Greyhounds races enjoy a significant popularity among punters and this fact is not surprising at all. The origins of this type of race can be traced back to the second half of the 19th century. Greyhounds racing first emerged in 1876 in the city of Hendon, England where the first racetrack of this type was build.
One major form of greyhounds racing is the so called track racing which typically takes place around an oval or sometimes circular track. The competing dogs are lured with a mechanical rabbit or hare until the finish line is crossed by all contestants. This mechanical lure is attached to a bar and circles the track until the race finishes. As the lure is designed to make sounds, the dogs use both their eyes and ears to chase it. Once the dogs grow too old to race or become less competitive, they retire and are used for breeding purposes. In many cases retired greyhounds are left for adoption.
Along with horse racing, greyhounds racing is one of the most popular events to place bets on. Despite the fact greyhounds races bring smaller revenue compared to horse races, the former can be just as thrilling and profitable for punters. One of the reasons why this type of race is so exciting is that the greyhounds are commonly recognized as the fastest breed of dogs in the world. The more fierce the competition is, the more exciting betting could be.
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Furthermore, with the advent of technologies, punters are no longer required to leave their homes and visit the race track to watch the dogs compete. Placing bets has also become more convenient. Many web-based bookmakers have emerged in the past two decades – you can easily place any type of bet on your favourite dog directly from your desktop computer or your mobile device.
Many online bookmakers offer a Live Stream feature which allows punters to follow greyhound races in real-time. Events held at the most prestigious venues and tracks in the United Kingdom and the USA are decently covered. Depending on the bookmaker you’ve registered with, sometimes special podcasts on races are available. As In-Play betting is often an option, some betting providers offer Greyhounds Radio where commentators keep punters up to date with what is going on at the track.
Naturally, if you wish to place a successful bet on a greyhounds race, you need to be familiar with all the fine points of betting on such events. We hope the following article will prove to be helpful to you, if you’re new to betting.
Types of Greyhounds Racing Bets
The types of bet you can place on greyhounds races are just as diverse as those for horse racing. To a great extent they are quite similar. If you are a beginner to the sports betting scene, it would be a great idea to start off by placing the most straightforward type of bet, which is the so called Straight or Win bet. Sometimes it goes by the name of “Single Bet”.
In a few words, when you place a Straight bet, you’re trying to predict which dog will cross the finish line first. This means that you’re betting on who you think the winner will be. Logically, if your dog wins, you will collect your profit.
Another popular type of bet to place on such events is the Place bet. The name itself suggests the punter is expected to place a bet on his favourite dog to finish first or second. It matters not at which place the greyhound finishes. As long as it emerges as first or second-place winner, you will collect your winnings. The amount of the payout is the same for both positions. One very important thing to note is that winning Place bets will generate less profits in comparison to Straight bets. If the greyhound you’ve bet on emerges as a winner of the entire race, your payout will be lower than the profit of a Straight bet winning.
Show bets are yet another alternative. The dog you back must finish in first, second or third place and all three places pay out the same amount of money. As bets on all three positions are winning, this can further increase your chances of generating substantial long-term profits.
Sometimes you can combine several wagers into one. One of your options is to place a Win-Place bet. In this case, two wagers are combined. The payout depends on the exact position the dog finishes at. If the greyhound wins the entire race, you will be paid out for a Win Bet, while the exact position will pay out like a Place bet. With the so called Across the Board bet, three separate wagers are combined into one, namely Win, Place and Show bets. Similarly, if your favourite finishes the race first, you collect winnings for a Win bet. If the dog comes in second, you are paid for a Place bet. And finally, if the greyhound finishes in third place, it pays out as a Show bet. Combining three bets into one can be more risky, but it comes with a certain advantage – your payouts will be higher compared to those you will collect with individual bets.
