Despite not being among the most popular sports, Greyhound racing still gains a significant amount of attention in the UK, particularly when it comes to betting customers and bookmakers. The majority of major betting platforms offer markets on greyhound meetings, with many punters developing wagering strategies in this area in an attempt to beat the bookies on a consistent basis.
Although there is no guarantees when it comes to betting on major greyhound events, customers looking to come out on top surrounding the sport must do their research, remain patient and take advantage of promotions. Whether your are enjoying a night out at the dogs or taking in the action from the comfort of your own home, our greyhound betting guide provides everything that you need to know before placing a bet, including popular markets, tips and strategies.
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Greyhound racing has long been a popular pastime in the UK, with the legalisation of gambling on the sport only adding to the interest surrounding it over recent years. Despite a lack of television coverage and sponsorship deals meaning that greyhound racing was extremely close to vanishing from the UK, online bookmakers stepped in to save the sport. Nowadays, a large number of meetings are available to watch online, helping to make the betting process all the more exciting. A large number of bookmakers have affiliations with greyhound events, while they also regularly offer generous promotions surrounding the sport, including best odds guaranteed and price boosts.
There are now over 20 licensed greyhound circuits across the UK, with the sport being regulated by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain. Among the most frequently visited tracks are the Owlerton Stadium in Sheffield and circuits in locations including Romford, Doncaster and Wolverhampton. Major greyhound races often offer prize money over £50,000, helping to attract around 150 entries in the process. As well as derbies, category one, two and three races help to make up the race calendar, along with minor open and invitation meetings.
When entering the greyhound section of major online bookmakers, punters will be greeted by a variety of betting markets, which will generally range in number depending on the stature of the race. Most commonly, customers will have the chance to back the dog in which they believe will win a particular race, or back their favourite with an each-way bet. As well as this, some bookmakers offer live betting markets when it comes to greyhound racing, with odds changing based on the on-track action. Tote betting is also another form of betting that is becoming increasingly popular, where all bets placed across the UK are placed into a pool, with prices being determined by the number of winning bets placed. Finally, ‘trap betting’ is something that greyhound racing fanatics will be more than familiar with, with this form of wagering being based around races that are taking place at the same time. Customers have the opportunity to bet on which trap will be the most successful over the course of the meetings.
As previously mentioned, there are an increasing number of betting markets available when it comes to greyhound racing, with the total figure depending on both the bookmaker and race itself. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular markets available today.
When it comes to greyhound racing, there are a number of factors to bear in mind before backing your favourite. Below are just taster of the things that must be considered.
Now that you are fully aware of what greyhound racing entails and the type of bets that are available from bookmakers, it is of crucial importance to come up with a strategy that suits your objectives when it comes to wagering on this sport. As with any sport, form is perhaps the most important factor to consider, which can easily be researched, by looking into a dog’s recent outings. However, when looking into form, it is important to also look at the trainer, as well as the dog’s weight, age and career results.
Newcomers to greyhound racing are recommended to focus on simple bets, meaning that either win or each-way bets are preferable. When placing such bets, studying the form of runners is often all that is needed to locate a successful dog. However, when designing your greyhound racing betting strategy, it is important to have a number of different bookmaker accounts, meaning that you can always take advantage of the best odds and promotions around.
Ultimately, the best bet to place on a greyhound race is a winning one. However, betting on a single dog to win a specific race is undoubtedly the most effective throughout the calendar, especially for those who continuously back the favourite. Elsewhere, each-way bets and ante-post markets are always worth checking out.
It is always important to look into the dogs in which you are betting on, which includes researching their form and health ahead of a race. Weight plays a key role in determining their potential success, as well as their training and career winnings.
Greyhound racing punters will most often back the favourite, however this is not always the most effective method of betting. According to statistics, favourites have a winning record of around 40%, meaning that you may well wish to carry out additional research in the future.
The best strategy for you will ultimately depend on your objectives when it comes to wagering on greyhound racing. However, your strategy must include some form of research, arming yourself with as much relevant information and statistics as possible. As well as this, it is certainly worth taking advantage of the promotions offered by bookmakers, which help to both maximise winnings and minimise losses.
In the following article I will explain how to read a greyhound racing race card, followed by some advice to how you can take advantage of some of the information, and then a rundown on how to make a final decision.
Here is a pretty standard greyhound race card for a runner at Belle Vue.
