Updated: October 2019

How to Choose a Bookmaker For Racing

10 May 2019

All bookmakers, to our knowledge, offer several markets for horse racing betting and compete against each other to gain and maintain customers.

Methods for enticing new customers include bonus offers, money back guarantees, extra place races, best odds guaranteed, and other special deals. However, the criteria to choose the right bookmaker to suit your betting requirements may differ from the requirements of another bettor.

For this reason, we cannot tell you exactly which bookmaker to use but we can offer you some tips on how to choose the right bookmaker for your horse racing betting needs.

Choose a Bookmaker For Racing

Because everyone will have different requirements and look at different aspects of a bookmaker, we have compiled a list of several things to look out for when choosing a bookmaker to bet on horse racing with.


The first point we are going to make is regarding the legality of a bookmaker.

All legal operators who allow bets from punters inside the United Kingdom must be registered with the UK Gambling Commission, which holds a register of all legal operators. Along with this licence proving they can legally take bets, the bookmaker also must prove they are financially stable to operate and therefore must offer some sort of protection for its customers funds.

All of the more well known and popular sites, such as William Hill, Sky Bet, Coral, Betfair, Bet365 etc. will have all of the correct licences in place. So, if you’re betting from within the United Kingdom it is wise to stick to the well known bookmakers rather than risk your money signing up to a brand new site you have discovered who are operating from a country you’ve never heard of.

The new site may offer you a great welcome bonus, boosted odds etc. but they may not be operating legally and may not be able to offer any protection for your funds. If you do your research into the new site and everything is above board, feel free to deposit and bet away. But, if you have any doubt it’s recommended you always stick with what you know.

Horse Racing Betting Odds

You could use a comparison site to find out which bookmaker provides the best odds on horse racing, or you could work it out for yourself by comparing races across several sites. Do this for a few days, on races at different times and across different meetings to see if there’s one particular betting site who do indeed offer the best odds.

Most bookmakers will offer a best odds guarantee for horse racing, meaning they will pay out at the price when placing your bet or the starting price of the horse depending which is greater. But, the price you took when placing your bet may differ from bookmaker to bookmaker.

We recommend doing a bit of homework, making a spreadsheet or just jotting down the odds available. This way, you can see for yourself which bookmaker will give you the potential for the biggest profit.

Welcome Bonus(es)

Every betting website is trying to entice new customers, and to do this they will offer fantastic welcome bonuses. These could include:

• Money Back guarantee on first bet placed
• Matched deposit
• Odds boosted for a particular race
• Extra places available on first race you bet on
• Free bet offers
• Boosted winnings (set percentage) if first bet wins

Obviously, some bookmakers will offer welcome bonuses for other sports so horse racing bettors should narrow their options down to those bookies who offer horse racing incentives.

Daily Offers and Bonuses

Other than the welcome bonus, and perhaps even more important, are the offers available to horse racing punters every day of the week.

Most bookmakers will offer extra place races, boosted odds, high percentage bonuses for punters who select say four winners in a Lucky 15, double the odds if only one winner is achieved in a multi-selection bet, money back if your horse falls in a particular race, and other incentives.

We recommend that potential punters should look at several different sites daily, making a note of every deal on offer. This includes things like how many extra place races each bookie offers a day, how many favourites have been boosted etc.

By keeping a list of the bonuses and incentives on offer, punters will be able to work out which bookmaker offers the most for their money.

How User Friendly the Site is

Most online bookmakers are on a par for usability nowadays. They are all pretty easy to navigate, everything is quite self explanatory, and bets are easy to place whether you are in the comfort of your own home or on the commute to or from work.

However, there may be slight differences in sites that may be quite noticeable and may mean potential punters opt for one rather than the other. This may especially the case for mobile sites or apps. If one bookmaker has a betting app which regularly crashes or fails to load properly when using mobile data, it isn’t going to be the best choice for a punter who regularly places bets whilst travelling.

Deposit Methods and/or Limits

Something else to pay attention to when looking for the best bookmaker to place horse racing bets with is the deposit methods and/or limits.

Most sites nowadays will accept pretty much every debit or credit card imaginable, as well as online payment methods such as paypal. But, some bookies may not accept all of these methods so it’s wise to check all deposit methods before signing up to a site.

As well as checking the deposit methods, it’s also wise to make note of any specific deposit limits that may be in place. Most bookmakers offers their customers the chance to set their own limits to prevent overspending but there may be some who impose limits, whether it be how much a customer can deposit daily or how much they can deposit using a particular payment method.

Withdrawal Limits and Times

Our final point is regarding withdrawal limits and the time it takes for any withdrawals to reach your specified account.

You do not want to be signing up to a site that limits how much you can withdraw within a certain amount of time. You’ve deposited your money, placed your bets and you should be able to instantly withdraw any winnings you may have won. Any site that imposes limits on how much you can withdraw should be instantly taken off the list of potential bookmakers you use.

Also, it’s worth taking note of withdrawal times. Some sites may offer same day withdrawals if withdrawing into an online payment method, or you may have to wait a set number of working days if withdrawing into a bank account. Knowing this information before signing up may influence your decision on who to sign up with, or at least prevent any horrible surprises further down the road.

Other Guide
Most Common Betting Mistakes – Guide for Beginners

22 July 2019

Most Common Betting Mistakes – Guide for Beginners

In sports betting there are many betting terms which are not easy to understand for a person who has never bet before. It’s very complex ...

Read More
What is Point Spread Betting

19 July 2019

What is Point Spread Betting – Guide for Beginners

In sports betting there are many betting terms which are not easy to understand for a person who has never bet before. It’s very complex ...

Read More
value odds betting

19 July 2019

Value Odds – Guide for Beginners

In sports betting there are many betting terms which are not easy to understand for a person who has never bet before. It’s very complex ...

Read More