Grand National facts

What is Flat Racing?

In Flat Racing horses with the best speed or best stamina (or both of these) have the advantage, depending on the distance of each race. Jockeys also play a major part as they have to be able to get their horse to do the right thing (e.g. ‘ask’ them to go faster or slower). Thoroughbreds are the most common form of horse breed you will see in this form of racing. Natural grass race courses (also referred to as turf) are the most common. You will see some races run on synthetic or all-weather tracks (especially for flat races run in winter). Flat Racing generally takes places over shorter distances than National Hunt racing, and there are no obstacles in Flat Racing (as the name suggests).

Flat Racing (in Great Britain, at least) takes the form of (1) Conditions races, or (2) Handicaps.

  • In a Conditions race, horses carry weights. Females carry less weights than males. Older horses carry less weights than younger horses. Less successful horses carry less weights than more successful horses. Conditions races are not handicap races – as the weights are allocated according to the predetermined conditions of the race (not by an handicapper).
  • The most prestigious of the Condition races are the Pattern races (which are usually called Group races).
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horse racing explained

Horse Racing Explained

There are 2 popular types of horse racing that take place in Great Britain: these are Flat Racing, and National Hunt Racing. In this ‘Horse Racing Explained‘ article, we explain the difference between these two types of the sport. We also explain what exactly a furlong is (a common term you will hear in relation to the length of horse races).

  • Flat Racing – run on courses where there are no obstacles present (i.e. it is flat). Distances for Flat Racing are between 5 furlongs 2 miles to 2 miles 5 furlongs 159 yards. Some of the best examples of flat races are the Royal Ascot festival, and the five races known as the British Classics – 1,000 Guineas (Newmarket), 2,000 Guineas (Newmarket), The Oaks (Epsom Downs), The Derby (Epsom Downs), and St.Leger (Doncaster).
  • National Hunt Racing – run on courses with obstacles, taking the form of a Hurdles race or a Steeplechase race. They are generally run over longer distances (2 miles to 4 and a half miles) than the Flat Racing mentioned above. The best examples of National Hunt Racing are the Grand National (Aintree) and the Cheltenham Festival.
    • Please note slightly confusingly, there are also National Hunt Flat Races (also known as Bumpers) – which are run under National Hunt rules, but there are no obstacles on the course (13 – 20 furlongs are common distances for these races).
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moneyline odds

How do Moneyline Odds work?

We have already explained how to understand the Fractional Odds system used by UK bookmakers, as well as the popular Decimal Odds system. For completeness, we thought we would also explain the ins and outs of Moneyline Odds. This system is popular in the USA, and as such we will use dollars in the examples below (but of course the same principles apply whatever the currency). To understand Moneyline Odds, first look at if the odds are positive or negative. Then, look at the odds. Moneyline Odds are expressed per $100 staked (although of course, you should be able to bet any amount, subject to minimums or maximums).

  • POSITIVE Moneyline Odds show how much profit you will get if your bet wins, for every $100 staked (if you win you will get back your original stake too).
  • NEGATIVE Moneyline Odds show how much you will have to stake, to get $100 profit if your bet wins (if you win you will get back your original stake too).

Let’s look at two actual examples:

  • +500: this means for every $100 bet, $500 profit will be paid if your bet wins (i.e. if your bet wins they will return you original stake of $100, and pay you another $500).
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What are Decimal Odds?

What are Decimal Odds?

Having understood the ins and outs of Fractional Odds (traditionally used by UK bookmakers), we think it will be a useful exercise for you to understand the Decimal Odds system as well. Decimal Odds show how many times your original stake (INCLUDING your original stake) you will get back if your bet wins. Obviously, this number should always be more than 1.0 as you should always get back your original stake if you win, plus some profit. Compare that to Fractional Odds which only show the potential profit you will get back if you win (of course regardless of the odds system, you will always get your original stake back if you win).

Let’s look at some Decimal Odds examples:
6.0 – for every £1 bet you will get £6 back, if your bet wins (i.e. you make £5 profit, per £1 staked). 5/1 (Fractional Odds), and 6.0 (Decimal Odds) are equivalent.
1.2 – for every £1 bet you will get £1.20 back, if your bet wins (i.e. you make £0.20 profit, per £1 staked). 1/5 (Fractional Odds), and 1.2 (Decimal Odds) are equivalent.

