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The official British Greyhound Racing Board web site. The Board takes the lead in all political matters affecting greyhound racing as well as performing a practical role in areas as diverse as Information Technology, Training and Marketing. This site has all your greyhound racing information all at one place. View Site »
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A Guide to Betting on Greyhound Racing
Whether you go down to an actual track and place a bet at the tote or you prefer to gamble online with one of the major bookkeepers, greyhound racing can prove a fun and exciting pastime. If you’ve never placed a bet before it can be pretty confusing trying to get your head around all the specialist terminology that goes with racing. In this quick guide we’ll try and demystify things for you.
Here’s a look at the different kinds of bets you can place:
- Win Only
As the name suggests, this is where you pick the dog you think is going to come in first place. If you win, you’ll get back your stake plus prize money according to the odds offered by the bookmaker. If you lose, your stake is gone.
- Place Only
This expands your chances slightly. With this bet you pick a dog, if he comes in either first or second, you win.
This is a tricky one in that you need to predict both the winner and the second placed dog. A reverse forecast is an easier bet to win in that you only have to pick the fastest two dogs; it doesn’t matter which comes in which position.
This is like a forecast except you need to guess the first three dogs to finish. An ‘all ways trifecta’ is the same except that you don’t need to get the order correct; as long as the top three correspond with your picks, you win.
- All Ways Forecast
This sort of bet provides you with plenty of chances to win. Basically, you pick three runners and if first and second place end up filled by dogs you picked, no matter in what combination, you win.
Once you’ve placed a bet, if you’re actually going to watch the race you’ll want to be able to spot your dog. This is easy enough. Unlike horse racing where jockeys are identifiable by unique uniforms, in greyhound racing, the dogs always wear the same set of attire. There are six runners and they wear jackets coloured according to the trap they run from, with position 1 being on the inside, 6 on the outside. You can identify them as follows;
- Dog 1 wears a red jacket with a white number
- Dog 2 wears a blue jacket with a white number
- Dog 3 wears a white jacket with a blue number
- Dog 4 wears black jacket with a white number
- Dog 5 wears an orange jacket with a black number
- Dog 6 wears black and white stripes with a red number
Types of Race
Not all races are the same. Tracks and bookies use a system to distinguish races so you know exactly what type of race you’re betting on. Race names will feature a letter followed by a number. The number simply signifies the order in the event that the race will take place. They’ll also put down the distance and start time. Here’s a look at what the letters mean:
OR: This stands for ‘open race’. It means a dog of any ability grade can enter, though usually this race type only attracts the best.
A: This means all the dogs entered are of the same grade, helping ensure it’s a competitive contest.
HCP: In this type of race, there are dogs of differing abilities, but unlike an OR race, they don’t race on the same terms. The weakest competitors are given head starts, the handicap helping to keep the better dogs from walking it.
P: P stands for puppy, though the dogs aren’t involved aren’t all that young. These races are for dogs between 15 and 24 months old.
H: These races feature hurdles.
S: This is a race that features six bends.
Looking at Form
One of the key factors that people use to decide their picks (aside from simply going for the names they think sound cool) is their recent form. This isn’t a particularly straight forward thing to do as many factors can come into play. As well as looking at how fast the dog has run in the past, you may also want to consider their consistency and whether or not they might be tired from recent outings. There is also the question of the track conditions on the day in question. Officials will give estimations on whether they think the track is running slower or faster than usual and will provide these details. Some dogs will prefer certain conditions to others.
It could also be that the trap which a dog runs from will affect its performance, or it may do better in certain types of race than others. All these pieces of information are recorded for you to go over. Though there are all types of ‘systems’ that have been developed over the years to help punters pick winners, you’ll do well to remember that unpredictability is the name of the game. Always make sure you’ve budgeted for a loss when you place a bet.