Finding your way around the ring
It is always best to have a look at the horses in the Parade Ring before placing your bet. There are plenty of online options for before the day betting but it's best to shop around!
There are four basic ways you can place a bet on course. After all, what’s a day at the races without having a flutter?
You can go down the traditional route with the bookmakers in one of the betting rings, try one of the on-site betting shops or test your luck on the Tote. Plus you can bet online via one of our official betting partners.
Top tip: Pay a visit to the Parade Ring before placing your bets to assess which horse looks ready to go out and win!
This is perhaps the most common form of betting at the races; you’ll see the bookmakers with clear signs indicating their minimum bets alongside odds screens for the next race.
All you need to do is pick your horse by its number, choose what stake you want to put down and what bet you want to place!
If you want to go for a straight win, you might, for instance, say to the bookmaker “£5 on Number 3 please”.
If you want to bet each way to increase your chances of winning, you could ask for “£5 each way on Number 3”, which means you’ll effectively be placing two bets on the same horse: £5 on it winning the race and £5 on it being placed. If it finishes first, you’ll be paid out on both bets.
THE BETTING shops
On-site betting shops function just like your typical high-street betting shops do, so you can bet on anything.
what if i win?
Congratulations! But don’t get carried away just yet – wait for the “Weighed in!” announcement that tells you the Jockeys have weighed in with their kit and saddle and the result of the race has been made official. Then you can go back to your bookmaker to hand over your ticket and collect your winnings.
Unlike racecourse bookmakers who offer you odds – or prices – for betting on each horse in a race, the Tote offers you a pool bet. This means it pools together the money it receives from bets on a given race and, similar to the National Lottery, shares this out among customers with winning tickets.
That means that the fewer people who bet on your horse compared to others in the race, the greater the percentage of the pool you will receive if it wins!
The Tote has a minimum bet of £2. Other bookmakers vary, but if they have a minimum this will be clearly displayed. If in doubt, just ask them!
BETTING ONLINE WITH OUR PARTNERS
With Jockey Club Wi-Fi, you are able to access a range of betting partners to place an online bet. Sign up to see which bookmakers are partnering with us.
Find out more about betting and picking a winner at www.racingexplained.co.uk
KNOW YOUR BETTING LINGO
Accumulator: bet involving two or more selections in different races – winnings from one are placed on the next.
Allowance: the weight concession the horse is given to compensate for its rider’s inexperience – a greener horse carries less weight.
Also ran: any horse not finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th in a race or event.
Bar: a betting term that denotes that all horses not already listed in the betting market for a race are at the bar price or longer odds.
Each-way: a bet in two equal parts – one backing a horse to win and the other backing it to finish in the first three.
Evens or even money: betting odds where your stake exactly equals your winnings – £5 at evens wins a further £5.
Form: A horse's race record.
This is denoted by figures next to its name on a racecard:
- 1=1st, 2=2nd etc.
- P=pulled up,
- R=refused to race,
- U=unseated rider,
- SU=slipped up,
- BF=beaten favourite.
- Odds on: odds where the winnings are less than the stake – thus a winning £2 bet at 2-1 on wins you £1.
- On the nose: betting on a horse to win only (not to place).
- Penalty: the extra weight carried by the horse which has won since the weights for a race were originally published.
- Placed: when a horse finishes in the first three.
- SP/starting price: the official price (odds) of the horse at which the bets are settled in betting shops.