions. Additionally, it provides results and replays for past races. As part of the Caesars brand, the racebook ensures a comprehensive and user-friendly betting experience.

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There are surely more options on the market. FanDuel, Bet MGM and Derby Jackpot are also on the list of popular online destinations for US horse racing online fans.

Bets to go - popular horse betting apps

Once, you had to go to the racetrack to watch a race and place a bet. Times change, and now you can keep a racetrack in your pocket with the help of a horse betting app or mobile versions of online horse betting sites. Everything you need to place a bet or watch a horse race is already on your mobile. As you open a web page of your preferred online bookmaker using your mobile browser, it will automatically adapt to the size of your screen. Moreover, iOS users also have the option to download one of the well-known horse racing betting apps from the Apple App Store.


Horse races broadcast - where to watch?

If you were surprised by the list of horse race websites above, you’re going to be even more impressed by the number of alternatives available for those who fancy not only the betting process but the horse race itself. The main options to enjoy watching horse races online are:

  • On TV (major races are commonly broadcasted on well-known channels, and there is TVG to watch daily races)
  • OTB venues (one may check if there is an off track betting near me with broadcasting on a wide screen)
  • Via Simulcast (there is definitely a community of fans in your neighborhood)
  • Live streaming (most horse racing betting sites also have a page with live streaming of the races)

Horse betting

Those who would like to experience real emotions can use the most obvious variant and go to the racetrack. Moreover, almost every modern horse racetrack is a complex with various entertainment options, so you surely won’t feel bored.

Getting to know horse racing odds and picks

Each horse participating in a race can be bet on. The odds (positive or negative) in each event are determined by the amount of money wagered on a horse. Besides the stakes for the win, you may also bet on place or show selection. The last two options, however, usually come with smaller odds.

Betting on horse racing online is all about skills: you need to be attentive as well as be able to analyze the situation on the track and predict the results. Horse race betting online provides you with more tools as they offer statistics and a database of previous races. Your favorite horse racing website can also include a page with useful guides that may help you to place the most profitable bet.


Horse betting payouts in a nutshell

All the stakes placed on a race are pooled together. Let’s take an example: a million dollars was bet across the country on a win. Then, 50% of this sum is on one horse. In the case of winning, bettors are paid 1:1. In the same way, the prizes for trifecta, show, and place are calculated.

To determine your possible payout, you simply need to follow these steps: multiply your stake by the current odds and add the bet to the number you get. Here is an example: the odds are 4:1, and you are going to bet $5. Your potential payout would be 4 x $5 + $5 = $25.

The major horse races all around the US

Racing season varies depending on the breed of a horse. There are bigger and smaller races for every taste. However, if we are talking about the main event of the horse racing year, then it’s definitely the Triple Crown. Three big races exclusively for thoroughbreds. Each participant must have qualifiers as proof that only the best horses are allowed to take part. When the horse wins all three races in one year, it completes the Triple Crown.




Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs racetrack (Louisville, KY)

This was first held in 1875 and has been running every year on the first Saturday of May. The Kentucky Derby is way more than just a race, it’s a 2-week long festival with lots of traditions. One of them is a blanket of roses placed on the horse that wins.

Preakness Stakes

Pimlico racetrack (Baltimore, MA)

The race (1900 meters) takes place on a dirt track, two weeks later after the Kentucky Derby (on the third Saturday of May).

Belmont Stakes

Belmont Park (Elmont, NY)

This race (1.5 miles) is also held on a dirt track in early June. A blanket of white carnations is a traditional cover for the winner of Belmont Stakes.


Besides the famous Triple Crown, there is also a number of smaller events. However, smaller races don’t mean smaller amounts of emotions! Among the most spectacular horse racing of the year, there are the following:

  • Breeders’ Cup
  • Kentucky Oaks
  • Arkansas Derby
  • Santa Anita Handicap, and others
Horse betting races

Virtual horse racing bets

Nowadays no one can be impressed by a horse race taking place on a track. But how about a virtual race? Virtual betting is one of the latest and most demanded innovations of the iGaming industry. How does it work? Special software algorithms calculate the results of the event. It takes into account both skills of the contestants as well as the element of luck. Moreover, the graphics of virtual races are so good, you would never believe it is computer-generated.

Some of the best horse race betting sites already have such an option on their menu. Unfortunately, it’s still not available in the US. However, we all are looking forward to observing the first virtual horse races and testing virtual horse racing best bet odds!

How to distinguish horse racing breeds?

For those who are not into online horse betting, all the horses on the track may look quite similar. However, seasoned bettors have a sharp eye and are capable not only to determine a breed of a horse but also its potential in a race. Here is our short guide on horse racing breeds.



Standardbred Horses

These horses come with a mixed heritage. It is believed that this breed is easier to care for. These horses are used for harness/trotting and also show jumping.

Thoroughbred Horses

All of these horses are descended from just three parents born in the 1700s. Thoroughbreds are allowed to compete in major races (such as the Triple Crown, for example).

Quarter Horses

This is the name of mixed-breed horses of Spanish colonial origin. The name itself comes from the racetrack that was in demand during the first horse races.

Arabian Horses

These horses were first bred in the Middle East and are considered a subsection of thoroughbreds. They are ideal for long-distance races and do not participate in short-track races.

Horse race betting main terms

The world of online horse racing can be a bit confusing for newcomers due to the large number of specific terminus. It may take some time to get into all the acronyms and terms, but no pain, no gain. Below, we gathered the most used terms to help you get acquainted with horse race betting topic.


Male/Female horse


⅛ mile


Additional weight, placed on a horse. A better horse carries heavier weight in order to disadvantage it while competing with slower horses


Races with jockeys in carts


The abbreviation stands for ‘off-track betting” (placing bets in a venue somewhere off the racetrack) which was legalized in 1978.


Money reward for winning the race

Jump racing

During the race, horses jump over an obstacle one or several times. This type of race is usually held on distances of two miles or more


You win, when the horse you’ve chosen to stake on, comes on one of the first three positions


You win, when the horse you’ve bet on, comes first

Triple Crown

Three major races (Preakness Stakes, Kentucky Derby, and Belmont Stakes) exclusively for thoroughbred horses

Watching horse races online as well as trying to predict the winner can be a fun and exciting hobby to share with your friends or colleagues. Moreover, online horse betting may become more than just a hobby as it requires strong skills and constant involvement.

Put Your Money on the Front-Running Ponies

Saddle up for an exhilarating horse betting experience with our expert reviews. Discover the top horse betting sites with competitive odds and a wide range of races. Place your winning bets and feel the thrill of the track!

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Online horse betting in the US - issues of legality

Looking back at the history of online horse betting in the US, we must admit - it has never felt like typical gambling. Roulette, slots, and card games will always have a light glaze of prohibition. However, horse race betting comes more similar to average leisure entertainment just like basketball or baseball. Yet, the issue of legality is still there, and everything depends on your current location. Here is a list of states where horse betting online is officially legal:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming


What is the legal age for online horse betting in the US?

Mainly, you have to be at least 18 to place an online horse racing bet. However, in Alabama, the minimum legal age is 19, and in Texas - 21.

Can I watch a horse race online?

Sure, most well-known horse betting sites online offer their users live broadcasts as well as a compilation of the best races ever.

Is there a chance to use my mobile for horse race betting online?

Absolutely! In case you are an iOS user, you may download a horse betting app or else it is also possible to use your mobile browser to open a horse racing website of your choice and place a bet.

What horse races make the Triple Crown?

Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes are the races of the Triple Crown.

Travis Asherton
Editor | Sports Betting Expert