NJ Horse Betting Guide

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If you are interested in placing horse race bets from New Jersey, there are plenty of options. Whether you want to head over to the racetrack and place your bets, or you can go online and make your horse racing wager from anywhere in NJ. Read our complete horse betting guide and become a real NJ online horse betting expert or at the tracks in The Garden State.

Best NJ Online Horse Betting Sites

The site with the ultimate NJ online horse betting experience is 4NJBets.

  1. 4NJBets

    95 /100
    $300 Risk Free Bet
    The $300 Risk Free Bet is only open to new TVG account holders in TVG Participating States, age 21+ and 4NJBets account holders who are residents of New Jersey. Void where prohibited by law. To qualify for the Promotion, sign up for a new TVG account using any of the following promo codes: RISKFREE300 between 4/19/21 and 12/31/21. Visit site
    • Expert Picks for the Derby
    • iOS only
    • Powered by TVG

4NJBets powered by TVG is also an excellent horse racing betting site and provides users with a great NJ horse betting experience. They offer plenty of payment methods and their app makes betting on the go effortless. We definitely recommend it for betting on the Preakness Stakes.

Belmont Park

Bet on Horse Racing Online in NJ

NJ Horse Betting Online Owner Year Opened Review
BetAmerica BetAmerica 2007 Read our Review
4NJBets TVG 2013 (TVG takeover) Read our Review
Betfair Exchange Betfair 2016 Read our Review

If you have a tight schedule, yet you like horse race betting, you can always go online and place your bet on your favorite horse as long as you’re physically present in NJ. Like with sports betting and online casinos, there are plenty of different options you can pick from. Let’s take a look at some of them before we go on to explain different types of betting.

  • BetAmerica
  • 4NJBets
  • Betfair

These are only some of the brands that are offering online horse betting in NJ. It is likely that many other brands will start offering horse race betting, as it is quite popular in America as a legacy sport.

How to Bet on Horses in NJ

Betting for fun is always great, but if you want to approach NJ horse betting with a greater degree of dedication, there are always some things to do. The following are some tips that can help you get better at horse betting.

Be more specific

You cannot follow up on all the available races. But you can be more specific and start betting on races where you actually know something about horses.

Gather data

If you are more specific, this means that you can collect information on races. Gather that data, cross-reference it and you will get a much clearer idea on which bets are going to be good for you.

Pay attention to the weather

Weather is very important for horse racing. Be more patient and pay attention to those changes when the land is softer. It will help you greatly in the short and in the long run, as you will change the way you place your bets.

These are only some basic tips on how to bet on horses. The strategy is similar to those in other sports. If you dedicate enough attention to tracking important information, you will be able to make much better betting decisions. Therefore, strategize and bet wisely.

Horse Racing Betting Tips

Check out the inside tips from professional handicapper Andy Starling interviewed by Wall Street Journal on how to bet on horses! He will show you how he analyzes horses prior to the race and how he fills up a betting ticket. Even if Andy gives advices on horse betting at the horse racing tracks, beginners can find it useful.

How To Read A Horse Racing Program

With NJ horse racing betting, a horse racing program is important. Those new to betting on horse racing may be confused when they first see a program of this nature, but once you break it down it’s really quite simple.

A horse racing program is designed to give you as much information as possible about the horses, jockeys, past results, performances and more. Use this info to your advantage in order to give yourself a better chance of success with your wagers.

Let’s take a closer look at what you should expect to find in a horse racing program.

An example from the Breeders Cup Program 2019

Horse Name & Jockey Name

Sounds obvious, the first thing you’ll notice in a horse racing program is the name of each horse and which jockey will be riding. You may also see the name of the owner and trainer.

It’s worth looking through the rest of the program to see which other horses that jockey is riding and if any horses share a trainer and/or owner. Many of the most successful horses come from the same stables.

Math Wizard’s PPs in the Breeders Cup Program

Past Performances

The Past Performance section gives you all the information you need to know about how well your horse has performed in previous races. The most important parts to look out for are the following:

  1. Date
  2. Course Conditions
  3. Course Type
  4. Race Restrictions
  5. Final Time of Race
  6. Type of Race
  7. Finish Position
  8. Number of Horses
  9. Jockey Name

By taking account of this information, you can judge whether a horse will perform well in the next race. Is it a similar course? Are course conditions the same? The chances are a horse who performed well in similar circumstances will perform well here too.

For example, a horse that performs well in the flats may not succeed in other types of race. Or, a horse that won in a field of only four other competitors may struggle in a bigger pool of horses.


