Virtual Betting - Horse racing: Guide To The Exciting World Of Virtual Horses!

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More and more online bookmakers are offering virtual sports now, including virtual horse racing. But what are virtual sports? And how does virtual sports betting work?

In our exclusive guide to virtual betting – horse racing, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the exciting world of the virtual racetrack. We’ll be covering how it works, how you place your bets, the advantages and disadvantages of virtual horse racing betting, and even providing you our top betting tips and tell you which bookie we prefer. Read on to find out more!

What Is Virtual Betting – Horse Racing?

Virtual horse racing is part of a growing market offered by many bookmakers. You’ll find virtual sports offered on a bookie’s website either in the sports section or with a completely a dedicated section of its own.

Basically, virtual horse racing is a simulation of a real horse racing event. The bookmaker presents these virtual races through increasingly sophisticated software that simulates the horse race, using the sort of graphics you can find on the latest video games to make the whole presentation as realistic as possible. Bookmakers allow you, the player, to place various bets on the outcome of these virtual races.

Virtual horse betting is older than you might think. Many of you will remember going into amusement arcades at the seaside in the UK and playing a mechanical horse racing game. There were different coloured horses to bet on, with different payouts for each representing the odds. You put your penny or 2p in the slot and excitedly watched the horses ‘run’ the course!

Modern virtual horse racing betting is a much more sophisticated, but essentially it’s based on exactly the same principle as that old-fashioned mechanical amusement arcade game. And knowing just how the game works is the key to understanding how to bet on virtual horse racing. Read on to find out all you need to know about this intriguing new betting phenomenon.

How Does Virtual Horse Racing Betting Work?

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The best way to understand just how virtual betting – horse racing works is to know that it’s completely different from betting on real-life horse races. In fact, the mechanics of a virtual horse racing bet is far more similar to betting on video poker, online roulette, and even slots games.

Virtual horse racing might look incredibly lifelike, with their stunning visuals similar to the sort of graphics you’d see on your favourite PlayStation or XBox sports game. However, you have to remember one crucially important thing… these are total games of chance! No matter how impressive the graphics are, these games are definitely not the same as betting on real-world sporting events.

Virtual horse racing has two parts. The visual simulation of the horses running the race is the first part, and the betting software is the second part. The computer program behind the virtual sports events controls all the action, offering different odds on different runners based on the probability of them winning.

What you choose to bet on in virtual sports is all about how much risk you are willing to accept. If you want to play conservatively, you should be choosing low odds bets. Statistically, low odds should produce winners more often, though the payouts are smaller. If you want to be less conservative, then you could go for longer odds horses that will statistically win less often. However, given that the odds are higher for these bets, the return on your stake should be much higher also.

Real world horse racing betting has so many factors involved that placing bets involves a huge element of skill. The experienced horse racing bettor will study form and conditions and bet accordingly. Unlike its real-world counterpart, virtual horse racing betting is just a game of chance, controlled by probabilities and odds. As long as you remember that virtual horse racing is just a game of chance, you’ll be well placed to enjoy your virtual betting – horse racing experience.

Is Virtual Horse Racing Betting Fair?

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This is a common question that many players new to the world of virtual betting – horse racing will ask. As the results of virtual horse racing betting are completely controlled by the computer program, players worry that the software can be manipulated, or fixed, to stop them from winning.

However, all games of chance, including virtual horse racing betting, are actually very strictly controlled and regulated. Or at least they are when you use reputable and trustworthy bookmakers. Any good online bookmaker will be regulated and licensed by various gambling bodies, such as the UK Gambling Commission. Part of this regulation is to make sure that games of chance have very strictly controlled payout percentages. These are rigorously enforced so there can be no manipulation of the results by the bookmaker. These rules apply to all games of chance, and there are stringent penalties for any bookmaker who may break them.

So, when wondering if virtual betting – horse racing is fair, you can be certain it is, provided you sign up with a reputable bookmaker. If you’re not sure where to sign up, the answer is right here on You can trust our own bookmaker reviews, where safety and regulatory approval is always an essential part of our evaluation of a site!

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Virtual Horse Racing Betting

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  • Always available! Unlike real world horse racing, virtual horse racing is available to you around the clock.
  • No waiting for the off! Races take place every few minutes, so there’s no hanging around waiting for the big race to start!
  • Fast and furious action! The horse races are short, often lasting just a  minute or so, with the visual display showing you all the action.


  • Too easy to bet, bet, bet! Because the virtual horse races happen every few minutes, there’s a temptation for bettors to bet more than they intended to with virtual horse betting.
  • Chance not skill! Real world horse racing betting is a game of real skill, with experienced punters studying many different factors, such as form and conditions, to ensure they place the very best bets on a race. Virtual betting – horse racing is purely a game of chance, with everything controlled by the computer software and the winning horse chosen as a result of randomly generated results. This means that betting on this form of horse racing is more about luck than strong knowledge, which makes the results of your betting more unpredictable.

