Placing wagers on live horse races is fun and exhilarating. This is because the races are short and as such, require you to think fast. Hopefully, you will be quick enough to place a winning bet. But though it is fun, horse race betting is heavily regulated in India. But as you will learn in this piece, there are lots of opportunities for Indians to take advantage of.
Editor’s Pick – 3 Best Online Horse Race Betting Sites In India
Is it legal to bet on horse races online in India?
In 1996 the Indian Supreme Court ruled that horse betting was not a game based on luck alone. It also required some bit of skill to win rewards. For this reason, it is not illegal to gamble on horse races (this is captured in the Gaming Act of 1930 and the Police Act of 1888). Because of these bits of law, horse racing in India became extremely popular.
Currently, India has about nine racecourses that are managed by the Turf Authorities of India. This is a strict regulatory body that is tasked with the responsibility of organizing horse racing events and managing roadside bookmakers as well as various betting booths.
Since the horse racing industry in India is heavily regulated, the online bookmakers don’t include these races. If you want to bet on Indian horse racing events, you’ll have to physically visit the tracks.
Types of horse race bets
There are different types of horse race bets available. Below are the most common:
Win – this is a bet type where a player chooses a winner of a particular event. The player gets a reward when the horse they choose finishes first. Usually, the minimum bet is 10 Indian Rupees.
Forecast – in this bet type, a player makes two choices – the first and second place horses of a given race event. The reward is given if the horses win in the order the player specified.
Treble – in this bet type, a player is required to choose the winners of horse betting in three races. Only when one or two selections go through will yield a reward.
Jodi – unfortunately, this bet type is not yet available all over India. It is a winning bet made of a combination of two selected horses in a race. When either of the two chosen horses wins, then a dividend is paid. Usually, the minimum bet one can place is Rs.10. The tickets given to players contain the amount to be won when the wager goes as predicted.
Accumulator – as you’d guess, this is a multi-bet that includes several races. Players are required to predict the outcome of a horse in between two and six races.
The wagers can be ‘Place’ or ‘Win.’ If the first selection wins, the resulting wins are rolled over to the following selection. Provided the selection is successful, the winnings will continue to roll over until the player is paid. However, if any selection loses, the player loses out on the entire wager.
Shp – some experts also call it the Second Horse Pool. In this bet type, the player is expected to choose a horse that will come in second place in a racing event. The wager is lost if the horse finishes in any other position aside from the second place.
Place – in this bet, the player is required to pick horses that will finish in the top three positions if the race has between 8 and 11 runners.
The payment is only made when these selected horses win. However, if there are fewer horses in a race, the players are only required to choose the first and second place.
If there are more horses in the race, the bookmakers may reward the fourth-place prediction as well.
Quinella – in this bet, the player is required to make two choices; the first and second place horses in a race.
Payment is made if the selected horses finish in the top two regardless of the order.
Jackpot–in this bet type, players are required to select the winning horses in a total of five different races. If a player bets the first four winners right and fails in the last selection, a consolidation dividend is paid.
Super jackpot – this is similar to the jackpot bet. However, six races are included, and the bookmaker pays a consolidation dividend if the first five horses win and the last selection fails.
Pool betting VS. fixed odds
You’ve probably heard the word ‘Tote’ many times that you care to remember in the past few months. So what is it? Well, it’s simply pool betting that has been computerised.
A Tote adds up all the wagers that have been placed for any race or combination of races and deducts the fees and taxes. It then shares the remaining amount between the winners as their payout. This means that the odds offered from pool betting varies.
Before the wagering process closes and the race kicks off, the odds fluctuate depending on the amount wagered and the number of people participating. For transparency, the tote is always showing the odds.
Now, every club takes bets from hundreds of Tote booths that they have set up in different race courses. Usually, these Totes are automatic. But if you please, you can always go to manned totes and buy cash vouchers. Additionally, there’s the option of calling an operator who carries a tiny version of the Tote. And depending on your region, some clubs also have off-course wagering centers where they show the race events live. But even with all these options, all the Tote wagers end up in the same pool.
Instead of pool betting, bookmakers provide fixed odds. The fixed odds payout at specified rates when the wager wins. Because of this, you will often find a horse indicated to win at an odd 4/1. This means that every Rupee you wager will be multiplied by four if the selected horse wins. This also means that the bookmaker gets a fixed amount of the bet (regardless of the falling or rising odds during the wagering period).
Fixed odds or tote: which is best?
Each of these betting methods has its fair share of pros and cons. For pools betting, a Tote that starts at 5/1 might end up at 3/1 or 2/1 by the time a race is starting.
On the other hand, for fixed odds of 5/1, the odds will never go higher than this even when the odds increase to 6/1 or even 8/1.
Due to these fluctuations, bookmakers prefer having a starting price. This means that the odds applied will be those calculated right before the race starts.
But since bookmakers and Clubs usually compete for player wagers, they offer incentives to encourage players to bet with them. The most common incentive used are the fixed Tote odds. Another common incentive is the bumper prize, which is common with Clubs.
To determine which you should choose, you need to do some quick calculations of the cost of placing the bet. Tote bets are usually a minimum of Rs. 10. However, they can go as low as Rs. 2, but bookmakers often require a minimum wager of Rs. 50.
Tips for betting on horse racing online
Have betting accounts with several betting platforms
We advise players to do this with any betting product. It always allows players to shop for the best deals. And even though there are three reputable betting sites in India, it’s recommended to have an account with each one of them.
Prefer sites that offer stats and analysis of races
These reports are always helpful when it comes to placing bets. Knowing your stats is as important as having the best odds in the market. Also, the option to watch live races is important.
Bet on horse races held in India
We also advise trying local races. It helps in growing the industry locally, and at times it is even more exciting when you are in the race tracks placing the bets. The best-known race tracks in India are in Hyderabad, Mysore, and Mumbai.
Deposit methods for online horse betting in India
If you want to participate in online horse racing in India, it means that you’ll have to bet on international horse racing events. The few safe online bookmakers in the industry that accept Indian rupees include Betway and Bet365. These are reputable sites the world over. But since the Indian government still has strict rules surrounding online gambling and banking, Indian players cannot deposit cash through debit and credit card. The best option is to use eWallets, including PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill.
To place bets on international horse racing events, you need to register into a bookmaker platform. You can then make deposits through eWallets linked to the account. The beauty of these eWallets is that your financial details remain hidden and are therefore safe and secure. You can also withdraw your winnings through the same platforms.
Horse race betting is fun, especially if you can visit the race tracks and see the races live. Good luck in your horse race betting endeavors!