Published Published: August 28, 2019 Updated Updated: August 29, 2019

Greyhounds betting guide for UK punters

UK Greyhound Racing – Your Complete Betting Guide
Learn how to bet on UK greyhound racing with our full betting guide plus advanced betting strategies and tips explained

Top bookies to bet on greyhounds races

Betting On Greyhound Racing

Greyhound racing continues to be a regular social event for many people across the UK. Plenty of food, drinks and betting action can be expected at a ‘night at the dogs’ and just like all sports, a little betting knowledge can turn a fun night out into a profitable night out. Aside from the social side of the sport, many people take greyhound racing very seriously, taking the time to learn how to bet on greyhounds and study the in-depth form guides to create winning strategies. It’s our aim in this guide to show you how to win at the dogs, we’ll let you in on the best inside tips and give you everything you need for when you next hit the tracks for some greyhound betting.

Greyhound Racing – The Basics

The UK has 23 licensed greyhound racing tracks and the overall sport is fully regulated by the GBGB – Greyhound Board of Great Britain. This means that UK punters have the choice of betting on dogs live at the tracks, and also in the comfort of their own home with the numerous online betting sites, with all the main betting markets fully covered at the big bookies.

If it’s real-life racing you want then you don’t usually have to travel far as there are top tracks in London, Birmingham, Nottingham, and Sheffield. The greyhound season includes various racing categories which reflect the running quality and age of the dogs, you’ll also notice other one-off Invitation Races and Minor Open Races, but the top events are known as the Greyhound Derbies. These ‘Derbies’ all have a minimum £50,000 prize fund with around 180 dogs competing over six rounds.

UK Greyhound Derbies

• English Greyhound Derby
• Scottish Greyhound Derby
• The Northern Irish Derby

Race Categories

• Category One
o Minimum £12,500 in prize money
o Run between one and four rounds
o Must be completed within 18 days
• Category Two
o Minimum £5,000 in prize money
o Run between one and three rounds
o Must be completed within 15 days
• Category Three
o Minimum £1,000 in prize money
o Run between one or two rounds
o Must be completed within nine days

Race Structure

If you’re a beginner when it comes to how to bet on dogs then jumping straight into betting strategies is a foolish mistake. If you don’t fully understand what you are betting on then how can you expect to create a winning betting strategy? Let’s start at the top, first up, all greyhound racing within the UK follows a standard colour scheme. This makes it easier for everyone when they are placing bets and following their dog around the track. The colours are based on traps from which the dogs are released at the start of each race. Traps are not just there to help you identify which dog is which, the colours also represent the handicaps with traps 1-2 used for the slower and/or out-of-form dogs. This is one of the most fundamental aspects and understanding which trap is the best trap to bet on greyhound racing is going to help you in the long run, but for now, here are the colours and trap numbers found in UK dog betting:

Greyhound Trap Colours

Trap 1: Red with a white numeral
Trap 2: Blue with a white numeral
Trap 3: White with a black numeral
Trap 4: Black with a white numeral
Trap 5: Orange with a black numeral
Trap 6: Black and white stripes with a red numeral
Trap 7: Green with a red numeral
Trap 8: Yellow and black with a white numeral

Next up, we’ll explain the biggest greyhound betting markets and show you how to find the best greyhound racing odds.

Biggest Greyhound Betting Markets

Some of these betting options might be new to you, so let’s take a closer look and explain each option:

Winning Bet – Predict which dog will come first to win the bet.

Place Bet – Predict which dog will finish in first or second to win the bet.

Daily Double Bet – Predict the winners of two individual races to win the bet.

Each Way Bet – A double-stake bet where you back a dog to win alongside an insurance bet if the dog finishes in a placed position. The number of placed positions will depend on the number of runners (1st/2nd with 5-7 runners or 1st/2nd/3rd with 8 runners).

Advanced Greyhound Betting Markets

Forecast betting is popular in greyhound racing and allows the punter to pick out multiple dogs to finish in placed positions, with the overall idea of increasing the odds for bigger returns. If forecast betting is new to you then we’ll explain what it means next:

Quinella /Forecast – Pick out the top two dogs who will finish as first and second in the exact order. A reverse forecast is also available where your two dogs can finish in the top two in any order, your betting stake will be double though. Another popular bet for beginners is the ‘quinella box” bet where you can pick out three or more dogs, and you only need two of them to come in as first and second to win.

Trifecta/Tricast – Pick out the top three dogs and their exact finishing order to win the bet. Often called the ‘straight trifecta’, it’s a tricky bet to predict but pays well if you do get it right! Again, the reverse tricast is also available where your top three dogs can finish in any order.

Trifecta Key – Pick out a ‘key’ dog and then combine it with two other dogs. You’re ‘key’ dog must win the race but the other two can finish second and third in any order.

Trifecta Wheel – Pick out one dog to either place first, second, or third, and then you ‘wheel’ every other selection with it. This means you’ll be placing 42 different combinations on one bet which will obviously cost you a lot more, but you’ll have a bigger chance of winning if you’re certain your main dog will finish in the top three.