Fractional Odds are popular in the UK & Ireland. Decimal Odds are popular in Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.… Read the rest

fractional odds explained

Fractional Odds explained in detail

Bookmakers in the United Kingdom (and Ireland) usually quote prices using fractional odds (i.e. 5/1, 1/2, etc). How much do you really know about Fractional odds? Fractional odds show how much the bettor can profit, relative to their stake, IF their bet wins. In this article ‘Fractional Odds explained in detail’ we explain everything you will need to know about fractional odds.

  • Fractional odds show the payoff:stake ratio. The left hand number of the fractional odds is the amount of profit you will make IF your bet wins (PAYOFF), and the right hand number is the amount you will have to gamble (STAKE). IF your bet loses, you forfeit the stake. If your bet wins, you get your stake back AND the payoff.
  • 5/1 odds mean that if you bet £1, you will make £5 profit if your bet wins (i.e. if your bet wins the bookmaker will return you original stake of £1 AND pay you £5 profit). Remember, the odds just show a ratio – you don’t have to bet exactly £1. If you bet £2, you make £10 profit if your bet wins. If you bet £60, you make £300 profit if your bet wins.
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wisdom of the crowd

How does Wisdom of the Crowd affect odds?

  • Wisdom of the Crowd refers to the phenomenon that a large number of individuals in a group, will usually be able to make better decisions than any individual in that group.
  • For example, at a funfair say their was a big jar with an unknown amount of marbles. People were asked to guess the number of marbles (with the closest getting a prize). If you took all the guesses and averaged them (provided there was a sufficient number of people in the group) it would usually come close to the actual number of marbles in the jar. Obviously, the more people who participated the closer to the actual number you would get.
  • This happens, because individual noise is filtered out.
  • In the case of betting odds, Wisdom of the Crowd also has an effect as bookmakers are forced to lower prices getting a lot of betting action (and increase prices not getting a lot). So, highly backed outcomes get their prices lowered, and less well back outcomes get their prices increased.
  • However, for Wisdom of the Crowd to work people have to be making rational and independent decisions. In the case, of marbles in the jar at the funfair this may be the case.
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avoid arbitrage betting

Why should you avoid Arbitrage Betting?

Numerous websites and software tools have popped up which claim to allow you to spot guaranteed profitable betting opportunities, by taking advantage of the differing prices on outcomes in the same market between different bookmakers. We explained how you could start to find the best value markets at your favourite bookmaker. This involves working out the overround on a particular market. The lower the overround the better. However, these websites and tools take this a step further, and claim to be able to find opportunities (by placing bets at multiple bookmakers, on different outcomes in the same market) when there will effectively be no overround, and in fact the book will be less than 100%. This is called arbitrage betting. We strongly recommend you avoid arbitrage betting. Although, the opportunities they spot will be real (if you are using a reputable service), we still recommend you avoid this form of betting. There is usually a fee involved to use these services, and even though the opportunities to make a profit might be there in theory, in practice they are difficult to profit from.

Why avoid arbitrage betting? Your account may be closed, or bets revoked.

  • Bookmakers generally hate arbitrage betting.
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sports betting bankroll management

Why is Sports Betting Bankroll Management essential?

Diligent sports betting bankroll management can be the difference between winning sports bettors, and those who are destined to lose all their money.

Here’s an example:

  • Let’s say that you have £1,000 to gamble with in total in your sports betting account with a bookmaker, but cannot replenish this money if you lose.
  • Let’s say you were betting on an event with only two possible outcomes, and the bookmaker was offering 6/5 on outcome 1, and 1/2 on outcome 2 (this is a made up example).
  • Let’s say according to your value bet calculations, you thought the true odds of each outcome was 1/1 – i.e. there is a 50% chance of outcome 1, and a 50% chance of outcome 2.
  • Of course you would want to bet on outcome 1, as you are getting better odds than required. You would never bet on outcome 2, as you are getting worse odds than required.
  • If you bet £1,000 on outcome 1, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the bet in terms of value. After all, you will be making £1,200 profit if outcome 1 happens!
  • However, what if outcome 2 happens? 50% of the time it will, and you will lose your stake of £1,000.
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