can you bet on horse racing in texas

In the Lone Star State of Texas, wagering on horse racing is a legal and regulated activity. Two racetracks, Sam Houston Race Park in Houston and Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, offer live racing and simulcasting of races from across the country. Bettors can place wagers on various types of races, including thoroughbred, quarter horse, and mixed-breed events. Off-track betting parlors, known as simulcast facilities, are located throughout the state, allowing bettors to participate in the action even when they are not at the racetrack.

Legalization and Regulations of Horse Racing Betting in Texas

Horse racing betting in Texas is subject to a complex legal framework. Here’s an overview of the current laws and regulations:


  • Pari-mutuel horse race betting is legal in Texas under the authorization of the Texas Racing Act.
  • Bets can only be placed at licensed racetracks or off-track betting facilities.


The Texas Racing Commission regulates horse racing and betting in the state. Some key regulations include:

Minimum Age21 years old to bet on horse races
Taxation7.5% tax on all pari-mutuel wagers
Prohibited BetsProposition bets and certain other exotic wagers are not allowed

In addition to these state regulations, federal laws also apply to horse racing betting. The Interstate Horseracing Act (IHA) prohibits interstate simulcasting of races with pari-mutuel wagering unless the commissions of the receiving and sending states have entered into an agreement.

Types of Horse Racing Bets Available

Horse racing offers a thrilling and diverse range of betting options, each with its own unique payout structure. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newcomer to the sport, understanding the various bet types can enhance your experience and help you craft winning strategies.

Straight Bets

  • Win: Betting on the horse to finish first.
  • Place: Betting on the horse to finish in the top two.
  • Show: Betting on the horse to finish in the top three.

Exacta Bets

Exacta bets predict the exact order of finish for the top two horses.

Bet TypeDescription
Exacta BoxSelecting two horses to finish first and second, in any order.
ExactaSelecting two horses to finish first and second, in the exact order.

Trifecta Bets

Trifecta bets predict the exact order of finish for the top three horses.

Bet TypeDescription
Trifecta BoxSelecting three horses to finish first, second, and third, in any order.
TrifectaSelecting three horses to finish first, second, and third, in the exact order.

Other Bets

  • Daily Double: Betting on the winners of two consecutive races.
  • Pick 3 or 4: Betting on the winners of three or four designated races.
  • Superfecta: Betting on the exact order of finish for the top four horses.

Participating in Legal Horse Racing Betting in Texas

Horse racing is a popular sport in Texas, and betting on it can be a great way to add some excitement to the races. However, it’s important to know the laws surrounding horse racing betting in Texas before you place any bets.

Legal Horse Racing Betting Options in Texas

There are two main ways to bet on horse racing in Texas:

  • Parimutuel betting: This is the most common type of horse racing betting, and it involves betting on the outcome of a race with other bettors. The odds of winning are determined by the amount of money bet on each horse, and the winnings are shared among the winning bettors.
  • Off-track betting: This type of betting allows you to bet on horse races at locations other than the racetrack. Off-track betting is available at simulcast facilities and online betting sites.

Where to Bet on Horse Racing in Texas

There are several racetracks and simulcast facilities in Texas where you can bet on horse races. Some of the most popular racetracks include:

  • Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie
  • Sam Houston Race Park in Houston
  • Retama Park in Selma

You can also bet on horse races online through several licensed betting sites. These sites offer a variety of betting options and bonuses, so you can find the best site for your needs.

How to Bet on Horse Racing in Texas

Betting on horse racing is relatively simple. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Choose a racetrack or simulcast facility.
  2. Purchase a betting ticket.
  3. Select the horse(s) you want to bet on.
  4. Choose the type of bet you want to place.
  5. Enter the amount of money you want to bet.
  6. Submit your betting ticket.

If you win your bet, you will be paid according to the odds of the horse you bet on.

Tips for Betting on Horse Racing in Texas

Here are a few tips to help you increase your chances of winning when betting on horse racing in Texas:

  • Do your research. Before you place any bets, take the time to learn about the horses and jockeys in the race. This will help you make more informed decisions about which horses to bet on.
  • Manage your bankroll. It’s important to set a budget for yourself before you start betting on horse racing. This will help you avoid overspending and getting into debt.
  • Don’t chase your losses. If you lose a few bets in a row, don’t try to win back your losses by betting more money. This is a surefire way to lose even more money.

Betting on horse racing can be a fun and exciting way to enjoy the sport. However, it’s important to remember that it is also a form of gambling. If you are not careful, you can lose money betting on horse racing. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of winning and having a positive experience betting on horse racing in Texas.

Responsible Gambling Guidelines for Horse Racing Betting

Horse racing betting can be a thrilling and potentially lucrative activity, but it’s crucial to approach it responsibly. Here are some guidelines to help you stay in control:

  • Set a budget and stick to it: Determine how much you can afford to bet and never exceed that amount.
  • Choose reliable betting platforms: Only bet with reputable and licensed operators to ensure fairness and security.
  • Understand the odds: Study the racecards, consider the horses’ form, and calculate your odds before placing a bet.
  • Bet small amounts: Avoid large bets that could put you at financial risk. Start with small stakes and gradually increase your bets as you gain experience.
  • Take breaks: Don’t get caught up in the excitement of the race. Take regular breaks to clear your head and assess your betting strategy.
  • Seek help if needed: If you find yourself struggling to control your gambling habits, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help.
Warning Signs of Gambling Addiction
Chasing losses
Borrowing money to gamble
Lying to family and friends about gambling
Spending excessive time gambling
Neglecting responsibilities

Remember, horse racing betting is meant to be an enjoyable pastime. By following these guidelines, you can minimize risks and maximize your chances of a positive experience.

Well, folks, that’s all the info I have on betting on horse races in Texas. Thanks for hanging out with me. If you found this article helpful, stay tuned for more gambling-related content. And remember, folks, when it comes to betting, always gamble responsibly and within your means. Catch y’all later!