KNOW YOUR WAY AROUND THE RING
While a day at the races doesn't have to include having a bet, for many racegoers it is all part of the experience.
The art of betting is as old as racing itself. Read our quick guide to help you get started.
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!
WHERE TO BET
The on-course bookmakers are the heart and soul of the betting experience, but they're all different and it's worth shopping around for the best odds on each race. You can usually find them in front of the grandstand or by the rails.
When you make your bet, state the number of your chosen horse and the stake: 'Number 3, £5 to win'; listen to the bookmaker repeat the bet and then give them your stake. You will then be given an itemised receipt with details of the bet and any winnings due – check this carefully and tell the bookmaker if there's a mistake.
Keep the ticket safe and if the horse wins, hand the ticket back to the bookmaker for settlement.
Never destroy your ticket until after the 'weighed in' announcement has been made. If your horse has not won there may still be a stewards enquiry and the winner, or placed horses may be disqualified.
There are also standard betting shops at various locations in the grounds. They'll accept bets on the races and on any other events – useful if you also want to place simultaneous bets on races at other courses.
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, ask!
What if I win?
Congratulations! Just remember you will have to 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. Result!
TYPES OF BET
The two main types of bet are win-only and each-way. For win-only, your horse needs to win the race outright.
An each-way bet is effectively two bets – one for your horse to win and one for it to be placed (1st, 2nd or 3rd). So a £5 each-way bet will cost £10.
Each bookmaker will display the terms on which they accept each-way bets on the top of their board.
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.
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. 0=unplaced, P=pulled up, R=refused to race, F=fell, 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 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.