Expert Guide How to Bet on the Kentucky Derby in 2022

The “Run for the Roses” is held every May at the world-famous Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. Always a popular betting event, not everyone knows how to gamble on the Kentucky Derby. But we’re here to put that right.

On this page, we’ll explain all of the various elements involved in betting on the big race. From the many different markets to signing up for a sportsbook account, we’ll walk you through every step. We’ll even share top tips on how to pick the winner of the race. So saddle up and let’s learn how to bet on the Kentucky Derby!

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    Best Kentucky Derby Betting Sites

    First things first, here are some of the top Kentucky Derby betting sites. These sportsbooks have all been vetted by our team of experts. We have made completely sure that they are safe, offer secure payment methods and plenty of generous horse racing bonuses.

    • XBet – Number one racebook for Triple Crown betting
    • MyBookie – Competitive horse racing odds leading to bigger payouts
    • – Well-respected name in US sports wagering
    • BetUS – Quality live betting product for Derby day bets
    • BetOnline – Top brand for cryptocurrency bettors
    • BUSR – All-round wagering site with sports, horses and casino
    • Bovada – World-renowned sportsbook with horse racing odds
    • GT Bets – Enjoy a generous rewards program as well as competitive odds
    • Everygame – Used to be Intertops, a trusted sportsbook
    • Betanysports – Loaded with bonuses including cashback deals on racing

    How to Bet on the Kentucky Derby – Signing Up to a Racebook

    Once you know which horses you fancy and your preferred sportsbook, you’ll need to create an account. If you’re not sure how to register, allow us to walk you through the steps using XBet as an example.

    Step 1: Register a new account

    First up, you’ll need to visit the betting site. Click through any of our links to ensure you end up at a high quality sportsbook that’s safe to use. Hit the “Join Now” button and fill out your personal details.

    Step 1 - Register a new account

    Step 2: Accept the Ts & Cs

    After entering your username, password, home address and other contact details, you’ll need to accept the terms and conditions. You can also elect to enable or disable various promotional materials.

    Step 2 - Accept the Ts & Cs

    Step 3: Pick a payment method

    Once your account is open, you’ll need to add some funds with which to bet. Click “Deposit Now” to head to the cashier page and choose your desired payment option. Top sportsbooks offering Kentucky Derby odds these days accept everything from bank cards to cryptocurrencies.

    Step 3 - Pick a payment method

    Step 4: Choose your welcome offer

    Many top bookmakers are flexible with their welcome bonuses. If you have the choice, be sure to pick the right one for you. And don’t forget to enter the applicable bonus and promo codes, if required!

    Step 4 - Choose your welcome offer

    Step 5: Place your Derby bets

    Head off to the racebook by using the left-hand navigation menu or making use of the search bar. Pick out the horse you like and click its name to add it into the bet slip. There you can enter a stake and hit “Place Bet” to strike your first Kentucky Derby bet!

    Step 5 - Place your Derby bets

    How does Betting on the Kentucky Derby Work?

    You can’t truly know how to bet on the Kentucky Derby until you understand the actual mechanics of betting. In this section, we’ll quickly discuss a couple of the most common bets, as well as explaining how a bet is actually settled.

    Let’s say you want to know how to bet $100 on Kentucky Derby hopeful Epicenter. Well, your main betting options are Win, Place and Show. Backing Epicenter to win is fairly straightforward. If the horse crosses the line first, your bet wins. Place refers to a finish of either second or first, while Show means anywhere in the first three.

    At the end of the race, the dividends are declared based on the amount of money bet into the pool. Let’s look at the 2020 results for an example of how to settle the bet.

    Horse Win Place Show
    Authentic $18.80 $6.00 $5.00
    Tiz the Law $3.40 $3.20
    Mr. Big News $16.80

    To calculate the payout, you multiply your stake by the declared dividend. So let’s say your $100 bet last year went on Mr. Big News to show. $100 multiplied by $16.80 gives a total return of $1,680. That would have been a nice profit!

    How do I Place a Bet on the Kentucky Derby?

    Earlier, we discovered how to open up a new XBet account. Now it’s time to see exactly how to place a bet on the Kentucky Derby.

