Horse Racing Bets. Goodbye Cheltenham Gold Cup, Hello Grand National

Posted on March 29th, 2010

Well, it must be that time of year again. The Cheltenham Gold Cup has just gone and the Grand National is fast approaching (8th- 10th April 2010), so we thought we’s post a quick guide to betting for those of you who don’t bet on the horses regularly, but enjoy a flutter on the big races. It can be a bit intimidating pretending to know what you are on about before the big race. But sticking a bit of money on is a must- watching it with a tenner on a horse is so much more fun! So here is a quick explanation of the main types of bets you can make.

Types of bets

The 3 most common bets are: bet to win (on the nose), bet to place (predict a finish position), and bet to show.

Bet to win means that you bet money on the horse, and if it wins the race, you win and are paid out at the odds you placed your bet on.

In bet to place, you back a horse to finish either first or second.

In bet to ‘show’ you bet on your horse finishing either first, second or third. Since the odds on a horse finishing in one of 3 (or 2) places are better that just predicting a win the ‘show’ pay outs will be lower than win pay outs for the same horse. Betting to ‘show’ is really a way of hedging your bets a bit. you can combine it with a bet to win if you like, which while more risky, yields the big pay off.

The number of “payout places” depends on the size of the field in the race and the bookies you bet with. So for a race with 7 or less horses in the UK, only the first 2 finishers will pay out. 3 places are paid for eight or more runners, while a handicap race with 16 or more runners will pay out on the first 4 places.

What about an “Each-Way” bet? If you make an each-way  bet, your total bet is split in two, with half being bet on the win, and half on the place. UK punters will receive a pay out if the horse either wins, or is placed based on the criteria as stated above. Most UK bookies reduce the odds quite a bit for an each-way bet, offering full odds if the horse wins but only a third, a quarter or a fifth of the odds if only the place section of the bet comes in.

Some bookies will offer a sixth of the odds for a place on the Grand National and increase the number of places available for a pay out to 5. This is because there is a large number of horses in the race (up to forty).

Roll on The Grand National- send us your tips please!

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