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How do You Bet on Horse Racing?

Betting on horses has been a popular pastime for South Africans since the early 1800’s and it’s still going strong with more and more people becoming punters each year. With the right knowhow, horse race betting can be a fun, exciting activity.

You can bet on horses either at the racetrack, or online. Online is the most convenient way to bet, because you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. You also have all necessary information at your fingertips if you want to take a closer look at the horse you have your eye on.

As one of the leading horse race betting sites in South Africa, Sunbet has a wonderful, user-friendly platform that allows you to bet online securely.

Rules for Horse Race Betting

Understanding horse race betting rules is important before attempting to place any bets. The same goes for any online sport betting; the more information you have, the better your chances at being successful.

Post Time

When the horses arrive at the gate before they set off to race is referred to as “post time”. This is the time that punters can place their last bets, because once those gates are open, betting is closed.

Post Positions and Entry Numbers

Every horse has a number which is displayed on the jockey and on the saddle of the horse. Horses are given their numbers according to their position on the track. Horses that are closer inside the track are the lower numbers, and the numbers go up the further from the inside they are. A racing program is given before betting commences so that punters know which number their favourites are.


As the name suggests, if you bet on a horse to win and that horse crosses the finish line first, you’ve won!

Place Bets

A “place” bet is one where you are betting on your horse to come first or second.

Show Bets

Here you’ll be betting that your horse is going to come in first, second or third place.This is a good bet if you’re new to betting. This bet gives you a higher chance of winning, if you are knowledgeable. The winnings, however, arediluted, because this is a more general bet.


Sometimes racehorse owners may decide that their horses aren’t fit for the race. This is a bit of challenge when you’ve already bet on said horse to win. So, what now? This is called a “scratch”. In individual races, you will get a refund from your betting site. Other rules may apply depending on your chosen site – it’s important to know how your betting site handles these setbacks so that you can handle them accordingly.

Draw / Dead Heats Bets

When horses reach the finish at the exact same time, this is known as a “dead heat” – basically a tie between the two. In this case, if you have bet on one of these horses to win, you will still receive your payout. It will be less than if your horse had won flat-out, though, because there will be more people who have won on either of the horses.

Horse racing has been put on hold due to Coronavirus, but will definitely be back. Take this time to brush up on your knowledge and become the punter to watch. Sign up with Sunbet for more online sports betting, including Esports.

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