Horse racing is an age old tradition that started in the Roman times with chariot races. Thoroughbred horse racing is commonly called the “sport of kings”. Standard breed horses race at a paced trot. And, quarter horses race sprint short distances. They race on anything from dirt to polytrack. When it comes to betting, horse racing is second to football in terms of popularity. There is over $100 billion wagered annually in a span of 53 countries on horse betting. In countries like the UK, Ireland and Australia, gamblers can take the price and lock in odds on a horse at a specific time. Generally, the three ways to bet are: bet to win (first place), bet to place (first or second) and bet to show (first, second or third). The pay scale, as well as the risk, decreases as you move down the ladder. However, in the UK, the number of payout positions depends on the size of the field. For example, in a race with seven or less horses, only the top two finishers are winners. 8 horses or more have three payouts and 16 horses or more have four payouts. Each-Way Bet An each-way bet splits your wager in two, half on a first-place finish and the other half on the criteria above about the size of the field. Most UK bookmakers cut the odds significantly for this type of bet, offering the full odds if the horse wins but only 1/3, 1/4 or 1/5 of the odds for the place section of the bet. For bigger races like the Grand National, bookmakers will offer more odds like 1/6 and so forth for a place. In other words, it is important to know the size of the field before placing a bet. Betting Exchanges This is another type of betting where punters can back (normal bets on a selection to win) and lay (bet against the selection) money on an online betting exchange. Punters doing a lay bet act as a bookmaker. The odds are set by the market conditions of the betting exchange, also known as the activity of the members. Here are the some quality websites to choose from for sports betting, including horse racing: William Hill – £25 free initial bet. Ladbrokes – £25 free initial bet. Coral – £10 free initial bet, 10% cash back on sports and gaming. Totesport – Up to £100 in free bets (terms apply). Paddy Powder – £25 free initial bet.