While it’s horse racing that has captured the hearts and minds of a wider audience, there are still the puritans who love nothing more than an evening at the dogs.
There may be a sad trend for greyhound racetracks closing down, but the sport is still hotly contested by many owners and their beloved animals, and the numbers wagered on the dogs indicates there’s still an appetite amongst punters for it too.
Naturally, the absolute vast majority of bookmakers still carry odds for greyhound racing, and with stacks of meetings taking place in the UK, Ireland, Australia and beyond there are plenty of opportunities to profit.
The uninitiated might think that greyhound betting simply revolves around picking out the winner of a given race, but the pursuit of profit actually extends beyond that with a number of different bet types available.
In this guide, we will take a look at the most common of these and those which can deliver the best results – when deployed wisely, of course.
You don’t need to be Columbo or any other TV detective from the 1970s for that matter to know what win betting is.
It’s all or nothing, risk and reward.
Your object is to simply back the winning dog, and you take the odds offered by your bookmaker as displayed on screen – with one single stake paid.
Win betting is clearly a riskier option than some of the other bet types we will describe below, but the excitement of cheering home your selection is unparalleled.
You can always split your stake between two different dogs if you want to hedge a little bit, or if you can’t decide between them. So long as the odds work out of course.
Each Way Betting
Here, you have two bites of the proverbial cherry.
When betting each way, you are still looking to back the winning greyhound. But, because you have that each way position, you will also take a return if your dog finishes inside the places too.
Remember, with each way betting you are placing two bets – win and place – so you will need to adjust your stake accordingly.
If you want the extra security of the place market, but with only paying out one stake, then place betting is for you.
As the name suggests, all you are looking for here is your dog to finish in those places – you can see the full details of how many places are up for grabs on the relevant racecard page.
Lower risk than win betting, you will naturally have shorter odds – on average – in the place market.
In greyhound betting, you can attempt to predict exactly how a race will pan out by placing your forecast bets – of which there are a few different types, complete with their own rules and unique payouts.
If you have a particularly strong feeling about two dogs in a race, and are struggling to choose between them, one option you have is the Straight Forecast.
This requires you to correctly predict the exact 1-2 of a race, so you could place one or two forecast wagers to cover the pair of greyhounds that you think are the best.
The odds for a Straight Forecast bet can be attractive.
If you want to get involved in forecast betting, but wish to limit your risk somewhat, then a Reverse Forecast may be for you.
Here, you are attempting to correctly predict which dogs will finish first, second and third, but there is no requirement to get these in the exact right order.
This can be a useful bet type when you believe that three of the dogs in a race are head and shoulders above the rest of the field.
Similar to the Reverse Forecast, again you are looking to find the top three dogs in the race with a Tricast punt.
However, the object here is to get that trio in the exact 1-2-3 order that they will finish. As you can imagine, that is difficult to do, but the generous odds at least reward you appropriately.
For an Exacta bet, you are looking to achieve the exact same as in a Straight Forecast.
However, the rules are slightly different, in that there is a minimum stake of £2 per wager and your winnings are not ‘fixed’ in their amount – they will be based on the Tote’s dividend, as per their pool betting format.
Exactly the same as the Tricast, with a Trifecta you must find the 1-2-3 in a race in that exact order.
But there is a minimum stake requirement of £2, and while the odds are generous in the Trifecta market you have to work out where you sit on the risk-and-reward spectrum given how hard predicting the top trio can be.
Betting on the Trap
Whereas most bet types require you to choose a specific dog or dogs, with trap betting you are betting on the trap regardless of which dog starts in it.
There is obviously no real skill to this side of greyhound racing betting, but it is definitely a fun addition to the various markets available.
Trap Challenge Betting
Greyhound races can be over in the blink of an eye – especially the renewals over the shorter distances, and so bookmakers have been keen to devise ways in which punters can stay involved in the markets for longer.
One such option is the Trap Challenge, and this is exactly as the name suggests. The idea is to bet on which trap you think will serve up the most winners over a specific racecard.
Greyhound meetings can have as many as 14 races on a card, and so the Trap Challenge bet – offered by many of the leading bookmakers – will certainly keep you interested over the course of an evening.
While stall betting in horse racing can yield results for those who do their research, in trap betting the results tend to be a bit more random. That said, you can try to track down historical data from each greyhound track in the UK to see if there is a clear advantage on the inside or outside.
Trap Number Betting
A form of cover bet, you can wager on trap number combinations to spread your risk while increasing your chances of a winning selection.
You can almost bet in roulette wheel like fashion, with odd/even and high/low just some of the options available.
This can be a fantastic way of hedging your bets, and especially where you have a couple of different fancies in a race in which you don’t want to dilute your stake money.
While not as popular as it once was, you can still find operators that are willing to take Tote bets for greyhound racing.
It was announced earlier in 2021 that the deductions taken would be decreased to just 10% for much of the action, and that’s great news for punters – lower deductions means more money in the Tote kitty.
There are five general bet types available on the Tote for greyhound racing. The Straight and Reverse Forecast require you to predict the first two dogs home – with the Straight Forecast you have to get them in the right order, and with the Reverse they can be in either 1-2 combination.
The Combination Forecast lets you pick more than two dogs, but within your picks you must have the 1-2, and then we have the Straight and Combination Tricast – the same rules apply as for the Forecast bets, but this time you’re searching for the 1-2-3 finish.