With around £2.5 billion bet on races each year and over two million people watching live, greyhound racing remains one of the country’s most popular and exciting spectator sports. It is also one of the only sports in which most of the visitors are also gamblers. However, you can now enjoy all the excitement of this sport without having to travel by taking part in greyhound betting online. We’ve chosen the best places for you to bet on greyhound racing, so click on the affiliate links above – but first read on for some handy hints and tips!
The history of greyhound racing
Greyhound racing has its roots in the sport called coursing, more like hunting, where dogs chase live hares and rabbits. This is actually still practised in some parts of the world.
Live animals have now been replaced by an artificial hare, also known as the lure. This was invented by American Owen Smith in 1912. A few years later he opened the first dog track built for spectators in California.
On 24th July 1926, the first UK greyhound race took place in Manchester at Belle Vue Stadium, a location which still hosts greyhound racing today. Greyhounds raced round an oval circuit to catch an electric artificial hare. The sport peaked in the 1950s in this country, but there are still around 25 licensed stadiums in the UK. However online betting for greyhound racing means that everyone can now enjoy the sport, no matter where you live. Remember we’ve chosen the best sites for you to take part in this exciting sport, so click above.
More about greyhound racing
Greyhounds race at average speeds in excess of 40 miles per hour. However, greyhounds can reach a full speed of 43 miles per hour within six strides from the boxes. The speed and acceleration reached by the greyhound is down to physical characteristics such as lung capacity and an aerodynamic head, making it the fastest dog breed in the world; indeed, there are very few mammals that can accelerate faster over short distances. So it would be fair to liken the greyhound to a cheetah!
The biggest UK greyhound racing event of the year is the Greyhound Derby, with its £250,000 prize. William Hill sponsors the Greyhound Derby, a competition which receives several weeks coverage on Sky Sports. In other countries, the big races include the Greyhound Night of Stars in the USA and the Irish Derby. However, you don’t have to wait all year to place your online bets, as most tracks run regular daily races. You can find out more about when races are taking place through the links above.
The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (known as the GBGB) is the body that regulates racing in Great Britain. Greyhounds live in the kennels of trainers, rather than at the track. They are then taken to the track at race time. Retired greyhounds are often adopted and the breed has become a popular pet.
What are the benefits of online greyhound betting?
Online greyhound betting is good for the greyhound racing industry and also for gamblers, as greyhound tracks are closing down and becoming harder to find. Fans no longer have to actually visit the stadium as you can easily and quickly place your bets online. Most of the betting sites also provide live coverage of the races so you can still get all the excitement on your computer or phone, without having to leave the comfort of your home. Look at the sites we have recommended above for the best options.
Daytime greyhound races started in 1967 when Bookmakers’ Afternoon Greyhound Services was formed. This was originally set up for high street betting shops as races typically took place in the evenings when shops were shut. Today, 18 racecourses hold BAGS races in the morning, afternoon and evenings, throughout the year. Generally, admission is free.
Bookmakers have recently started broadcasting all BAGS races online to their customers and Sky Sports TV shows at least 30 greyhound races a year. As well as being able to watch races without attending a stadium, online greyhound betting offers the same odds as betting at a racing track. The money you bet online is pooled together with the money bet in person at the stadium.
How does online greyhound betting work?
Greyhound betting is very straightforward and so learning how to bet on greyhounds online is easy because the sport itself is so simple. In each race there will be six runners, the dogs will wear colour co-ordinated race jackets and bets are generally placed on each trap, rather than the dog’s racing names.
The rise of accessible betting online has opened up endless opportunities for you to bet on greyhound racing on the web and it’s easy to learn how. Every bet on a race somehow relates to predicting the order in which the dogs cross the finish line.The range of greyhound racing bets on each race simply incorporates win, each-way, forecast and tricast.
In fact, greyhound racing betting resembles horse racing betting, if this is something you are more familiar with. All the same types of bets that you could place on a horse race may also be placed on a greyhound race. Greyhound racing betting also uses the same form of wagering as horse racing betting to calculate the odds and pay winners.
Another big area of greyhound betting are the ante-post markets, where bookmakers price up events at the start of the competition. The English Greyhound Derby in particular attracts some huge ante-post bets, with over 100 dogs likely to enter the competition at the start.
If you’re keen to start betting on greyhounds online, all you need to do is choose a betting website through us and choose a track. Once you have decided on the location you just need to pick a race, type of bet and the dog or dogs you want to back. You can often follow the action through the site and your betting slip will appear on your screen.
