Betting in Running on Horse Races Explained

Horse racing has been a popular sport for centuries and it remains the most popular sport to bet on in the UK. With more than £4 billion wagered on horses in the UK every year, it’s clear that millions of people like to try their luck at the races.

Traditionally, people place their bets before the race starts. Some punters choose to place their bets days in advance of a big race, whilst others prefer to wait until the last minute in the hope of getting better odds. However, you no longer have to get your bet on before the stalls open. With in-running betting, you can place your bet while the race is actually taking place.

When Can You Place Live Horse Racing Bets?

Bookmakers and betting sites can choose when to accept bets, so in-running betting can take place during any part of a horse race. However, most sportsbooks will close before the end of the race approaches. As the result might seem fairly obvious by this stage, it’s likely that the bookmaker will suspend betting in order to avoid suffering major losses.

As in-running betting is updated in real-time, betting sites can continue to accept bets for as long as they choose, while a race is in progress. Conversely, they may choose to stop taking new bets if it seems like there will be a clear winner from early on.

How Does In-Running Betting Work?

In-running betting simply means that you’re betting on an event while it’s taking place. In relation to horse racing, in-running betting refers to bets that are placed when the race is underway. In the same way that you can place bets on live casino games on sites like this, you can also place live bets on sporting events, like football matches or horse races.

Many punters believe that they have a better chance of placing a successful bet if they wait until the race is taking place. By seeing how the horse is performing in the early stages of the race, for example, a bettor can decide whether or not to back it and, if so, what type of bet to place.

What In-Running Bets Can You Make?

If you want to bet on a horse race while it’s taking place, you can bet on a single horse to win or to place (also known as an each-way bet). Some sportsbooks will allow you to place a wide range of bets while the event is live, including a forecast or reverse forecast. However, there are some popular forms of in-running betting that punters believe increase their chances of getting a return, such as:


If you back a horse before the race starts and lay it during the race (bet against it), you can, theoretically, guarantee a profit depending on what odds you get.


Betting against a horse before the race starts (laying the bet) and then backing it during the race can also be a savvy way to secure a profit in horse racing, providing the odds work in your favour.

In-Running Lay

If a horse is tipped to do well, you’ll probably find it offers low odds to back it but good odds to lay it. When the race is underway, a poor performance could mean that you’re able to get decent odds by betting against it. If you’re successful (and the horse isn’t!), you’ll get your stake back and make a profit.

What to Know About In-Running Betting

Betting on live horse races can be a fun way to gamble. However, it’s important to note that the odds for each potential bet change in real-time. This means you’ll need to be super-quick if you spot good odds and you want to place an in-running bet. Furthermore, you might want to take a look around at different sportsbooks to find one that suits your betting style and delivers good odds.

Whether you enjoy a flutter on big events, like the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup, or you’re an avid horse racing fan, in-running betting adds a new dimension to the sport and gives you even more opportunities to make a profit.

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