Guide to Greyhound Betting Sites
Some mainland European bookmakers seem to want to avoid anything that has four legs. Horse racing is the oldest sport in the world as far as betting is concerned but if you want a good choice of markets then you have to pick a bookie in the UK.
The same principle also applies to the Greyhounds which is another sport that provides entertainment and drama. Putting your faith in an animal – and in this case one that doesn’t even have a jockey to guide it – may seem like a big risk but greyhound racing remains hugely popular among the betting fraternity.
Away from the horse racing courses this is where bookmaking has its roots. Many of the big names – Coral, Ladbrokes and William Hill included – will have set up an operation at the dog track as betting started to evolve.
That popularity continued in the betting shops and although greyhound racing receives very little in the way of TV coverage, millions are wagered every year. Top greyhound bookmaker sites offer some form of market but which should you consider if you want to bet on this sport?
You may not know it but in fact, there are a number of greyhound meetings held across the UK, every day of the week so you’ll never be short of events. But what about pricing – is there one bookmaker offering the best value on Greyhound Racing across the UK?
Taking a sample of bookies at one meeting shows that many will list the SP price (starting price). Betfred, Stan James and William Hill are among those that do this and while this may be a logical approach, could you find some better value elsewhere?
Of the UK greyhound bookmakers quoting a specific price ahead of a race, the best value was split between bet365, Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power. That experience may differ on other days but if you don’t want to rely on the SP price, those operators could be the ones to follow.
A Packed Calendar
One of the reasons that greyhound racing is so popular lies in its prolific nature. With the exception of Christmas Day, it should be possible to find meetings taking place in some part of the world on every single day of the calendar year.
On regular days through the season, multiple meetings will be taking place in the UK and Ireland and for those who want to explore world racing, Australia is one of a number of additional countries where a bet on the dogs is extremely popular.
The sport doesn’t quite have the same number of stellar events as its horse racing counterpart but there are some big races on the calendar that the top dogs are all aiming for.
The Big One
Much of the focus for bettors is on the greyhound scene in the UK and Ireland but for the biggest prize in the sport, we have to cross to the other side of the world. The Melbourne Cup is not to be confused with the horse race of the same name but in canine terms, it carries similar weight.
It’s been held since 1956 and takes place over 515 metres of the Sandown Park track in Melbourne, Victoria. In the present day, prize money has hit a staggering $350,000 AUD and this is also one of the biggest dates for the greyhound betting community.
In total, there are 65 dog tracks across Australia with many big events taking place and other big races to look out for here include the Sandown Cup and the Association Cup.
Closer to Home
Most punters feel that the true home of greyhound racing is in the UK and Ireland and while the events here can’t quite match the huge prize money of the Melbourne Cup, there are many prestigious renewals on the calendar to look forward to.
Of the races that take place here, the English Greyhound Derby is the one they all look forward to and this will be the busiest time for bookmakers. The race was first held in 1927 and following a number of changes in venue, it is currently raced over 500 metres of the Towcester track.
Every country in the UK has its own derby and they are all high quality events with top dogs getting involved. Outside of the English version, the Irish Derby is considered the biggest and this goes off at Shelbourne Park each year.
All of these events offer peak opportunities for greyhound bettors to get involved while there are other top class events in other parts of the world. In the UK we can also add in the St Leger, the Regency and the East Anglian Derby as other high quality races where betting on the dogs intensifies.
Choice of Markets
Every greyhound race has just six dogs competing in it so the options are fairly limited but that can also lead to more predictable races and perhaps that’s why the sport is so popular amongst the betting fraternity. As far as markets are concerned, all of the main UK outlets will be quoting a straight win price so there is no need to change from your regular provider if you want to get involved here.
As you may expect, there is little choice when it comes to side betting: Bookmakers will quote odds for a forecast bet where you have to predict the first and second placed dogs in the correct order or you can take a reverse forecast where the order doesn’t matter. Once again, it’s the simplicity involved that sees so much money being staked on greyhound racing throughout the calendar.
Greyhound Racing is quite a simple sport and part of its appeal lies in the fact that the choice of markets is very straightforward. There are options available for the straight result and a small set of side bets so there are choices and we’ll now run through the most common greyhound bets.
Fastest Dog Wins
It all begins with the most straightforward option of all: the result betting simply involves picking out which dog you think will finish first past the post. Traditional greyhound racing features six dogs running around an oval track at various lengths of the course.
The vast majority of greyhound races are over the flat and although there is the occasional option to bet on a hurdle race, these are becoming increasingly rare. This is where it all starts – fastest dog wins the race and it’s your job to find that winning hound.
