Best horse racing betting sites for Irish punters in 2023

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HORSE RACING is one of the oldest and still one of the most popular sports the world over. With its long and storied history, it’s no surprise that betting on races has become an incredibly popular activity as well. It offers punters an exciting opportunity to test their luck and make some money while doing it.

But with so many different betting and casino sites out there, it can be hard to choose which one is best for you. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best horse racing betting sites and what features they offer to help you make an informed decision before placing your bets. 

The best horse racing betting sites for Irish punters

  1. Leovegas
  2. 10bet
  3. 888sport
  4. Kwiff
  5. Luckster
  6. bet365
  7. Novibet
  8. Netbet

A closer look at our top horse racing betting operators

1. Leovegas

Leovegas

Bet €10 get €30

18+ | €10 minimum deposit. Minimum odds 1/2 (1.5). New players only. Once the qualifying bet has been settled, customers must claim the 3x €10 Free Bets from the ‘My Offers’ page. The qualifying bet must be placed with real cash within thirty (30) days of the player making their first deposit. Payments made via Skrill or Neteller are not eligible for the LeoVegas Sport Welcome Offer. Full T&Cs apply.

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Leovegas may not have any horse-race-specific promotions, but its welcome bonus should give punters plenty to bet with on their event of choice.

With the Cheltenham Festival coming up and the Fairyhouse Easter Festival after that, don’t miss out on the chance to score some bonus money to place winning bets.

2. 10bet

10bet pre-race cash bonus

Up to €5,000 cash bonus on pre-race accas

10bet offers a bonus just for horse race punters, with the potential to win a bonus of up to €5,000 on accumulator bets with at least three selections placed before the race.

The odds for each selection must be at least 1/2(1.5). Whole or partial free and cashed out bets are not eligible.

3. 888sport

888sport

€30 in free bets + €10 casino bonus

18+ | Min deposit €10. A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least €10. Min odds 1/2 (1.50). Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days. Free Bet stakes not included in returns. Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days and expires after 14 days. To withdraw any winnings from the Casino Bonus, wager the Bonus amount 40 times within 14 days. Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country. Full T&Cs apply.

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888Sport offers the best odds guaranteed on all UK & Irish horse races. The offer applies to single, multiple and each-way bets, ante-post markets only. Betting on international meetings is excluded.

Eligible bets must be placed on the day of the race, and the bookie will pay out according to better odds if the price has grown from the starting price.

4. Kwiff

Kwiff first past the post

Bet up to €10 and get it back

New & existing customers. Minimum bet £/€0.10. Applies to all win and place bets in UK & Ireland. 18+ only. Account required. UK & Republic of Ireland only. Additional T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly. begambleaware.org

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Irish punters betting on their favourites can look forward to keeping their stake even if their horse didn’t technically win. So long as the horse is the first past the post, you’ll get your bet cashed out, regardless of the race outcome.

What’s more, if a post-race inquiry awards your horse the race or a higher placement, you will receive the payout from that as well.

5. Luckster

Luckster

Bet €10 get €10

18+ | New customers only and is available once per household. Max. FreeBet amount: €10 Minimum Deposit and wagering on sport to activate the Free Bet is: €10 Void/cancelled or cashed out bets do not count towards wagering to activate the free bet. Offer valid only to customers making a first deposit of €10 or more. The “Welcome Free Bet” may not be used in conjunction with any other bonus, promotion or offer. Full T&Cs apply.

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Horse race bettors (or fans of any other sport) who make a qualifying bet of €10 will get €10 back. You can use the bonus funds to bet on any event you like.

6. bet365

bet365 best odds guaranteed

Get the best odds

Open account offer. Bet 10 & Get 50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. 18+ Begambleaware.org

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The best odds guaranteed at bet365 are available on horse races in multiple countries. If the starting price is bigger than the price you placed your bet on, the bookie will pay out at greater odds.

Meetings from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong are excluded, but both win and each-way markets are eligible.

7. Novibet

Novibet horse racing club

Get €10 free bet

18+. General Promotions Terms apply.  Place 10 or more bets of €10 from Monday to Sunday at odds of at least 7/10 (1.70) on any horse racing event & you will receive a €10 free bet the following Monday. €10 free bet max refund. Cashed out bets will not be eligible for the offer. T&Cs apply.

