If you enjoy a punt on the horses, why not try your luck with virtual horse racing? It’s fun, fast-paced, and available on demand. Our guide covers what you need to know about virtual racing betting, so read on to compare the best available bookies.
New Customer Offer 18+. New depositing customers within 30 days from registration. Promotion valid from 4/04/2022 until further notice. Bonus code SBWB30 required during the first deposit. First deposit min. £10. Bet min. £10 on any sports-related markets, single or accumulator bets, pre-match or in-play, with min. odds of 1/2. 3 separate free bets of £10 each, credited within 48 hours, valid for 30 days, for any sport. No wagering requirements on the free bet winnings. Free bet stakes not included in any subsequent winnings. Deposit method restrictions apply. BeGambleAware.org T&Cs apply 18+. Full T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly. begambleaware.org
New Customer Offer Double the odds. Bet must be placed using real money in combination with the Odds Boost Token. Offer applies to Sport bets only. £10 Max stake. Each way bets are a maximum of £5 each way (£10 total stake). Extra winnings are paid in cash. 18+. Full T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly. begambleaware.org
New Customer Offer 18+ | New UK players only | Min deposit req. £10 | Certain deposit methods excluded | Place 1 sport bet (3+ selections) | Excl Horse Racing | Min stake £10 | Max stake £20 | Min Odds 2/1 (3.0) | Max FreeBet £20 for football only | FreeBet valid for 7 days | FreeBet stake not returned | T&Cs apply 18+. Full T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly. begambleaware.org
New Customers Offer Min. deposit £15; Bonus amount 50% of deposit up to £50; Wager deposit and bonus 8x within 60 days; 4/5 Min. single odds or 2/5 min. acca selection odds; Max. stake contribution equal to the initial bonus; Certain bet types and payment methods excluded 18+. Full T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly. begambleaware.org
New Customer Offer Min deposit £/€/$10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £/€/$10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager the bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & Full T&C’s apply. 18+. Full T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly. begambleaware.org
New Customer Offer Bet £10, get £15. £10 minimum deposit. Max £10 free bet is only valid for 14 days. Bet must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible 18+. Full T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly. begambleaware.org
New Customer Offer New Players Only. Minimum stake $/€/£ 10, minimum odds1.5, stake not returned.1X wagering the winnings from the free bet. Wagering occurs from real balance first. Wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only, wagering starts from real funds. Free bet is valid for 7 Days from issue. Max conversion: $/€/£ 200. Excluded Skrill deposits. Withdrawal requests voids all active/pending bonuses. Full Terms Apply 18+. Full T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly. begambleaware.org
New Customer Offer Min wagering on sport £15. Max one £10 free bet. Qualifying bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater. Paid as bonus token with min 4/5 odds req. Selected payment methods only. Bet expires after 14 days of being credited 18+. Full T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly. begambleaware.org
Virtual horse racing is a form of online entertainment that offers the thrills of regular horse racing with a crucial difference. When you bet on virtual horse racing, you’ll be putting your wager on a digitally simulated horse rather than a real-life animal in a real-life race. That’s not to say it feels fake. High-quality graphics and sound effects make virtual horse racing look and feel as close as possible to the real thing. This all makes it just as thrilling to watch the horses jockey for position as they approach the finish line.
As virtual horse racing, and indeed virtual sports in general, grow in popularity, there’s never been a better time to get involved. Our guide to virtual race betting gives you the essential information on this online opportunity. From the pros and cons of virtual racing to the different bet types and the bonuses available at the UK’s top bookies, we’ve got you covered.
Pros and Cons
The Pros and Cons of Betting on Virtual Horse Racing
As with any form of online gambling, there are both advantages and drawbacks to betting on virtual horse racing. Let’s take a closer look.
No Need to Wait for Race Day
Virtual horse races start every few minutes, 24/7. There’s no waiting around for races to start and no delays, official decisions, poor weather, or non-runners either. Its readily available nature means you can bet on virtual horse racing whenever the mood strikes.
Recent years have seen significant improvements to the software used to power virtual horse racing and other virtual sports. In turn, punters enjoy an authentic experience complete with first-rate graphics, realistic soundtracks and flawless streaming.
There’s no need for officials to make any decisions or analyse photo finishes in virtual horse racing. This efficiency means you’ll know the outcome of your wager just as soon as the race finishes and see any potential winnings land in your account faster.
As with many online casino games, a random number generator (RNG) determines the result of virtual horse races. There’s no benefit to studying past races, which makes virtual racing betting ideal for newbies who are getting to grips with online wagering.
The use of RNG technology means that wagering on virtual horse racing is fair. There aren’t any unnatural advantages at play and there are no official decisions to sway the results one way or another. For bettors who enjoy games of pure chance, virtual racing fits the bill perfectly.
