A helpful guide to horse betting in Canada

Horse racing is one of the biggest, oldest, and most played sports in the world. Now, the industry is worth over 3 billion dollars, and it is as strong as ever, with fanatics worldwide cheering at racetracks for their bet to win.

Moreover, horse race betting is legal in many states and countries, including Canada. The sport has been part of the country’s history for decades, with many different venues and horse race betting options available.

Below is a simple horse betting guide to help players in Canada place their wagers on races.

Common Horse Racing Bets

Horse racing is an uncomplicated and straightforward sport to follow. That’s why it is perfect for both advanced and first-time bettors. However, there are many different ways in which you can make a bet. If you’re a newbie finding your way through your first race and its odds, check out https://www.tvg.com/promos/horse-racing-betting-guide/horse-racing-odds-explained/.

The most common include:

Straight Wagers

This type of bet is made if a patron wagers on one horse only. As such, there are no formulas or multiples involving other horses in the race. This betting line is easy to make and understand, plus it’s the most affordable bet to make in the race.

The following are the available bets under the straight wagers:

  • Win. Choose a horse that you think will dominate and win the race. To make a bet accordingly, make sure to evaluate the horse’s ability to perform as well as the riders. If the horse you bet wins, then you earn a profit. Otherwise, the stake is forfeited, and the bet is lost.
  • Place. The horse does not have to win for a bettor to earn a profit in a place bet. Generally, you win if your chosen horse finishes either first place or second place in the race. Although the return-on-investment will be less than a straight bet win, a place bet is an excellent option for bettors who like a horse’s look but are not sure if it’ll win.
  • Show. This type of bet shares similarities with a place bet. However, in a show bet, the bettor wins if the horse finishes first, second, or third. Because of this, the profit is smaller, and the odds are reduced.
  • Across the board. This type of bet is a combination of win, place, and show bets. Hence, it has greater profit potential.

Exotic Wagers

These bets allow punters to wager on at least one outcome in the race. Unfortunately, exotic wagers aren’t easily won. It requires experience and skill. The following are the available bets under the exotic wagers:

  • Quinella. Choose two horses in the race and bet on them if you think they’ll finish first and second place. Take note that the horses can close out the race in any order. With a quinella bet, the odds will be shorter. However, there’s a high likelihood of it landing, and it’ll only be unsuccessful if both or either of the horses can finish in third.
  • Exacta. This type of bet is made by picking two contenders for the same race and betting on them to finish in first and second places. Unlike a quinella bet, the selected horses must finish in the delegated order. Otherwise, the bet is lost.
  • Trifecta. With a trifecta bet, the bettor chooses three horses in the race to bet. And for the bettor to win, the picks must finish in first, second, and third place in the right order. The bet will be unsuccessful if the horses don’t finish in order or at least one pick finishes in fourth place.
  • Superfecta. This type of bet is the most complex out of all the exotic wagers. Also, it is the hardest to land. To make a superfecta bet, the bettor must choose four horses, and the picks must finish in the first place, second place, third place, and fourth place in the specified order.

Types of Canadian Horse Race

In general, there are two types of Canadian horse racing. The first one is called harness racing, where horses pull carts and race around a track. The second type is called flat racing, where horses race around turf, synthetic, or dirt courses.

Flat racing is the most popular among horse race bettors. But even though harness racing is less popular, it still generates a lot of buzz and attention.

What’s more, Canada has many different races throughout the year, including:

  • E.P. Taylor Stakes
  • Canadian International
  • Woodbine Mile
  • Breeder’s stakes
  • Northern Dancer Turf Stakes
  • Woodbine Oaks
  • The Queen’s Plate
  • Canadian Triple Crown


Horse racing fanatics have a lot of options in Canada. The country provides races all over the year with hefty prize pools. And to ensure a win, it’s crucial to study the horses involved in the race. Check the horses’ past performances and learn how well they do over specific distances and on certain tracks.