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How to Bet the 2024 Belmont Stakes Online, from Signing Up for an App to Making Your First Bet

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Horse racing can seem daunting for new bettors or even sportsbook bettors looking to place their first horse racing wager. It’s often found on different apps from traditional sports betting sites and the layout including odds and types of wagers will look different from normal sports betting.

We’ll walk you through two of the top platforms for online horse racing, how the odds work and different types of bets just in time for the 2024 Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 8.

1. What apps can I bet the Belmont on?

Luckily, online horse racing is widely-available in over 40 states but sometimes it can be a bit tricky to find the right platform. Our two preferred platforms are TwinSpires and FanDuel Racing.

TwinSpires is an official platform of Churchill Downs and the promo code HANDLERACING provides a $100 bonus for every $400 wagering. You’ll have 30 days to accrue cash bets up to a maximum $400 bonus possible with $1,600 wagered in that time frame.

FanDuel Racing offers a $500 No Sweat First Bet that covers your first bet on any type of wager on any race and any track. This means you would either profit cash from a winning bet or earn a Racing Credit that covers the miss. This credit would deposit within 72 hours and can be used within the FanDuel Racing platform within seven days.

The tricky part is FanDuel provides a standalone app in horse racing states, the TVG app in certain states and a horse racing tab in the sportsbook app if you’re in a sports betting state.

Here’s the breakdown state-by-state if you choose FanDuel:

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  • States you can bet through FanDuel Sportsbook: AZ, CO, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV, WY
  • Standalone horse racing states with FanDuel Racing app: AR, CA, DE, FL, KY, NH, NM, ND, OR, RI, SD, and VT
  • States with the TVG app or a white-labeled TVG app: AZ, CT, IA, ID, MN, MT, NJ, or WA

 2. Fractional odds vs. American odds

One thing you’ll notice is the odds look different from normal sports betting. Horse racing uses what’s known as fractional odds, where you may see a favorite at 3-1 or a longshot at 20-1.

It’s essentially comparing what the payout would be (left number) vs. your stake (right number).  So a 20-1 longshot would pay $20 for every $1 wagered.

A different way to look at it is you can divide the left number by the right number if the fraction is something like 9-5 odds — this would give you 1.8 meaning it is +180 odds.

If the number is bigger on the left, you know it will pay plus money while if a favored horse switches to odds like 1-3, it would be -300 or negative money as a heavy favorite.

Finally, it’s important to note that when betting on horse racing, the odds can change even up until after the race. This is because you bet into a pool with other bettors (pari-mutuel betting) vs. betting against the house with a sportsbook.

For example, if more people bet on a favorite horse to win, the odds will be more and more favored meaning less payout. Meanwhile, if a lot of juice is going to an underdog, that favored horse might provide a better payout during wagering.

3. Ways to bet the race

Once you have downloaded your preferred app and set up a new account, the homepage will show you scrolling races that are available for wager. You’ll find different race tracks around the country with each race available, generally around 15-20 minutes between post times at each track.

For example, the Belmont Stakes will be the final race of the day at Saratoga this year, since Belmont Park is under renovation. You’ll find the full lineup of horses in that race with odds posted, their number or position and other pertinent info like the jockey and trainer.

The most straightforward bet is a win bet, just like a moneyline in sports betting, you’re just betting the horse to win outright. You can also pick a horse to finish in second (place) or third (show) as well as a safer pick for a horse to win, place or show.

Once you’ve clicked on the races you want to wager on, you’ll notice on the top there are more types of bets, called exotic bets.

  • Exacta – Picking the exact order of the winner and second place horse
  • Trifecta – Picking the exact order for first, second and third
  • Pick 3, 4, 5 etc – You can pick multiple horses each race and one of those horses has to win each race for consecutive races (almost like a parlay)

The good news is while this can seem daunting, it generally works like typical sports betting besides having to toggle to each type of bet you want and the odds. Once you tap or click on your type of bet and the race, most books like FanDuel will automatically start a betslip at the bottom of the page where you can decide on the stake amount.

As we mentioned in the odds section, the payouts can be tricky to determine until the conclusion of the race since odds fluctuate based off the pool of bettors and who is betting on which horses.

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