As you can see, we’re slowly moving towards the more advanced types of greyhounds bets. The next type bears a slightly exotic name – the Exacta. The word is derived from Spanish and as you have probably supposed, it means “exact”. Some web-based bookmakers list this type of bet as “Perfecta”. The name itself indicates punters should pick the first two dogs to finish in a specified order. Which makes it more difficult to predict. Here is an example: you select Empress, greyhound number 6, to win the race and bet on number 4, a dog named Cinders, to come in second place. Unless both dogs finish the race in this exact order, your Exacta won’t win. In many cases a minimum size bet of $2 is imposed on Exactas.
Yet another option for more experienced punters is placing a Reverse Forecast bet. This type goes under the name Quinella. Similarly to the Exacta bet, you are expected to select two dogs to cross the finish line in first and second place. The difference, however, is that it matters not in what order the dogs finish. For instance, you bet on Rufus (#5) and Gizmo (#4). As long as Rufus and Gizmo finish in first and second place, your bet wins. Bear in mind, your Quinella bet will earn you more profits if the dog with the higher odds finishes in second place and the one with lower odds wins the race. Even though you select two greyhounds, the Quinella is a single bet.
Another more advanced type of bet is the Trifecta, also known as a Treble Forecast. This is a type of multiple bet where you pick three greyhounds. The dogs you’ve selected are expected to finish the race at the first three places. The tricky part is your three favourites should finish in the precise order you’ve specified. If you’ve guessed the three winning dogs but they’ve crossed the line in another order, you’d still lose your bet. It’s not hard to see Trifectas are difficult to predict. Yet, if you do manage to guess the exact order correctly, you will collect handsome winnings.
Twin Trifectas are a variation of the previous type. This is a multiple pool bet consisting of two Trifecta selections for two separate races. Punters select a combination for the first race and then exchange their tickets for another Trifecta for the race that is to follow. If the first half of your Twin Trifecta wins, you will be paid out. The remainder of the pool will be paid to punters who have guessed correctly the second half of the Twin Trifecta. In case no one wins with the second half, the remaining money is to be carried over to the next race.
Superfecta bets are also quite popular among seasoned punters. These are also called Straight Superfectas. Please note, if you’re a beginner this type of greyhounds bet is not the best option for you. Punters are required to select four or more dogs, but their selections need to cross the finish line in the exact order, that’s specified on the ticket. The more dogs you add to your bet slip, the higher the odds and respectively, the payouts will be. As there is only one order of finish, the Superfecta is considered a single bet. Most bookmakers charge $1 per dog. While some risk is involved, it’s still worth taking as the minimum size of the wager is quite small. If you do win, you will collect a huge amount of money.
The Daily Double bet resembles accumulators to a great extent. You need to predict the dogs which are to win the first and second races for that particular day. The bets are collected prior the races’ start. And finally, the last two bet types you will come across when you start wagering on greyhounds races are the Pick 3 and the Pick 6 bets. The Pick 3 requires you to pick the winning dogs on three consecutive races, while with Pick 6, you are expected to predict who the winners of six consecutive races will be.
The Greyhounds Race Program Explained
Of course, if this is your first time betting on greyhounds races, you might find the race program quite overwhelming and even confusing. This calls for an explanation of what this program consists of and how to use it to your advantage.
At the top of the form, you will notice the number of the race is specified. Below, the types of bets you can place are listed – Show, Win, Place, Quinella and so on. All greyhounds that are to participate are enumerated. If you see this symbol “*” displayed next to the dog’s name, this means the animal has been imported from another country.
The grade of each dog is also listed. This is important as such grades show where the dog rates compared to its rivals at the track. The highest grade is AA, followed by A, B, C and D. The letter M, on the other hand, stands for Maiden. Each time the dog finishes first, it earns a higher grade until it finally reaches the AA. If a dog finishes at fourth place or lower, its grade is lowered. Typically, dogs with similar or equal performance compete against each other in the races, but sometimes the abbreviation TA is used to designate the grades in the race are mixed (A and B for instance).
The dog’s racing record is also included. The number of times the animal has finished in first, second, third and forth place are listed. Such information can prove to be very helpful as it will enable you to assess the dog’s abilities better.
