Horse Racing Betting – How To Bet On Horse Racing in South Africa?

24 June 2024

Horse racing betting is a favourite pastime amongst online and offline punters. It is important for bettors to understand how to bet on horse racing, especially before making a value bet at any of the best betting sites.

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Horse Racing Betting Explained

Betting on horse races can easily be achieved online without watching the race live. You can do this with your mobile phones, tablets or PC. Most Sports African sportsbooks offer horse racing markets, and some even live stream the event on their site.

Betting on horse racing online is popular among bettors, so you can wager on any worldwide race. Watching them play out online is more convenient, and you can get real-time updates directly to your smartphone. This guide will share some horse racing tips.

Here is a step-by-step guide on horse racing betting:

  1. Choose a bookmarker (we recommend one of the horse racing betting sites mentioned in this article).
  2. Select the name and number of your chosen horse on the race card.
  3. Place your wager amount.
  4. Pick your bet type based on the options from your bookmarker
  5. Confirm your bet and wait for the race to start.
  6. If your prediction is correct, then you can collect your winnings.
Horse Racing Betting

What Are The Different Types Of Bets In Horse Racing?

It is essential to know the various markets before wagering on horse racing. There are many options to wager on for horse racing betting. Horse racing may be the only sport to have so many different forms of bets.

Here are some of the most betting markets associated with this sport:


The winners market is an excellent choice for beginners. Here, you can place a bet on which horse will win the race or cross the line in the first position.

Each Way Bet

Each way bet comes in two opportunities – you are wagering on which horse will win and finish in certain positions. The number of positions you pick will depend on the horses’ numbers in the race and the option provided by the sportsbook. You may be given a choice for extra positions in the race in some sportsbooks.

Place Only

This betting type is quite similar to the previous options mentioned. The only exception is that your wager will be on the horse to finish in the specified positions.


This market allows you to predict if a horse will win the first or second place in a race. This betting choice is available on most online sportsbooks and comes in two categories: reverse forecasts and straight forecast bets.

W/O Favourite

The “Without” market for horse racing online betting is another attractive bet option. It is usually available when a winning horse is in a specific race.

Matched Bets

Match bets are universally favoured because it is a low-risk bet. The bet involves using free bets to cover possible outcomes in the race.


The single bet option is where you bet on only one horse to win the race.


The double market gives you a two-in-one bet, so your chances of winning increase.


The accumulator option provides a set of bets. They are high-risk bets, which can be a challenge to win.

What Are Horse Racing Betting Odds?

Horse racing online betting odds is another area you should learn about before placing your wager. Bookmarkers usually set the horse racing odds based on the horse’s chances of either winning or taking a position in a race.

Bookmakers trust online experts to put a price on each race accurately. A lot of time and effort ensures that each horse’s odds accurately represent its chances of winning. There are two types of odds used by online sportsbooks – decimal and fractional odds – which will be explained below.

Decimal Odds

New punters in horse racing betting are advised to use decimal odds because it is easier to calculate how much money you can win from your bet. For instance, if you place an R10 bet on a 5.0 odds option, you get R50. So, your winnings will be R40 plus your R10 bet returned.

Fractional Odds

The fractional odds are also available in horse racing online. This type usually has a slash separating the numbers. The number on the right side is the amount you must wager to win the amount on the left. If you bet R10 on odds of 5/1, you get R60 if you win. The win here will be R50 plus your original stake of R10.

You should understand that the smaller the odds, the more likely it is that a horse will win. If the odds are more significant, there’s a lesser chance of winning that bet. However, if you’re lucky to win a bet with bigger odds, you win more money even on a small wager. To be sure of what to expect from your winning, you should use a bet calculator for the odds.

What are the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites?

Now that you know the horse racing tips to help you wager, here are some of the best horse racing online betting sites in South Africa.

Hollywoodbets Horse Racing

Hollywoodbets is one of South Africa’s licensed sportsbooks. This bookmaker is highly trusted and a prominent betting name in the country. They offer several bonuses, markets and odds on horse racing events.

Hollywoodbets Horse Racing

Betway Horse Racing

Betway is a UK company that has established its sports betting services in South Africa. Horse racing at Betway is another place where you can find great odds on horse racing betting. Furthermore, it features a number of convenient and easy banking methods for bettors to choose from.

Betway Horse Racing Horse Racing is one of the best horse racing online betting sites for South Africans. They are known to offer favourable odds and many betting markets for horse races. In addition, new bettors will benefit from the fast registration process. Horse Racing

Horse Racing Betting Tips

There are certain things which you should know about horse racing betting. As a beginner, there are mistakes that you will likely make if you do not have the right guide. Read these horse racing tips to increase your chances of winning at horse racing betting.

Do Your Research

Research is an essential part of horse racing betting, and having an in-depth knowledge of the markets can potentially lead to profitable bets. When placing a bet, it is critical to examine the horse’s health and check the current state of the racetrack.

You Can Skip A Race

There are mistakes that punters make when betting on horse races. One of them is not wanting to skip a race. Professional gamblers are successful because they do not participate in every race, thus avoiding wasting time and money. So, miss some horse races if you are not confident it is worth betting on.