While developers have included sports commentary and the sounds of crowds in their virtual horse racing software, let’s be honest – this can never truly replicate the atmosphere of real racing. Whether you’re watching a bustling event from home or cheering on your horse beside the track at Cheltenham or Aintree, real horse racing has a magic of its own.
Form Doesn’t Count
In real life racing, bettors can study the form of both horses and jockeys to try to predict future outcomes. Past performance doesn’t count a jot in virtual racing, which – as noted earlier – makes it less intimidating for newbie bettors. But seasoned racing buffs may miss the ability to research races and make informed strategic betting decisions.
Virtual Horse Racing Markets
The simplest of all virtual horse racing markets, a race winner bet requires you to pick the horse you believe will win the race. This is arguably the quintessential horse racing wager.
Each way bets allow you to back a horse to win but still get some money back from your wager if your horse finishes second or third instead. In other words, an each-way wager comprises two wagers in one.
With a forecast bet, you’re predicting which two horses and jockeys will finish in first and second place, and in what order. Some bookies also offer a reverse forecast market. These bets still require you to pick the top two finishers, but you won’t need to specify the order.
A tricast bet is much like a forecast bet but gives you the option to predict the top three finishers in order rather than just two. Reverse tricasts see bettors picking three horses to finish in the top three places in any order.
Betting on Virtual Horse Racing In-Play
We know it is a staple to place bets as sporting events are underway. Unfortunately, however, in-play betting is not yet available on virtual race betting, so you’ll be restricted to placing your wagers before each race starts. It’s not all bad news, though! In-play betting for virtual sports is an area that’s seeing some movement. The B2B software developer Betradar, for example, has already introduced in-play betting markets for virtual tennis and virtual baseball and has plans to introduce live betting for additional sports in the future.
Virtual horse racing doesn’t lend itself quite so well to in-play betting markets, but as software developers are constantly working to improve the product, there’s every possibility that live betting options may become available in the future. Be sure to check back with Compare.bet for all the latest news on the virtual race betting space.
Claiming Virtual Horse Racing Bonus
Virtual horse racing is an increasingly popular pastime among bettors, so it’s no surprise that bookies are offering bonuses and promos to attract punters. Let’s have a look at some of the more common bonuses punters can claim at a virtual horse racing betting site.
A free bet bonus is exactly what it sounds like. The bookie will let you place a certain amount in wagers without risking your own money. You may be awarded free bets just for signing up, with no deposit required. However, a minimum deposit or wager is more commonly required to unlock the bonus. An example of a free bet promotion might be ‘bet £10 and get a £20 free bet’.
Matched deposit bonuses give you bonus funds in proportion to how much you pay into your account. The percentage matched varies but can be 100% or more. A typical example might be ‘100% up to £250’. Here, a bettor who deposits £75 will earn an extra £75 in free bet credits, but can claim up to £250 if their first deposit meets that figure.
Compare & Bet
Ready to Bet on Virtual Horse Racing?
Ready to put some wagers down? Check out our list of top UK bookies to find the perfect place to bet on virtual horse racing online. You can check our bookmaker reviews to find practical information on things like banking, betting markets and loyalty schemes, then follow our links to sign up and claim your welcome bonuses whenever you’re ready.
Yes. You can access a mobile-friendly version of pretty much all sports betting sites on your phone or tablet. What’smore, many bookies also have a native mobile app you can download. These apps make it even easier to access betting markets and will also provide push notifications alerting you to the latest bonuses and deals.
Absolutely. As with real money wagering, virtual sports betting sites must adhere to the rules and regulations set out by the UK Gambling Commission. Here at Compare.bet, we will only recommend sites approved by the UKGC.
The legal gambling age in the UK is 18. This age limit applies to betting on virtual sports as much as it does to real sports and casino gambling. You will be required to prove your identity and age to place real money bets on legit gambling sites.
Yes. Virtual sports are big business for bookies, and many sites offer action on several sports. At Betfred, for example, you can bet on virtual greyhound racing, tennis, football, motor racing, darts, cycling and, of course, horse racing.
No. Virtual horse racing attempts to replicate real racing as far as possible. As such, you can bet on several different types of horse races. Along with flat racing, options include jump racing, sprint racing and harness racing.
The people behind this page
Compare.bet's online gambling content experts helped write, edit and check this page:
Ben is former editor at Compare.bet, specialising in all things gambling and football. He has an MA in American History and extensive writing experience with bylines in a range of different publications, from Breaking the Lines to CLASH. As well as covering Premier League for Compare.bet news, he also wrote about the Championship and a range of European football topics. In his spare time, Ben enjoys music production and playing football.