Betting on horse racing is a tradition that has been enjoyed for centuries, especially in the UK, where horse racing is particularly popular.

While these days you can find the best betting deals at the touch of your mobile phone, the actual practice of betting on the gee-gees goes back centuries.

From the 12th century, when English knights returned from the Crusades with Arab horses, to the establishment of formal racecourses during the 16th century, horse racing has been a part of British culture for nearly a thousand years.

In fact, it was Queen Anne who significantly boosted the sport in the early 18th century when she founded the Ascot Racecourse in 1711.

At the time, betting was a pastime for the aristocratic class, but as we all know, it has become increasingly popular among the general population to the extent that we now have a wide and varied range of betting types and deals that we can access at any time, from anywhere.

From the straight win bet to the Scoop6, and everything in between, horse racing betting may have its detractors, but there’s no arguing that it has become embedded in the fabric of life in the UK.

And if any further proof was needed, other than bookmakers profits, just look at how much we spend on the Grand National every year.

Collectively, we Brits spend in excess of £250 million on that one single race, all hoping that our tip or hunch was proved right.

But, just in case you’re not too familiar with the types of bets and deals that are on offer, here is our handy guide.

Popular Types of Bets in UK Horse Racing

Win Bet

Far and away the simplest form of betting, this is where you bet on a horse to win the race.

If the horse wins, so do you; if it doesn’t, you lose your bet.

Each-Way Bet

This is essentially two bets in one – one part on the horse to win and the other on it to place (usually finishing in the top three).

This bet is less risky than a win bet but typically offers lower returns. That is because you only get a percentage of the odds if your horse places.

Whether you receive 1/4 odds or 1/5 odds will depend on how many runners are in the race and if your chosen bookmaker is paying extra places.

So, always make sure you check before placing your bet.

Exacta, Trifecta and Quinellas

These are slightly more exotic bets and generally tend to be used by punters who really know their horse racing.

An exacta is when you bet on which horses will finish first and second in the correct order.

As an example, if you backed State Man to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham with Irish Point to finish second, you would have won your exacta bet.

With the trifecta, which is similar, you bet on the first, second, and third places in the correct order.

So, using the example above, if you backed State Man, Irish Point and Luccia for the 1-2-3, that would be a winning trifecta.

And then we have the quinella, where you bet on two horses to finish first and second in any order.

Quite often, these bets offer higher payouts but are more challenging to win because, as we know, anything can and does happen in horse racing!

What Betting Deals Can You Expect?

Without fail, almost every single year, by the time the Grand National rolls around, the betting deals and welcome bonuses that we are familiar with vanish without a trace.

There’s a good reason for that. During the year, bookmakers are trying to entice you into signing up with them, and the welcome bonuses are like a fancy shop window inviting you in.

So, the betting deals are creative and used the right way, can seriously boost your new betting account.

But bookmakers also know that people want to bet on the Grand National, so they don’t have to try as hard to get you to sign up.

With that in mind, it is always best to search around for the best betting deals before any major sporting event.

Get your ducks in a row, get your account approved, download the app if you need to, opt into the deals you want, and then you are ready to rock and roll without any time pressure to get your first bet on.

Now that you’ve got yourself set up, it’s time to explore what you can expect from your bookmaker.

The top three betting deals are generally:

1. Welcome Bonuses

Welcome bonuses are a popular incentive used by online betting platforms to attract new customers.

Typically, these bonuses might include free bets, deposit matching, or enhanced odds.

For example, a bookmaker may offer to match the first deposit up to a certain amount, giving you double the funds to wager.

Alternatively, as a new customer, you might receive a free bet of a specific value when you sign up and place your first bet.

2. Best Odds Guaranteed

Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG) is a very appealing deal often found in UK horse racing betting.

This offer ensures that if you place a bet on a horse and the starting price (SP) turns out to be higher than the odds you took when you placed your bet, you will be paid out at the higher starting price if your bet wins.

As an example, you back a horse in the Grand National the week before the race at odds of 20/1. By the time the race starts, your horse is now 40/1.

If you have ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ and your horse wins, you get paid out at 40/1 rather than the original 20/1 that you backed it at.

This deal removes the worry about whether to bet early or wait until closer to the race when the odds might change.

3. Enhanced Odds

Enhanced odds deals are offered to both new and existing customers, often around big racing events like the Cheltenham Festival or the Grand National.

Bookies will temporarily offer significantly higher odds than those normally available for certain horses.

This type of deal is designed to attract more wagers on high-profile races and can significantly increase the potential return on a bet if the horse performs as hoped.

Just note that there is often a maximum amount you can bet with this offer. After all, the bookmaker wants to entice you, not go bankrupt!

Are All Betting Deals The Same

In a nutshell, no they are not. Certain deals and bet types are more suited to horse racing than other sports.

Unlike team sports, where fewer outcomes are possible (win, lose, or draw), horse racing offers a broader range of betting opportunities.

The complexity and unpredictability of races make strategic bets like trifectas and quinellas both challenging and potentially rewarding.

Because of that, you will find different deals on offer depending on whether you want to back a horse or a team to win the FA Cup.


Horse racing is loved around the world and remains one of the biggest betting environments in sports.

The variety of bets on offer is only equalled by the betting deals that accompany them.

So it is essential that you understand the types of bets, how odds work, and the unique aspects of racing that influence betting outcomes.

After all, a little knowledge goes a long way, and you want to be able to both enjoy the sport and potentially win a few bets in the process.

Whether you are a newbie looking to place your first bet or a seasoned punter trying to win a trifecta, the world of horse racing has something to offer everyone.