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Horse racing betting

Horse racing betting is the original form of gambling in the UK. Until the rise of online betting, horse racing bets were placed with a bookmaker either at the racetrack or over the phone.

Totesport also offers in person betting using the pari-mutuel service. While In Australia, there are many operators that provide online betting, bet types and promotions for you to choose from.

Betting sites offer different horse racing products

Horse racing provides a wide range of betting options. Bookmakers are constantly competing to offer punters new and unusual betting types. New products such as Best of the Best and Top Fluctuation, are now considered a must for the discerning punter.  

With almost constant introduction of new bet types, the horse betting landscape is increasingly complex, with a wide choice of bets to consider.  Some of these new bet types are not offered by every betting agency, while others are only offered at certain race meets, and bet amounts are normally limited.

Understanding the available bet types and choosing a good bookmaker maximises your chances of winning in the long-term.

Betting sites that provide horse betting

Horse racing bet types

Best of the Best

Best of the best pays the higher dividend of the three best totes, or the top fluctuation.

Top Fluc

The Top Fluc (or Top Fluctuation) horse racing bet type pays the highest price bet in the bookmakers’ ring in the lead up to the race.

Best Tote

A Best Tote horse racing bet pays the you the highest dividend declared by the three major Australian totes (TAB, NSWTAB, UBET).

Mid Tote

The Mid Tote bet pays middle of the three dividends declared by the pari-mutuel operators.

Starting Price

The Starting Price is the official price declared in the bookmakers’ ring at the start time of a horse race.

Fixed odds

All sports betting markets use fixed odds. The fixed odds at the time of placing a bet is the payment you will be guaranteed if you win.

Top Tote Plus

Top Tote Plus pays the higher of the Starting Price and Best Tote bet types.

Each Way Bet

An each way bet is one bet that combines both a win bet and a place bet on the same selection. So if your chosen horse wins or places, you receive a payout.

Place betting

A place bet requires you to select a runner to finish in the top three positions of a horse race.

Betting Without

Betting Without is a product offered by only a few betting agencies. It allows you to remove runners from a field and then nominate a winner. It is, in effect, a ‘field within the field’ bet type.

Parlay betting

A parlay bet, also known as an accumulator bet, is the European version of a multi bet. However, a parlay formula bet allows you greater flexibility than multi bets, as you can decide on how many legs need to be win in order for the bet to successful.

Exotic horse racing bets

Exotic racing bet types originated from the pari-mutuel betting system, whereby, a pool of money is divided by the number of winning units. Traditionally, bets of this nature were only placed with a pari-mutuel provider like the TAB. Nowadays, every betting agency offers this type of betting, although, the resultant dividends are still derived from a pari-mutuel provider, the bookmakers simply mirror the dividend.

Tote betting

Tote betting is the practice of placing a bet with a pari-mutuel operator, whereby, all money is placed into a pool. The winning dividend, is calculated by dividing up pool by the number of correct bets.

Flexi betting

A flexi bet allows you to wager a percentage of the full unit cost of a bet. It is especially useful for betting using horse racing exotics bet types, where the cost can be expensive.

Exacta betting

An exacta bet requires you to select the first two in horses in a race in correct order.

Quinella bet

A quinella bet requires you to select the first two horses in a race. Unlike an exacta bet, the order does not matter.

Duet bet

A duet bet requires you to select just two of the first three horses in a race.

Trifecta betting

For a trifecta bet to be successful, you must select the top three place getters of a horse race in correct finishing order.

Box trifecta

A box trifecta allows you to select any number of horses, so long as they fill the top three positions of a horse race. If any of the horses from your selection are the top three finishers (in any order), you’ll win. Given the higher odds, the cost of the bet is more expensive than a regular trifecta bet.

First Four

Like the trifecta, a first four bet requires you to correctly select the first four horses of a race in correct order.

Double bet

A double bet combines two different horse racing bets into one bet. They normally involve selecting the winner of two races. A double bet can also be used to combine two sports bets into one.

Treble bet

A treble bet requires you to select the winner of three nominated horse races. All three selections must win for the bet to be successful.

Quaddie betting

A quaddie bet requires you to select the winner in four consecutive horse races.

Big 6 betting

A Big 6 bet allows you to predict the winner of six consecutive horse races.

Calculating the cost of horse racing bets

Due to the multiple options, calculating the cost of horse racing exotic bets can be difficult.  In most cases, predicting the dividend is near impossible. Our bet calculators can help you compute the exact cost of various horse racing bet types.


The use of free bets for horse betting

Many bookmakers offer free bets for horse betting. However, most bonus bets are only available for straight horse racing bets—win, place and each way bets. Bonus bets for trifectas and quinellas are usually not permitted, however it varies with each bookmaker. Likewise, not all win betting products can be placed using bonus bets. The free bets section of our website will help you learn more about bonus bets for horse betting.

Tying it all together

For beginners, our how to bet guide explains the various odds formats, how to place a bet and how to read a form guide. If you’re comfortable with betting on horses, our guide also covers betting strategies that may enhance your betting profitability. Bettors of all standards will find valuable information on the Australian industry and responsible gambling.