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Betting Guide: How to Bet on the Kentucky Derby

In early May, there is plenty of buzz in sports including some NBA playoffs, the MLB regular season, and the greatest two minutes in sports. Yep, we are talking about the Kentucky Derby. Now, you’ve always wanted to bet on the event and start placing wagers on potential winners but don’t know how. Here’s a guide on how to bet on the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby Betting Sites and Apps

If you are looking to wager on the big event, two of the best options are FanDuel and TwinSpires. Here’s a quick look at the latest promotion for each of these racebook apps.

FanDuel Racebook

FanDuel Sportsbook

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You can get a No Sweat First Bet to kick off getting your bets placed for the Kentucky Derby with FanDuel. The FanDuel Racing app offers live streaming of major events as well as great bonus offers for new users. Take advantage of the latest bonus as you get ready to wager on the Derby.





TwinSpires has a solid sign-up bonus if you are looking to wager on the Kentucky Derby. The app has great educational resources for new bettors and a strong live streaming service. There is also an extensive list of bet types for those looking to wager on the Derby.

Understanding Kentucky Derby Odds

When looking at horse racing odds to bet on thoroughbreds, you might see them listed in a few different ways. For example, you might see 5-1 or 5/1. Both of these options mean 5 to 1 odds. If you bet $100 and win, you would win $500. The potential payout would be $600 because you get your original stake back.

Not usually but sometimes bettors might see American odds such as +500. This also means 5 to 1 odds to win. In horse racing, you will commonly see the 5-1 or 5/1 format when it comes to odds. Regardless, +500, 5-1, and 5/1 all refer to 5 to 1 odds to win the bet.

Kentucky Derby Bet Types

Before you can start betting on horse races and placing a wager, you will need to know some of the bet types that are available. Here’s a look at some of the bets you can make when online wagering or in person for horse racing.


This is a simple wager. You are betting on a particular horse to win. You pick one horse and if they finish first, you win. These are the most common Kentucky Derby betting odds you will see. Pick a winner and get ready to watch the race.

For example, for this year’s Kentucky Derby, Tapit Trice has 5/1 odds to win as one of the favorites. If you bet $1,000 at Tapit Trice wins, you would win $5,000 on the Derby race.


For a place bet, you are wagering on if the horse will finish second or better. Your horse can finish second or win the race for you to get the payout.


On a show bet, you are wagering on if the horse will finish in third place or better. You receive a payout and win if the horse finishes first, second, or third.


For an exacta bet, you are betting on which horses will finish first and second in the correct order. You only win the bet if the horses finish in the correct 1-2 order you bet on.


Like an exacta bet, a quinella is betting on two horses to finish first and second. For this bet type, it doesn’t matter what horse wins. You just need your two horses to finish first and second.


A trifecta takes it up a notch. For this type of bet, you are betting on three horses to finish first, second, and third in the correct order. A difficult bet as you need to get the perfect order of first, second, and third.


One of the most difficult bets of all is the superfecta. For this bet, you are betting on what horses finish first, second, third, and fourth in the correct order. Any other order of finish on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville and you lose the bet.

How to Place a Bet Online

If you plan to wager on the Kentucky Derby online, you will have to register with an app or website that has horse racing betting. Also, in most states, you need to be at least 21 years or older to wager on horse racing.

When signing up for a sportsbook or betting app, you will have to enter in your personal information to confirm your identity. Next, geolocation will confirm your location so you can bet in a legal sports betting or horse racing betting state.

Next, deposit money into your account and get ready to place your bet. Check out the contenders and make your selections or bets. If you are in person at a retail location or the event itself, you can use a kiosk or will need cash as well as the track name, race number, horse number, and bet type to get your ticket.

Tips on Betting the Horse Race

You are ready to make a bet on the Kentucky Derby winner, but where do you start? Here are a few tips to consider before you add to your bet slip or visit betting windows.

Take a Look at the Favorites

The favorite is always worth considering as it has had a strong history in the past decade. From 2014 to 2019, the post time favorite won the Kentucky Derby. Don’t just select the top horse blindly though. Check their recent history and get an idea of their recent performances.

Check the Weather

The weather has played a factor in many of the recent Kentucky Derby races. Half of the Derby races in the past 12 years have had to deal with rain. Since it’s early in May, rainy spring weather could end up being a factor and making the track muddy or sloppy.

See Who’s Hot

When getting ready to pick the winners, be sure to see who has been successful in previous years. since 2010 there have been multiplied trainers that have had winning horses two or more times including Bob Baffert. He traded American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018. Each of those horses went on to win the Triple Crown.

There are also a few jockeys who have won multiple times since 2009. These include John Velazquez, Calvin Borel, and Mario Gutierrez. Also, check out the results of the recent major races before your bets are placed.

How to Bet on the Kentucky Derby FAQs

Can I bet on the Kentucky Derby?

Yes. Many states across the US allow for betting on horse racing. You can either download a horse racing betting app, visit a website, or bet at a racetrack.

Can I bet on the Kentucky Derby via mobile devices?

Yes. You can bet on the 149th Kentucky Derby on your mobile device on legal betting sites. Geolocation will confirm you are in a legal state for betting.

What are some of the common Kentucky Derby Bets?

Some of the most common bets are picking a winner, trifectas, superfectas, and more. Many people who bet on the races bet on who will win.

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