Greyhound racing has been on the UK’s favourite pastimes for decades now. A night at the dogs possibly isn’t as attractive a proposition as it once was, but the industry is actually starting to show signs of improvement in terms of the numbers who attend the racetracks.
The online sector is one that is still thriving. In fact, if it weren’t for online betting, greyhound racing might have gone to the dogs some time ago.
If you’re new to the sport, then we’re going to guide you through exactly how to place a bet on greyhound racing. We will literally hold your hand through the whole process and then at the end talk through a few little snippets that could hopefully not only make your time betting on greyhounds more enjoyable, but also more profitable.
Choose Your Bookmaker
If you’ve followed any of our other articles in the “how to bet on” series, then you will know that we always start talking about where you’re going to bet from. There are dozens of bookmakers that you can choose, and we realise that this is a bit of a minefield for those that are new.
The good thing about greyhound racing is that it’s widely accessible. Pretty much all of the major bookies will have a really good coverage to take advantage of, hosting markets for all races that take place in the UK and Ireland.
It’s worth noting that there are some bookies that run their own ‘closed door’ meetings. This means that the tracks aren’t open to fans but are available to bet on within that bookmaker.
Given that there are so many bookies you can look to use any of the more reputable brands and you should be fine. Not that you are likely going to be able to claim some sort of welcome bonus when you register a new account with that bookie and if you are looking to bet on greyhound racing, which we assume you are, then you will need to make sure that the sport is included in any wagering rules that it may have.
As you start to get a little more advanced with betting on the sport, we always recommend that you have several accounts to make sure you get the best odds for you bet. If you don’t then you are losing out by not taking the best price.
As we say, this is something that you can look at when you get a little more comfortable with betting on the sport, but it’s still worth pointing out.
Choose a Greyhound Meeting
There are a lot of meetings to choose from. Try not to get too overwhelmed by this from the start. There will be a good chance that there is specific track or race that you want to bet on or if you’re totally new, then you can just select any from within the UK.
Which meeting you choose will start to get a little more detailed as you progress. You will find that you want to target certain tracks or even certain dogs as they run all over the country. A lot of greyhounds actually run multiple times per year at their local course, so this is something that you can take advantage of in time.
If you’re lucky enough to live fairly local to any of the tracks, then we would suggest that you start here. Whilst you might not be considering visiting the track any time soon, if you’re looking to get serious about betting on greyhounds, then knowing how tracks work will be vital. The best way to do this is to scope out the place yourself and this is how you could get an edge.
We won’t look too far ahead here though and for now, pick somewhere that you know, live near, or one of the major tracks.
Choose Your Races
Now that we have our meeting narrowed down, we can crack on with picking the race that we want to bet on. If we’re being honest here, unless you’re going to bet on a certain dog, then choosing a specific race is going to be pretty random.
Race meetings will start at various times of the day. Some run from as early as 8am in the UK, and then the later meetings will usually start around 6:30pm. You generally get around 12 races per meeting and they take place every 15 minutes.
As you can imagine, the action comes pretty thick and fast and if you were to sit and bet all day, you wouldn’t have to wait too long between races across a range of meetings to fill your time. Most of the bigger bookies will cover international racing as well, so they really do run around the clock.
Making Your Selection
The selections for your bet work within a race card. This is card that includes information such as the dog that is running, the trap they are running in and the odds for that dog.
Above is an example of a typical race card for greyhound racing. There a couple of things that we want to point out here.
The first thing to note is that the dogs are all drawn into their respected traps. These traps remain constant for each race and each race will include at most, 6 dogs.
The odds for each dog run down the right-hand side. Here we have an early card, which is highlighted as ‘SP’. This stands for Starting Price, so if you were to back any of these dogs at this point in time, you would get the price when the race starts. As the race draws nearer to the start, then these odds will be changed to live odds.
The next thing to note is that you can back the favourite regardless if you wish. This is signified by ‘1st Favourite’ at the bottom and the bookmaker will know that you’ve backed whichever dog goes off as the lowest price. Similarly, you can choose the ‘2nd Favourite’ which is the second lowest priced greyhound.
