Our Guide to Horse Race Betting
If you are actually at the races in person it can seem even more complicated! When you hit a racecourse you will find a separate area for the on course bookies. These bookmakers are competing directly with each other so you will find some variety in the odds that they offer. The markets that you see on the bookies boards will be fixed odds – This means that when you place a bet you get the odds showed on the board at that exact moment in time. So when you place fixed odds bet you have the exact understanding of how much you stand to win with the bet, however you are missing out on a potentially bigger price as the race start time draws closer.
Once you know which horse you want to bet on you need to look around the bookmakers to make sure you get the best possible price. Consider how you wish to bet- it might be worth trying an each way bet which means that you receive a payment if you horse is placed. You can even choose to bet on a horse without the favourite – this means if your horse finishes second to the favourite you still win!
There will be a minimum stake at each bookmaker so make sure you know what this is and have enough money to cover the bet. You don’t need to tell the bookmaker the number of the horse you just need to know its name when presenting your money. The bookmaker will give you a ticket – it is essential that you keep hold of this as it is a receipt and will be necessary to collect your winnings.
If you are lucky and your horse wins you can return with this betting slip and hand it over to the bookmaker. You should always keep hold of your ticket until the horse has been weighed in – this is when the final winner is confirmed. The reason for this is in case there is a steward’s enquiry and the winner of the race is changed. If you are not happy with the way you have been treated trackside you can find a betting ring manager who can look into and help with any disagreements.
When you bet on horses it’s a great idea to keep records. This is more for betting online, it allows you to reference your bets with those on file in your bookmakers, sometimes there are errors so you need to make sure you are being treated correctly. Record keeping allows you to find trends that might occur and show where you are losing regularly!
When you bet on the horses you need to make sure you only lose what you can afford. This is where you need a “stake plan”. Figure out your finances and what is a safe level for you to lose. If you are betting online you can add account limits within the settings on your account. This helps make sure you do not gamble too much on a regular basis.
When making your selections of which horse to bet on it is very important to get hold of a quality racing guide. Sometimes it’s easy to pick a horse based on its name, its jockey or even its colours! This is fine for a casual gambler who might be taking a punt on the Grand National – but if you are spending serious amounts on large bets you need to take the sport seriously.
Finding out the form guides will really help when researching your nag! Find out where they last won and over what distance. What were the conditions like and who was the jockey. Compare all the data you can as statistics are key to picking a winner!