Dont be a novice punter anymore - Everything you need to know about horse race betting!

Welcome to Novice Punter. The site that teaches you the basics of betting, all in one place. If you’re a beginner to horse racing betting then we can guide you through the ins and outs and get you up to speed in no time at all.

Novice Punter is for people who are just that – novice punters. The main focus of the site is horse racing, however the principles can be applied to pretty much any sport you want to bet on.

Horse race betting guides

Read through our guides and go from novice to expert in no time at all! We walk you through how to bet on horses whether its online, in a bookies or at the race course.

Step 1 – get a free bet to get started

There’s loads of free bets around from every major bookie but we’ve searched around and found the easiest to claim for the novice punters – Coral. It works on the simple premise – You register and bet £5 and you’ll get a £20 free bet, nice and easy. This is great if you’re new to betting as you don’t have to part with much cash to get started.

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Simple terms – Your first bet must be at odds of at least 1/2 or 1.5 and you must place it with in 14 days of registering. You’ll also need to place your free bet or bets within 7 days of receiving it. Full terms can be found using the link at the bottom of the registration page when your signing up.

Step 2 – Look at the race cards and form

If you’re going to the races for the day then get a copy of the race card to look at for the runners and riders. If you’re betting on line go to the horse racing home on Coral and select todays races. Then scroll down to this part of the screen where you’ll see all the days races.

Starting horse race betting on Coral sports - Novice Punter guide to racing

For an example of what to look for we’re going for the 3.15 at Chepstow, when you click into it you get this race view which is full of information but can be a little over whelming at first.

How to read a race card

What the columns mean  (left to right) –

Draw – Stall number if racing from them and the number that will be on the side of the horse.

Horse/ Jockey/ Trainer – The name of the horse, who’s riding it and who the owner is – Under neath is a prediction from a virtual run of the race using a computer system to rank the horses.

Form/ Age/ weight  – We’ll cover how to read the form next, the age and weight of the horses will vary depending in what type of race it is. On some grounds people like to back the lighter horses.

RP rating – This is the rating of the horse from a system developed by the racing post news paper and give an indication of the horses potential.

Previous odds – The odds on racing move quite frequently and this shows you which way they are going. Horses where the odds are moving down quicker are know as “steamers” and horses who’s odds keep getting higher are know as “drifters”.

Current odds – This is the live price if you bet now, to place your bet click on the green button, this will send the selection to the bet slip on your right.

Better win only odds – On some horses you can get better odds by not taking an each way bet on the horse, this means you’re backing the horse to win. If your a beginner at horse race betting make sure you don’t back anything under 4/1 each way as if they don’t and place then you’ll get less than your original stake back.

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Step 3  – Read the form to pick your horse to back

Here’s the favourite in the race and we’ll use this as an example of how to look at its recent form.

How to read horse racing form

From is read from right to left so in this example Diamonds A Dancing has won his last 2 races and finished 6th in the one before. This is a good guide as you can see he’s done well in the last 2 runs after a couple of poor runs. With Coral you get the bonus of being able to see more into the form and watch even watch the previous races to see how they did. To do this click “form & replays” under the form, age and weight section and this will drop down.

Begginers guide to reading horse racing form for betting

This now gives us the full details of the last 5 races including the date, ground, weight, position, who won, jockey, official rating and the Racing post rating. As horses form improves the ratings increase.

As a guide you an look for horses that have dropped weight, jockeys who’ve been successful on a particular horse and what length the wins were over. We can see in this example its last 2 wins have been over 3 kilo meters (3k under race conditions) and in good (Gd) and good to firm (GF) ground. The going in this races is good and its also over 3K which makes this horse very back able in this race.

To find more each way bets you can look for horses that have “placed” in previous races. This means they have finished in the top 4 in larger fields, top 3 in mid size races and top 2 in races with not many horses.

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To read more the menus above this page will guide you through the following information –

A general overview of betting – A very beginners guide
Different types of betting – Learn about the different multiple options available
The concept of laying (acting as a bookmaker through a betting exchange)
How to make use of betting exchanges – Strategies to improve your betting
General guidelines on betting, how to run your betting accounts, maximise your profits etc.
How to make use of odds comparison sites
Free bets- who we recommend and why!

Next race off with bet365!

Its all in one place, laid out in simple terms, and will give you the information you need, to start navigating the sometimes complex world of sports betting.

Good luck

If you have any questions or would like to contact the novicepunter team, please email
mail at novicepunter.co.uk (no spam/ seo/ design emails please).