Page 3 of 8
Betting - 3 of 8
So you know what horse you want to back, how do you place your bet. Well there are two ways of betting, either with a bookmaker or with the Tote. (You can bet win or each way, to keep things simple we will concentrate on betting to win at the moment, we’ll come back to the each way stuff later on)
Let’s begin with the bookmaker. Whilst the odds offered by the bookmakers are more or less the same there are some differences so have a look and find a bookmaker giving better odds than the others and choose them for your bet. Each bookmaker will have a sign saying what the minimum bet is that they will accept, commonly this is £5, however you would have to be very unlucky not to find some who will take £2 bets and even, the odd one or two, who will take £1 bets. Make sure you know the racecard number of your horse. So lets pretend you want to bet £5 on horse No 4 Lucky Jim, and it’s odds are 9/2. Go up to the bookmaker and say, “£5 win No 4 please”, they will repeat the bet back to you, probably in “shorthand” by saying “5 win 4”. You will be handed a ticket, which will have the bookmakers name on top, the amount you have bet, in this case £5 win, the horses number and name, 4. Lucky Jim and at the bottom it will say You Win £27.50, which is the amount you collect if the horse wins the race. If you are lucky enough to win then return to the bookmaker after the race and collect your winnings. You will note that when you bet with a bookmaker you know how much you are going to win when you place your bet.
(A bit of advice when betting with a bookmaker, the odds on offer do fluctuate depending on how much money is invested on each of the horses. Some bookmakers do offer prices for the next race almost as soon as the previous race is over. These prices are not normally that generous and in more cases than not the final odds, or starting prices, are better. However the betting ring is quieter during this time so it may be less intimidating. In the final minutes before the race it gets very busy with a lot of pushing and shoving and serious gamblers may not be impressed with a slow ponderous person betting £2 when they want to stick a couple of hundred on. So if you are nervous about going into the betting ring you may be better off going in when it is quieter, even if it means getting a slightly worse price.)