Maryland Sports Betting » Sports markets in MD » Horse-Race betting in Maryland

Horse-Race betting in Maryland

Horse racing has been around for as long as we have been able to ride them, and we’re sure the betting was not too far behind. As years have passed on horse-race betting, it has evolved into a worldwide practice, and it only makes sense that you would want to participate in some horse-race betting in Maryland.

Best sportsbooks for Horse-Race betting in MD 2024

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Guide to betting on horses in MD

Horse racing is not a difficult sport to predict, but it still requires time and effort to have consistent wins. You can make sure your research has a solid foundation by taking the time to set up accounts with a few reputable horse racing sportsbooks.

And also gathering a solid understanding of the different ways you can bet on horse races. This guide to parimutuel betting will help you get started. From there, keep your knowledge up to date, and the rest will fall into place.

  • Choose the right horse racing sportsbook in MD
  • Learn up on the different types of horse racing bets in Maryland
  • Lockdown some basic strategies to boost your chances

Top Horse-Race betting in Maryland


Maryland online sportsbooks have done quite a bit to pick up the popularity of horse-race betting, but they do have quite the distance to go. Choosing a sportsbook that works for your betting needs is essential to successful betting, and using this short guide can help set you up for success.

Check reviews and licensing

Right off the bat, you can get rid of any sportsbooks that either lack reviews, have an overwhelming number of negative reviews, or are not transparent about their licensing on their website.

Sportsbooks without proper licensing are to be avoided. However, it should not be difficult to find their licensing information, and once you have it, you will need to double-check to make sure it is authentic and respected.

Ensure withdrawals and deposits match your capabilities

A sportsbook should work with your existing financial capabilities, not require you to open a bank account specifically for betting.

When looking at the financial compatibility of a sportsbook, you should pay attention to:

  • Ways of depositing and withdrawing money
  • Processing time for deposits and withdrawals
  • Fees
  • Maximum/minimum limits

These should be hard factors that will help you determine whether a sportsbook fits your lifestyle or not.

Pay attention to bonuses

One of the great things about online sportsbooks is the betting bonuses they have. While some are as simple as a small $10 registration bonus, bigger websites will match bets and give you insurance bonus bet options to get you started.

Larger welcome bonuses include:

  • Draftkings: $500 welcome bonus
  • PointsBet: $500 insurance bonus for fixed odds; $1,500 insurance bonus for Poinstbetting
  • FanDuel: $1,500 No-Sweat First Bet
  • BetMGM: $600 insurance bonus bet

MD sports betting sites will also push out routine bonuses to keep your betting life spicy, so be on the lookout for those. If that idea intrigues you, DraftKings has one of the greatest reputations for bonuses from any of the sportsbooks on this list.

Shop around for odds

This is not such a big deal for pari-mutuel bets, but shopping around is the easiest way to increase your payout.

To get the best value for your money, you need to figure out which sportsbooks offer the best starting odds for your favored betting type. It may not seem like it makes a big difference, but the winnings will add up over time.

Our sportsbook picks for Motorsports betting in Maryland

Overall, we have seen great promise in the following sportsbooks:

  • DraftKings: Free horse racing polls.
  • PointsBet: Options for horse races and harness races, faster processing times, best welcome bonus, and great payouts.
  • FanDuel: Clean interface, decent sized bonus, wagering on all major sports.
  • BetMGM: access to NYRA Bets wagering platform, daily horse racing content, live streaming, and replays.

Choosing at least two from this list ensures that you have a safe way to bet competitively, but it is better to have at least three sportsbooks you can cycle through.

Different types of Horse Race bets


Horse-race betting in Maryland is pretty straightforward, but the betting types are not so similar to other sports. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with the different types of bets will help your horse-race betting skills take root, and your winning will start to grow in no time at all.

Straight Bets

There are three different types of straight bets:

  • Win: betting on who will take first
  • Place betting on which horse will get first or second
  • Show: betting on which horse will get first, second, or third

As you can see, the three types spread out to let you cover more ground. Unfortunately, this means that win bets are more difficult than place bets, and both are harder to predict than show bets.

Across the Board Bets

An across-the-board bet encompasses all three aspects of straight betting. The payout you receive depends on where the horse you bet on places.

If they place first, you get the payout for all three bets. If they place second, you will get a payout for place and show bets, and if they place third, you will at least get the payout for show.

This gives you a good opportunity to bet on a horse you are fairly certain will win without needing to pin down where they will place. They also have a larger payout than you would get by winning a win or show bet.

Exotic Bets

There are two main types of exotic bets.

Horizontal bets encompass bets on consecutive races. In order to win these types of bets, you will need to pick which horse will win which race. These betting types are best known by names like daily doubles or pick threes, but the number can increase to indicate the number of races you are betting on.

Vertical bets require you to pick the correct finishing order within one race. For example, trifectas need you to pick first, second, and third place and superfectas go all the way to fourth place. If you want an exotic bet that is less stringent, quinellas only require you to pick first and second place with no requirements for the order.

Strategies for Horse-Race betting in Maryland


You already know that you should stay on top of your horse racing knowledge if you want to win big, but there are specific strategies built into horse racing bets that can make the entire process much easier, not to mention fruitful.

Narrowing your horse racing pool

The best strategy for increasing your wins is to start small. This may mean going as small as honing in on one specific race track or only looking at the Triple Crown races and the prep races leading up to it.

More often, you should be able to focus on one race type. The most common are flat races, but horse-race betting sites in MD also encompasses:

Because each has its own set of intricacies and specifications, you should master one before moving on to the next.

Boxing – Horse-racing betting MD

If you have a few favorites but cannot find the confidence to pin down their finish order, then you might want to try boxing. It costs a bit more, but it pulls back the pressure to figure out that finishing order.

A quinella box is a variation of a quinella straight bet. It allows you to pick three horses, and you still win the bet if any two of them finish first and second.

Wheeling – Horse race odds in MD

Another strategy to improve your chances of winning is wheeling. Also known as keying, this lets you lock in one horse that you have faith in and pair it with a number of other horses to boost your odds of winning the bet.

The more horses you add to the wheel, the more the bet will cost, but winning trumps losing most days. Just know that this can make that win much less valuable.

Some of the other sports in the state that you can bet on:

FAQ’s About Horse-Race betting in Maryland

What is the morning line in horse race betting in Maryland?

The morning line refers to the odds that oddsmakers state on the morning of the race. These are derived from their interpretation of how the public will bet on the race, not how the oddsmaker believes the horses will place.

What is pari-mutuel wagering?

When betting on horse races, you are using a pari-mutuel wagering system. This means that all bets are pooled, the track takes their percentage from that, and then the rest is divided amongst the winners. It is beneficial to bettors because they are not betting against handicapped odds, but favorable wins are spread pretty thin.

What is the best bet to place if you want an easy win?

Show bets have the highest chance of letting you win, and they still provide a modest payout. After that, you can try to place bets or win bets for a better chance to come out on top. You should avoid pick # bets or trifectas that are stacked against you.

What is the smallest amount of money you can bet on horse race betting?

This usually depends on the track. Most will have a minimum bet of $2, but some racetracks do go as low as $1.

Is horse race betting support an unethical sport?

The answer to this requires individual soul searching, but the majority of the sport is filled with people who love and care for the horses. Just recently, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act was signed into law to bring uniformity to guidelines surrounding track safety, medication, and anti-doping standards.