    Step 1: Study the form

    First of all, you need a clear idea about what horses you fancy. Study the form at the official race website or gather expert advice from professional tipsters. You can even bet on our own Kentucky Derby betting picks.

    Step 1 - Study the form

    Step 2: Log In

    Navigate to your chosen betting site, hit “Login” and enter your credentials to sign in. If you didn’t yet fund the account, visit the cashier to load it with cash.

    Step 2 - Log In

    Step 3: Navigate to the racebook

    Now that you have a fully funded betting account, you’ll need to look up the latest Kentucky Derby current odds. Use the navigation menu on the left-hand side to find “Horse Racing” and then select “Kentucky Derby Odds 2022”.

    Step 3 - Navigate to the racebook

    Step 4: Place your Kentucky Derby bets

    The final step is to click on the name of your desired horse. This will add it to the betslip on the right of the screen. You can then enter a stake and hit the “Place Bet” button. That’s really all there is to it. Now you know how to bet on the Kentucky Derby in 2022!

    Step 4 - Place your Kentucky Derby bets

    How to Bet on the Kentucky Derby – Deposits & Withdrawals

    If you really want to know how to bet on the Kentucky Derby, it’s vital to understand online payments. So next up, we’ll look at exactly how to fund your betting account. And, perhaps even more importantly, learn how to withdraw your winnings!

    How to Deposit Money into your Account

    The exact process for loading up your account will vary slightly from site to site and by payment method. However, it’s largely along the following lines:

    1. Log in: Enter your username and password to access your account.
    2. Visit the cashier: Navigate to the relevant page for making deposits. This will usually be marked “Cashier” or “Deposit” or similar.
    3. Choose your weapon: Identify your favorite payment method, click on it and read the on-screen instructions. They will indicate any minimum or maximum limits, among other useful information. 
    4. Confirm your stake: Enter your deposit amount into the relevant field and confirm the transaction.
    5. Be patient: Traditional deposit methods like debit cards are usually instant. But there may be a slight delay in processing. If you opt to use cryptocurrency, the speed will depend on the network in question. Either way, it shouldn’t take too long.

    How to deposit - MyBookie

    How to Withdraw your Winnings

    If you’ve followed our advice regarding how to bet on the Kentucky Derby and win, you might have made a profit. And there’s no better feeling than withdrawing after a good result! Here’s how to go about it.

    1. Open the cashier: This will be marked as “Payout” or “Cashier” or something similar. Click on it to visit the withdrawals page.
    2. Choose a processor: Depending on your betting site, there may be options including e-wallets, bank transfer and even cryptocurrency. Click on your preferred option and read the instructions regarding payout limits.
    3. Verify your identity: All sportsbooks have to comply with local laws and the terms of their licence. As part of that, they must follow anti-money laundering practices. This requires you to prove that you are who you say you are, before making your first withdrawal.
    4. Enter the amount: You’ll be prompted to type a withdrawal value into the field. Do so and then confirm the transaction.
    5. Wait patiently: All sites process payouts at different speeds. And each payment method also has its own variable. Withdrawals to e-wallets like Neteller or Skrill are often instant, while crypto tokens are also pretty quick.

    How to withdraw - MyBookie

    How to Bet on the Kentucky Derby – Payment Methods

    In order to understand how to place a bet on Kentucky Derby horses, you’ll need to learn about the different payment processing options. Let’s go through the most common methods now.


    You’re probably already familiar with brands like PayPal, Skrill or Neteller. These are known as e-wallets, since they act as an online money storage facility. They’re great for keeping your betting bankroll in one place and moving the funds between sportsbook accounts.

    All of the best legal sportsbooks offer at least one e-wallet option. Transactions are quick and cheap, sometimes even free.


    Digital currencies are revolutionizing the way we pay for goods. Sports betting sites and casinos around the world are now increasingly accepting cryptocurrency payments. Safe, anonymous and fast, digital coins like Bitcoin are extremely convenient for bettors. 

    Top crypto betting sites offer more than just Bitcoin, though. Popular tokens like Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and even Dogecoin are now widely available at the best sportsbooks. Some companies even offer special bonuses and rewards for crypto depositors.

