Horse Racing – Betting Guide

Horse racing is a popular sport in India with a history that goes back almost 250 years. Around India there are around 10 different major racetracks where all the major races takes place throughout the year with thousands of spectators following the races.

On this page we will take a closer look to horse racing and give you a quick guide to how horse race betting works. We look at the different types of bets and also explain the difference between fixed odds and pool betting. We look at the biggest horse races in India and around the world. We also give you our favourite betting sites for horse racing and conclude with a FAQ about horse race betting.

Best Betting Sites for Horse Racing in India

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Horse race betting tips

Horse race betting is one of the oldest forms of betting in the world and was established in England as early as the beginning of the 17th century. Today horse race betting is one of the most popular betting forms in the world.

Types of bets with explanation

When betting on horse racing there are a lot of different types of bets to choose from. Understanding how all of these works will give you a great benefit and in the end make it a lot easier and even more fun to place a bet. Here’s a guide to the different types of bets there are when it comes to horse racing:

  • Win – You bet on which horse that will win in a race.
  • Place – You bet on a horse and if the horse finish in first, second or third place you win.
  • Quinella – You bet on two horses to finish either in first or second. In which order they finish don’t matter, but both must finish in the top 2 for you to win.
  • Forecast – You bet on the two horses that finish in first and second. For you to win they must finish in correct order.
  • Trinilla – You bet on the first three horses in the race and in exact order. Therefore the odds on this betting form can often be very high.
  • Exacta – You bet on which horses that finish in first, second, third and fourth and in exact order.
  • Double – You bet on the winning horse in two different races. Both of your selections must win the race for you to win the bet.
  • Treble – You bet on the winning horse in three different races. All three horses must win their respective race for you to win the bet.
  • Accumulator – You bet on the winning horse in four or more races. All of your selections must win for you to win your bet. A bet where you pick the winner in four races is often called Mini Jackpot. A bet where you pick the winner in six races is often called Jackpot or Super Jackpot with a big possible payout if you are lucky to bet right on all races.
  • Shp – You bet on which horse to finish second in a race. For you to win the horse must finish second, not first, third or something else.

Fixed odds vs Pool betting

Fixed odds are the most common form of betting, which means that the odds are decided in advance and have a specific rate and a fixed price for you as a bettor. Let’s say the odds are 5/1 for a horse to win a race. If you bet 10 Rupees and the horse wins you will win 50 Rupees. Fixed odds are the most common betting form with bookmakers.

Pool betting is quite different from fixed odds as it depends on how many bets there are on one or in many cases a combo of races. In pool betting, all the money from the bettors are put into the same pool and are then divided among those who have won their bets. This also means that the odds can move up and down before the start of the race. Pool betting usually occurs at the race tracks.

Let’s say you bet on horse A to win a race and the total number of bettors are 100. If horse A wins and 20 other bettors also have bet on horse A the payout may not be so high, but if you are the only bettor to have bet on horse A and it wins, your payout will probably be quite high.

Pros and cons – Fixed odds

The pros of fixed-odds are that you always know what your payout will be if your bet wins. The cons of fixed-odds are that if you want to win big you often need to bet pretty large sums of money. With fixed odds, some of the money always goes back to the operator, which means a smaller return for the bettor.

Pros and cons – Pool betting

The pros of pool betting is that the return to the bettor always is a bit larger since you bet against other bettors and not against an operator. The potential wins are also bigger especially if it’s a large pool of bettors. Since you bet against other bettors no money goes to an operator.

The cons are that you don’t know how much you will win if your bet wins. It can be big if it’s only and a few others have picked the right horse, but the payout can also be fairly low if many bettors have bet on the right horse. With that said pool betting is probably to prefer since the potential of big returns are better and also the fact that all the money goes back to the bettors.

Betting on horse racing online vs at place

The advantages of betting online are many. First and foremost you have a wide selection of different bookmakers to choose from. This also means that you can look around for the best odds possible. Another advantage of betting online is that there often is a lot of betting forms to choose from.

One of the biggest benefits is of course that you don’t need to be at the race track to bet. When you create an account with an online bookmaker you often also get a bonus, something you definitely do not get at the race track.

But betting at a race track of course has its charm. One of the biggest advantages is of course that you can follow the horses live and maybe also get horse racing tips from other bettors who have inside info on the shape of each horse.

So, what is best then? If you look at all factors we would recommend betting on horse racing online since the benefits are so many.

Betting on Indian horse racing

Horse racing is a popular sport all over India and also one of the sport that is most popular to bet on. Horse racing is actually the only sport in India that is legal to bet on according to the law. The biggest horse races are attracting thousands of spectators and are also very popular to bet on.

Different horse races in India

Over a season there are a lot of horse races occuring on race tracks all over India. The five biggest and most prestigeous of these are named the “Classics” and are often compared to five “British Classics”. Four of the five classics are run in Mumbai, while the last is run in Pune, just south of Mumbai.

Indian Derby

The oldest and also the most popular horse race in India. The first Indian Derby was run already in 1780 and always on the first Sunday in February. The race runs at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse in Mumbai and measures 2,400 m with a purse of over 30 million rupees.