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Novibet allows any players who place 10 or more bets of €10, with minimum odds of 7/10 (1.7) to get one of those bets back next Monday.

All horse racing events are eligible, but cashout bets are not.

8. Netbet

Netbet

€50 bonus welcome offer

18+. You will be awarded a 50% bonus on your first deposit on Sport up to €50. Players must play through their deposit and bonus eight times (8x) on trebles and upwards (3 – selection or more Combo bets) with odds of at least 1.60 per selection. Multiple bets placed on the same event will not count towards rollover. Full T&Cs apply.

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Netbet’s bonus offer will give you half of your first deposit in bonus funds to spend however you like – including on horse race bets. With over 2,000 markets to bet on in this sport, Irish punters should find themselves spoiled for choice even if they don’t have a favourite selection.

How popular is horse racing betting in Ireland?

Horse racing betting is very popular in Ireland and It is estimated that over €2 billion is wagered on horse racing in the country each year. The sport has roots in Ireland dating back to 110 BC and horse racing is the most favoured sport to bet on. With its vast areas of rural land, the country is perfect not only for horse racing, but also for horse breeding, which is why many thoroughbred horses come from Ireland. In the country, there are 26 racecourses and according to Wikipedia “more per head of population than any other country.” 

There are several reasons why horse racing betting is so popular in Ireland. One if that there are over 2,000 horse racing fixtures held in the country each year. This provides plenty of opportunities for people to bet on horse racing. Secondly, Irish people have a long history of gambling on horse racing. This tradition goes back centuries and has been passed down from generation to generation. Thirdly, there is no lack of licensed sportsbooks available to Irish punters that offer competitive odds-on horse racing.

What makes a good horse betting site?

There are a few key factors that make a good horse betting site. The first is a wide range of markets. A good horse betting site will offer a wide variety of markets, from major racing events to more niche races from tracks around the world. This gives punters a great choice of bets to place and means they can find the best odds for their chosen race.

  • Odds: Odds are the return you can hope to get assuming that the horse you bet on is fruitful. It mirrors how much cash is a bet on a horse. 
  • Offers: Offers in sports betting are frequently associated with bonuses and promotions that offer new and existing players the opportunity to pad their bankroll. 
  • Live Streaming: Horse race live streaming refers to the real-time online broadcast of horse racing events. On good horse racing sites, you should be able to watch a race and bet on it as well. 
  • Payment Speed: A solid betting platform should allow you to withdraw your winnings in a prompt manner. 
  • Betting Limits: Sites will often have betting limits on horse racing in a minimum and maximum bet.

Sign up with 10bet for horse race betting.

Types of horse racing bets

Many different types of horse racing bets can be placed at online betting sites. The most common type of bet is the win bet, which is simply a bet on the horse you think will cross the finish line first. There are two categories of bets: standard ones and exotic ones. 

Standard Bets 

The win-place-show bets are the most popular horse racing wagers and the easiest to understand. 

  • Win – Picking the horse to win the race 
  • Place – Picking the horse to finish first or second in the race 
  • Show – Picking the horse to finish first, second, or third in the race 

Exotic Bets 

Exotic bets have to do with betting on multiple horses for one race or multiple ones. They are harder to win than win-place-show wagers but the payouts are more significant. You have the chance to make multiple wagers as well as combinations to get better odds, but the cost is higher. There are two categories of exotic wagers: single-race and multi-race. 

Single-race exotic bets 

A single-race exotic bet has to do with wagering on the order of the horses finishing a race. With each extra position of the finish in your wager the harder it is to win, but again, the payout will be more significant. 

  • Exacta – The most popular exotic bet and you have to pick the top two finishers in a race in the right order. 
  • Quinella – Picking the top two horses to finish the race and the order does not matter. 
  • Trifecta – Picking the top three horses to finish in the exact order. 
  • Superfecta – Picking the top four horses to finish in the exact order. 

