FANCY A FLUTTER?
While a day at the races doesn't have to include having a bet, for many racegoers it is all part of the experience.
There are three basic ways you can place a bet on course. 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 with totepool.
Top tip: Pay a visit to the Parade Ring before placing your bets to assess which horse looks ready to go out and win!
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 (usually 1st, 2nd or 3rd – but depending on the number of horses in the race, some bookies might pay out for placing further back). 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.
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. 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.
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.
You can also find on-site betting shops which work just like your typical high-street betting shops do, so you can bet on anything.
Always bet an amount you feel comfortable with.
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 the money it receives from bets on a given race is pooled together and, like a lottery, shares this out among customers with winning tickets.
The Tote has a minimum bet of just £2 and accepts cash and card across all courses making it one of the most convenient ways to place a bet on-course.
There are six bet types available at every course, every day with the Tote; win, place, exacta, trifecta, quadpot and placepot. So there are lots of options if you fancy your horse to place, but not to win. Don’t worry, the friendly Tote team are always on hand to help with your selections or to answer any questions.
Plus as the Tote is owned in partnership by the majority of British racecourses, it is constantly reinvesting back into racing. By choosing to bet with the Tote, you can do so knowing that racing is benefiting too.
BETTING ONLINE WITH OUR OFFICIAL BETTING 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.
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.
If you bet online, your account will automatically be credited with your winnings.
Find out more about betting and picking a winner at racingexplained.co.uk. Remember to always bet an amount that you feel comfortable with.