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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forecasts tricasts reverse forecasts reverse tricasts

What are Forecasts, Tricasts, Reverse Forecasts, and Reverse Tricasts?

Forecasts, Tricasts, Reverse Forecasts, Reverse Tricasts – these bets involve picking horses that will finish in the top two or three positions, in a single horse race. These bets can be useful if the favourite (the horse usually most likely to finish 1st) has a low price. The winnings are usually worked out using the starting prices of the horses, using computer software.

  • Forecasts (Straight)
    • In horse racing betting, if you would like to predict which horse will win, and which will will be the runner-up (i.e. finish second), you can place a Forecast (known as Exacta or Perfecta in the USA).
    • If you place a Forecast, if you get the winner right your profit AND original stake is used as the new stake for the runner-up. If you get the runner-up right as well, you will get a return.
  • Tricasts (Straight)
    • If you would like to predict which horses will finish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (naming the horses that will finish in each position), you can place a Tricast ((known as Trifecta in the USA).
    • Again, the winnings on the 1st horse (including stake), is used as the new stake on the 2nd horse, and the winnings on the 2nd horse (including stake) is used as the new stake on the 3rd horse.
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full cover bets

What are Full Cover Bets? Learn how to cover multiple permutations!

Full Cover Bets in horse racing betting, are bets consisting of all possible doubles, trebles, and fourfold and above accumulators (if appropriate) across a given number of selections. As long as at least two of your horses win, you will get something back (although this does not necessarily mean you will profit overall).

  • Trixie – Choose three horses you think will win (from three different horse races). Your bet consists of four separate bets (three doubles, and one treble). If you wish to include the 3 singles too (Trixie, plus 3 singles), the bet is called a Patent.
  • Yankee – This time you pick four horses to win, from four different races. Your bet consists of six doubles, four trebles, and one fourfold accumulator. That’s 11 separate bets. If you wish to include the 4 singles too (Yankee, plus 4 singles), the bet is called a Lucky 15 (as 15 separate bets are placed).
  • Canadian – Make five selections from five different races to win. 26 separate bets are placed (10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfold accumulators, and one fivefold accumulator). If you wish to include the 5 singles too (Canadian, plus 5 singles), the bet is called a Lucky 31.
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mitigating accumulator overround disaster

Mitigating accumulator overround disaster

Accumulators allow you to combine multiple bets, and potentially win big when all your selections win. Accumulators may seem great news to casual gut instinct bettors. After all, they offer the chance to win a lot of money for a small amount gambled. However, for the value bettor who is looking to potentially make a long term profit from betting, accumulators pose a great problem! We have already discussed the notion of overround – bookmakers will want to build in a profit margin on the markets they offer. However, when overrounds are multiplied it can be a big problem for the bettor! Hence, we are posting this Mitigating accumulator overround disaster article.

Let’s say you place a double (2 selection accumulator), with both bets having an overround of 12%. To calculate the combined overround:

[(1.12 x 1.12) multiplied by 100] minus 100 = 25.44% overround

Bookmakers would love you to place this accumulator, rather than 2 single bets. As an accumulator the total overround is more than double the individual overrounds.

Let’s say you place a 4 selection accumulator, and all four bets have a 12% overround. To calculate the combined overround:

[(1.12 x 1.12 x 1.12 x 1.12) multiplied by 100] minus 100 = 57.35% overround

As an accumulator the total overround is a lot more than quadruple the individual overrounds.… Read the rest

accumulators explained

Accumulators Explained

Accumulators Explained: If you place a double or a treble, you have placed 2 or 3 bets respectively. ALL your bets need to win, for you to make a profit (and get your stake back). If all your bets don’t win, you lose your stake and don’t get any profit. If your first bet wins, BOTH the winnings and the stake are combined to become the stake for the second bet etc. 4 bets can be called a fourfold. 5 bets can be called a fivefold. 6 bets can be called a sixfold. Although, all the above work in the same way (all the bets have to win, for you to make a return and get your original stake back), technically only 4 bets and above are called accumulators (although some people still decide to call doubles and trebles accumulators). Accumulators suffer from overround multiplication issue.

  • Let’s say you have £60 to bet in total, on 4 bets at odds of 3/1, 4/1, 5/1, and 6/1.
    If you bet £15 on each of this outcomes separately, you stand to make the following profit on each bet (and get your £15 stake back):
    • 3/1 : £45
      4/1: £60
      5/1: £75
      6/1: £90
      If all the selections won you would get £270 in profit (and get your £60 of stakes back).
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overround explained

Overround Explained – Why you must avoid betting markets with high overrounds!

Overround Explained: The odds offered by bookmakers are unlikely to correspond exactly to the actual probabilities of the outcomes in any market happening, as no bookmaker is likely to operate without trying to offset its costs (and trying to make a little something on top)! Bookmakers are likely to be taking money from lots of customers over the possible outcomes – they may try to guarantee themselves a profit regardless of the result. Bookmakers may start a market by working out the actual probabilities of the outcomes in a market occurring and then incorporating a profit margin into the odds, but as money comes in on the market they will often adjust prices to attract less or more money to particular outcomes – e.g. they may want to limit their liability on an outcome they already face a big payout on if it comes through, or they may want to attract more money to different outcome(s) to one(s) they already have taken a lot of money on to guarantee a profit or minimise potential losses. How do bookmakers use overround to try and make profits?

As an example, here are the odds a bookmaker was offering, at the time of writing, on an upcoming Rugby Union match.… Read the rest

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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