Multi-race exotic bets 

  • Double (also called Daily Double) – Picking a horse to win two races. 
  • Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, Pick 6 – Picking horses to win in three, four, five, or six straight races. 

There are also quite a few other multi-race exotic wagers that have to deal with many races such as Lucky 31 and Super Yankee. 

Sign up and bet with Novibet.

What is the most profitable way to bet on horses?

The most profitable way to bet on horses is to make wagers that have lower odds and payouts, which are easier to win. You will not win as much money if you win a few show bets rather than one Daily Double bet, but the odds are much higher of you making a profit. You can stretch your betting bankroll making the win-place-show bets more often and increasing the bet amount for those and then making exotic bets but not wagering as much on them. 

It also increases your chances to win if you handicap a race. This means looking at the form of the horses and how they have done in previous races and how they have fared on different types of tracks. 

There are also many punters that use a horse racing system. The most important thing to remember about any betting system is that it is not guaranteed to work all the time. No matter how good a system is, there will always be times when it doesn’t produce winners. However, over the long run, a good system can help in the long run. 

How to place a bet on horse racing

If you’re new to horse racing and want to place a bet, it’s important to know how the process works. Here are the steps to take to place a horse racing bet. 

  1. Choose a horse racing betting site
    Many different online betting sites offer horse racing. Do some exploration and pick one that you feel satisfied with; a great place to start is the licensed sites mentioned at the top of the article. 
  2. Register and for an account
    Registering for an account is a quick and easy process. You will have to input some required info such as your name and phone number and create a username and password. Then make a deposit and you are ready to bet. 
  3. Choose a race
    Once you’ve registered and logged in, take a look at the upcoming races and pick one that you want to bet on.
  4. Choose your bet type
    When you find a race click on it and you will see all the available bets for the race. 
  5. Enter your stake
    This is the amount of money that you’re willing to bet on the race. Make sure it’s an amount that you’re comfortable with losing if your horse doesn’t win.
  6. Place your bet
    Once you’ve chosen your bet type and entered your stake, all you need to do is click “Place Bet” and confirm your selection. Your bet will then be placed and you’ll just have to wait for the race to start.
How to place a bet on bet365. BeGambleAware.org. Please play responsibly.

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How to place a bet on bet365. BeGambleAware.org. Please play responsibly.

Biggest horse racing meets and festivals in Ireland

There is no lack of horse races to make wagers on and racing festivals in Ireland. The biggest races in the country are the Irish Derby, the Irish Champion Stakes, the Irish Oaks, the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

Here are the three biggest horse racing festivals in Ireland. 

Galway Races 

The Galway Races is the most popular fixture on the Irish racing calendar. It takes place over seven days starting with the last Monday in July. It began in 1869 and attracts over 130,000 visitors each year. The busiest days are Wednesday and Thursday when the Galway Plate and Galway Hurdle and Ladies’ Day are, respectively, held.

The Punchestown Festival

The Punchestown Festival takes place in April and also attracts over 100,000 visitors every year. Not only are there many races that take place at the festival, but where they are held at Punchestown Racecourse also is a place for major concerts throughout the year. 

The Curragh Irish Derby Festival

The Curragh Irish Derby Festival takes place over four days in June or July. It is the festival where the biggest horse race in the Irish Derby is held. Not only are there horse races at the festival but also live music and even a fashion show.

What’s the difference between betting online and betting at a shop?

When it comes to horse racing betting, there are two main options: betting online or at a physical shop. There are pros and cons to both, so it’s important to know the difference before placing your bets.

Betting online is more convenient than betting at a shop, as you can do it from anywhere with an internet connection. You can also usually get better odds online, as well as access to more markets.

Betting at a physical shop is less convenient than betting online, but you don’t need to set up an account or deposit funds beforehand. You can also sometimes find better deals on bets at a shop than you can online but is usually the other way around.

Sign up and bet online with 888sports.

Is there a strategy for betting on horses?

In any case, there are a few essential tips that can assist you with getting everything rolling:

  1. Do your research
    Before placing any bets, it is important to do your homework and research the horse, the race, and the track conditions.
  2. Stick to your budget
    It is easy to get carried away when gambling, so it is important to set a budget and stick to it. The golden rule for gambling is to never bet with more than you can afford to lose. 
  3. Stick with familiar bets
    While there are many different types of bets you can place on horse races, it is best to stick with the more familiar ones at first (e.g., win, place, show). 