The conditions of the track where the race is held are also abbreviated. F stands for Fast, W – for Wet or Standing Water and S stands for Slow or Muddy. All these factors must be taken into consideration, as well.
This is followed by the dog’s Post Position. The number corresponds to that of the greyhound’s starting box. Some information on the greyhound is also provided – this includes its sex, weight, age, color, trainer and so on. This alone might increase your chances of placing a winning bet. The odds of previous races the dog participated into are specified at the bottom, along with the total number of greyhounds that are to compete in this race.
Factors to Consider Before Betting
Don’t forget there are many changing variables in greyhounds races. The latter’s primal purpose is to entertain, not to generate consistent profits. Placing bets on horse racing can prove to be far more profitable and is frequently the choice of professional punters. Still, if you factor in certain things when betting on dogs, you might generate more substantial profits in the long run.
One important factor you need to take into consideration before you proceed to place your bet on a given dog is its form and performance in recent races. As was mentioned above, in most cases dogs of similar or equal ability participate in the same race. However, if one of the dogs has recorded faster times in its previous races, this may serve as an indicator of a potential winner.
The trap number at which the animal is positioned is also of importance. If a dog has consistently demonstrated better form and performance from trap number 5, but is now positioned at trap number 3 and is rounded by fast runners on each side, it may struggle to outrun them. If such dog fails to find a passage between its faster rivals, it most definitely will fail to finish in first or second place. On the other hand, if the dog in question is again positioned at trap number 5 (its usual position) and is surrounded by slower runners on either side, the animal might perform much better. Don’t forget if a dog fails to emerge as a leader after the track’s first bend, it might fail to finish favorably (for you) altogether.
Other important factors to have in mind are the animal’s sex and age. As you can suppose, the older a dog is, the slower it runs, which is only natural after all. As was said above, information on the participants’ age and sex is displayed in the program. Online bookmakers provide such details, as well – usually, they are displayed next to each dog’s name or in a separate tab when you click on the name.
Female dogs are said to perform better at the beginning of their racing season. The longer time a female dog spends on the track, the more trouble it will experience in coming in first. That is why you need to check the date on which the female dog has entered the season. If it entered just recently, this might indicate the dog is still in good shape and will cope with its rivals easily. Experts believe female dogs demonstrate their best form about 15 or 16 weeks after they’ve entered the season. In addition, females are much harder to train compared to male dogs. Of course, this is highly individual and may vary from one dog to another.
Naturally, age is of great importance, too. It takes about two years for a greyhound to reach its full maturity. During this period, the dog is trained and improves on its skills and form. Once the greyhound reaches three years of age, it is considered fully grown and at the peak of its form. At this age the animal has already reached its full potential and chances are it won’t run any faster than it usually does. The average age most competing greyhounds retire at is five to six years.
Breeding is yet another thing to consider. If a puppy is born of parents that previously had demonstrated exceptional form and mind-blowing speed on the track, there is a great chance they’ve passed their good genes to their young offspring.
Don’t underestimate the dog’s running style. The running style of greyhounds is frequently compared to that of the cheetah. However, each dog has a style and pace on its own. Some greyhounds are called early-paced – they fly out of the trap at the start of the race and maintain a good speed at the beginning, but as the race progresses such dogs tend to tire out. If an “early-pacer” lacks the necessary stamina and fails to emerge as a leader after the first bend, there’s a chance you will lose your stake.
Middle-paced dogs, on the other hand, accelerate very quickly in the middle stages of the race. Trap position is crucial for these dogs. If they’re closely rounded by their rivals, they might slow down at the second or third bends of the track.
The third type of dogs, depending on their pace, are called “finishers”. Such greyhounds usually suffer a slow start, but are able to compensate for it at the end of the race. Unfortunately, in many cases such dogs may be impeded by their rivals as they need to pass in front of them. This can be a mean feat, if the dog’s trap position is unfavorable.