How Do You Bet On Virtual Horse Racing?

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First, look for the virtuals section on the bookmaker’s website. It’s usually either in the sports A-Z section or with its own section on the top bar. From the virtual sports offered, choose virtual horse racing.

Before the race begins, the bookmaker will present you with the odds for each horse and, depending on the race, options for betting win or each-way, forecast, or tricasts (we’ll tell you about these in our next section!) All that remains to do is for you, the punter, is to pick your horse, choose your betting market, place your bets, and wait for the off!

What Sort Of Bets Can You Make On Virtual Horse Racing?


There are four types of bets available to you in most virtual horse racing events: win, each way (place), forecast and tricast.


The simplest choice of an all or nothing bet: pick a horse to win at the odds offered by the bookmaker and you’re all set. For example, if you pick ‘Winner Winner’ at 2/1 (3.00) odds at the 8:15 at Picket Fences Park (the bookies come up with their own, imaginary, often cringe-worthy racetrack names) and he romps home first, a bet of £10 would return £30 (your £10 stake and £20 winnings).

Each Way (Place)

With each way betting, you are actually placing two bets, one bet for the win and one for the each way. So a £1 each way bet on our lucky horse ‘Winner Winner’ actually costs you £2 (£1 for win, £1 for each way). If he wins, it’s exactly the same as a win bet. But each way also means you win if he comes second or third! Each bookmaker has their own odds for each way but it’s usually paid at a fraction (1/4 or 1/5) of the win odds.


This is a bet on which horse will come first and which comes second. In a straight forecast, you have to match the exact order. With a dual forecast, it doesn’t matter who comes first and who comes second of the two horses.


This is just like a forecast, but you bet on which horses are going to come first, second, and third. Again, you can place a straight tricast for the exact outcome. Alternatively, you can choose a dual tricast for the three horses to place, with the order of the horses not being relevant to you payout.

Our Top Three Tips For Virtual Horse Racing Betting

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Top Tip #1 – Choose Your Races For The Number Of Runners!

Some bookies offer races with just a few horses, while others offer races with a bigger field. Obviously, with a smaller field you are looking at fewer potential winner; a fact that can really help a novice bettor. After all, with fewer horses running, the simpler it should be to select a winner.

Top Tip #2 – Favourites, Low Stakes And Each Way Betting Is The Way To Go!

In virtual horse betting, you want to increase your probability of getting a return on your bet. So going for the favourite is a great choice as, in theory, the favourite has a higher probability of getting you the return you want. However, you have to remember that virtual betting is a game of chance and you will see horses with longer odds winning pretty regularly.

To reduce the risk of losing big, always play a low stakes game to make sure you’re in control of your betting.

And to further increase your chance of getting a return, albeit at a lower rate, always go for the each way bet. After all, with payout on each way bets for first, second, or third, you’re more likely to get a result than with a straight win bet!

Top Tip #3 – Understand Virtual Horse Racing Is A Game Of Chance And Know Your Limits!

Always remember that virtual horse racing is a game of chance and that the outcome depends on the computer-generated random results! Look at the odds and make your bets, but keep in mind that everything about this form of betting is down to luck! And be careful not to bet too much; virtual racing is fast and always available, so it can be very tempting to bet more than you intended to. To combat this, set yourself limits and then stick to them!

Our Favourite Virtual Horse Racing Bookmaker


When it comes to our favourite bookie for virtual horse racing bets, we can’t look past Ladbrokes. The visuals are stunning, the races take place every three or five minutes and their website makes betting simple. We particularly love the choice of either horse racing or ‘Grand National’ racing. With horse racing, there’s a smaller field over the flat or jumps courses, but with the ‘Grand National’ option, there’s a much bigger field of 40 runners. This is a great variance on the usual narrow field you’ll find with most virtual horse races. Overall, Ladbrokes have gone above and beyond with their virtual sports offering, and they’re our pick for virtual horse racing betting.

Virtual Horse Racing – Fast And Fun, But Remember It’s All A Game Of Chance!

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In this virtual horse racing guide, we’ve given you all the basics you need to make the most of this new sports betting phenomenon. With virtual horse racing betting, there’s definitely a lot to enjoy. The visuals are realistic, there’s a chance to bet every few minutes, and you’re able to enjoy all the horse racing action you could possibly want. Virtual horse racing offers a new way to play the sport of Kings and as long as you always remember it’s a game of chance, trying virtual horse racing could be a great way of enhancing your overall betting experience.

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