Skip to content

Online horse betting

Written by
Checked by Alex K.Lorella F.

Horse racing, “the sport of kings,” has a long and glamorous history – and nowadays, more and more bettors are looking for the best online horse betting action.

But what are the best horse racing betting sites in the US? And in which states is it legal to bet on horses?

What about tips on how to bet on horse racing successfully? What are the differences between straight bets and exotic bets?

We’ll cover all this and more, starting off the races with a look at the best sites for horse betting in the US.

Sportsbook Logo Odds rating Bonus Go to sportsbook Button Show more T&C
bet365 review
81/100 Sports and markets rating by Ian Z. 89% Playscore based on Bet $1 get $200 in Bonus Bets
Play now

Good to know

  • Several user-friendly offers
  • Large parlay boosts
  • Includes virtual sports

7 payment methods

Bank Transfer
Cash at Casino Cage
21+. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler (call or text in Colorado).
Caesars sportsbook review
76/100 Sports and markets rating by Ian Z. 94% Playscore based on Up to $1,000 back as a Bonus Bet on your first wager
Play now

Good to know

  • Excellent rewards program
  • Fast payouts
  • Bet on 20 different sports

9 payment methods

VIP Preferred
Bank Transfer
Borgata sportsbook review
68/100 Sports and markets rating by Ian Z. 85% Playscore based on Bet $20 get $100 in Free Bets
Play now

Good to know

  • Great odds on football
  • Regular parlay boosts
  • Bet on 19 different sports

14 payment methods

VIP Preferred
Cash at Casino Cage
Bank Transfer
American Express
Apple Pay
BetMGM review
59/100 Sports and markets rating by Anna M. 91% Playscore based on Up to $1,000 back in Bonus Bets
Play now

Good to know

  • Strong odds on football
  • Stellar customer support
  • Live streaming and live data

14 payment methods

VIP Preferred
Bank Transfer
American Express
Cash at Casino Cage

Our list of sites is based on what they offer in terms of legal horse race betting. Overall the ranking may be lower than other sites, but that’s because our focus here is on who is the best for online horse racing offerings. The US has a lot of catching up to do, and there aren’t many horse betting sites available right now — we’re aware of that. But rest assured we’ll update this whenever more stuff comes in.

Best horse racing betting sites by major races

Over the years horse racing events around the globe attracted everyone from British royalty to writer-adventurers like Hunter S Thompson. Events like the Kentucky Derby are part social occasion, part serious gambling event – the prizes can often be astronomical. Check out some of the best horse racing events in the US below:  

Over the years horse racing events around the globe attracted everyone from British royalty to writer-adventurers like Hunter S Thompson. Events like the Kentucky Derby are part social occasion, part serious gambling event – the prizes can often be astronomical. Check out some of the best horse racing events in the US below:  

Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby has been held on the first Saturday of May since 1875. It is the first leg of the American Triple Crown, and the most popular horse racing betting event in the US, with total wagering reaching $233 million in 2021. “The most exciting two minutes in sports” offers exotic, multiple betting options that can (if lady luck is on your side) result in huge payoffs.

Belmont Stakes

Belmont Stakes

Belmont Stakes is run at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York – nicknamed “test of a champion” the race is held exclusively for three-year-old Thoroughbreds. Belmont Stakes also boasts the longest racetrack of the Triple Crown events, coming in at a mile and a half. Pari-mutuel betting is restricted to two days, in contrast to the Kentucky Derby where you can place bets months before the race.

Grand National 2023

The Grand National

A trip across the Atlantic takes you to one of the most-followed races in the world. 4 miles and 514 yards of racing by beasts of at least 7 years of age, who’ve been rated 125 or higher in a previous race by the British Horseracing Association. In this steeplechase, participants must pass over 30 fences over 2 laps.

Breeders Cup

Breeders Cup

The Breeders’ Cup is held the first weekend in November and is run at a different racetrack each year. Along with the best-thoroughbred horses from around the world, spectators can expect to see the world’s top jockeys and trainers. With a prize of $31 million for the winners, you can see why the best of the best are keen to participate. As well as the prizes for the pros there are always great opportunities for bettors to win big, too.

Preakness 147

Preakness Stakes

Preakness Stakes is one of the biggest events in the US horse racing calendar. Held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, it takes place on the third Saturday in May. All the classic betting options ‘win’, ‘place’, and ‘show’ are available for bettors. Betting options like ‘exacta’ (picking the first two horses) and Trifectas (first three horses) could result in big payoffs if you pick right.

Why these are the best for horse betting online?

What does it take to rank as the best horse racing sites in the US? Below we’ll break down the different factors that influence our scores. We believe in a rigorous data-driven approach to our ratings – and always with you, the user, in mind.

  • horse racing icon

    Races available

    The best horse racing sites should offer bettors a wide range of choices in terms of race tracks and events. We’d expect to see not only races from top racetracks like Santa Anita Park in California but also the best international racetracks like Cheltenham in the UK. We’d also expect the biggest events on the racing calendar, like the Kentucky Derby, to be  vailable for bettors.

