Last updated on April 4th, 2023

Horse Racing Betting in New Jersey

When it comes to horse racing betting, there’s no better state to be in than New Jersey. The Garden State has a long and storied history with the sport of horse racing that dates back around 200 years.   The very well-known Freehold Raceway is still in operation after opening in the 1800s and that shows just how much the people of the state love the sport. Horse racing and betting go hand-in-hand and that’s why there are plenty of opportunities to have a punt.   In New Jersey, you’ll find legal off-track betting facilities in Atlantic City casinos that offer racebooks, as well as other wagering facilities and, of course, online horse racing betting. If you’re new to betting on the horses, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.   Find out the best places to put your horse racing bets on, how to bet on horse racing and much more below. 

Top Sports Bookmakers for Betting Horse Racing 

FanDuel NJ Sportsbook Review

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Caesars NJ Sportsbook Review

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Borgata Sports

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PointsBet Sports

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When it comes to online sports bookmakers which you place a horse racing bet on, unlike with most other sports, you’re not particularly spoiled for choice. When it comes to online sportsbooks which allow you to place horse racing bets, there are currently only two options. The two online bookmakers that allow you to place a bet on horse racing are:    

Although there are only two online sportsbooks taking horse racing betting wagers, the good news is that each one offers a different experience. That means that even though the pickings are slim, you can choose the provider that caters best to your preferences.     To help you to decide which one would be best for you, we’ll outline the main difference between the two bookmakers below:    

  Once you’ve decided who you’re going to bet with, it’s time to actually place your bet.   

How to Bet in Horse Racing   

If you’re a novice when it comes to horse racing betting, the good news is that it’s super simple. Here’s what you do:    

 When betting online with BetMGM Sports, you can even watch the action from the race you’ve bet on live. This really enhances the online betting experience and means you don’t have to head down to the race track to get your horse racing bets on.    

Which Markets to Bet in Horse Racing in New Jersey   

Regardless of who you bet with, there is a standard set of horse racing betting markets that you’ll find to place a bet on. Those markets are:    

There are also some exotic bet options that you might find which usually come at much better odds, due to their difficulty to get right. Some exotice betting markets you can expect to see are:    

Markets to Bet Horse Racing around the World 

Horse racing betting is hugely popular in other countries around the world, too. Some of the markets that you can expect to find include:    

At this moment, there’s no reason to expect that any of these bet types will make their way into the New Jersey horse racing betting markets.    

Glossary in Betting on Horse Racing   

Horse racing is one of those sports that is jam-packed full of slang terms and colloquialisms and horse racing betting is no different. If you want to know what some common horse racing terms mean, check out our handy glossary below.    


Abandoned – when a race meeting is cancelled.    

Accumulator – another name for a parlay bet.

A bet which includes multiple selections.

All must win in order for the whole bet to win.    

Across the board – a bet on a horse to win, place or show.    

All-age race – a race for horses aged 2 years old and up.    

Allowances – adjustments in weights with the purpose of creating a level playing field. 

 Also ran – a horse that ran in a race and didn’t finish first, second, third or fourth. 

 Ante post – a bet on a race that is in the future, usually a least seven days away.    


Baby race – a race for two year old horses.   

Back – to bet on a horse.    

Backstretch – the straight part of a track that is furthest from the stands.   

Banker – a horse deemed certain to win.    

Bet – to place money on a horse. Also known as a wager.    

Bettor – someone who bets on horses.    

Blanket finish – a tight finish between multiple horses at the line.    

Bookmaker – a person, company, or website that accepts horse racing bets.    

Breeders’ Cup – probably the most famous race in the US.    

Buck – a bet of $100.    


Chalk – another term for a “banker”, as in a horse that is expected to win.    

Colors – racing silks worn by a jockey to help spectators identify their horse.   

Colt – an ungelded male horse of four years or younger.    


Dead heat – the two or more horses cross the line at the exact same time and cannot be separated.  

Derby – a stakes event for three year olds.    

Dime – a bet of $1,000.    

Dog – short for “underdog”, a horse that is not fancied to win.    


Even money – odds that allow you to double your money if you win.    

Exacta – a bet on two horses to finish first and second in the correct order.    

Exotic – a special bet market that usually provides big odds.    


 Favourite – the horse deemed most likely to win a race.    

Field – all of the horses taking part in a race are known as the “field”.   

Filly – a female horse of four years or younger.    

Fixed odds – your dividend is fixed at the odds you bet on.    

Foal – a baby horse.

Form – the performance of a horse in previous races.  

Futures – a bet that is placed on an event in the future (the same as “ante post”).


Gelding – a male horse that has been castrated.    

Graduate – a horse winning for the first time.    

Green – an inexperienced horse.  


 Head – a margin between horses at the line.  

 Hedge – to cover your bets to increase chances of a win.  

 Home turn – the final turn on the track before the finish line.  


Inquiry – sometimes the stewards will need to conduct an inquiry into the result of a race to look for any rules that may have been broken.    

In the money – a horse finishing either first, second or third.    


Juice – a slang term for a bookmaker’s commission (also known as the “vig”). 

 Judge – the person who decides the finishing order of a race.  

 Juvenile – a two year old horse.  


Length – the measure by which a horses’ victory is measured.    

Lock – another term for a “banker”.    

Long odds – a horse with a big price.   

M    Maiden – a race for horses that have not yet won.    

Mare – a female horse aged five years or older.    

Meeting – a collection of races at a given venue.  

  Mutuel Pool – short for “parimutuel pool”, the sum of all wagers on a race or event.  


Nickel – a $500 bet.    

Nose – the smallest winning margin in horse racing.    


Odds – these are the prices you’ll find next to a horse’s name on a bookmaker’s website.  

Oddsmaker – a person who decides the odds for a race.  

On the board – a horse that finishes in the front three.  

On the nose – betting on a horse to win only.  

Out of the money – a horse that finishes worse than third position. 

Outsider – a horse that is not considered to have a chance of winning.  


Parimutuel – see “Mutuel Pool”.    Parlay – another term for an accumulator bet.  

Photo finish – when a race is too close to call, the judge refers to the photo finish to decide the victor.  

Place – a horse finishing usually in the top three, sometimes even four or five on certain races and events. 

Point spread – the points given to the underdog in the field to level the odds with the favourite.    

Post – the starting position of a race. 

Post time – the scheduled start time for a race.    

Price – the odds on a horse.    

Punt – another term for a bet or wager.    


Quadrella – selecting the winners of four selected races.    

Quniela (Quinella) – a bet on two horses to finish first and second in any order.  


Return – the money you receive back from a winning bet.    

Router – a horse that performs better at longer distances.   

Runner – another name for a horse in a race.    


Scope – the potential of a horse.  

Scratch – when a horse is withdrawn prior to a race.  

Short price – low odds on a horse to win, which determines the favourite for the race.    

Show – third place in a race.  

  Superfecta – a bet on four horses to fill the top four positions in exact order.    


Thoroughbred – a very specific breed of horse that meets the necessary standards to race professionally.  

Tips – selections made by an expert as to who they think will win. 

Trainer – the person who prepares a horse for its races.   

Trifecta – selecting the first, second and third horses in a race in exact order.  


Value – to get the best odds possible on a horse that has a good chance.    


Wager – another term for a bet.  

Wheel – betting all possible combinations in a exotic wager.    

Winning post – the finish line of a race.