Best Horse Racing Betting Sites of 2020 in Canada
This guide is up to date and gives you everything you need to know about placing a horse racing bet online in 2020, including what types of real money bets you can make. We'll even share some of our own expert tips to help you make better horse selections.
Jump To Top Horse Racing Betting Sites
Horse Betting Explained
When you bet on horse races you have two types of wagers to choose from: straight wagers and exotic wagers. The main difference between them is that straight wagers allow you to pick one horse which you predict will come in first, second or third, while exotic wagers let you make multiple bets on several horses at once.
We’ll explain each bet type in more detail here:
Types of straight wagers
There are the simplest and often the cheapest wagers available:
Straight win – Where you bet that your horse comes first.
Place only – You wager that your horse will either come in first or second place. The odds are better for this type of bet compared to a straight bet, but your payout will be less.
Show bet – You wager that your horse will finish in first, second or third position. Again, the odds for this bet type is better than the previous two, but the payout is comparatively less.
Across the board – This bet type combines all the previous three bets into one. It’s more expensive than the other types, but the profit potential is higher.
Types of exotic wagers
Exotic wagers are harder to win and more expensive than straight wagers, so they generally require more skill by the player.
Exacta – With an exacta bet, you’re betting on two horses to finish in first and second place in an exact order.
Quinella – With this bet you’re wagering on two horses to finish in first and second places in any order.
Trifecta – In this bet type you pick the three horses which will finish in first, second and third position in an exact order.
Tips to Improve Your Experience
Every site featured on this page is the result of hundreds of hours spent reviewing and scoring websites using our rigorous testing protocol.
Horse betting takes the challenge of sports betting to a whole other level because you’re betting on the abilities of an animal and a jockey that’s hanging for dear life! Horse racing is volatile but it’s also exciting, and that’s exactly why people love it.
The truth is, as anyone with experience will tell you, there’s lots you can do to have more fun watching the races and improve your chances of winning.
Here are the best tips we’ve gathered from expert gamblers with experience betting on horses:
- Set a budget limit
This is especially important if you never gambled on horses before since it’s easy to get giddy with a few early wins and start chasing bigger payouts.
- Learn about horse betting strategy
There are tons of different races, bets, odds and sportsbooks to choose from. Reading articles and learning strategy makes a huge difference to your success making bets.
- Put in the research
This is the hardest but also the most important. For example, statistics show that the top 10 jockeys tend to win 90% of the races. The more info you have, the more you’ll win.
Horse Betting Odds Explained
All gambling bets are based on odds: The odds of your bet winning as well as how much you’ll win on your wager. Horse racing is no exception.
How these odds are calculated, on the other hand, is a little different. Unlike other sports where the odds remain relatively stable, horse-race odds can literally change at any moment - right up until the race begins. Because of this, knowing whether to take fixed odds or gamble on them improving is another factor to weigh up when you're betting on the ponies.
Don’t be overwhelmed. We’ll explain all the most important points in simple terms:
Fractional odds are really common and they’re also really simple. They’re usually written as a fraction, like 2/1 for example, but sometimes you’ll see them written like 2-1 instead.
- These odds tell you what you’ll win, not including the original bet which you also get back.
- A bet with odds of 2/1, for example, means you’re betting on the underdog and you’ll get twice your bet in winnings. Your original bet will also be returned. In this example if you bet $100 you’d win $200 and get your $100 bet back.
If the odds appear the other way around (e.g. 1/5) this is known as odds-on, or the odds-on favourite and it basically means the horse is favoured to win the race.
- A bet with odds of 1/2, for example, means you’ll get half of what you bet back in winnings, as well as having your bet returned. A bet of $100 in this example would give you $50 and your bet back for a total of $150.
Evens or EVS
If you see this it's exactly the same as 1/1 in fractional odds. In EVS bets for every $1 you stake you'll get your stake + $1 back.