  • playing-cards-and-football

    Bet types

    The online horse racing sites that we rank highest are those that offer betting types above and beyond the basic straight and exotic bet types. That means if we see sites showing races with “quinella” or “daily double” on offer we’ll be “yaying” rather than “neighing” (that was a horse pun). When it comes to types and race styles, we’d expect thoroughbred horses and harness racing to be easy to filter between and choose.

  • gift-box


    We give our highest ratings to sites that offer specific and exclusive horse racing betting promos. Transparent terms and conditions are essential along with an attractive bonus. We want to know how many times you have to play through before you can see your winnings as real money. A risk-free bet can seem like the perfect bonus, but if you’re having to play through up to x 15, then we’d mark that site down compared to others.

  • Jackpot


    Odds are constantly changing, and depend on a variety of factors, so it’s difficult to rank a site based purely on finding ‘the best’ odds. A particular horse on a particular day at a particular event might have good odds in retrospect i.e. if that horse wins. So here we look for consistency – if the site tends to have favorable odds compared to others over time.

  • computer-screen

    Apps and platforms

    Horse racing is not just about betting, it’s the thrill of the event –so  if the platform itself keeps glitching and crashing, then it could spoil the racing experience. We’d also expect to see all the features that are available on desktop be available on mobile, too. It should be simple to navigate for users of all levels so that betting options and odds are easy to find and calculate. Overall our best ratings go to those apps that offer the smoothest and most user-friendly experience.

  • Security

    Stace licenses

    Online horse racing is legal in the majority of states in the US. That means players in any state where it’s legal can place bets on races happening in different states. When we rate a site we’d expect as many of those states as possible that offer horse racing to be represented. FanDuel Racing’s mobile app, for example, is available in over 20+ states – which is a good number, although it’s missing NJ at present.

  • Loading

    Overall betting site rating

    We’re looking to find sites that offer the best experience for users overall. What does that mean? Round-the-clock customer support, a decent range of payment options, and more than anything, good terms and conditions. We are 100% honest with our ratings and reviews – because we want to find the best user experience out there.

Horse racing bets — a closer look

New to online horse racing betting? You might find the betting terminology a bit confusing at first. Don’t worry. Below, we’ve collected a list of the most popular horse racing bet types (with the essential facts so anyone can grasp the basics).

Here are the most popular horse racing bets:

Straight bets

A straight bet in horse racing gambling is when you pick a horse to finish 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a race. The most popular straight bets – win, place, and show – we cover below.

Win bets

A win bet is easy to explain: pick the horse that comes first, and you win. The only catch is you have to choose the winning horse to get a payout.

Place bets

Place bets offer more chance for a payoff than win bets (although the payout will be lower than a win bet). Your horse has to cross the finish line first or second for you to win.

Show bets

A show bet means your horse can finish 1st, 2nd, or 3rd to get a payout. However, your potential winnings will be lower than a place bet.

Exotic bets

Exotic bets in horse racing gambling allow you  to wager on multiple horses in one race or across different races. The attraction of these complex bets is that they come with potentially big payouts.


With Exactas you need to pick the horses who’ll come first and second in a race. Compared to the more exotic bets they’re a lot easier to grasp for newcomers – but the payouts aren’t as high.


Trifectas are also known as “triples”. In a trifecta you must pick the right order of the first three horses in a single race. Winning a trifecta will require experience with a healthy dose of luck.


Superfectas are the next level – you’ll have to pick the correct order of the first four horses in a race. The odds of you succeeding are not quite winning the lottery and getting struck by lightning, but it’s close. If you win, you’ll win big.

Pick 3s, Pick 4s, Pick 5s

With Pick 3s, Pick 4s, Pick 5s, etc you’ll have to pick a number of winners at each consecutive race to get a payout. This probably isn’t a good bet for beginners – unless you have oodles of self-belief, and are feeling super lucky.

Daily Double

In online horse racing betting, if you can pick the winners from two races in a row – you’ll win a daily double. Easy to explain. The hard part (obviously) is picking the winners.


Quinella is an alternative strategy to a place bet – to win you have to pick who’ll finish first and second in a race. But with a twist: the order of who comes first and second doesn’t matter.

Free bets and other racing promotions

Online horse racing betting bonuses usually come in the form of free bets. At FanDuel, which has a dedicated racing platform, their main bonus is a deposit match. Make a deposit of $10 or more using the promo code and you’ll receive a bonus that matches your deposit – up to $50 in site credits. We’ll update this with the latest offers as more sites adopt horse racing bets into their repertoire.

Odds and picks: the top horse betting sites

Horse racing odds give players an idea about how likely that horse is to win the race. The lower the odds the less likely they’ll succeed – but if they do, you’ll get a bigger payoff. It depends on the betting site, but on FanDuel you’ll see odds displayed in traditional fractions (e.g. 4-1) rather than US odds (e.g. +110).

How do fractional odds work? Here’s a quick example from the 2021 Preakness Stakes. TVG and FanDuel had Rombauer (no.6) at 12-1 odds. That means if you’d made a straight “win” bet of $50 on Rombauer, you’d have come away with a profit of $600 (plus your original $50, so $650).

