How to Bet on Trotting

Top Tips

What You Need to Know

  1. Trotting is a special form of carriage racing, in which horses have to run in a special style
  2. Races are regularly held in the UK as well as in North America and large parts of Europe, including Scandinavia
  3. The best place to bet on trotting is online. 
  4. By far the easiest bet to make is to put money on a horse to win a race. This is known as a Race Winner bet and is very popular with new and experienced gamblers
  5. Some bookies will also match up two or more horses for a Head to Head race or you can improve your odds by betting on a horse to be Placed
  6. The British Harness Racing Club (BHRC) is the best place to go if you want to find out more about the sport
  7. Remember that betting on sports can become addictive, so remember to gamble responsibly

Betting on Trotting

Trotting is one of two types of harness racing, in which horses trot pulling small carriages with a rider.

The sport may not be so popular in the UK, but it does have a wide following in other parts of Europe, particularly in the Scandinavian countries. Race meetings take place on a regular basis right throughout the year and online bookmakers offer a good variety of betting markets, giving you the chance to make money through betting on trotting.

Before you put down any money, however, you should learn how the sport works, plus you should also have a good understanding of how sports betting works. For example, how do odds work and what types of bet can you make on trotting.

Where to Bet

If you can't get to a track, then you will still be able to bet on trotting. The best way to do this is to go online and sign up for a sports betting account. By going online, you will be able to enjoy the best variety of betting markets, including for overseas meets.

Shop around and compare the best betting sites to get the best deal for you, we made it easy.

Understanding the Odds

You shouldn't be making a bet on trotting or on any other sport if you don't understand what the odds are.

The odds (also known as the price) indicate how likely the bookmakers think an event is to happen, whether it's a horse winning an individual race or a major competition. The odds also determine how much you will win if your prediction is correct. Most betting sites will give the odds as fractions. However, they could also be expressed as decimal points or even in the American style. In all cases, however, you should be able to change the settings to suit you. Here's what each of these mean:

1) Fractional Odds

On nearly all UK sports betting sites you will find that the default setting for displaying the odds will be as fractions. Odds displayed this way show you how much you will win on a bet compared to how much you put on. Here, the first number of the fraction indicates how much you will win if you place the amount of money shown in the second number of the fraction.

So, if the odds for Horse A winning a specific race are 3/1, this means if you bet £1, you will receive £3 in winnings (and you will get your original stake back on top of this).

This works on a ratio basis. So, if you place £10 at odds of 3/1, you will receive £30 in winnings. Or, if you place £5 at odds of 8/1, your winnings will be £40, plus your initial stake.

2) Decimal Odds

Given most people are used to seeing odds displayed as fractions, understanding decimal odds may seem daunting. However, this system is equally straightforward once you've got the hang of it.

The way it works is that you just need to multiply your stake by the decimal shown and this is how much you will receive in winnings, including your returned stake.

So, if you put £1 down on odds of 3.00, you will win £3.00, including your initial stake, if your prediction comes true. And again, this works on a ratio basis. So, if you put down £15 at the same odds of 3.00, you will win £45, including your original stake.

Popular Types of Bet

Most bookies will be happy to take bets on almost anything related to trotting. However, certain types of bets are easier and more popular than others. Here are some of the most common types of bets made on the sport:

1) Race Winner

The easiest, and most popular type of bet to make on trotting is what's known as a Race Winner bet. As the name suggests, here you simply put money on the horse you think will win a single race, backing them at the odds offered by the bookmaker.

Below is an example from a meet in Sweden. Let's say you fancied Lover Face and backed him with a stake of £10 at 5/1. If you're right and he does win the race, you will walk away with £60, including your original stake. Note that it doesn't matter if your horse wins by a nose, a length or by 12 lengths, so long as he comes first, your bet is good.

2) Placed

Another popular type of bet to make on Trotting is to put money on a horse being 'Placed' in a race. This simply means that they finish in the top three. This type of bet improves your chances of winning, though, inevitably, the odds won't be as attractive as a straight-up Race Winner bet.

Let's have a look at the same example from the Swedish race. So, if you fancy Lover Face but aren't completely confident that he will win outright, you can put money on him being Placed. Here you will get odds of 9/20, meaning if you put £10 down, you will walk away with £14.50, including your initial stake if he does finish in the top three.

Remember, it doesn't matter if the horse finishes first, second or even third, so long as he is Placed, your bet is good and you will win at the odds quoted.

3) Head to Head

Alongside standard Race Winner bets, most online bookies will also give you the chance to put money on Head to Head bets. As the name suggests, here the bookie picks two horses running in the same race and allows you to put money on the one you think will come out on top. Not only is this a good way of making an exciting sport even more thrilling, it can also be a good little earner if you know what you're betting on.

Let's go back to the race in Sweden. Here, Lover Face has been matched up with Jocke B in a Head to Head bet. If you back him with £10 at the odds of 3/5, then you will walk away with £16, including your initial stake if he does come out on top in that little duel.

Note that, it doesn't matter where the two horses finish in the race, so long as you correctly guess which will do the best. So, Lover Face could finish 11 in a field of 12 and you would still be a winner if Locke B was horse number 12.

4) Prop Bets

Both online sports betting sites and trackside bookies will also offer a good variety of Prop Bets. These are just bets that offer a little extra excitement to a race, and will often concern matter than will have no influence on the overall outcome of a race. Some of the most common Prop Bets you will see may include:

  • Fastest Lap: As the name suggests, you just put money on the horse you think will record the fastest lap at a race meet.
  • Winning Margins: Some bookies will give you the chance to put money on the degree to which a winning horse will beat his opponents. This type of bet will usually be a simple under/over gamble, with the bookie giving a fixed number of seconds and you deciding if the winning margin will be above or below this.  

5) Futures Betting

Another good way of trying to make money through trotting is to gamble on a Futures market. This means you put money on the outcome of a future event, usually a major race or other competition.

Most bookmakers will open their books and offer odds shortly before the start of a big event. Plus, the bigger the meet, the greater the number and variety of betting markets a bookie is likely to offer. If you want the best odds, look out for major events. Highlights of the European trotting calendar include:

  • The Elitloppet: a one-mile race held at the famous Solvalla Track just outside of Stockholm
  • Gran Premio Lotteria di Agnano in Naples: Italy's biggest trotting competition
  • Prix d'Amerique: The biggest event of the season, held in Paris

A Quick Note on Responsible Gaming

Do remember that, just as with other types of gambling, betting on trotting can become addictive. So, be sure you always bet responsibly and never gamble with money you can't realistically afford to lose. If you do feel your gambling is becoming a problem, then seek out expert help.

Important Information on Gambling

You must be 18+ to gamble and use the offers and betting odds featured

Every new gambling account offer has "Terms & Conditions" that will apply - make sure you read these before opening an account.

See for help and advice on problem gambling.

Please gamble responsibly.

Further Sports Betting Reading

If you want to make money from sports betting but don't know where to begin, we have a number of guides, as well as some great YouTube video tutorials, to help you get started:

  • Track horse racing is much more popular than trotting in the UK. Use this guide to learn How to Bet on a Horse: (
  • Or if foreign sports are your thing, make  NBA and EuroLeague matches more interesting with the help of this guide on How to Bet on Basketball (

Further Trotting Betting Reading


Leave a Comment on this Article
leave comment >
How we use cookies


We Guide, You Decide