Best AU bookmakers for betting on horse racing
The Australian bookies listed above are the most competitive bookmakers for all sports in Australia, but they excel in horse racing markets. Horse racing has a wealth of options for punters and the four bookmakers listed below provide their customers with the best range of events and odds available.
Sportsbet have the unique option of ‘Top Tote Plus’, which gives punters the best odds across three different totes. Punters can select this option knowing that they will receive the best odds across the S-Tab, NSW Tab and Tatts agencies. Their website interface is very user-friendly and details about upcoming racing is very clear to see. They also pay out early on bets that look certain winners, even if they end up losing. This type of promotion give punters that added edge with their justice payout and money-back specials, providing customers with even more value.
Sportsbet is usually the first book to open their fixed odds for Australian racing and they offer great prices, especially for opening favourites. Sportsbet have an app for android users and a live chat option providing punters with quality customer service. To make it easier, they have separate phone lines for racing, sport and customer service. They also offer a full form guide which gives punters quality information on every runner. Sign up and receive their two bets for one offer.
BetEasy feature an outstanding service on racing called Best Tote Plus, which gives punters the pick of the odds out of the Australian TABs and the on-course price. This is similar to other bookmakers, but the thing that makes BetEasy standout is that they have this feature on all races, not just on metropolitan race meetings.
BetEasy, which is 100 per cent Australian owned, is offering new customers a $500 sign-up bonus, while also giving all customers who download their iOS or Android App a free $50, no deposit required bet. Particularly on mid-week meetings, if you aren’t looking at BetEasy’s prices you are doing yourself a disservice.
WilliamHill offers the usual wide range of betting options, but their ‘Protest payout’ promotion sets them above the rest. If your horse crosses the line first and loses to an enquiry, WilliamHill will pay out on your bet. They also offer punters to see which horse’s people are putting their money on with their ‘follow the money’ option and they also list the big bets of the day.
WilliamHill offer a live broadcast option, so punters can watch and listen to a race from their tablet device or computer. They offer great odds on all Australian races which extends to multiple overseas countries. They have also designed a new WilliamHill app for smart phones and tablets which has made online betting quicker. Sign up to WilliamHill and receive a free $700 bonus bet.
Centrebet offer fixed price quinella’s for futures events, giving punters great value. They also have markets for the upcoming Spring Carnival and their odds are very competitive. Their new features include a live broadcast, scratching service and full form guide.
Centrebet offers a great sign up bonus for first time users. Punters receive a free $200 bet when they sign up which can be used on a wide variety of sports and racing. Centrebet is also set up for mobile betting with two apps (iOS and Android) which makes placing a bet more customer friendly.
Wagering options for online horse racing
A win bet is an option where the selected horse must win the race outright. In the case of a dead-heat, the winning price will be halved. The most common type of online bet, the win option gives punters a chance to make full use of the bookmakers promotions. These include money back specials and protest payouts; if you’re horse finishes second or third in a selected race they will refund your win bet and if your horse loses on a protest, they will pay out both win bets.
A place bet offers lower odds than a win bet, due to the increased likelihood of it succeeding. The selected runner must finish in the first three across the line for the bet to pay out. If there are less than seven horses in the field, then only the first two horse’s payout, however odds will increase because of this.
This bet consists of both the win and place. For example: a punter who places a $1 each way bet will receive a $1 win and a $1 place bet, costing them $2 overall. It’s simply an easier way to make two separate bets and most punters who think their horse will win prefer the each way bet to cover their bases.
Punters must select the first two runners home in any order. Quinella dividends are calculated by the amount of money in the betting pool and most books display the current quinella odds prior to the race. There are different types of quinella’s that punters can bet on.
Boxed Quinella – A boxed quinella allows punters to choose as many runners as they want, however, the more runners selected, the more it will cost.
Three runners – $3
Four runners – $6
Five runners – $10
Six runners – $15
Straight Quinella – Punters must select the exact order of their quinella in order to win. With certain bookmakers, these bets are called Exacta’s. where payouts are higher due to the increased risk factor.
Banker Quinella – Punters must select one horse to win the race and they can select as many horses for second as they like. If their first selection runs second, their bet will be deemed a loser. The more selections made for second, the more the bet will cost.
Punters must select the first three horses in any order. Due to the increased risk factor of this bet, the payouts are of greater value compared to quinella’s. A three-horse boxed trifecta costs $6, or $3 for .cents worth (the most commonly made trifecta). There are multiple options for trifecta bettors including straight, boxed, banker and roving banker.
Straight Trifecta – Punters can take a three-horse trifecta for just $1 if they nominate the exact finishing position of all three of their runners. This is an extremely risky bet but it’s viable for those punters who don’t want to spend as much money on a trifecta.
Boxed Trifecta – This is where you can select any amount of runners and they can finish in any order. The more horses selected, the more it will cost and the lowest amount is $3 for a .50cent unit. Four runners costs $12 for a half unit but gives you the added security of including another runner.