Looking for free picks? We aim to keep you updated with the latest, and best, odds out there – so keep checking back.

Horse racing apps: discover the best on the market

What are the best horse racing betting apps  on the market? We’re on the lookout for apps that provide the smoothest, easiest-to-use experience. We’d expect players to be able to bet on races live from their mobile devices without it crashing. Information like betting odds and betting options should be clearly displayed. Overall, the app should be simple to navigate for users of all experience levels.

Betting 101 — How to bet on horse racing

Ready to place your bet on the winning thoroughbred? Novices and serious online horse betting pros alike will get something out of our expert tips below. So saddle up and check out our pointers on how to bet on horse racing.

Tip 1

Do your homework

The bettors who regular make money from betting are few and far between. But they do exist. Ask yourself a question – would a pro place a bet on a horse without finding out its track record? Who the jockey is? The record of the trainer? Exactly. You’ll need to get familiar with ‘form guides’ – these will provide you with everything you need to know about who is racing, jockeys, trainers, and more.

Tip 2

Develop a strategy

Exploring the best horse racing betting sites, learning all the betting types out there – the difference between an exacta and trifecta – is a good start. But it’s not enough. You should test the water with small bets. Try straight bets like “win” and “place” to start with, and then feel out exotic bets. Alongside this, you should try betting at different racetracks across different markets. Bet on favorites to win and outliers. Learn as much as you can from experts – but, in the end, find a strategy (or strategies) that work for you.

Tip 3


We recommend that all players keep an eye on their funds. But if you’re a newbie, above all bet small, and with money that you can afford to lose. Remember; even the most experienced bettors will inevitably lose some of their hard-won cash.

More about horse racing betting (Coming soon!)

Want to learn more about legal horse racing betting online? We’ve got you covered. Check out our guides to horse racing betting terms, how to bet, and horse betting strategies:


Horse betting terms

Want to get to grips with all types of exotic bets? What about handicapping? A deeper dive into online horse betting terminology from fillies, thoroughbreds, deadheats, and more.

New York Legalizes Off Track Betting

How to bet on horses

Betting on horses might not be a science – but there are ways to improve your luck. Discover expert tips and hacks to help you bet smarter.


Horse racing strategies

There are tried-and-tested horse betting systems out there that every bettor needs to know. They’re not foolproof, of course. But you need to develop and hone your betting strategy if you want any chance of (consistently) picking winners.

Horse racing betting became legal with The Interstate Horse Racing Act of 1978, with many states amending bills in the early 2000s to include horse betting sites. Following that with federal changes in the law to online sports betting, a flurry of legit sites have appeared on the scene.

The best horse racing betting sites USA like TVG and FanDuel offer bettors in many states a chance to bet on horses at racetracks across the US, and internationally.

Here’s a list of all the states where you can bet on horse racing online:

USA statesLatest updates
AlabamaInterstate horse racing betting is now legal
ArkansasLegal since February 2022
CaliforniaLegal since 2010
ColoradoOut of state racing legal since 2009
ConnecticutLegal since 2021
DelawareLegal since 2019
FloridaLegal since Nov 2021
Idahopari-mutuel horse racing betting legal
IndianaOnline betting legal since 2019
IllinoisOnline betting legal since 2019
KansasOnline horse betting legal
KentuckyOnline pari-mutuel wagering legal
LouisianaIn-person and online racing betting legal
MaineRemote betting on horse races legal since 2020
MarylandOnline betting legal since 2021
MassachusettsOnline wagering on horse racing legal since 2021
MichiganOnline horse racing legal since 2020
MinnesotaOnline horse racing now legal
MissouriLegal in-person, not online
MontanaOff-track betting facilities legal
NebraskaLegal since May 2021.
New HampshireOnline betting legal since  July 2019
New JerseyOnline betting legal since 2013
New YorkOnline betting legal since January 2022
North DakotaPari-mutuel horse wagering is legal online
OhioOnline betting legal since 2019
OregonHorse racing betting sites legal since 1997
PennsylvaniaOnline betting legal since 2017
Rhode IslandOnline betting legal since 2019


What is the best online horse racing betting site?

Out of all the best horse racing sites that we have reviewed is FanDuel. However, as it’s the only betting site that offers horse betting it’s a bit false for us to claim it’s the best. As we review the best horse racing betting sites USA our list will keep growing – so keep checking back.

How can I bet on horses online?

First off, you’ll need to find a trusted (and legal) site in your state. Make sure you do your research and learn about the different betting types. Get familiar with placing bets by starting off small and familiarizing yourself with the bet types. Check out our online horse betting 101 section for more info.

Is it legal to bet on horses online?

In the majority of states in the US, it’s legal to bet on horses online. Take a look at our section on where horse betting is legal in the US for a detailed table on every state and its legal status.

What is the best way to bet on horses?

There isn’t a tried and tested method to be successful with horses – but you can increase your chances of being lucky. The basics are: do your homework; don’t bet more than you can afford to lose; hone your strategy. Take a look at our how to bet on horse racing section for a more detailed breakdown of these points.

All online betting information

Our trusted partners
Copyright ©2024. All rights reserved.