Have A Flutter!
Horseracing has been at the heart of British sporting culture for centuries and, for many, ‘having a flutter’ is key to the enjoyment of the raceday.
If you are new to racing and betting, follow these easy steps to learn how to place a bet at the races.
- Firstly you must choose your horse. This can be done by either looking at a racecard, in the Racing Post or going to the paddock or picking a name that you like the sound of!
- Decide the amount and type of bet you are going to place. If you want to bet ‘To Win’ (the horse has to finish first) or ‘Each Way’ (the horse must be ‘placed’ - finish in the first two, three or four, depending on how many runners there are in the race). ‘Each Way’ is twice the cost, as you are placing one bet on the horse to win and another bet on the horse to be placed.
- Decide where you are going to place the bet. Either on the Tote (soon to be britbet, see below) or in the betting ring which can be found by the track in front of the grandstands. Then, simply say to the betting operator the number of the horse you have selected, the amount you wish to bet and the type of bet you want to place. Eg. ‘Number 3, £5 to win’
- They will then give you your ticket which you will need to keep safe until after the race.
If you win...
If you have picked the winner you will need to wait until the jockeys have weighed in to collect your winnings, you will hear ‘Weighed in, weighed in!’ over the announcement system which means the result is official. Then you can take your betting slip to the betting operator you placed your bet with and receive your winnings! Please remember to gamble responsibly and to only bet what you can afford. Gambling should always be for fun!
Whether you are planning to make a first visit to the races or you’re a huge fan, cheering home a winner while clutching a successful betting ticket is, for many, an exciting part of the raceday experience.
When you bet on-course with the Tote, your stake (the amount of money you place on a bet) is pooled together with all other bets on that race and then shared out amongst customers with winning tickets. Your betting on the racecourse with the Tote supports racing, with the majority of revenues flowing back to that racecourse.
There are several bet types available with the Tote such as win, place, each way (win and a place bet) and an exacta (picking the first two in the correct order). One of the most famous tote bets is the placepot which rewards customers who can pick a horse to place in each of the first 6 races. The average dividend of the Placepot is over £454* to a £1 stake so it is a fun bet where you can a large amount for a small stake.
You also have the option to place a ‘Lucky Pick’ bet, which is similar to the lucky dip on the National Lottery. However, the Lucky Pick is designed to be smarter than a random lucky dip as it uses a special formula which is weighted towards the more likely outcomes in an event.
The Tote has a minimum bet of just £2 and accepts cash and card across all courses.
So, if you’re a seasoned racegoer or having a day out with friends, there are plenty of betting options and the friendly Tote team are always on hand to help with your selections. By choosing to bet with the Tote during your visit to the races, you’ll be doing so in the knowledge that racing is benefiting from your support.
Racing seems to have its own language, so read our jargon buster - then impress your friends and family with your racing knowledge!
- Card – Short for racecard. This is your race programme with the runners and riders on.
- Colours (Silks) – The colours worn by the jockey in a race.
- Handicap – A race in which weights are to be carried by each horse according to recent or past racing performance.
- Form – A record of a racehorse’s previous performance.
- Furlong – An eighth of a mile, 220 yards or 201 metres.
- Going – A term used to describe the condition of the ground, ranging from hard through to heavy. These include Hard, Firm, Good to Firm, Good, Good to Soft, Soft, Heavy.
- Listed Race – A high-class competitive race.
- Maiden – A race for horses that have not yet won a race.
- Non-runner – When a horse is no longer running in the race.
- Stewards – Officials responsible for enforcing the British Horseracing Authority’s Orders & Rules of Racing.
- Under Orders – When the racehorses are called into line before the start of a race. Once racehorses have come ‘under orders’ they are judged to have competed in the race and no bets will be refunded.
- Weighed in – Weighing of jockey before and after a race to ensure that the correct weight has been carried. At the end of the race when ‘weighed in’ has been announced this means the result is official and all bets can be paid out.
- Weights – Fixed weights to be carried by horses in a race according to ability, age, distance, sex, and time of year. This weight includes the jockey and equipment, saddle and weight cloth.
- Weight Cloth - Leather cloth with pockets that hold flat pieces of lead. They are removable and interchangeable. The weight cloth is carried under the jockey’s saddle and is to ensure that they ride at the correct weight in a race.