Online Horse Betting Sites in Virginia

Legal betting on horse racing has been available in much of the United States for years now, including the state of Virginia. Even before states began to legalize sports betting, the horse racing industry was taking and placing wagers. The argument could definitely be made that allowing bets to be placed on horse racing was a massive win for the sport’s growth and current popularity.

The most important horse races of the year include the Triple Crown events — the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. In addition, other big events include the Breeders’ Cup and the Dubai World Cup, among others with plenty of options for bettors.

In this article, we will break down the basics of horse betting and help you get started or learn more about the industry.

Horse racing betting guide for beginners

Virginia is among 30 states across the US that allow online horse betting, with four online betting partners that Virginia residents may use: TVG, Xpressbet, Twinspires and NYRABets. Users can create an account on any of these sites to start wagering on horse racing.

Below is a look at some of the most popular betting types when wagering on horses, separated between straight bets and exotic bets.

Straight bets

  • Win: Fairly self-explanatory, but this wager is on a horse to win the race.
  • Place: In this type of wager, you are wagering on a horse to finish in first or second place.
  • Show: In this bet, you’re betting on a horse to finish in the top three.

Exotic bets

  • Exacta: In an exacta, you choose the two horses you think will finish first and second, in order. In addition, you could box this bet, which would flip the order, making it two separate bets.
  • Trifecta: You choose the top three horses in order of finish. This type of wager can also be boxed, so the top three horses can finish in any order.
  • Superfecta: This is a wager on the top four horses and their order of finish. Like the other exotic options, bettors may box these bets together, allowing the horses to finish in any order inside the top four.

Horse racing betting offers & free bets

Horse betting sites are always looking to attract new customers and keep their current users satisfied. One easy way they can do this is by offering bonuses. This can be in the form of a welcome bonus where you deposit money and the site matches your deposit, or it could mean you randomly get a free bet on an upcoming race.

When you plan to join a site that offers horse race betting and want to utilize the bonus offer, make sure you shop around and search for the best deals. In addition, if you are already an experienced horse bettor and a bonus pops up into your account, make sure you read all the offer details, including the terms and conditions.

TVG, for instance, is currently offering a sign-up bonus for up to $250. New users get a 50% bonus on their first deposit to the site. In addition, TVG will have some free-to-play options that allow you to win money without taking on any of the risk in a normal wager.

Opening a horse betting account in VA

Once you have done all your research and realize you want to try betting on horse racing, it’s time to start your account. First, let’s dive into the major deposit options, also using information from TVG as the example. Below are the ways you will be able to deposit money to get started.

  • E-check: Directly link to your checking account.
  • Debit/credit card: Most major banks will allow deposits to online wagering site through this method, but not all. There are a few that may refuse.
  • TVG prepaid card: If you sign up for the TVG prepaid card online, you will receive a physical card soon thereafter. However, you would be allowed to use a digital version of the card immediately upon signing up.
  • Green Dot MoneyPak: You can find this card at many stores and do your depositing with it online.
  • PayNearMe: This method allows you to scan a barcode at 7-Eleven, CVS and Family Dollar stores.
  • PayPal: The account must be a personal US-based account in your name and attached to your checking account by your checking account number.
  • Wire transfer: With this method, you may initiate a wire deposit by taking it to your preferred bank to have it processed.
  • Deposit at the track: Horse bettors could simply add money to their TVG account at the racetrack.
  • Money orders/checks: These methods allow you to deposit via mail.

How to cash out a winning bet

Suppose you placed your first few bets, won at least one of them and are ready to cash out and celebrate with your winnings. How do you do that? Here’s how this situation operates when looking at TVG’s methods of doing business with its customers.

You can withdraw money using debit, PayPal, e-check transfer, TVG prepaid card, wire transfer, check withdrawal request or cash withdrawal at the track.

What types of horse races can I bet on?

There are plenty of horse racing options to satisfy anybody looking for entertainment. In addition, there are several types of horse races to bet on.

Thoroughbred racing is the most popular variety of horse racing. It allows only registered thoroughbreds in races, while harness racing has only registered standardbreds. Quarter horses are the sprinters among all the racing horses, while thoroughbreds are built for middle distance and speed.

Top horse racing events in the US

Many horse races happen across the country each year, but a few major events get the most attention. It starts with the three Triple Crown races as well as the Breeders’ Cup. Here’s some additional information about these important events.

  • Kentucky Derby: The Kentucky Derby is the most prominent horse race in the country and kicks off the Triple Crown. It typically takes place on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The most recent winner was Authentic with John Velazquez as the jockey. The purse came out to $3 million. The race allows 3-year-old horses to compete.
  • Preakness Stakes: The Preakness is the second race of the Triple Crown and typically will be held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. The race takes place at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Swiss Skydiver won the most recent event, with Robby Albarado as the winning jockey. The purse was $1 million. The Preakness is for 3-year-old horses.
  • Belmont Stakes: The Belmont is the final leg of the Triple Crown, generally held three weeks after the Preakness. The race takes place at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, with a purse of $1 million. The previous winner was Tiz the Law with Manny Franco as the winning jockey. The race is for 3-year-old horses, as well.
  • Breeders’ Cup: The Breeders’ Cup features two days of a series of horse races involving the best horses from around the world each year. The event moves around, with plenty of tracks being able to host it. The purse is $31 million for the event, and horses age 3 and older are eligible to compete. Authentic won the most recent Breeders’ Cup Classic, with John Velazquez as the jockey.

How to watch horse racing live online

Horse racing bettors and fans of the sport can catch the races live by checking out TVG’s video streaming service. All you would need to do is sign up for a TVG account. The account is free for wagering customers or $9.99 for per month via a subscription.

Horse betting strategy & tips

Now that you know plenty of the basics of horse betting, let’s make you a more informed bettor and give you a look at some of the strategies that hopefully lead to long-term success for you as a bettor.

  • Do your homework. Just like with many things in life, preparation is key. You should have plenty of research in before you place a wager, allowing you to make the most informed wager possible.
  • Start small. Especially when you are first starting out, try not to wager on too many races or risk too much of your money before you fully understand what you’re doing. Keep it simple at the start, and never wager an amount of money you wouldn’t be comfortable losing.
  • Consider the track. Horses compete differently depending on the style of track they will be racing on. Particular horses may shine on one track and struggle on another. It’s up to you to get the research done to identify good values on horses you’d like to wager on.
  • Rely on jockey experience. Horse racing can be even more difficult than most sports because you’re dealing with animals instead of people. However, jockeys play a major role in the success of a particular horse. Before placing your wager, check and see how long and how successfully the jockey has been competing.

With the increase in betting across America, there is plenty of information out there on horse racing. Search around to find the information you trust the most that will hopefully help you in earning a profit betting on horse races.

More on horse racing in Virginia

The state of Virginia offers a variety of horse races and venues to attend. Some of the most popular events include the Virginia Gold Cup, Virginia Bred Races at Laurel, Harness Racing at Shenandoah Downs and the International Gold Cup. Others include the Old Dominion Hounds Point to Point, Blue Ridge Hunt Point to Point, Foxfield Fall Races and Virginia Fall Races.

Horse racing FAQ

Yes. Bettors are allowed to bet on the Kentucky Derby using,, or

Virtual horse racing refers to simulations of horse races.

Yes. Horse betting is legal in Virginia.

A horse racing form can be confusing at first, but it will become easier to understand over time. The form takes note of the horses’ previous performances in prior races and can be useful in predicting the outcome of the next race. This is a key factor to study prior to placing a wager on a race.