It's not uncommon to see the letter F listed beside a horse’s name in a race line-up. It stands for favourite and it's placed next to the horse that's expected to win the race.
If more than one horse has the same odds of winning then JF (joint favourite) is used instead.
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How to Find the Best Horse Betting Sports Sites
We know how difficult it is to search and compare betting sites online. First you have to search for sites, figure out how good their lines are, check out their software and what sports they offer as well as compare bonuses across the board.
Our experts make it easy by doing the hard for you. We’ve got dozens of reviewers who are all experienced sports and horse bettors. They’ve signed up, used the site, made bets and report all their findings in our comprehensive site reviews.
It’s simple. Only the best sites make the cut.
So if you're ready to get your feet wet, sign up for a free account with one of our recommended sportsbooks online today. Not only will you get a top welcome bonus when you make your first real cash deposit, you'll also be guaranteed the best odds and the highest payouts available anywhere online.
- Get a C$200 welcome bonus
- Bet on all major sporting tournaments
- Licensed site verified by eCogra
Horse Betting FAQ
Where can I find information on races?
You’ll find plenty of information about upcoming horse races in North America and other major competitions around the world by clicking on any our recommended sports betting websites. Go to the horse racing section and you’ll be able to scroll through the odds for upcoming races, including the date and time when they’ll be held. You can find in-depth information including horse racing tips for Canadian players on this guide.
How do the odds work?
Understanding odds is key to any kind of gambling and horse racing is no exception. Betting odds are usually presented as fractions.
They tell you:
- How much you’ll win compared to how much you bet.
- Which horse the sportbook think is favoured to win and by how much.
To figure out how much you’ll win:
- Take the fraction and add the numbers on both sides of the slash, diving the total by the number on the right, then multiplying the result by the amount wagered. So if you bet $10 at 5/2, then 5+2=7, 7/2=3.5, and 3.5 multiplied by $10 gives you a C$35 return, which is $25 in winnings plus your $10 wager.
To figure out roughly how likely a bet is to win, just
- Convert odds to percentages by adding the two numbers on both sides of the slash (2+1=3), then dividing the number on the right of the slash by the total and multiplying the result by 100%. (1/3=0.333=33.3%).
Can it be profitable?
Yes! Many bettors have won large sums of money betting on horses and made huge profits on their wagers. There are two ways to turn a profit on horse racing:
- You’re either lucky enough to score a big win once.
- Or, by adopting a skill-based approach and trying to make small wins over a longer period of time.
How much can be won?
The simple answer? A lot. People have absolutely hit seven-figure scores that are as big as some lotteries.
Is there a limit to the size of bet?
Not necessarily. Different operators set different limits on the amount of money you can bet on a race. We recommend you check out our list of top horse racing betting sites to find out and compare bet size limits.
Is it fixed?
No. Horse racing itself is regulated by various authorities to ensure that all races are fair and not fixed in any way. Horse racing betting and the operators that provide odds on races are also regulated by state and independent entities that license the sites and carry out regular testing and inspections to ensure they conduct business in an honest and transparent manner.
Where can I find a trusted site?
You’re in the right place. As horse betting enthusiasts ourselves we know how difficult it is to find a betting website you can trust. You want to make sure before depositing any of your money that the site you’re dealing with is run by reputable and trustworthy people who will respect the outcome of the bet and pay you your winnings in a timely manner.
Just use our comprehensive site reviews and rankings to find the horse-betting site that’s right for you.
Can I watch it live online?
Yes, the major online horse betting sites will provide live streaming services that let you sit back and watch real or virtual horse races as they happen on your desktop or mobile screen.
What is the best horse racing betting site in Canada?
Betway Sports is our choice for the best horse racing site to bet at in Canada. The site is safe, easy-to-use and has a wide variety of markets and events to place real money on.
888 Sport, Spin Palace Sports, BetOnline and SportsBetting are also all great choices for horse racing betting.