Greyhound Racing Guide

Greyhound Racing

Greyhound racing was first brought to the UK by an American who invented the first mechanised lure (that’s the “rabbit” that whizzes round the track to encourage the dogs to run) in 1925. The first purpose-built dog track was erected in Manchester the following year and before the end of 1926 crowds of up to 11,000 were enjoying this new sport at Belle Vue Stadium. The sport has had its up and downs since then but is enjoying another successful era, with greyhound racing the third most attended sport in Britain.

It is in some ways the archetypal working class sport and a night at the dogs with a beer and a few bets (winners even!) is a great night out enjoyed by a wide spectrum of the populace. The simplicity of the sport and the short, fast nature of the races makes it ideal to bet on so read on for all you need to know about doing just that.

How To Bet On Greyhounds

Betting on the dogs is, as said, a straightforward affair that is easy for a beginner to grasp, although mastery of the discipline is far harder. The major bets are listed below, with all the same multiple bets you can find in horse racing – in terms of the doubles, trebles and upwards and combination bets covering a variety of selections – also applicable to betting on greyhound racing.

Greyhound Racing Bets

  • Win – The simplest bet to go for is which dog will win the race and with just six dogs in each race your chances are pretty good.
  • Each-way – Dogs can also be backed each-way, a split bet with half going on the win and half going on a bet for it to place in the top two, which is paid at ¼ of the odds. It is possible to win both bets, or just the place bet.
  • Reverse forecast – As in horse racing, this is a bet on which animals will finish first and second but as it’s a “reverse” forecast they can be in any order. A very popular bet in greyhound racing.
  • Forecast – As above but you must pick the dogs in the right order.
  • Trio/trifecta – As with a forecast but picking the first three dogs, again with the option of making it a reverse also available.
  • Combination bets – You can pick three or even four dogs and cover all of the options of any of those filling the top two spots. This incorporates multiple bets in one, for example a forecast combination with three dogs will actually be six different bets in one.

Greyhound Betting Rules

As with all sports betting there are no rules to catch you out or trick you but one or two things to look out for that may not be obvious. First of all, check if you are taking the price at the time of the bet or at the start (the starting price, or SP). Some bookmakers offer Best Odds Guaranteed, which means you can take the price at the time of your bet and even if the dog drifts in the betting the bookie will pay out at the higher of the two odds.

Another unusual thing with greyhound betting is that the trap number is far more important than the name of the dog, with bets settled on trap number. With some bookmakers a change of dog will normally not matter, with the bet staying on, unless your bet was at an early price, in which case it is normally void. Finally, if there is a non-runner in a race with early prices the best are usually settled on the starting prices, irrespective of Best Odds Guaranteed, although this can vary so check your individual bookmaker.

Betting Strategy

Betting on greyhound racing is something that most people do for a bit of fun and it is a hard sport to make a regular profit from unless you have inside connections. Because there is relatively little money in the sport most of the gambling edge is taken up by those inside it but as ever, the surest way to succeed is by watching as many greyhound races as possible and studying the form.

The best way to seek out a winner is to study past races, paying attention to the track, racing style of the dog and prevailing weather conditions in the past and on the day of the race. Lastly it’s also very important to note what traps a dog has had success from before and what trap it’s racing from when you are considering betting on it. Some dogs are wide runners and may be able to make up the extra ground of the outside, however a dog that prefers the inside is unlikely to offer much value from an outside trap.

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