Banker Trifecta – Punters can select one horse to finish in a certain position. The most common option is for punters to select one horse to win the race, with the ‘field’ taken for second and third. To figure out how much this bet costs, multiply the last two numbers in the field. For example; if the field costs of 13 runners, a banker-field-field trifecta will cost 13×12, equalling $156. Punters will opt for a percentage bet in order to drop that price down. Ideally, a more favoured runner is selected to win with punters hoping two long shots fill the remaining two positions, which will make the trifecta more profitable. A roving banker is simply the same bet, but you receive three separate bets as your banker has been placed in first, second and third on your ticket.
Percentage Trifecta – This allows punters to nominate how much they wish to spend on a trifecta. The less they want to spend, the lower the percentage they will receive. Most commonly, punters will select a couple of favourites with a few roughies and hope to get a small slice of a big trifecta.
Taking a First Four requires that you select the first four runners home in a race. With the added risk factor come massive payouts depending on the pool size. The 2013 Melbourne Cup First Four paid in excess of $118,000 and those are the big payouts punters target. They are obviously harder to hit than Trifecta’s, but box a handful of runners-up and you could be receiving a huge payout.
For all the aforementioned betting types there is an Easybet option. This takes all the thinking out of your bet and it lets the computer do the work for you. Simply click on the Easybet option at any of the bookmakers websites and it will generate a bet for you.
Double, treble and quaddie
Punters must select the winner of two races one after the other. In most cases, bookmakers will decided which two races a double will consist of. You can select more than one horse per race but the more you choose, the more it costs. A one horse per race double costs only $1 and the payouts are often better than taking a two-horse multi. For added security, if you select the first race winner and finish second in the final leg, you receive a concession payout. A concession is a smaller dividend than what you would have got had you hit the double, but the payout is still rewarding.
Punters must select the winner of three straight races. Bookmakers will nominate one or two trebles per race card. Payouts on trebles depend on the odds of the three winners and if there is one long shot winner, the payouts are often more than handy. If you select the first two winners and the second place getter in the final leg, you will receive a concession.
Punters must select four straight winners in a row. Bookmakers will designate one Quaddie per meeting, usually the last four races at the meeting. The appeal for Quaddie’s is that they jackpot and the pools are often
massive. Quaddie pools in Melbourne can reach up to $1 million and that’s on a week day. Betting syndicates are often formed in order to hit these big payouts where dreams can be made with one single bet.
Horse racing exotic bets
Punters must select the winners of six straight races in which the bookmakers have nominated. In most cases there is one Super 6 a week per region and the pools are set prior to their running. Bookmakers will guarantee a base pool and then the money punted into the Super 6 will see that pool rise. If the Super 6 is struck by more than one winning ticket, the pool will be split by the percentage of the ticket. If the Super 6 is terminating (it must be struck by either a percentage bet or five runners) then any form of percentage bet will take the entire pool. If a punter has a 5% ticket and they are the sole winner of a terminating Super 6, they win the entire jackpot.
Like a Super 6, a Place 6 requires the punter to select a place-getter in six straight races. However, this bet varies because you can select multiple horses per race. In doing so, if you choose three horses per race and they all place, you now have three separate Place 6 tickets running into the next race. Therefore, from placing one Place 6 bet, the punter can win on multiple occasions from one ticket.
On most premier meetings on Wednesday and Saturday, bookmakers will set a jockey challenge where punters can bet on their preferred jockey. Jockeys receive three points for a win, two for second and one for third. Books will often set prices for around 4-5 jockeys and include an ‘any other’ option which includes all the lesser fancied jockeys. Punting in the Jockey’s Challenge allows bettors to follow the entire meeting having only placed one bet. Live betting throughout the challenge is also available.
Bookmakers nominate two horses per race and punters bet on which runner they think will finish before the other. The positive aspect of this option is that if you already liked one of the selected horses, you can get a good price and it only has to beat one other horse. It doesn’t matter if they finish second to last and last, you will win your bet as long as your runner finishes first. The usual $1.91 head-to-head prices are often quoted.
In an All Up bet, punters can either select a win or place bet over numerous races throughout one meeting. An All Up is essentially a multi-bet but is limited to one meeting. The total sum won on the first bet is then put onto the second bet and so forth. The downside to All Up betting is that the money placed will have an effect on the price of your selections therefore a multi-bet is a preferred option is available.
Alternative horse racing betting options in Australia
Australian bookmakers can set markets on any given event such as Jockey’s Premierships and even the price of foals at upcoming sales. They offer Jockeys Premiership odds for all regions including Queensland Metro, South Australia, Western Australia Metro, Victorian Metro and Sydney. Likewise with the Trainers Premierships, they offer odds on all regions throughout the season, which ends in August. Markets are open for the purchase price of some high profile foals that will be up for sale in the near future. For example, a market was released for the sale price of Black Caviar’s first foal and also for the Frankel/More Joyous foal. Check in with your favourite Australian bookmaker to see the most recent specials.