Indian 1000 Guineas

Just like the Indian Derby the Indian 1000 Guineas is run on the Mahalaxmi Racecourse in Mumbai, but it’s a little bit shorter, just 1,600 m. The first Indian 1000 Guineas was run in 1943 and always takes place on a Saturday in December. Worth noticing is that the race is only open to fillies.

Indian 2000 Gunieas

Just like the two above mentions classics, The Indian 2000 Guineas take place at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse in Mumbai. The first edition of the race took place in 1943 and always runs immediately after the Indian 1000 Guineas in December. The Indian 2000 Guineas is open to both colts and fillies under the age of 3.

Our favorite betting sites for Indian horse racing

Since the market for online betting is constantly growing there are quite a few betting sites that offer betting on Indian horse racing.


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Betway has a good selection of odds when it comes to horse racing. Here you find odds for all the biggest races in India and other parts of the world. Every day you have a vast number of races to bet on and for each race you will find information about both age and weight for every horse in the race as well as the current form. You also get the name of both the trainer and the jockey.

Betway doesn’t just offer odds on the winner of the race. You can also bet on for example if the horse will finish in the top 2, if the horse will finish second and sometimes there’s also the possibility of betting which one of two horses that will finish first.

Betway offers a number of different payment methods to its customers like VISA, Mastercard, bank transfer and e-wallets like Neteller and Skrill.

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Melbet offers a vast selection of odds for horse racing with odds for races in both India and the rest of the world. You can place your bet up to the last minute before the race starts. You can bet on the winner of the race, but also if a horse will finish in the top 2, top 3 or top 4.

Melbet offers many different payment methods, not just regular credit and debit cards like VISA and Mastercard. You can also use a number of different e-wallets like Neteller, Skrill, Papara, Webmoney and Sticpay. Besides that you can also use bank transfer and crypto currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Etherum, Dash and many more.

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Betting on international horse racing

Around the world there are literally thousands of horse races that take place almost every day. Many of these are available for betting. Betting on international horse racing is not very different from betting on Indian horse racing, except that the selection of odds are usually larger on big international races with more markets to choose from. This is on of the reason some prefer to bet on international horse races.

Popular international horse races

Horse racing is a sport with a long history that goes back hundreds of years. Some of the most famous races are considered real classics and some of those we will take a look at right now.

Kentucky Derby

One of the most famous and maybe the biggest horse race in the world and is often called “The most exciting two minutes in sports”. The race is run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, USA and is open to three-year-old thoroughbreds. The first Kentucky Derby took place in 1875 and has been run every year since.

The distance of the race is one of a quarter miles or 2,012 metres. The first horse to run the race in under two minutes was the famous Secretariat in 1973.

More info about Kentucky Derby

Grand National

Grand National is one of Britains most famous horse races and also considered one of the toughest in the world, both to horses and jockeys. It takes place in April every year at the Aintree Racecourse  just outside of Liverpool. Grand National has been run every year since 1839, with exception for a few years during the second world war.

What makes Grand National unique is that the horse need to pass over large fences during the race and the fact that the distance is 4.5 miles or almost 7 km.

More info about Grand National

Epsom Derby

Epsom Derby is not just one of the oldest horse races in the UK, it is also one of the oldest in the whole world. The first Epsom Derby was run in 1780 and is held the first Saturday in June at the Epsom Racecourse in Surrey, south of London. The race was also the first one to be called a “derby”.

The Epsom Derby has a distance of one mile, four furlongs and 6 yards or 2,420 metres and is open to three-year-old colts and fillies.

More info about Epsom Derby

Deutsches Derby

The Deutsches Derby is one of the biggest derbys in Europe outside of the UK. The race is always run on the first Sunday in July at the Horner Rennbahn in Hamburg, Germany and was established in 1869. Just like other derbys the Deutsches Derby runs over 2,400 metres and is open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies.

More info about Deutsches Derby

FAQ about Horse Race Betting

Is betting on horse racing legal in India?

Horse racing is the only sport that is legal to bet on in India. Usually, the racecourse is the only place where you can bet on horse racing, but some states allow licensed bookmakers. When it comes to online betting on horse racing the rules are not crystal clear, since online betting is not regulated in the law. The views on online betting varies from state to state, but is not by definition illegal anywhere.

Any differences between betting on international horse racing compared to Indian?

Betting on international horse racing is basically the same thing as betting on Indian horse racing, but there are a few differences. The selection of odds are often bigger on international horse racing than on Indian. Betting on international horse racing is also more accessible online. 

What’s the best site for horse race betting online?

This depends on what you are looking for and what you are interested to bet on. Some sites maybe have a vast selection of odds on a few big races while others are better when it comes to live betting.
We have put together a list of the overall best betting sites for horse racing, which you find on this site. But if we would have to recommend one it would probably be Betway.

Do you have to pay taxes on your winnings on horse racing?

Yes, all income from betting and lotteries is taxed by around 30%.

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