    Standard Payment Options

    No high-quality Kentucky Derby betting site would be complete with the full range of traditional payment methods. You can usually make deposits and withdrawals using credit and debit cards, with trusted processors including AmEx, Visa and Mastercard. 

    Alongside the plastic option, you will normally find traditional bank wire transfers. There’s usually a selection of more high-tech online banking systems too. And in some cases, you can even be paid out by check.

    Claiming a Kentucky Derby Betting Bonus

    The gambling industry is extremely competitive. So it’s little surprise to see that most horse racing betting sites today offer incentives to join. There are all kinds of promotions and bonuses up for grabs. Let’s go through some of the most common.

    Sign-Up Offer

    In order to bring in new bettors, almost all sportsbooks will offer some kind of welcome bonus. It might be a free bet, it could be a first time deposit match bonus or even a combination of the two.

    Deposit matches are just like the name suggests. Fund your account with real money and the betting site will give you a reward. If it’s a traditional 100% match and you deposit $50, you’ll collect a total of $100. But these days you might find match bonuses in excess of 200% and even 300%.


    Sometimes called “cashback”, a rebate is when a portion of your losses are refunded by the betting site. Regular bettors at certain sportsbooks will qualify for such deals as they climb through the VIP loyalty rewards ladder. From time to time, such offers appear as welcome bonuses too.

    It varies by company, but there’s usually a fixed percentage based on a certain time period. It might be that you receive a 10% rebate on any losses incurred in the past month, for instance.

    Profit Boosts

    Another common sports betting bonus is the profit boost. They work in different ways, depending on the brand. But one thing is for sure: you’ll end up with a bigger payout than normal, should you be successful. 

    In some cases, the sportsbook will simply add a percentage increase to any profits. While in other situations, it might be that the initial odds were enhanced. This might be a standalone offer for a specific market. Or it could be that many selections were boosted as part of  a Happy Hour promotion.

    Free Bets

    These come in two different flavors. A risk-free bet insures your real money wager against a loss. Should you be unlucky, the sportsbook will return your stake. But a true free bet is when the betting site puts up the stake for you and lets you keep any profits.

    A free bet can be awarded as both a new player incentive and a reward for loyal customers. If you’d like to know more about how to gamble on the Kentucky Derby using free bets, stick with this guide. We’re about to explain the various bet types and reveal our expert horse racing picks for the Churchill Downs showpiece.

    Popular Types of Kentucky Derby Betting Markets

    If you don’t understand the many different bet types, then you don’t really know how to gamble on the Kentucky Derby. So let’s address that topic now.

    Standard Wagers

    If you’re asking how to bet on Kentucky Derby horses, you more than likely want to place a simple bet. Here are the most common ways to bet on a horse. The odds for all of these bet types will be available online in advance.

    • Win bet – As the name implies, you pick a selection to win. It must finish first.
    • Place bet – In this case, your horse can finish either first or second.
    • Show bet – Refers to a front three finish. You win if it comes first, second or third.
    • Double bet – Join two races together. Pick the winner of race 2 and 3, for example.

    Exotic Wagers

    If you’re not sure what an exacta is, or how to bet a trifecta for the Kentucky Derby, pay attention to this section.

    • Exacta bet – Choose two horses you think will finish first and second in the exact order.
    • Quinella bet – As above, but you will win if they finish either 1-2 or 2-1
    • Trifecta bet – Like an exacta but with three selections in the correct order
    • Superfecta bet – Name the first four past the post in perfect sequence
    • Super Hi-Five bet – Difficult but highly rewarding, you must name the front five finishers in order

    Our Top Tips on How to Place the Best Bet on the Kentucky Derby

    It’s not enough to simply understand how to bet on Kentucky Derby horses. You need to know how to actually pick out a winner. Follow our expert advice to give yourself the best possible chance at making a profit. 

    Tip 1: Study The Form

    None of the Kentucky Derby contenders are bad horses. All of them have a chance of winning, as they are high quality thoroughbreds. But each one has its own quirks. 

