If you have concerns about gambling, please visit: BeGambleAware.org, Gamcare.org.uk or Gamstop.co.uk.

UK Horse Racing Advice

Horse Racing Betting

Even if you only bet at online bookmakers at weekends, try to learn as much as possible about the horses you are backing or laying, their jockeys and the trainers before you do.

Make sure you familiarise yourself with all the different types of race courses.

Newbury, for example, suits the bigger long striding horses, whereas Kelso suits the smaller nippier horses and so should be considered when deciding which horse racing bets to place.

Learn About a Races Draw

Be aware of the effect of the draw, it can give some horses a significant advantage in certain races at certain courses.

Newcastle, for example, in races over 5f, 6f and 7f, high numbers are favoured unless the going is soft, when low numbers are then favoured.

And heavy going in a race can sometimes result in a surprise winner - even a rank outsider passing the winning post first, in which case you might be wise not to have a bet.

Ensure you grab a copy of The Racing Post for in-depth coverage of all the UK horse racing that the best bookmakers will be covering on the day you plan to place your bet/s.

Runners Minimum

Avoid betting on races - both Flat and National Hunt - with 7 or less runners as they tend to be won by a very short priced favourite and will give a poor return for your money.

However, if the favourite is a decent price, say 3/1, for example, then needless to say, it is worth having a bet at an online bookmaker if can get online in time.

Runners Maximum

Try to limit my race horse betting - both Flat and National Hunt - to races with 13 runners maximum. If you are are tempted to back a horse in a race with a large field of runners we suggest you limit yourself to a race with 17 runners maximum.

We'd also opt for a decent priced 'each way bet' instead of a straight win to improve your chances of winning at online bookmakers.

Courses to Avoid

Never back horses at the following UK racecourses: Brighton, Folkestone, Goodwood and Wolverhampton, they are my bogey courses, never giving me any winners.

Fortunately, with 55 other racecourses in the UK to choose from we can easily live with the disappointment at not being able to find winners at these four racecourses.

So if you have had a succession of losers at a particular course, perhaps you should try backing horses at other courses, you may find that your luck changes.

Betting Shops

For those of you who prefer to visit high street betting shops to place your horse racing bets.

we recommend you avoid the shops run by the large UK betting chains such as Ladbrokes and William Hills, they do not always offer the best prices.

Personally, we've found smaller independent bookmakers offer better prices on horses.

Betting Online

If you bet online or thinking of doing so, always make sure you are visiting a genuine site and not a phishing (fake) site.

Always look for "https" in the address bar on the log in page of the site (the "s" denotes a secure site) or a padlock icon on the bottom bar of the screen.

Safe and secure online bookmakers will always have this symbol.

And never respond to a seemingly genuine email claiming to be from a site you had previously visited to carry out a financial transaction or recently registered with - requesting you to log in because there is a problem with your account - they are fake.

Genuine online bookmakers do not send out such emails. If there really is a problem with your account you will find out when you next log in to your online betting account.

Cautious Betting

Never bet more than you can afford to lose. You are not going to win all the time, so don't waste your money chasing a losing streak. We remember watching the Cheltenham Festival on television and one of the presenters was talking to a punter who lost 17 bets in a row!

Remember, just as you will experience losing streaks, you will also, hopefully, enjoy winning periods which will help to make your horse race betting more enjoyable and hopefully your experiences at online bookmakers much more profitable.