Online betting means that you can place a bet 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Most sites will offer races outside of the UK and some online betting sites also offer ‘virtual’ races that you can access without having to wait for an actual race.
If you choose to bet on a race that is several hours ahead you will more than likely be given the SP (starting price) but with events that are about to start shortly, you can get the individual dogs odds, giving you a clearer picture of what is going on at the racetrack. We have done the hard work for you and chosen the best sites for your bets, see above.
Types of greyhound racing bets
All these types of bets can be placed using an online betting site for your chosen greyhound race.
- Win Bet
Simply select a greyhound to finish first and place the bet using the trap number 1 to 6 or the name of the greyhound you would like to wager on.
- Place Bet
This involves selecting a greyhound to finish in first or second place. You just choose a place bet, rather than a win bet. Don’t expect a big payout but it can appeal if you are cautious or starting out.
- Reverse/Quinella Forecast
Place a bet on two selected greyhounds who can finish first and second in any order.
- Straight Forecast/Exacta, Forecast or Perfecta
This offers a higher return and you must bet on two greyhounds finishing first and second in the right order.
- Combination Forecast
A third variation of the forecast bet. With this option, you choose three greyhounds to finish first and second in any order.
- Trifecta/ Trio
With the trio you must select three greyhounds to finish first, second and third in the correct order.
As above except in order to collect the player must pick the correct order of the first four dogs when they fill out the betting slip.
- Combination Trio
As with the trio bet, you select your three greyhounds to finish first, second and third, but this time, they can finish in any order.
- Pick 3
Win if the dogs triumphed in three consecutive, designated races. All three dogs must be chosen prior to the start of the first of the three races and the player must specify with the teller or on the form that they want to place a ‘pick 3’ wager.
Greyhounds betting rules
Greyhound racing is such a straightforward sport that there is very little to worry about but there are a couple of things to keep in mind when you are betting online. Firstly, check if you’re taking the price at the time of the bet or at the start. Some bookmakers offer best odds guaranteed, which means you can take the price at the time of your bet and even if the greyhound slides down the betting odds the bookmaker will pay out at the higher of the two odds.
Another thing with greyhound betting is that you generally bet on the trap number, rather than the name of the dog. This means bets are settled on trap number and a change of dog will normally not matter, with the bet staying on – unless your bet was at an early price rather than a starting price, in which case it is normally void.
This can vary between bookmakers but 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.
Tips on betting on online greyhound racing
- Make sure you take advantage and look at the greyhound form cards that may be provided by your online betting site. This should give you information about the dog, its form and how it has run in previous races.
- Look at the age of the dog. Greyhounds usually reach their peak at two. A bitch will peak at around three.
- Pay attention to the trap draw when collecting form information of winners. A greyhound that has shown to perform better running from, say, trap 1 may not win in a race where he’s been allocated trap 5.
- Check that your greyhound has run recently to ensure that your dog hasn’t suffered any injury or illness. Even if he has good form from previous races, he is not likely to win if this is not recent.
- A straight bet is simple, manageable and not too difficult to win. Play it but always weigh up the odds.
- Don’t always go for the favourites and avoid long shots too. Be selective – don’t bet on anything or everything.
- Learn as much as you can about the dogs. Observation and knowledge is really important. You may find you identify favourites so why not follow them?
- Play safe and avoid betting heavily on just one race.
- Keep an eye on the weather and pick heavier dogs if it is wet. In wet conditions, you should also bet on dogs in the inside traps.
- If you want to test out your new skills then why not place your first bet using one of the sites we have selected above?
Learn a bit more about racing colours
Although the way you bet on greyhounds is a bit like horse racing, there is a big difference in racing colours. In horse racing, the colours come from the stables, whereas in greyhound racing there is a standard colour scheme, no matter which stadium you are at.
As you will be betting on each trap, rather than dog’s names, it is good to learn the different colours so you can keep a watchful eye on your dog as he or she races.
Trap 1 = Red with white numeral
Trap 2 = Blue with white numeral
Trap 3 = White with black numeral
Trap 4 = Black with white numeral
Trap 5 = Orange with black numeral
Trap 6 = Black and white stripes with red numeral
If a reserve dog is used they will wear a special jacket with an additional letter ‘R’ prominently displayed on each side of the jacket to advise spectators of a change in the line up.