How to Bet on Greyhounds
What You Need to Know
- The greyhounds isn't just an exciting night out, it's also perfect for sports betting, not least because it's so simple and straightforward
- All tracks have bookmakers and their own Tote betting systems, or you can go online and bet on the dogs over the internet.
- The easiest bet to place is to put money on the dog you think will finish first. Or you could bet on the dog to finish in first or second place, though the odds will be shorter
- Other popular bets include a Forecast, where you put money on the three dogs you think will cross the line ahead of the rest
- Combination bets can be a good way of potentially boosting your winnings. Try your luck with a Jackpot by betting on the winners of six different races in a night
- Be sure to do your homework and read a little on the form as this can help you win. For instance, some dogs struggle if they are put in the middle traps and some rarely win if it's raining
- Remember that gambling can become addictive, so be sure you're always responsible when you're betting on the greyhounds
Betting on Greyhounds
The greyhounds has always been an exciting night out and a great opportunity to enjoy a harmless flutter or two. These days, however, it's extremely popular with online gamblers, thanks in no small part to how easy it is to place everything from simple race winner bets right through to complex accumulators that can pay out big.
But before you put any money down on a greyhound, it's a good idea to know what you're doing. Here's the main things you need to know:
Where to Bet
All high street bookies will take bets on the greyhounds and most will screen the action from the major tracks. While you may not get the same variety of betting markets as you would either online or at the tracks, the staff are usually happy to talk you through the basics.
At the Track
Among punters watching the action live, the most popular way to bet on the greyhounds is on the track's own Tote. This is an in-house system that works just like any normal bookies. Quite simply, you will be able to find small Tote betting booths where the listings and odds for that night's races are on display. All you need to do is put your money down and cross your fingers.
Most larger tracks also have bookies working at them, and these can often be a good alternative to the Tote system. Note, however, that the vast majority of trackside bookies will only accept 'win' bets. That is, they will not take combinations or forecast bets (see below). You also need to be aware that you have to take the price written on the bookies' boards. No negotiating is possible, and if the odds change after you've already put your money down, there's nothing you can do about it.
The quickest and most convenient way of betting on the greyhounds is to go online. Most major online bookmakers will take bets on dozens of races a day, usually offering the very latest odds and a range of combination and specialist bets, not just first dog home. Check out our latest Sports Betting Sites and get some introductory free money to start betting with today, the list is regularly updated with the latest offers.
Understanding the Odds
Perhaps the most important thing you need to know about before you part with any money is how odds work. The odds (also known as the price) indicate how the bookmakers think an event will happen. The odds also determine how much you will win if your prediction is correct. On most sports betting sites, as well as at most track sides, the odds will be expressed as fractions. Or they could be expressed as decimal points or even in the American style. In all cases, however, you should be able to change the settings to suit you.
Here's what each of these mean:
1) Fractional Odds
On UK-based sports betting sites, the default setting for displaying the odds will be as fractions. Odds displayed this way show you how much you will win on a bet compared to how much you put on. The first number of the fraction indicates how much you will win if you place the amount of money shown in the second number of the fraction.
So, if the odds for the dog in Trap 1 winning a particular race are 2/1, this means if you bet £1, you will receive £2 in winnings (and you will get your original stake back on top of this).
This works on a ratio basis. So, if you are extra confident and place £10 at odds
of 2/1, you will receive £20 in winnings. Or, if you place £7 at odds of 2/1, your winnings will be £14, plus your initial stake.
Sometimes you will see that the second number of the fraction is larger than the first. This is an 'odds on' bet and signifies that the bookies believe that the chances of a particular prediction coming true are greater than 50/50. This is very rare in greyhound racing as most of the dogs are relatively evenly matched and races are not always predictable.
2) Decimal Odds
Since the majority of sports fans are used to seeing odds displayed as fractions, getting your head around decimal odds may seem daunting. But, don't worry! This system is equally straightforward once you've got the hang of it.
The way it works is that you just need to multiply your stake by the decimal shown and this is how much you will receive in winnings, including your returned stake.
So, if you put £1 down on odds of 3.00, you will win £3.00, including your initial stake, if your prediction comes true. And again, this works on a ratio basis. So, if you put down £15 at the same odds of 3.00, you will win £45, including your original stake.
A Further Note About Odds
Some online bookmakers will also display odds in the 'American' style. While some US sports betting fans prefer this system, to avoid any unnecessary confusion, you should switch the odds to either the fractional or decimal system.
If you're still confused about the odds on offer, then click on the bet you want to make and type in the amount you want to bet. With most online bookmakers, you will then be shown how much your stake will return and, using this information, you can decide whether or not you want to go ahead with the bet
Popular Types of Bet
Whether you want to gamble online or at the trackside, it's a good idea to know at least a little about the different types of bets on offer. As with most sports, there really is no limit to the number or variety of bets you can make on the greyhounds, but these are some of the most common types of flutter:
1) 'Race Winner'
The simplest and most popular type of bet made on the greyhounds is backing one dog to cross the line first. Quite simply, for a Race Winner bet, if the dog you back finishes first, you win; if they come second or lower, you lose.
