How To Bet On Horse Racing In Japan

Legal gambling in Japan is limited to just four sports, one of which is horse racing. Many Japanese people enjoy a day at the races, as entry fees are cheap, and the racing is exciting. Keep reading our article about how to bet on horse racing in Japan, to find out what to do, what to wear, what to take, and how to bet.

When Does Horse Racing In Japan Take Place?

Horse racing in Japan is run by the Japan Racing Association (JRA) and most meetings take place on weekends. However, some meetings take place on other important national holidays.

Horse racing meetings normally take place at several of the JRA’s ten racetracks at the same time, with most cards featuring 12 races that take place between 10.00 and 16.30. The racecourses open at 09.00 and close at 17.00.

How Much Does Entry Cost At Racecourses In Japan?

Tokyo, Kyoto, Chukyo, Nakayama, and Hanshin are widely regarded as Japan’s premier racecourses, but entry to these is still only around 200 yen (the equivalent of $2 US). Entry to Sapporo, Niigata, Hakodate, Kokura, and Fukushima is only 100 yen. Racing programs containing the list of runners for each race are generally distributed for free at Japanese Racecourses.

What Is The Dress Code At Japanese Racecourses?

There is no official dress code at Japanese racecourses, with jeans, t-shirts, and khakis all acceptable wear. Please note, if you have booked reserve seating or are enjoying any of the courses’ hospitality options, smart casual is preferred. Many people also make a day of it by dressing smartly.

What Should I Take To Horse Racing In Japan?

To maximize your enjoyment of a day at horse racing in Japan, you may wish to take with you some or all the following items:

Binoculars can help you watch the horses closely in the parade ring or on their way to the starting stalls, which might help you make your selections for each race.

Bring a pen to help you fill in the betting forms. If you’ve got a lucky pen, make sure that’s safely in your pocket before you set off.

The weather can be changeable in Japan so, even if the forecast is only cloudy, it’s never a bad idea to take an umbrella. For the same reasons, take a jacket.

Of course, you’ll also need some money to bet with and to buy any refreshments you may want. Don’t worry if you forget your money, as each racecourse has its own ATM machines.

What’s The Best Way To Get To Japan’s Horseracing Tracks?

Most of Japan’s racecourses are located near local railway links. Some are even connected directly to the racecourses via underground pathways, while others offer shuttles. Other forms of public transport will also take you within walking distance of most racetracks.

You may also drive your car to many racecourses but be aware that parking is limited.

What Bets Can I Place At Japanese Racecourses?

There are a variety of bets you can place at Japanese Racecourses.

Win: Place a bet on the number of the horse you want to win. If it wins, you will collect the winning dividend multiplied by your stake.

Place: In races with 5-7 runners, you can bet on a horse to finish first or second. In races with eight or more runners, you can bet on a horse to finish first, second, or third. The odds for this are normally less than the win bet but you do have a better chance of winning.

Quinella: If you can’t decide between two horses, place a quinella on those two horses to finish first or second in any order. The odds for success can be very rewarding.

Exacta: If you’re convinced that one horse will beat another into second, place an exacta on those two horses to finish first and second.
Quinella Place: If you’ve picked two horses that you think will finish in the first three in a race with nine horses or more, have a quinella place bet on those horses.

Trio: If you’re good enough to pick which horses will finish first, second, and third in any order in any race, it’s time to combine your selections in a trio.

Trifecta: If you’re good enough to pick which horses will finish first, second, and third in the exact order in any race, it’s time to combine your selections in a tricast.

Pick 5: One of the most exciting bets to place at Japanese horse racing is the Pick Five. Pick the winners of five designated races and you could go home with lots of money in your pocket. If you’re feeling lucky, you can also place a pick five bet by asking the computer to randomly select your five horses.

Pick Seven: Arguably, the most exciting bet at Japanese horse racing is the Pick Seven. Pick the winners of seven designated races and you could go home with a small fortune in your pocket. If you’re feeling lucky, you can also place a pick seven bet by asking the computer to randomly select your seven horses.

Should I Bet On Horse Racing In Japan?

It’s easy to see why betting on horse racing in Japan is very popular. Not only is horse racing one of just four sports you can legally bet on in Japan, it’s also a fun day out.

The JRA provides horse racing at ten different racecourses, all of which are easy to reach by train or other forms of public transport. Entry fees to the racecourses are also cheap at just 100 yen or 200 yen. The dress code is also very friendly, and everyone is welcome.

Betting is exciting at Japanese racecourses, where many punters opt for the safer win and place bets. The more adventurous punters can winner larger amounts of money by betting on combination bets, such as tricasts, trios, exactas, and quinellas. If you want to try and win a life-changing sum of money, treat yourself to a bet in either the pick five or pick seven markets.

We hope that’s answered your question, how to bet on horse racing in Japan.


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