A day at the races in Australia is as iconic as a pie with sauce, but now, with the online betting world booming, punters can enjoy all the excitement of backing a winner right from the comfort of their own home.
Gone are the days when you needed to be trackside or at your local TAB to place a bet, with the emergence of online bookmakers offering markets on Australian and international horse races, all of which are available to bet on from your computer, mobile phone or tablet device anywhere, anytime.
Not only is this convenient, but with a plethora of bookmakers entering the online gambling world, it also provides more options for punters who are wishing to place a wager using their hard-earned cash.
This fierce competition results in better odds for those bettors willing to shop around for a good price, whilst it also allows them to take advantage of some excellent bonus bet offers available through many leading online bookmakers.
However, we certainly do not recommend opening an account with just any online bookmaker. To ensure you are betting your money with a reputable bookie, we have selected our top-rated websites, all of which feature the highest standards of encryption software to ensure your personal and banking details are safe at all times.
Best horse racing bookmakers and specials
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The following bookmakers are our top selections for having a flutter on the horses, all of which offer competitive fixed odds prices, a safe betting environment and a lucrative welcome bonus to get you started.
To get commence betting, first you need to create an account with one of the below bookies and make your initial deposit which also makes you eligible to claim your free bet bonus. You are able to use this bonus cash to bet on any horse race of your choice.
Outside of the sign-up bonus, check your favourite online bookie’s promotions page to see what deals and promotions they currently have on the horses.
Throughout the year, if you are vigilant, you can catch cash back deals and mega bets with inflated odds on particular horses in certain races. The time to often find the best deals is around the Spring Racing Carnival and some of the iconic races associated with it like the Melbourne Cup, the Memsie Stakes, the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate.
Sportsbet: The most iconic online betting brand in Australia, Sportsbet has been in operation since 1993 and is owned by Paddy Power, Ireland’s biggest and most prominent bookmaker. Read our full review here.
BetEasy: In addition to the great odds available, horse racing aficionados can also enjoy watching all Victorian races live through BetEasy’s desktop website and mobile app. Read our full review here.
Bet365: One of the largest online betting companies in the the world, Bet365 offers its wagering services to over 14 million punters in more than 200 countries. Read our full review here.
Popular bet types when wagering on horse racing
One of the great things about having a punt on the horses is the number of betting options available on almost every race. There are so many possible bets to make that it is hard not to turn a profit. Some of the most popular bets available on the horses are:
Win: This is a simple bet on which horse will win the race outright. Odds are adjusted according to the popularity/likelihood of each horse winning.
Place: Another simple bet on whether a horse will run first, second or third. Odds are substantially lower than win odds.
Quinella: To win a quinella you have to pick the first and second running horses, in any order.
Exacta: An exacta is like a quinella, only you have to pick the first and second running horses in the order they cross the post.
Trifecta:A bet where you pick the first, second and third runner in the order the pass the post.
First four: You must pick the first, second, third and fourth horses past the post.
How do I claim free bet specials?
There is strict legislation surrounding bonus bets in most states of Australia, so it is best to check the terms and conditions of any promotional deal to make sure you are eligible to claim your cash.
However, if you are eligible, claiming your sign up bonus and promotions is relatively simple. Matched deposit deals are usually automatically credited to your account once you have made a deposit to your account. With other promotional deals and free bets, simply check the terms and conditions related to each individual deal to find out how it works.