All greyhound tracks in the United Kingdom and Ireland offer you the chance to back your selected dog with an on-course bookmaker. The process of backing a greyhound with a bookmaker is very straightforward but can be intimidating for somebody who is not familiar with the procedure. To aid the novice punter I have broken down this process into the 5 simple steps outlined below
1) Locate the betting ring
In the betting ring you will find the track bookmakers. The betting ring is typically located along the rails in front of the main stand. The bookies will usually be operating on a raised platform with a board listing the odds of the dogs in the upcoming race. The dogs will be numbered 1-6, according to the trap in which they have been drawn. Your race card will tell you which trap your chosen dog has been drawn in.
2) Seek out the best price
The odds being offered on each greyhound will differ between each bookmaker so it is worth shopping around to find the best price available for your selection. The odds are displayed on the board in fractional format (e.g. 2/1) and the prices will vary in accordance with the amount of money being wagered.
3) How to place your bet
To place a bet approach the bookmaker displaying the best price and state the amount of your bet, the type of bet (usually a win bet) and trap number of the dog. For example, you have studied the race card and decided you would like to put a bet of 20 on the dog in Trap 5 to win the race. Once you have your selection made you would approach your chosen bookmaker and clearly state “20 Win Trap 5”. You then give him your 20 and he will give you a ticket with the details of your bet in exchange. Put this ticket in a safe place, as this is your proof that the bet was accepted by the bookmaker and you will need to produce it to claim your winnings.
4) When to place the bet
You can place your bet at any time before the race starts. The most seasoned punters wait until the final seconds before the race starts to place their bets, things can get very hectic in the betting ring at this time so if you would like to avoid getting caught up in the rush it would be advisable to get your bet on early and get a good position in the in the stand to watch the race. The reason experienced gamblers leave it late to put on their bets is that you will often get better prices from the bookmakers the closer you get to the start of the race, once you are more familiar with placing bets you too can join in the excitement of the last minute rush.
5) Collecting your winnings
If the dog you backed to win crosses the line in first place then your bet is a winner! Once the stadium announcer has confirmed the result of the race you can collect your winnings. To do so you must return to the bookmaker with which you placed your bet, hand him the ticket you received at the time you placed you bet and he will give you your winnings in exchange. Make sure to count your money and ensure you have been given the correct amount before you leave the bookmaker. Once you are satisfied you have been paid the correct amount, you can leave the betting ring and go spend your winnings.