Can you bet on a horse not to win?

Yes, you can bet on a horse not to win at most online and offline sportsbooks. This type of bet is called a “lay” bet in betting parlance. When you make a lay bet, you’re essentially betting against the horse winning the race. 

If the horse you lay loses the race, then you win your bet. If the horse wins the race, then you lose your bet. Lay bets can be made on any type of horse racing event including harness racing and greyhound racing. 

Which is the best bookie for horse racing betting?

There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing the best bookie for horse racing betting. Some important factors include the type of bets offered, the odds, and the race schedule.

The type of bets offered is an important factor to consider when choosing a bookie. Some bookies will have more betting options than others. Kwiff can prove itself the best in this case. The odds offered by the bookie are also an important consideration. Bookies that offer competitive odds are more likely to attract bettors.

Kwiff first past the post

Bet up to €10 and get it back

New & existing customers. Minimum bet £/€0.10. Applies to all win and place bets in UK & Ireland. 18+ only. Account required. UK & Republic of Ireland only. Additional T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly. begambleaware.org

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Which bookie gives the best odds for horse racing?

There are a lot of bookies out there that offer horse racing betting, and the odds can vary between them. For example, bet365 is one of the best sites for solid odds.

It all depends on what you’re looking for in terms of odds. Some bookies offer better odds-on favourites, while others give better odds-on underdogs. Some bookies also offer special promotions and bonuses on horse racing bets, so it’s always worth checking out what’s on offer before placing your bet.

bet365 best odds guaranteed

Get the best odds

Open account offer. Bet 10 & Get 50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. 18+ Begambleaware.org

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What bet wins the most in horse racing?

There are different types of bets that you can make on horse races, and each one has its odds of winning. The standard bet that wins the most money is the win bet, which is simply betting on the horse that you think will come in first place. This type of bet usually has pretty good odds, so if you’re feeling confident about your pick, it can be a great way to make some money. Another option is the place bet, which is betting on a horse to finish in either first or second place. 

In terms of exotic bets, they are a risk/reward type of wager, as they are harder to win but have better payouts. 

Why is horse racing called the sport of kings?

Horse racing has a long and prestigious history, often being referred to as the sport of kings. This is because horse racing was historically a popular pastime among European royalty and the upper class. In the past and still today royalty often owns race horses as well. Nowadays, horse racing is enjoyed by people from all walks of life and is one of the most popular spectator sports in the world. 

Our Top 5 Tips for horse racing betting

If you’re looking to get into horse racing betting, or even if you’re an experienced bettor, there are always ways to improve your game. Here are our top 5 tips for horse racing betting:

  1. Shop around for the best odds
    One of the most important aspects of horse racing betting is getting the best possible odds on your bets. Different bookmakers will offer different odds on the same races, so it pays to shop around and compare before placing your bets.
  2. Study form and watch replays
    Another key element to successful horse racing betting is doing your homework on the horses and races you’re betting on. Form guides can be helpful, but watching replays of races can also give you a good feel for how a horse runs.
  3. Be disciplined with your betting
    It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of horse racing and bet more than you can afford to lose. It’s important to be disciplined with your betting and only bet with money that you can afford to lose.
  4. Have a bankroll management strategy
    Along similar lines as being disciplined with your betting, it’s also important to have a solid bankroll management strategy in place. This means knowing how much money you’re willing to risk on each race or day of racing, and sticking to that amount.
  5. Take advantage of promotions and bonuses
    Many online bookmakers offer promotions and bonuses that can be used on horse racing bets. These offers can give you extra value.

Responsible gambling

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chase their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry, or depressed
  • Extern Problem Gambling – www.problemgambling.ie
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org

Help with gambling addiction

If you have a problem with gambling, or you know someone who does, help is out there. Extern Problem Gambling is the leading provider of information, treatment, advice, and support for anyone affected by gambling harms across Ireland.

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