Online horse betting guide - your latest online horse betting guide

There's no doubt about it - horse racing has come a long way from ancient times all the way to the present. We've enjoyed betting on horses since time immemorial, and indeed, it's a sport that seems ingrained into our blood and the blood of our ancestors. In fact, we have placed our bets just when the first-ever horse race started! Nowadays, we can honestly and wholeheartedly say that online horse betting is among the most popular forms of gambling entertainment all around the world. It is even enjoyed by the Royal families in Europe, TV and pop stars, and all kinds of celebrities, as well as thousands of ordinary people like you and me. It's no surprise, then, that it has been legalized in most states of the USA.

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📖 Published on: June 27th, 2023

✍️ Updated: 1 month ago

⏳ 21 mins read

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

So, the big question on everyone’s mind (especially if you are just starting on your own online horse betting journey) is: where do I place my bets? The age of global digitalization has freed us from the need to be physically present at the racetrack, which is truly one of the wonders of the age. 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. That said, the most popular websites that offer the best horse race bets are below:



AmWager Horse Betting is one of the most renowned and respected horse betting sites in the world, and it offers speed and user-friendliness on its platform (which makes it perfect for those who are not too tech-savvy!). AmWager is also known for offering exclusive promo codes and the highest standards for security. AmWager also has an app, and it features live videos as well as replays of past races. It has one of the most generous welcome bonuses we’ve seen so far - a 100% deposit match bonus of up to $300! What’s even better, AmWager offers the potential of earning daily cash rewards to its loyal members, along with a thousand or so races to choose from every single day.

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Horseplay, formerly known as B Spot, redefines the online betting landscape by seamlessly blending horse race wagering with the thrill of social casino gaming. At Horseplay, you're not just placing bets on live horse races; you're immersing yourself in an innovative gaming experience. Unique to Horseplay is its model that allows you to wager on real money games using Sweeps Coins, earned through rewards or contests, offering a novel twist to traditional betting.

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Established in 1999, this web source grew from a broadcaster to one of the main horse 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. The betting options at TVG are 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.

TVG logo image



TwinSpires gives you even more opportunities than TVG because 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 TwinSpires in 2021 simply because they share the same parent company.

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The website covers over 300 race tracks 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.


Keeneland Select

Keeneland Select is also an online betting platform for horse racing worldwide. What’s interesting is that it reinvests a portion of its 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 can also benefit from online handicapping tools, podcasts, and special bonuses.

Keeneland logo image


WatchandWager is another online horse racing betting platform that has garnered a lot of attention from horse-racing enthusiasts. 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.

Watchandwager logo image


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 well-known Caesars brand, the racebook ensures a comprehensive and user-friendly betting experience.

Caesars Racebook logo image


There are definitely more options on the market these days. FanDuel, Bet MGM, BetOnline, Bovada, and Derby Jackpot are also on the list of popular online destinations for US horse racing online fans. If we were you, your best bet is to research the platform’s features and user-friendliness, and it doesn’t hurt to take advantage of bonuses and rewards as well!

Bets to go - the most popular horse betting apps

In the past , you had to go to the racetrack to watch a race and place a bet. And while there’s no denying that going to a racetrack had its charms - you could, after all, experience the rush and the adrenaline first-hand - 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. In other words, 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 race broadcasts - 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 are in it not only for the betting process but the horse race itself. The main options to enjoy watching horse races online are:

  • On TV (major races are commonly broadcast on well-known channels, and there is TVG to watch daily races. Also, some races are available via live streaming platforms).
  • OTB venues (you can check if there is “off track betting near me” which offers broadcasting on a wide screen) You can even check race results at some off-track wagering venues.
  • Via Simulcast (there is definitely a community of fans in your neighborhood). Many horse tracks are also linked, which allows you to bet on horse races that occur simultaneously.
  • Live streaming - most horse racing betting sites also have a page with live streaming of the races, and if you’re active on a particular site featuring live streaming, you can view all the races in real-time.

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Those who would like to experience real, raw emotions can use the most obvious option - and go to the racetrack themselves to see the action first-hand. Moreover, if you’ve been to race tracks recently, then you’d know that 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

Here’s the deal: 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.