So here we have Ebony Peaches, a regular at Belle Vue, drawn in trap 1. It has a best time of 28.55 seconds at this distance (the race is over 470m) recorded on the 26th October 2013 and it’s trainer is J McCombe. It was born in Jun 10, and it’s sire was Hades Rocket and it’s dam Karma Peaches. All that information is at the top.
Underneath is where the meat of the form lies.
Date – the date of the previous run.
Track Tips when betting on football games. – The track where the run took place (many dogs will just race at one track, but better quality greyhounds may run at many tracks).
DIS – The distance the race was run over.
TRP – The trap the greyhound was in the previous race.
SPLIT – The time to the finish line first time around.
POS – This is the position by bend in that race. For example, in its last race (top) it was third at the first bend and then led all the way.
FIN – Finishing position
BY – How much it either won by (in terms of lengths) or finished behind the winner.
WIN/SEC – Which greyhound won the race or finished second to Ebony Peaches.
REMARKS – A quick commentary of the last race (abbreviations will be on the race card for clarity). For example – “EP, Mid” means early pace, and ran in the middle of the track.
TIME – The time the race was actually won in.
GOING – How fast or slow the track is running. N means normal, a +number means a faster track, a – number denoting slower.
PRICE – the bookmakers starting price.
GRD – The grade of race that was run. The lower the number following the letter, the better the class. A normally applies to a standard race, and S to a longer race, with OR meaning Open Race (higher quality racing).
CALC – Probably the most important rating, the calculated time (taking into account going) of the greyhound in that race.
So, there is the racecard explained, but how do we take advantage of these stats?
Let’s start with the split time –using this time it can be very useful to try and visualize what might happen as the dogs cross the finish line and approach the bend. I’ll give three examples.
The dog in trap one is the fastest to the first bend, and the rest have similar times. What might happen? Well there is a good chance that the dog in trap one may shoot clear, and the dogs behind all hitting the bend at the same time may hamper each other. In the early part of the race, trap one has an edge.
The dog in trap six is much slower to the first bend than the rest of the field who have similar times and trap six also likes to run wide. If there is trouble up ahead, trap six will likely avoid it by being wide, and being a dog that runs on (which many slow starters are) its run might be easier than the rest of the field.
The dog in trap two has a minimally slower time to the first bend than traps one and three. This is an ideal position for a sandwich and this dog should be avoided! In fact you should be wary of all three dogs here, but specifically trap two.
Looking at the comments you might see that some dogs are more likely to hit trouble than others (crd – crowded, bmp – bumped etc), and these are dogs you want to avoid generally, but specifically in the above situations.
Something else you want to look at is how long ago did it last run? Is the dog fully fit? A greyhound that hasn’t run for a month will probably not perform as well as a greyhound that run six days ago – so keep this in mind.
The Grade is an important factor. How is he dog performing at a certain grade? Has it been dropped down a grade (and maybe have more of a chance at the lower grade?) – or conversely moved up? Has it won at this grade? Keep an eye on this column and possibly be less inclined to back a greyhound moving up in grade.
The going can also influence your selection. The greyhound in the above example won when the going was normal, but didn’t when the going was slower – this can be useful. On a rain sodden track, avoid greyhounds that don’t win when it is slow.
Check for rivalries! See if dogs have raced each other before, and see what happened. Stuck between two but one has beaten the other the last two times they’ve met? There’s your answer.!
The final and perhaps the most important aspect of a racecard is the calculated time. This is the best and quickest way to compare the greyhounds. A length in greyhounds equates to around 0.06 seconds, so if a greyhound regularly beats another by 0.3 seconds, that is a massive 5 lengths. Don’t take an average of all of the dog’s races to get a feel for how quick it is, just use the “trouble free” races (use the comments as a guide) and that is a truer guide to the speed of the greyhound.
So you have all this information now, but what process could you use to select a winning dog?
Firstly look at the split time, and potentially rule out (or put a black mark against certain greyhounds). Then go directly to the Calculated time – using these two in conjunction with each other is the main recipe for success. Using just these two categories at first will give you a great feel for the race.
Once you have done this, you may have a clear idea of who you want to back, who you don’t think will win. With this information, then look at the grade, the going, when it last run and the rivalries with other dogs – there may be something in there to change your mind, or affirm your selection.
Finally you are there – it might be slightly long winded, but with practice will only take a short amount of time, and there is no better feeling than backing a winner when you’ve read a race perfectly.