Not everything depends entirely on the dog, however. Much like people, dogs are born with certain capabilities and can hardly outperform themselves if their form and constitution don’t allow for improvements. That is why who has trained the dog can be of crucial importance. Some trainers simply have a way with dogs and know how to get the best out of them. A good way to measure a trainer’s abilities and approach is by checking their trainees’ winning rates. If most dogs a trainer has worked with, demonstrate good results on the track, this many be indicative the trainer is good at what they’re doing.
The length of the track the race is held at also plays a role. The distance varies from country to country. In the United Kingdom the tracks’ length is usually about 480 meters which is equal to 525 yards. In Australia, there are two types of tracks. The first one is roughly about 564 meters and is used for Sprint races. The other type is used for Distance races of over 565 meters.
Greyhound Betting Tips
The aforementioned factors are extremely important for improving your chances of placing a winning bet. However, a few good betting tips can further tip the scales in your favor. Being a successful punter calls for a good preparation before you place your wager. Keep in mind, preparation does not involve only deciding on which dog to bet. You should also form a “market forecast” so to speak. This means you need to consider the odds and find the best ones. If you find the odds unprofitable, there’s no point in placing your bet at this betting provider. Consider opening an account at three of more bookmakers and always compare the odds they offer. If they don’t suit you, place your bet at another bookmaker with more competitive odds.
An important step is deciding on your basic betting unit. This means you need to set aside a certain sum of money and use it for betting purposes only. Then again, you also need to decide on the size of each individual bet you place. It’s recommended to use the same betting unit for each wager. The experts’ advice is to stick to a betting unit equal to 1% (2% tops) of your overall bankroll size.
Don’t change the size of your basic betting unit. It matters not whether you’re winning or losing, stick to the same unit. Inexperienced punters who suffer longer losing streaks tend to increase their bets’ size to offset the losses. This is not a good idea. If you’re losing consistently, it would be best to quit wagering altogether. At least for the time being. Chasing your losses will unnerve you and will have a negative impact on your overall mindset. If you increase your betting unit to compensate for the losses, there’s a good chance you will lose again. Stick to this advice, even if you’re in the middle of a winning streak. One losing bet with a bigger betting unit is enough to ruin everything for you.
Remember there’s no need to bet on each single race. Restrict yourself to two or three races per day. If it’s difficult for you to pick a winning dog and you’re torn between five or more picks, call it quits for the day.
You need to acknowledge the fact bookmakers have more experience than you do. That’s why you should always check the Starting Prices (marked as SP) of the dogs in the race. These usually indicate which hounds are more likely to finish at the first three positions. You should bet on dogs which had recently participated in races. Dogs which haven’t appeared on the track for a couple of weeks are likely to have suffered a recent injury or have been ill.
Consider the weather conditions. If you’ve picked a light dog and it’s raining during the race, the dog might fail you. Heavier dogs typically perform much better on wet tracks.
Observing how the dog behaves prior the race’s start can also be helpful. If you’re a dog person, it would be much easier for you to read the animal’s body language. If a greyhound is energetic, you might consider placing your bet in its favor. On the contrary, if a dog is low in spirit and appears to be languid, don’t take your chances – this dog is likely to lose the race.
Of course, choosing the right bookmaker to bet at also matters. There are several things you need to consider before you register with an account at a given bookmaker. The first one is its legitimacy. Always look for the bookmaker’s license number and the authority which has issued the license. Reliable betting providers typically stand out with greater transparency and display such details at the bottom of their home page. Quick payouts can also be indicative of whether or not a given bookmaker deserves your trust. If the odds on offer don’t suit you, place your bet somewhere else. There’s no need to settle for poor odds. Also, register at a bookmaker which offers a greater diversity of betting types for greyhounds races. Look for a betting provider that is generous as far as promotions and bonuses are concerned. And make sure you read the Terms and Conditions before you opt in for the bonus.
It would be a good idea to keep a record of all bets you place on greyhound racing. Write down the races’ details in a separate notebook. These details should include the winning dogs’ age, pace, the amount you’ve put on stake, the races’ grades. This will help you get a better idea of your overall betting trends.