Hedging that Bet
An each way bet isn’t available in the same way as this option is set out in horse racing but there is the chance to play it a little safer if you aren’t sure about your dog winning. A place market is made available by some bookies and will pay out if your dog finishes in either first or second place.
A slightly more popular version of this is the forecast bet and this requires the selection of two dogs. A reverse forecast will land if both dogs finish inside the top two and it the order in which they come in doesn’t matter.
In contrast, a straight forecast still involves picking two dogs but in this case, you have to nominate them in the correct order – first and second.
We can continue to expand this practise by picking three dogs where once again, there are two separate options to bet on. A trio requires betting on those runners to finish first, second and third in the correct order, while with an all ways trio they can come home in any order, just as long as all selections finish inside the top three.
From this point onwards, things can get a little more complicated with forecast multiples. We’d advise starting with the simpler bets but as you continue through your greyhound betting journey, you can become confident enough to consider any of the following:
Select any three greyhounds from the field with two of those dogs coming home first and second in any order. This is called an All Ways Forecast and you then nominate the three traps that you want.
Extend that bet to four greyhounds with two of them to finish first and second in any order. Once again, this is an All Ways Forecast with four traps to be nominated.
Additional Trip multiples are available and the most common of these work as follows:
Select four of the six greyhounds and three of those must finish in the top three in any order. The bet here is referred to as an All Ways Trio and then you nominate your four trap numbers.
An All Ways Trio involves picking one dog to win and another to finish in second place with any of the remaining four to finish third. Nominate your first two traps in order and then nominate the field.
No Margin for Error
That guide completes the list of popular bets but there is one final option. It’s a little niche and not all sportsbooks offer it but in places it is possible to stake on Winning Margin. Bookmakers will list a certain set of parameters starting with short head and moving upwards and it’s the job of the bettor to correctly stake inside of one of those parameters.
How to Win
Now we know all about the markets it’s time to see how we can succeed in greyhound betting. It all starts with some basic advice on studying form and previous races. In particular, pay attention to the course they the dog is running on as past success on a certain track can be a good indicator to success in the future.
Look too for previous races that have involved the same dogs. This is a sort of head to head analysis that can point to one runner having a good record of success over another dog and will be a useful trend for upcoming races.
Wet, Wet, Wet
As with the horses, greyhound racing can be affected by weather conditions and heavy rain in particular which can quickly churn up a track. In this instance it can help to keep your money in your pocket early on as wet conditions can start to favour the wide runners.
Look for any patterns in the early races at the meeting in question and poor conditions could help to turn the odds in your favour.
Pace is Everything
Winning a greyhound race is partly about speed but it also requires canine intelligence in regards to staying out of trouble, particularly in the early stages of a race when there is a lot of ‘bunching’ going on. This is something that a dog can pick up very quickly so while many punters avoid runners in their first two or three races, that improvement can kick in from that point.
Young, upcoming dogs with a few runs under their belt can often be better bets than old stagers who start to go through the motions. The draw can also be important but it can also be overplayed to an extent. A dog in trap one can have the advantage but it will need that speed out of the traps in order to stay out of early trouble.
Take it One Step at a Time
At a more advanced level of your greyhound betting journey you can start to study value in odds – dogs where their prices seem longer than their probability of winning a race. Other, professional punters like to feel they can read a trainer’s pattern and identify when they are holding back and when they are set to enter a sure fire winner.
Those techniques are heading towards expert level and can certainly help if you are dedicated and betting on the dogs each and every day. At the early stage, it’s all about that basic advice and understanding the markets. Master that and it is possible to make regular profits in greyhound racing.
Don’t expect to see any regular bookmaker promotions that focus on greyhound racing. You may, however, see plenty of outlets offering a best odds guarantee scheme where they will match the SP price if it is longer than the odds you claimed when staking your bet.
Among those that offer this service are Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Boylesports and bet365 but if a bookie has a best odds guarantee on the horses, chances are this will also apply to the dogs. Beyond that, you may find that bookmakers might provide a deal such as enhanced odds on a major race – the Greyhound Derby is one example – so keep following their social media feeds to make sure that you don’t miss out.
Alternatively you could use any of the generic welcome offers and ongoing promos such as Acca boosts. As long as you meet all the wagering requirements such as minimum odds then you should be OK to use these in connection with a greyhound race.
UK bookmaking began at the track and greyhound racing’s betting history is a long one. So, you’ll see the bookies staying loyal to the sport and providing best odds for all races. It remains popular with the betting community for many reasons but it’s the simplicity that appeals to most punters.
With such a small field of six dogs, form is very important and if you like to study stats then this could be the sport for you. If you do decide to get involved with greyhound racing then there’s a wide choice of UK bookmakers who you can get on board with.