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Online Betting in Ireland / Horse Racing Odds Ireland
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Neigh way you can miss out on these Irish Horse Racing Odds

Horse Racing Odds for Today

Last Updated on 07/04/2024
Fact checked by: Rosie McCarthy

Before even the most knowledgeable Irish punters place their bets on a new sport, they usually check Betting.co.uk for valuable tips. This particular guide specialises in horse racing odds and could be the difference between you winning or losing your next few bets.

In this guide, we’ll explore why you need to compare horse racing odds. We’ll also explain how bookies come up with different betting odds and how they display the numbers in different formats. As our readers have grown to expect, we’ll neatly tie in all the information for how you can improve your overall betting experience.

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Most important reasons to compare odds – understand the risk, go for the most returns

Many users and aspiring bettors often wonder: Is it necessary to compare odds at all? Are the odds that different? The short answer is yes! Whether you're comparing soccer, basketball, or horse racing odds, you won’t be doing yourself any favours by placing bets blindly. Different bookies offer different odds in sports, including horse racing, which is our area of interest today.

Also, any avid sports bettor understands how sports betting is all about taking calculated risks. Odds provided by bookies reflect the probability of an outcome. They tell you how much you could potentially win and by what margin if a particular outcome comes into fruition.

How do bookmakers determine their odds? Tech-powered number crunching

The process of compiling horse racing odds is one filled with a network of interesting intricacies. Gone are the days when renowned bookies relied solely on their guts, intuition, or instincts about how an event will go. Now, technology plays a huge role in helping bookies determine horse racing odds for today.

Bookmakers use a combination of statistics, databases, and mathematical models when compiling horse racing odds. With older bookmakers, avid horse racing fanatics could tell how a race would end by simply observing how the jockey rode a horse or the trainer's strategy. Now, with horse racing happening on a larger scale and on an online platform, number crunching and utilizing databases is a more feasible strategy. Most bookies then use statistical models to collect info regarding previous results, such as how often a specific horse won, etc. This is not unlike the maths done to determine the betting odds on golf, NBA betting odds, or and other odds across the sporting world.

Why do odds vary between bookmakers?

No two Irish bookies will provide identical horse betting odds all the time. At the end of the day, bookies are in it to make a profit. So, they start by setting their profit margins followed by the probability for the various outcomes, factoring in the commission. Margins integrated into bets are known as the Vig or Overround.  The point of the Vig or Overround is to ensure the bookie makes a profit regardless of the outcome. Several factors affect horse racing odds margins, such as the event's popularity and whether favourites or outsiders are in the race. As bookies crunch these numbers using different models, the odds are bound to be different.

Each time you log onto an Irish horse betting website, you’ll notice horse racing odds displayed in different formats. Most sites allow you to choose the Irish horse racing odds format you’re most comfortable with. But, it's important to note that these odds are merely a different way of presenting the same information. In other words, the formats don't alter your payout. We'll explain the three popular formats below.

Decimal odds explained

Decimal odds are very popular among modern Irish bookmakers, probably because they are easy to comprehend and calculate. That makes them a hit with newbies to horse racing odds comparisons. Seasoned bettors can also immediately spot the underdogs and favourites with a simple glimpse of decimal odds displayed by a bookie and make their decision from there.

Decimal odds on a bookie comprise two numbers separated by a decimal point. For example, you may find the odds of one horse winning displayed as 1.3. With decimal odds, the number you see encompasses the entire payout you’ll win and not just the profit, which is the case with other formats. This setup makes it much easier to understand this type of horse racing odds. For instance, if you're betting on a horse with odds of 1.3 and you wager €100, it means should you predict correctly, you win €130 (Calculated as €100 x 1.3).

Fractional odds explained

Because fractional odds are the more traditional bunch of the trio, you'll find, most Irish-based bettors prefer to view horse racing odds using the fractional odds format. In fact, fractional odds are a hit among Irish bookies. They are also the most preferred by bookies around the world. As implied by the “fractions” reference, a slash or hyphen splits two numbers. As such, you'd expect to see the horse betting odds displayed as 10/1 or 10-1.

Using the mentioned example, each time you see horse racing odds displayed as 10/1 or 10-1, it means a €1 wager would earn you a €10 profit in addition to your stake, leaving you with an overall win of €11. To provide more perspective, if you wager €20 on a 10/1 bet and win, you'll receive €220, which is (€20 x 10 profit) plus your (€20 x 1 stake).

American Odds explained

Horse racing odds can also come in the form of American odds. American odds for favourites have a minus sign accompanying them. The number after the minus sign (-) indicates the amount you must wager to win €100. For example, +500 means if you bet €100, you’ll win €500. On the other hand, underdogs will have a positive sign in front of the number. In this case, the amount you see after the plus sign (+) indicates the amount you'll win for every €100 you wager. For example, -150 means you win €50 if you wager €100.

