A Beginner’s Guide to Horse Race Betting with Crypto


In the USA alone, the overall horse race wagering handle in 2021 reached $12.2 billion, and that’s just a portion of the global market. There’s always been something about seeing the equines run down the track full steam ahead, taking over opponents one furlong at a time. 

However, betting on horse racing at Bitcoin sports betting platforms and race books can be intimidating to novice bettors, with all that terminology surrounding horse betting, most so when paired up with betting on crypto sites. 

The following guide is your one-stop shop for all things horse betting, including how to bet on horses, some tips, and more. 

The Basics of Horse Racing

Horse racing has mostly stayed the same since the times of antiquity, and it involves at least two horses racing to the finish line ridden by jockeys. The standard horse race features 14 horses, with the exception of the famed Kentucky Derby, which still sticks to the 20-horse field.  

We can divide horse races into four broad categories: claiming races, maiden races, allowances, and stakes.

A maiden race is for horses that have never won a race, while the claiming races are those where you can purchase the horses after the race. Allowance races feature specific rules and conditions, such as the weight of the horses and other similar regulations. Finally, stakes races are divided into Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3 events where the horse’s owner pays a nomination fee for its horse to participate. The Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and the Wokingham Stake at the Royal Meeting are all stake races. They can incur significant fees, so horse owners are prone to using certain hacks to save money, such as shopping for equipment and supplements at different retailers.

One of the marquee differences in horse races is the length of the track. The standard unit of measurement in horse racing is furlong, which equals one-eighth of a mile or 220 yards. However, if the race is longer than a mile, it’s then referred to in fractions of a mile. 

A length stands for the distance between horses. The smallest length or win margin can be the nose of a horse, and if there’s a tie at the end of the race, it’s then a situation called a dead heat. 

How to Bet on Horse Racing

Betting on horse racing involves taking a few mandatory steps. 

  1. Choose one of the online sportsbooks that offer horse race betting. 
  2. Register an account and deposit using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies if supported. 
  3. Claim the welcome bonus offer to boost your bankroll.
  4. Head to the horse racing platform, where you can find the entire list of worldwide horse races.
  5. Choose the race you want to bet on, the horse, and the bet type. 
  6. Enter your stake.
  7. Check the betslip and complete the transaction. 

There are multiple types of bets in horse racing, including the standard win, show, and place wagers. 

With the Win Bet, you choose a horse to win the race; if it does, you get the payout. You can cash out a Place Bet if your horse wins the race or comes in second, giving you an even greater chance of scoring a win. Finally, on a Show Bet, you choose a horse you think will finish in the first three positions in a race.

Apart from these standard wagers, punters usually put resort to exotic bets such as exactas, trifectas, quinellas, and superfectas, which are more difficult to get right but can deliver greater payouts.  

  • Exactas — The wager requires you to choose two top finishes in the exact order, hence the name exactas. 
  • Trifectas — With trifecta, you pick the top three finishers in a race in the correct order. 
  • Quinella — A quinella is a wager similar to an exacta, only this time, you need to pick the two top finishers in any order. 
  • Superfecta — Superfecta is a bet where you select the top four finishes in the precise order. 

Note that the odds for horse racing are almost always fractional. For example, if you see 5:1 odds on the tote board, you can expect to win $5 for every $1 wagered.  

Crypto Betting for Horse Racing Betting

Wagering on horse races using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is not so different than using your regular money. You still need to register an account, use your crypto to top up the account balance, and look for a horse race to bet on. It has unique advantages that make it an even better choice. 

Pros of BTC Horse Race Wagering 

  • Faster transactions — Your crypto payments are processed much faster than fiat transactions. On average, a Bitcoin average confirmation time is under 10 minutes, which is especially important when it comes to withdrawals. 
  • Safety features — Blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies is virtually impervious to hacker attacks, making cryptos extraordinarily safe and secure. 
  • No fees — BTC sports betting sites do not charge any fees for your transactions. 
  • Worldwide acceptance — What if your sportsbook doesn’t accept credit cards or e-wallets? Will you let those odds go to waste? With cryptocurrencies, you won’t have to worry about acceptance — you can use them from any location and in all sports betting sites that support such payments. 

Disadvantages of BTC Horse Race Wagering 

  • Not all sportsbooks work with cryptos — Due to regulatory obstacles, not all sportsbooks accept cryptocurrency. 

Horse Betting with Fiat Currency

Most bettors stick to their fiat currencies out of habit, especially if they’ve wagered with the bookmakers at the betting ring of a horse racing track. Fast forward to the online betting universe, and they still use their credit cards to place bets on the Melbourne Cup, The Royal Ascot, and The Preakness. After all, fiat currencies bring some of that familiar feel to them but are not without flaws. 

Advantages of Horse Race Wagering Using Fiat Currencies 

  • They are accepted everywhere — All online and retail bookies work with regular fiat currencies, so you won’t experience any setbacks in that regard.
  • All payment methods support fiat money — No matter if you use credit/debit cards, prepaid cards, or e-wallets, you’ll surely be able to make a transaction using your fiat currency. 
  • You can claim all bonuses with fiat currency — Sportsbooks sometimes limit the availability of bonuses to users of specific payment methods that solely operate on fiat currencies.  

Disadvantages of Horse Race Betting Using Fiat Currencies 

  • Transaction fees — Almost all fiat transactions incur a fee, no matter if it stems from your bank or any other payment processor. 
  • Slow withdrawal times — The fastest a sportsbook can process your fiat withdrawal request is 24h, and it will still take another day or two before the funds reach your account. 

Tips for Successful Horse Race Betting

When betting on horses online, there are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Favorites to win the race only do so about  32% of the time.
  • If you include the favorites in the Place Bet, expect them to win only 53% of the time. 
  • Pay special attention to the horse’s past performance. The past performance sheet can hold valuable information, such as the horse’s record, the horse’s running lines or how it performed in recent races, track conditions, fractional times, and other similar data that can help you place the right bet.  

Final Thoughts

Betting on horses in BTC online sports betting sites is convenient, easy and gives you access to all the world’s most famous races, along with top bonuses to boost your starting bankroll. Make sure to always bet with your head, not over it, and you are bound to enjoy the action on the turf.