Studying a horse’s records is also key to successful horse racing betting. These records will reveal a number of aspects.

First up, you will see the yearly record of each horse. Alongside this, you can read career statistics.

You can also see details on how well a particular horse has performed on certain track types. It’s also possible that the Records section will give you information about how much the horse is worth and how much they’ve accumulated in winnings.

The most important part of the Records section is the number of Wins. Generally speaking, a horse that wins consistently could be a good bet, if weather conditions and type of track suit.

Race Type Codes

With so much information provided, horse racing programs have to condense information as easily as possible. This is where Race Type Codes come in.

The most common Race Codes you’ll see are the following:

  • Stk: Stake
  • Hcp: Handicap
  • Shp: Starter Handicap

Conditions And Symbols

In addition to Race Type Codes, there are many more symbols provided which, if you’re new to NJ horse racing betting, will appear confusing. It’s extremely important you understand what these track symbols mean. It can help you judge how well a horse might perform more accurately.

Typical track condition symbols and their meanings are listed below:

  • fm: firm
  • sf: soft
  • gd: good
  • hy: heavy
  • sl: slow
  • fz: frozen
  • ft: fast
  • wf: wet fast
  • hd: hard
  • yl: yielding
  • sy: sloppy
  • my: muddy

It’s important to assess the weather conditions, as these can have a huge impact on how the track runs. Read the Records guide to see if a horse you’re looking to bet on performs better on good ground, soft ground and so on.

Other symbols that are important to learn is in the Race Restrictions section. The most common codes are the following:

  • R: Restricted
  • S: State Bred
  • F: Filly
  • 3 Up: Races for horses three years old and older

Types of Horse Racing Bets

If you have no experience in NJ horse betting, we are going to share some basics with you. With this basic info, you will immediately know what you are getting into. There are only a couple of types of horse racing bets, and all of them are quite simple.

  • Win – You win this bet if the horse you bet on finished 1st. Can be good payouts on this bet.
  • Place – This bet is won when the horse is either 1st or 2nd. Payouts are less than Win
  • Show – If the horse you’ve bet on has finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd, you win this bet. This has the smallest payout.

There are some basic bets that many people like placing. However, you can take a step further and start exploring other types of horse racing bets. These are the following.

Advanced online horse racing bet-types

  • Across the board – Three equal Win, Place and Show bets. If the horse you chose ends up in the 1st place, you win all of the three bets. However, if the horse ends up in the 2nd place, you with the Place and Show bets. And if the horse is ranked 3rd, you win the Show bet.
  • Exacta – This bet requires you to pick two horses and they need to finish 1st and 2nd in the order you have picked.
  • Quinella – This bet is also known as Exacta box. Like with exacta, you pick two horses that should be 1str and 2nd, but you do not pick the order.
  • Trifecta – This bet is like Exacta, except that you pick 3 horses.
  • Superfecta – Superfecta is the same as Exacta, but you have to pick 4 horses.
  • Daily Double – This type of betting is very entertaining because it can be really rewarding. You pick two horses in two different races. If they win, you win the bet.
  • Daily Double variations – These bets are known as pick 3, pick 4, and pick 6. The bet is similar to daily double because you pick horses for winning separate races. But you pick horses for 3 to 6 consecutive races. If you manage to win that, the rewards are insanely high.

These are some of the most popular bets you can make when betting on horses. Now, it all depends on how much you know about them and which one is your favorite one.

NJ Horse Betting Legalization

New Jersey is something of a trailblazer when it comes to sports and horse racing betting the US. Whether it is at the racetrack, off-track locations, or online – the Garden State has generally led the way in giving its residents (and anyone passing through) more opportunities to place a wager.

NJ horse betting is popular as there has been a concerted effort over the years to provide the safest, most secure environment for fans to makes their selections. Here is a quick catch up with how horse racing betting in NJ became legal.

    • 1978 – the Interstate Horseracing Act (IHA) made betting on horse racing legal as long as it was allowed in both the state where the bet was placed – and where it was received
    • 2000 – this was amended to allow for online betting – again, as  long as betting was legal in both states
    • 2006 – the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) clamped down on online poker sites but specifically stated that laws relating to horse racing would not change
  • With the rise of online options NJ horse race betting has never been better served. Customers now have a choice of racetracks, OTBs and online sportsbooks

The many changes to online sports betting over the last few years have not affected NJ horse betting as much as it falls outside the confines of those decisions. What has been beneficial is that the positive moves relating to sports betting has given bettors more opportunity for horse race betting in NJ – with more sportsbooks offering markets.