Whichever the case, bettors receive their initial wager, in both instances, in addition to the amount they win. What you must remember with American horse racing odds is that the gap between odds for underdogs and favourites widens as the probability for the favourites winning increases.

How to calculate the expected value – making worthwhile bets

Comparing horse racing odds is well and good, but not all bets are worth your time and money. The easiest way to ascertain whether or not to place a wager or not is if you calculate the Expected Value (EV) of a bet. The EV shows the average amounts that players can expect to win or lose per bet in the long term.

That's why it's deemed the most valuable calculation in sports betting that separates the ordinary from the astute bettor. Use the following formula to calculate the expected value:

(Potential winnings per bet x Winning probability) – (Potential losses per bet x Losing probability)

Why loyalty doesn't always pay – putting your interests first

Loyalty doesn’t always pay if you want the best regular UFC odds and more. Horse racing is no different. Sticking to one bookmaker means you risk losing out on higher and better odds. That automatically translates to lost value. By comparing horse racing odds, you access the best market rates. The ripple effects are you increase your winning chance, significantly beefing up your bankroll.

As mentioned, no two bookmakers are the same. Refusing to conduct horse racing odds comparisons because of familiarity or security means you’ll never be aware of other bookies offering better odds. So, while you may win based on your present bookmaker’s odds, you’ll be winning less than you would have had you signed with a bookmaker offering more competitive odds.

To get a bang for your buck, it's crucial to shop around for the best odds. That’s because bookies differ regarding margins, events exposure, expertise, number of bettors, and financial pools.

Other factors to consider when comparing odds – looking at the bigger picture

Comparing horse racing odds is encouraged to get the best deal and the most out of your betting experience. But odds aren't everything. You should approach sports betting from a holistic perspective.

As you know, the competition in sports betting is quite stiff. So, bookmakers will go all out to rise above their peers and entice punters. Offering exciting bonuses is a tried and tested strategy used by several bookies. You might find that selecting a bookie with less competitive odds compared to other sites might prove quite beneficial because of the value you’ll get from the bonuses and promotions.

The same concept applies to Irish bookmakers that reward regular bettors by putting together VIP clubs. With such sites, the more you wager, the higher your VIP level. That means more rewards are open to you. Similarly, going for a bookie with a lightning-quick mobile app may allow you to quickly react to spikes in the value of odds. The bottom line is while comparing horse racing odds, ascertain if the benefits of leaving the bookie in pursuit of another outweigh the odds. That’s regardless of whether the next bookmaker is offering seemingly higher odds.

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Odds comparison vs live betting – shifting norms

With the sports betting scene becoming more sophisticated, bettors can now place live bets. Where players could only place bets before a horse racing event, they can now place bets during the event. As you can imagine, live horse racing odds comparison is a tad trickier because odds move quickly based on factors such as the remaining time of the event, etc. It doesn't help that horse racing events tend to finish much quicker when compared to other types of sports betting. Some horse sprint races can be over in just a minute!  That means you’ll need to make decisions fast—within minutes or even seconds! It explains why most bookies don’t offer live horse betting.

For those who do, there are few moments you can capitalise on to compare odds and make the best possible betting decisions during a match. The trick is to make your comparison when the races are over and go with the bookie that consistently offers better odds. In horse racing, you're presented with that small window of opportunity just before the race starts and while the audience is still sitting. Or, you could place your bet on a horse that’s cruising well and effortlessly following the jockey’s urgings. It's much easier placing live bets based on football odds for tonight, as halftime in the game presents the perfect lull in the movement to catch the right numbers.

Conclusion – picking the winning horse

Comparing horse racing odds is a smart move that allows you to establish how much you’ll win and by how much if you predict an outcome correctly. Bookmakers structure their Irish horse racing odds based on several factors, including historical data or mathematical software. But you need to realise that not all odds are the same since bookmakers always factor in margins to make it a lucrative business. Other than comparing odds, make sure you consider alternative factors like bonuses or VIP programs offered by the bookie. The goal is to pick a site with the best overall value proposition to maximise your enjoyment.

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Horse racing odds FAQ

🏇 What is the importance of odds comparisons in horse racing?

Just as you’d shop around before making a purchasing decision, the same process should apply in any sports betting event—including horse racing. If you read our guides at Betting.co.uk, you’ll find out that no two bookmakers offer the same odds and why.

📊 What is meant by Estimated Value when comparing odds in horse racing?

Sports betting is all about taking calculated risks. The same applies to whether you're new to sports betting or a seasoned bettor. If you're a novice bettor in horse racing, there are key calculations you need to make before placing bets. Calculating the Estimated Value (EV) is one such example. We gladly outline what an EV is and how you can use it to get the most out of your betting decisions.

📺 Is it easy to compare odds during a live horse racing event?

In the past, bettors could only place bets before an event starts. Today, you can now place bets during a horse racing event, which is known as in-play betting. Now, whether it's simple or not depends on how you approach the matter. A deeper look into our guides reveals how best you can navigate the situation.

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