This is another aspect you have to realize early on as well: betting on horse racing online is all about skills, as you need to be attentive to be able to analyze the situation on the track and predict the results. That’s why horse race betting online is more advantageous, because it 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 place the most profitable bet. The information and knowledge is out there for the taking - and all you have to do is choose wisely.


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. It really is as simple as 1-2-3.

The major horse races all around the US

Now, in terms of the most popular horse races in the US every year, the first thing you should know is that the racing season varies depending on the breed of a horse. There are bigger and smaller races for every taste, for instance. However, if we are talking about the main event of the horse racing year, then it’s definitely the Triple Crown. The Triple Crown consists of 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 - which is no small feat indeed!




Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs racetrack (Louisville, KY)

This was first held in 1875 and has been running every year since then on the first Saturday of May. Needless to say, 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 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 the Belmont Stakes.


Besides the famous Triple Crown, there are also a number of smaller events. However, smaller races don’t mean smaller stakes - and smaller emotions! In some cases, there’s more at stake, including the pride and reputation of the participants. Among the most spectacular horse races of the year, these are the following:

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

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Virtual horse racing bets

Nowadays, we must admit that no one is really impressed with a horse race taking place on a track. Everyone has been there, done that. So we have the next best thing: how about a virtual race? Virtual betting is one of the latest and most in-demand innovations of the iGaming industry. How does it work? It’s like this: special software algorithms calculate the results of the event. It takes into account both the 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 - it is almost like being at the races yourself and seeing flesh-and-blood horses race in front of you.

It comes as no surprise, then, that 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 in the future! The best innovations are yet to come!

How to distinguish horse racing breeds

If you’re new to horse racing and have only just begun your journey into the fine world of horse racing, all the horses on the track may look quite similar. This is normal, so there’s no need for you to fret. However, seasoned bettors have an exceedingly sharp eye and are capable of not only determining the breed of a horse but also its potential in a race. To give you a better idea, here is our short guide on horse racing breeds.



Standardbred Horses

These horses come with a mixed heritage, and many believe that this breed is easier to care for. In addition, 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, which makes them truly exceptional. 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 to newcomers due to the large number of specific terms that come with it. It may take some time to get into all the acronyms and terms, but, as they say, no pain, no gain. The good news is, you’ll get the hang of these terms eventually. Below, we have gathered the most used terms to help you get more acquainted with horse race betting.


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.


A real-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. Many individuals seek out like-minded people and participate in a variety of horse races; it’s a pleasurable and energizing manner of spending your time - and for others, it’s the perfect way to mingle and socialize.


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!

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!

horse betting horse betting mobile

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. Think of it this way: roulette, slots, and card games will always have a light tinge of prohibition; whenever we play those casino-style games, there is the slight feeling that we are doing something thrilling - and taboo. On the other hand, horse race betting is more similar to average leisure entertainment (just like basketball or baseball, for instance). Yet, no one can deny that the issue of legality is still there, and everything depends on your current location. In other words, the state where you reside will still determine if you can enjoy horse betting or not, and it’s up to you to do the necessary research. But, for starters and to help you along, 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

It is also worth noting that while online horse betting has not yet officially launched in North Carolina, online horse betting has been approved. So it’s in the works!


The final verdict on online horse betting in the US

Here’s a quick fact: did you know that horse racing in the US has been around since the early 1800s? As a matter of fact, over 300 racetracks existed in the 19th century - even more than the race tracks available today! This only goes to show that horse racing has been woven into the very fabric of the United States as far back as we can remember. It is, to put it simply, part of our way of life. As long as people have had majestic, capable, and awe-inspiring horses, there have been horse races taking place.

When it comes to online horse race betting, it may be fairly new - but it has also cemented itself into the consciousness of many. What makes online horse betting even more amazing is that you can do it anywhere, at any time, and there’s nothing stopping you from being an active participant in a horse race - be it with the strongest thoroughbreds at the Triple Crown or at a race of endurance with Arabian horses half a world away. Horse betting still takes the top spot with regards to thrill and a superior show of brute strength - and if you want to be carried away at top speed, then absolutely nothing will stand in your way. Furthermore, there are still changes taking place in the horse betting world, so you can be sure of one thing: the best is sure to come, sooner rather than later!


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.

Wia Van Cauwenberghe
Editor | Writer

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