If you're new to betting on greyhounds or horses, you may be confused to see the odds given as 'SP' instead of in numbers. What does this mean? Well, SP stands for 'Starting Price'. This is the odds for a greyhound that are declared right at the start of the race. Given that in the minutes and seconds leading up to the start of a race the odds can fluctuate quite wildly, bookmakers will give you the chance to put a bet on a greyhound at the Starting Price odds.
Here we can see a race at Newcastle with all the dogs being offered at the Starting Price. Let's say you fancy the first dog, Swift Meltner. If you put £10 on him to win at the SP and the track bookies finally declare his Starting Price to be 5/1, you will walk away with £60, including your initial stake, if he is first across the line. Note, however, that if you had earlier seen Swift Meltner offered at 10/1 but chose to bet on the SP, you will still only win £60, including your initial stake.
It's often the case that online bookmakers will declare the Starting Price right before the start of a race, giving you the chance to make a bet knowing the exact odds. Here, for example, is a screenshot from Newcastle just a minute before that race started:
Most online bookmakers will give you the choice of choosing to take the odds displayed at a specific time or to take the Starting Price, whatever this may end up being. Plus, to improve your chances of winning big, some bookies will even offer to pay out on whichever is greatest; so, if the Starting Price is greater than the price you opted for, you will receive the SP.
2) 'Place Only'
As well as being able to bet on a greyhound winning a race outright, you can also put money on it being placed. This is effectively an each-way bet and you will win if your dog crosses the line first or second. As with horseracing, the bookie will usually half the odds if you want to back a greyhound each-way. So for example, if you fancy a dog who is offered at 10/1 but aren't confident he will win outright, you can put money on him to place (that is, finish in the top two) for which the bookie will give you odds of 5/1.
Another popular type of bet is the Forecast in its many varieties. As the name suggests, with this, you predict the outcome of the race, wither picking the first two or the first three dogs over the line.
Here below we can see an example of a Forecast betting slip. As with all races, you have six dogs to choose from and you just need to pick which one you think will finish first and which one will finish second. Here we've gone for Fabulous Town followed by Killahara Jack.
For lower odds you can also bet on a Reverse Forecast. Here, you just need to predict the first two dogs home in any order. So, if we still fancied Fabulous Town and Killahara Jack but didn't want to put money on which would be the outright winner, we could back them to finish in 'any order'.
4) 'Trio' or 'Trifecta'
This type of bet is essentially the same as a Forecast, but here you have to pick the first three dogs home. As with a Forecast, you can either predict the exact order in which they will cross the finish line or you can put money on the first three finishers in any order.
Here we can see an online betting slip for the same race as before but with money put on the first three home in order. Note that there is the option to choose 'any order', though for this, the bookies' odds will shorten considerably.
5) Combination Bets
There really is no end to the number of combination bets you can place on the greyhounds. Most online bookmakers will be happy to accept combinations and accumulators, with the odds getting longer the more dogs you have in your accumulator.
The best way of winning big is to go for a Jackpot. Here, you choose one dog to win six races at an individual meet at one track. This type of bet is a popular flutter among casual race-goers at track meets, but online bookies may also be happy to offer odds on a Jackpot if you contact them. Alternatively, if you're at the track, head to a Tote booth and have a flutter on a 'Duella' (a six dog combination where you need to predict the first and second-placed runners in three different races) or a 'Quinella' (where you need to correctly forecast the first, second and third-placed dogs in three different races).
Hints and Tips for Betting on the Greyhounds
- Seasoned gamblers usually agree that a greyhound reaches its peak around two, with bitches peaking aged three, so it's worth taking a note of the age of the runners
- Be wary of putting sizeable bets on good dogs who have had recent good form but that have been inconsistent in the long-run
- Trackside bookmakers know what they're doing and are usually very informed about any notable developments. As such, their Starting Prices should usually be seen as reliable indicators of a dog's chances
- Pay attention to the trap a dog is racing from and look at their form. For instance, a dog may always win when he runs from Trap 1, but struggle when he's in the middle in Trap 3 or 4
- One other thing to take into consideration is the weather. As a rule, the lighter the dog, the more it will struggle in wet weather
- Always do your homework; even if you're just going along to the local track for a fun flutter, knowledge is power and even a little background information can increase your chances of winning
Like with all types of gambling, betting on the greyhounds can become addictive. So, be sure you remain in control of your bets, never gamble with money you can't afford to lose and, if you go to the track, be wary of placing any big bets while under the influence of alcohol.
Important Information on Gambling
You must be 18+ to gamble and use the offers and betting odds featured
Every new gambling account offer has "Terms & Conditions" that will apply - make sure you read these before opening an account.
See www.gambleaware.org for help and advice on problem gambling.
Please gamble responsibly.
Further Sports Betting Reading
Alongside our own YouTube videos showing you how you can make money from betting on sports online, we also have a comprehensive range of advice guides, which include:
- A video tutorial and guide on How to Bet on a Horse and make money from the most popular type of sports betting in the UK
- A guide on how to join millions of gambling fans around the world and make money from Betting on Cricket
- A great guide on How to Bet on F1 and make some serious money gambling on the world's most glamorous sport
Further Greyhound Betting Reading
To find out more about the world of greyhound racing and to keep informed about the latest race meets, check out the website of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain
Need to know more about how Tote betting works? Check out this guide from the Nottingham Greyhound Stadium