Greyhound Racing Insider Tips

Getting familiar with how a greyhound racing event is run and how each race is structured is going to put you in a stronger betting position in the long run. Knowledge is everything when it comes to betting, those who take the time to understand the different racing formats and handicaps of greyhound racing will have better success than those who don’t. Random betting might get you one or two wins but you’ll need a betting strategy to stand any chance of winning over a full season.

Racing Lines

The form is very important, and just like in horse racing, you’ll need to seriously consider the previous racing form of all the dogs coming into the event that you’re planning to bet on. Understanding the form lines from previous races is another one of our essential greyhound betting tips. As you read the form of each greyhound you’ll notice various comments on the ‘lines’ of which the dog took during their last race. These comments and abbreviations can give you a lot of insight into how the dog can be expected to run in their next race. Study the racing lines of the dogs in upcoming races and see if there are any obvious pitfalls or betting leads to be taken advantage of. Here’s a rundown of the racing line abbreviations:

VW: Very Wide
W: Wide
Mid-W: Middle to Wide
Mid: Middle
Mid-Rls: Middle to Rails
Rls-Mid: Rails to Middle
Rls: Rails

Keep in mind that the racing line can either be an advantage or disadvantage to a greyhound, depending on which trap they are racing from. A dog who runs ‘on the rails’ might not be able to reach top speed due to the tight line but they do have the shortest distance to run. A dog who runs ‘middle’ lines can reach top speed but allows for other dogs to pass on either side. A ‘wide’ and ‘very wide’ running line gives the dog an advantage in wet conditions and also avoids any race-ending collisions but has the longest distance to run. Learning how to study running styles, conditions, and competition to work out profitable and winning bets is going to be your most important goal. The great thing is that you have all of this racing line information from which to base your bet on. Understanding how to read the form guides is the best way to bet on greyhounds and win. Knowledge is power!

Other Key Stats in Greyhound Racing

• Dog Trainer
• Dog Weight
• Recent Results
• Career Results
• Prize Money Won
• Parentage

If you’re looking to take greyhound racing seriously and you really want to learn how to win at dog racing, you need to recognise all of these key statistics and understand how you can build them into your betting strategy.

Top Greyhound Racing Strategy

  1. Racing conditions
    The UK is renowned for its wet weather and track conditions on race day can greatly affect the racing. On wet days, it’s even worth holding off on making any bets until you’ve seen how the track runs in the first couple of races. The wider runners can often benefit from wet tracks due to the resulting difficulty of the inside rail section. Front-runners are hard to overcome in the wet because of the muddy kickback and intensified inside-track conditions. If it’s wet then it can work in your favour, our recommendation is to hold off and inspect the scene and then look for any value on the outside traps.
  2. Back the energy of youngsters
    The younger dogs have a lot more potential to surprise rather than the older dogs who have over a hundred races under their collar. Younger greyhounds who are still in the process of learning how to start out of the traps better and run the bends more effectively, often show a lot more inspiration and pace than the seasoned veterans. Catching a talented young greyhound early on in its career can prove profitable as you follow it up through the grades.
  3. Visualise the race
    The ability to read the race only comes with experience and so it’s best that you start as soon as possible. Many tracks are known to show the winner within the first straight, with the course proving too difficult to come from behind. Be sure to make a note of these important stats, as it might end up being the deciding factor between a winning and losing bet in the future.
  4. Specialise your knowledge at a certain track
    Trying to place bets at every opportunity will drain your betting balance quickly, especially with the number of races throughout the season. Our tip is to narrow it down and become a specialist at one or maybe two specific tracks. Put your time into all of the races at your chosen track(s) and you’ll then be able to bet a lot wiser with your specialist knowledge. Staying on top of the racing form is crucial in becoming a successful greyhound bettor and narrowing down the number of meetings a week will help you win more bets. A lot of stadiums around the UK have websites where you can watch and study all of the recent races, this is perfect for you to gain every bit of advantage possible against the bookies.
  5. Understand how trainers operate
    The world of greyhound racing is full of trainers, some good, some not so good, some are excellent at improving the skills of young pups, some rely on their seasoned veterans who know the tracks. If you stick to one or two tracks then you’ll start to become familiar with the trainers who turn up to regular meetings. It’s not uncommon for trainers to bring in an experienced dog after a seasonal break, and so following where the money goes instead of the form or lack of it, in this case, can prove to be a clever piece of betting. Knowing how the trainers work or knowing someone who knows them can open up a lot of betting opportunities.

Quick Tips

• Study The Form – Greyhounds are known to run in cycles of being in-form and out-of-form. Learn how to read when these cycles take place to aid your betting.

• Running Stats – Keep track of your winners and losers to see which dogs, trainers, and race tracks are profitable for you. When you track your greyhound results the betting site markets will start to look a lot more valuable when you know what to look out for.

• Stay Up-To-Date – Use all forms of social media and news outlets to keep up-to-date. You can often get tips and hints from blogs and experts so keep your eyes and ears open in the run-up to racing events. Gain all the knowledge and insight you can, a quick google search of ‘greyhound racing tips tonight’ will bring up more than enough sources to find out more information.

• Dog Age Matters – A greyhound’s lifespan is usually around 12-13 years and their running days last for around four of them. History shows that older dogs tend to be more consistent in their racing whereas younger pups can swing in and out of form, often surprising many racegoers with unexpected wins.

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