Online Horse Betting vs Betting at the Horse Racing Tracks

Online betting has revolutionized gambling all over the world – and now horse racing betting in NJ is available remotely there are sure to be even more people discovering the excitement of NJ online horse betting. But can it beat a day at the races?

Pros of Online Betting

  • Wider range of markets available
  • More able to do deeper research
  • More access to wider range of bet types
  • Convenience of not even having to leave your house
  • Live streaming of races

Cons of Online Betting

  • Longer waiting time for collecting winnings
  • Missing out on the buzz of the racetrack
  • Potential for problem gambling
  • Less insight to what is going on just before a race

Where Can I Watch the Horse Races

When you are horse racing betting in NJ you don’t necessarily have to watch a race to enjoy the winning returns. But a big part of the fun is to cheer along as your horse races home.

With NJ horse betting there are a number of ways that you can watch the races now – so you can use any of these options to get the full experience.

  • At the track. Whether it is Freehold Raceway, Monmouth Park or The Meadowlands, New Jersey has a great selection of watching the races as they happen in front of you
  • On TV. All the big events get huge media coverage now so you shouldn’t miss out on any of the most famous races
  • Streaming live. All the best betting sites offer live streaming these days – so that means that if you have signed up for an account you might be able to watch the race you have placed a bet on
  • OTBs. New Jersey has a number of Off Track Betting (OTB) locations where you can watch the race as well
  • Sportsbooks. If you are able to get to any of the new land-based sportsbooks springing up you can also enjoy the best of NJ horse betting there too

Horse Betting Terms Explained

One thing that might put off any newcomers to NJ horse betting is the terms and slang involved in the industry. But there is no reason to not enjoy horse racing betting in NJ – you will soon pick up what is being said and how to bet.

Here are a few betting terms to get you started:

  • Win – the most straight forward bet you can make, you are simply predicting the winner of the race
  • Handicap – to even up the chances of horses in a race, weights may be added to the better horses
  • Pari-Mutuel – a form of betting where the bets are pooled and the pay out is determined by the amount of bettors who choose the winning horse
  • Place – a bet in which the customer predicts a horse finishing first or second
  • Show – a bet in which you pick a horse to finish first, second or third
  • Trifecta – a bet in which you pick the horses finishing first, second and third in the correct order

Horse Racing Tracks in NJ

Racetracks Location Year Opened
Freehold Raceway Freehold Borough 1854
Monmouth Park Oceanport 1870
The Meadowlands East Rutherford 1976

If you like going for a drive and enjoying beautiful horses galloping along the racetrack, then you are better off betting right there on the track. To do so, there are three racetracks in New Jersey.

  • Freehold Raceway
  • The Meadowlands
  • Monmouth Park

Each of these racetracks hosts special events throughout the year. These racetracks are important landmarks in New Jersey history and plenty of people visit them during the horse racing season.

nj horse betting
“An extremely rare photo finish triple dead heat, recorded in a 1953 harness race at Freehold Raceway”- Wikipedia

Freehold Raceway

You can visit the Freehold Raceway in Freehold Borough, NJ. This track boasts that it’s the oldest in the United States, having operated horse races since the 1830s. Penn National Gaming and Greenwood Racing own the venue and use it explicitly for harness racing. You’re free to bet on horses at the race track and can use any one of our reviewed apps to make your wagers online. Skip the betting windows on the track and bet on the best horses before you even get to the venue.

The Meadowlands

The Meadowlands Racetrack, sometimes called “The Big M,” is in East Rutherford, NJ and right next to the Meadowlands Sports Complex. You even get free parking at the track on days where there are no big events being hosted at the complex.

More than just horse race betting windows are available to visitors of this racetrack too. At the Victory Sports Bar, you can find a fully operational FanDuel sportsbook. Of course, there’s going to be a heavy presence of Meadowlands Racetrack betting going on here, but you’re also free to bet on other games from all the big leagues around the country and the world.

Monmouth Park

Stop by Monmouth Park horse racing track on Oceanport Avenue in Oceanport, NJ. Here, you can find the experience race and sports betting operator William Hill to facilitate your in-person wagering. This racing track opens annually on the day of the Kentucky Derby. Historically, there is a flood of guests all ready to place their horse racing bets on who they think will win the Kentucky Derby, potentially take the Triple Crown, and the slew of local races taking place at Monmouth Park on opening day.

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