Australian Racing carnivals to bet on
Melbourne Spring Carnival – On the first Tuesday of November, the race that stops a nation takes place and the pools are huge! The Cup carnival attracts punters from all over the world therefore the betting pools are big which has a positive effect on the odds available. When the fields are large and even, the odds available are set higher than they would be in a small seven horse field. Masses amount of money are bet at major carnivals which bumps the pool up and makes it worth targeting.
Throughout the Melbourne Spring Carnival there is a wide range of Group One races to bet on. Caulfield hosts three major races including the Guineas and the Caulfield Cup which is a major lead-up race to the Melbourne Cup. The market for the Caulfield Cup is available at Sportsbet.com.au where local Australian hope Solicit has been installed as the early $17 favourite.
Moonee Valley is the next stop during the carnival and the W.S Cox Plate is the Group One highlight. Known as one of the highest quality weight-for-age races in the world, the Cox Plate has been won by many a champion including Makybe Diva, So You Think, Might And Power and Sunline. Last years champion It’s A Dundeel has been installed the $7 favourite with Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente close behind at $7.50. To bet on the 2015 Cox Plate, visit any of the four recommended bookmakers and head to the racing futures section.
The carnival comes to an end at Flemington with the Victorian Derby, Melbourne Cup, VRC Oaks and the Emirates Stakes all taking centre stage. The Melbourne Cup is the main attraction and punters are already focussing on the 2015 running with four equal favourites at $21 currently. These include last year’s winner Fiorente and place-getter Mount Athos. Betting on the Cup in the months leading up is the best time to secure value around Melbourne Cup Betting and now is the best time to bet on the race that stops the nation.
Check out our 2015 Melbourne Cup betting guide – everything you need to know before betting on the Melbourne Cup
Royal Ascot – Britain’s biggest carnival is held at Royal Ascot in June over a four-day period. Some of Australia’s best horses travel there including Black Caviar who won their feature sprint race. Despite racing in the early hours of the morning, Royal Ascot remains one of the main carnivals to bet on in Australia. The Ascot Gold Cup is one of the richest races over the carnival and punters can already place a bet on this event at any four of our recommended bookmakers.
Queensland Winter Carnival – Winter racing often turns punters off betting but the Queensland Winter Carnival has multiple Group 1’s on offer for not only the slick sprinters but the testing stayers as well. The Stradbroke is one of the main highlights for the sprinters and the market for this race is usually up months before the race takes place. Split between Doomben and Eagle Farm, the carnival lasts for over a month and features not only Australia’s best winter performers but New Zealand horses make the trip across the Tasman also. Just prior to the winter carnival is the Group One Golden Slipper – an event for Australia’s best two-year-old’s. To bet on this race head to Centrebet where they have a comprehensive market with Earthquake holding current favouritism.
Dubai World Cup – This meeting is one of the most prestigious events in racing as the main races are by invitation only. The world’s best horses including those from Australia take their place at a stand-alone meeting. Big money is placed on these events as there are so many countries involved with the markets not opening till the final field is confirmed.
Wagering advice and tips
Market movement – Most of the bookmakers give you the option of ‘following the money’ where they post updated market movers which show punters where the money is going. This gives punters knowledge of where the big bets are being placed and this is a great tool to have. Assessing whether or not a horse will win largely depends on punters confidence and market movement demonstrates this.
Read the form – It’s quite simple but if you want to succeed at betting on horse racing. you must look at the form. You can distinguish whether or not horses are dropping back in grade or if there recent form suggests they are a winning chance. For example; if a horse has a great form line it appears as though it’s a good winning chance, but that form might be in lower graded races and it doesn’t accurately reflect its real chance. Bookmakers offer an extensive form guide that punters can use anytime of the day.
Be careful of what you hear – Whilst opinions about horses can be of vital importance, punters must be careful and not get carried away with what’s being said. Trainers will very rarely talk down their horse because they want to keep their owners happy, so when you hear a trainer hyping up his runner, don’t go putting your entire bankroll on it. The fact is, the trainer is not a professional punter and they are bias to think their horse will win. This isn’t to say that trainers don’t know that their horse will run well, but just be careful as to who you listen to.
Who’s hot and who’s not? – It pays to follow the in-form trainers and jockeys are their good form often continues for a good period of time. Trainers will often get on an incredible run where they will train winners all across the country. When this happens, it’s vital to get aboard their train and ride it for as long as it lasts. Jockeys are much the same; for whatever reason they get into a winning groove and if you get on board you will reap the benefits. The opposite factor is that it’s important to not back those trainers, jockeys and horses that are out of form. There is often a reason to a form-drop and it will pay to look elsewhere.