    Go back through videos of past races to see which ones might be well suited to the track. Pay attention to the jockey, as some horses respond better to certain partners. Make a note of finishing times, rather than placings.

    Tip 2: Do The Basics

    When studying form, it’s important to keep it simple. Don’t try to do too much. Even true experts tend to specialize in certain types of racing, following a small group of horses and focusing on specific tracks and races.

    If you spread your knowledge too thinly, you’ll find it much harder to gain an edge over the bookmakers. Try to do one thing very well. Perhaps you could only pay attention to the 3 year old races during the season, in the lead up to the Kentucky Derby.

    Tip 3: Consult The Experts

    The internet supplies us with a wealth of knowledge, but not everyone is really an expert. Be sure to avoid amateur tipsters. Focus instead on experienced professionals. Follow those knowledgeable pundits with experience in handicapping, for example.

    You can also pay attention to news coming out of the yards. A trainer will often let out snippets of wisdom via the press. If a jockey has a choice of rides, the one they actually pick will also tell you a lot about its chances.

    Tip 4: Bag The Bonuses

    Most sports betting companies today provide bonuses, especially for new customers. Make sure that you exploit these offers in full. 

    Why not join a new sportsbook that offers horse racing odds, in order to place your Kentucky Derby bets? That way, you can massively increase your profits if you’re lucky enough to find a winning bet. For instance, use the promo code to earn an additional $1,000 in betting bonuses.

    Tip 5: Compare The Odds

    Finally, when thinking about how to bet the Kentucky Derby selections you’ve settled on, you must consider the odds. 

    Why would you take a lower price with one sportsbook if another is offering better value? Shop around at different betting sites or use our Kentucky Derby odds comparison guide. This will help you to find the best price on all contenders for the big race.

    How to Bet on the Kentucky Derby on Mobile

    Mobile betting apps are all the rage today and racing fans are no exception. It’s just so convenient, being able to place bets at the touch of a button. Whether you’re watching a race on the TV or even if you’re in the stands and don’t want to leave your seat. 

    It doesn’t matter what kind of device you’re using, either. The top companies configure their sites and apps for both mobile and tablet devices, whether Android or iOS. Further, mobile sportsbooks facilitate live betting. So if you’re watching the race in real time, you can continue to wager while in-running. This allows you to react quickly, should your initial selection get off to a bad start, for example. 

    Want to know how to bet on the Kentucky Derby online using your mobile or tablet? Well, the process is no different to joining a desktop casino. First, you’ll need to fire up the mobile version of the betting site or download the app. Then you can follow the same steps as mentioned earlier in this guide.

    How to Bet on the Kentucky Derby at the Track

    Next up, let’s consider how to make a bet on the Kentucky Derby if you’re actually at the venue. 

    First, you’ll need to know that Churchill Downs operates pools betting, rather than fixed odds. So you’ll never see a set price for your horse. You won’t actually know how much you will win until after the event. 

    To place your bet, simply follow these steps:

    1. Choose your horse, bet type and desired stake.
    2. Make a note of the horse’s number.
    3. Head to a self service terminal and pick the race number that you want to bet on.
    4. Enter your horse’s number and bet type on the touch screen.
    5. Confirm the stake and feed the money into the note acceptor.
    6. Wait for your receipt, which you’ll need to claim your winnings.

    Where to Bet on the Kentucky Derby Near Me

    If you’re not actually able to visit the track to watch the big race, don’t worry. In this section, we’ll address how to bet on the Kentucky Derby in states like Texas, NY and NJ.

    Bettors located in states where it’s legal to bet on horse racing will have few problems gambling on the Kentucky Derby. There’s no shortage of mobile betting apps in New Jersey, for instance. Simpy head across to your favorite site and implement the knowledge you’ve acquired from this expert guide. Or alternatively, visit your local betting hall or racetrack.

    If it is not yet legal to bet in your state, you can still find ways to back your Kentucky Derby selections. For example, although online gambling in Texas is not permitted, you can still use offshore sites. Such sportsbooks readily accept US players and no residents of the Lone Star State have ever been penalized for doing so.

    We would recommend XBet, our overall number one racebook for Triple Crown betting and one with a generous sign-up bonus.


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