Play With More Bookmakers

Some people feel comfortable just betting with one bookmarker. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but because most bookmakers have different perspectives, you can always find better odds. Therefore, you should sign up with multiple bookies for a chance to boost your winnings.

Take Things Slowly

Putting all of your wagers on one race should be avoided in horse racing betting. It is also best to not rush into placing a bet because you need to devise a strategy, conduct research, and figure out how much money you can afford.

Never Let The Odds Influence You

Some bettors think that odds will favour them, so they go for low odds, thinking it is the best option for winning. The bookmakers know this and place the odds to their advantage (the sportsbook). You can only win at horse race bets by understanding how the game is played and knowing about each horse. There are several reasons to prefer placing your bets rather than placing a wager based solely on what you see on the odds.

Solely Taking Advice From Prediction Experts

Many people have their opinion about each game and will give horse racing tips based on different online opinions. However, most times, it does not work out. You can use experts to get stats about horses and learn more about the previous races without relying on their conclusions.

What are the Best Horse Racing Betting Strategies?

If you want to be successful at horse racing, you’ll need a game plan. Like in any other competitive sport, it is critical to find a method that works for you, and this requires a lot of trial and error. Note that not every strategy that has helped someone will also benefit you. Now, let’s look at some of the most common horse racing betting strategies.

Understand The Betting Options

Beginners in horse racing online betting usually fail to understand the meaning of a betting option before making a wager. As a result, a lot of money is being staked on a wager that will not yield any winnings. The best approach is to have a basic understanding of the problem before attempting to solve it. That’s why helpful horse racing tips like this are important.

Placing Bets on Multiple Horses

There are numerous horse racing markets, allowing for a wide variety of wagers. Most people new to horse racing betting do not realise that you can place bets on more than one horse to win and still win if one of them does. An example of this type of strategy is Lucky 15.

Martingale Strategy

The Martingale strategy is used in sports betting markets (like horse racing betting) and casino bets. An example of this type of bet is if you place a bet of R10, you can double it to 20, 40, and so on until you reach 100. Whenever you win, the process is repeated, and you have a chance to make a profit.

Which Horse Racing Event To Bet On?

Here are the exciting and standout horse racing events that you cannot miss wagering on:

Kentucky Derby Betting

The Kentucky Derby originated in 1875 at the dirt track at Churchill Downs. This 10-furlong race dubbed the “most exciting two minutes in sports” is held most times on the first Saturday in May. Other courses have larger purses, but the Kentucky Derby still has a $3 million prize pool.

Grand National Betting

One of the most popular betting events in the United Kingdom is the Grand National. It takes place at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool in April. This event has generated over $900 million in betting revenue across the United Kingdom.

Cheltenham Betting

Another highly anticipated event in British horse racing is the four-day Cheltenham Festival held annually in March. The Festival showcases the best of British, French, and Irish horses. The events held in addition to the Champion Hurdle are the Champion Chase and Stayers’ Hurdle. But taking place on the last day (Friday), the Gold Cup is the most anticipated competition.

Royal Ascot Betting

In June, horse racing fans flock to Royal Ascot for the season’s biggest annual event. Ascot hosts the reunion of the Royal Family, which lasts five days. Many horse races take place during the week, making the Royal Ascot betting prominent amongst punters.

Dubai World Cup Betting

The Dubai World Cup is one of the most lavish horse racing affairs. It is held during the Dubai Carnival, and Meydan Racecourse hosts the Meydan Races. The Dubai World Cup is a 2000-meter dirt race with a $16 million prize pool.

Melbourne Cup Betting

The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s premier thoroughbred horse race and is dubbed “the race that stops the nation.” It is a 3200-meter competition held annually on the first Tuesday in November. Set at Flemington Racecourse every year, it has a prize pool of $8 million.

Horse Racing Betting Review

There are many horse racing betting markets available, so it is critical to be familiar with as many bets offered by bookies. Conducting thorough research before placing each wager is essential if you want to win.

You can now place your wagers on popular horse racing events with this guide on how to bet on horse racing. Keep in mind the horse racing tips, betting options and strategies we mentioned.

Horse Racing Betting In South Africa – FAQs

Read our commonly asked questions below for more added information about horse racing betting in South Africa.

How do you bet on horse racing?

You can place a bet on horse racing events at many online bookies. From various betting markets, choose your preferred race and then place your wager.

What is the best bet to make in horse racing?

The best bet to make depends on your betting strategy. However, the win bet is the best option for horse racing online betting beginners.

Which horse number wins the most?

Several factors determine the outcome of a horse racing event. One of them is the health conditions of the horse and the condition of the racing track. No particular number will have more chances of winning the race.

How do you pick a winner in horse racing?

Before placing a wager on a horse, make sure you do your research on the health of the horse, age, and other relevant horse racing tips that affects the horse’s chances of winning first place.

What percentage of horse racing favourites win?

Wagering on your favourite horse to win stands at a 33-35 % chance of success. Your second favourite horse will likely have an 18-21% chance of winning. The odds are usually determined by how oddsmakers see the race.

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