At the top of the card it highlights each way betting terms. This bet is where you have half you stake on the win and half your stake on the dog to finish 1st or 2nd. The bookies will offer you 1/4 odds for the place and will pay out if they finish in the top 2 places, as per instructions on the card.
Placing Your Bet
Placing your bet is very simple. All you need to do is click the odds or SP in the right hand side column and then your bet will be added to your betslip.
Above is a typical example of what a betslip might look like. It’s important that you study it carefully to make sure that you’ve entered the correct bet. It’s common for new bettors to select the wrong dog here and it could cost a good sum of money, so check twice.
The bet slip will allow you to enter your stake and then it will inform you of the total amount the bet will cost and the amount that it will return. Again, each way terms are on the bet slip and to select this bet you just need to select the box to the right of the stake box.
Once you’re happy, click the ‘Place Bet’ button and your bet will be placed.
Greyhound Betting Guide
The main focus of this article was to make sure that you understand the basics of how to bet on greyhound racing. This includes how to find a bet and then how to place the bet.
As an additional section, we wanted to include a bit of a guide to help you get on your way. We’ve other articles where we talk about these things in depth and in fact, we talk about lots on this page in depth in other articles, so this will act as a quick introduction for you.
It’s all information that we wish we had when we started and common mistakes that we see every day from novice bettors.
Check the Weather
If you’re a horse racing fan then you will know that the weather can play a big role in how a race might be run. In fact, the weather affects all sports in some way, so this is an area that you need to also consider with greyhounds.
The tracks are either sand-based or fully artificial and if there’s been a lot of rain, then it’s going to slow the course down quite considerably. This will mean that it suits some dogs better than other.
You can then start to look for dogs that have previously had success in wet conditions if it’s raining or dry conditions if it’s been baking hot. What you will find is that most will suit one over the other and this is who you can target.
Check the Draw
The draw plays a huge role in how the race might pan out. A lot of graded races will be won by dogs that have a favourable draw and that get a clean start. The start can be up to 100 yards, but if they get through this untouched, they have the momentum to go on and win.
The key to finding out which is the best draw is to look through past results at that track. You tend to find that one or two traps work more favourably than others, so these are what you need to target. Also, don’t just assume that the inside traps are the best, as it will range from course to course.
Young Dogs Can Be Worth a Punt
One of the best things about the sport is that there are always new and exciting racers coming through. There’s a lot of dogs being bread all over the country and they can be a bit of unknown as a result.
The best thing about this from a betting point of view is that the young dogs are eventually going to be better than some of the more experienced dogs in that field as they start to inevitably decline. You need to time it right, but you can get huge odds on young dogs just before they breakthrough into the winner’s circle. This may take some trial and error, but the pricing is usually favourable so you’ve a little more leeway here than you might think.
Become an Expert of Your Local Track
We’ve spoken about this earlier in the article, but it you’re able to lock down how your local dog track works, then you could start to be more successful in a shorter period of time.
You see, what lots of people do is try and research races all over the country. There are dozens of tracks to choose from, with hundreds of races every day, so there is no way that anyone can know exactly what to look for in each race at each track. The number of variables might make this impossible actually.
Being able to keep up with just a few meetings per week will be a big amount of work, but worth it and will allow you to almost dismiss other meetings. Jack of all trades, Master of none springs to mind here!
Limit the Number of Bets you Place
It can be very tempting to jump onto your bookmaker and then sit for hours just betting mindlessly on hundreds of racing that they are hosting throughout the day. The trick here is to not fall into that trap and instead, limit yourself to just a handful of bets.
This will make you concentrate and work harder to find a winner for those races. It will mean that you manage your bankroll in a much more efficient way and it will also likely mean that you could be more successful by working through this process rather than just firing at dozens of races a day.
A good tip here is to spend time working out why your pick lost. Look over the race again, get some analysis and then try and learn from that. It will mean that not only are you going to be much more knowledgeable for your next race, but it also removes the need to jump in too quickly to a market that you aren’t familiar with a risk chasing losses which is unadvisable.