Greyhound racing is highly entertaining and huge fun to wager on. As with any sport, background knowledge and developing a betting strategy are your keys to success. We also can’t deny that a true passion for greyhound racing really helps!
Simply trying to predict the winners of greyhound races is not the answer. The best greyhound betting strategy will include alternative ways to bet on greyhounds. We’ll tell you about some of the methods that successful greyhound punters use and show you some of the different bet types you’ll want to include in your own greyhound betting strategy.
There is no greyhound betting strategy that will suit everyone. It's something you will have to develop yourself based on your existing level of knowledge and the amount of time you have available. However, even if you're a casual punter, betting strategically will add a whole new level of enjoyment and there are ways to place bets that don't rely on a really in-depth level of knowledge.
Concentrating on one greyhound track is always a good place to start. If you don't already have one in mind then selecting one should be your first task. Some UK tracks are much busier than others and will host two separate meetings, one during the afternoon and one in the evening. The majority only have one, with races taking place in the evening, which may well fit in better with your daily routine.
Having selected your track, you can consider focusing your strategy on one aspect. These are just a few examples, there are others that might pique your interest more:
Alternatively, betting on favourites can be part of a successful strategy, but not in terms of simply picking individual winners. For example, by picking two or more race favourites at the same meeting, you can add a Double bet, three or more will enable you to build an accumulator, with each additional selection adding to your potential payout.
Even if it doesn't win, there's a good chance that the race favourite will place. So, Forecast and Tricast bets are another option, requiring you to predict the exact order two, or three, dogs will finish in. It's also possible to use a Reverse variation of those bets, where the dogs can finish in any order, although your chances will increase, your initial stake will be higher.
If you are new to greyhound racing, it might all seem a bit confusing initially, but don't worry. Further on in this guide we have provided a general overview of greyhound racing in the UK and some information on how different bets work. We've also included some tips from our own Betting.co.uk greyhound racing experts.
As you read through, you'll begin to see which aspects of this exciting sport appeal to you most and understand the benefit of using different types of bet. By the end of our guide, we'd like to think that you will already have ideas for your own basic greyhound betting strategy, which you can build on over time.
Greyhound racing is nowhere near as popular as it was in its heyday. During the 1950s, there were over 100 licensed greyhound stadiums filled to capacity as well as around 250 independent ‘flapping’ tracks. Unfortunately, many of the stadiums no longer exist, having been flattened to make room for housing and retail complexes.
Today there are only 19 licensed tracks and three independent tracks remaining in the UK. However, thanks to the advent of online gambling, betting on greyhounds still accounts for around one fifth of a bookies annual income.
The body responsible for regulating greyhound racing is the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) which creates the greyhound racing rules and takes responsibility for everything from track and dog licensing right through to retiring greyhound welfare.
In the UK, every greyhound is registered to a ‘home’ track and the greyhound races between home dogs are graded from A1 (the highest) to A11. In the highest grades you’ll see the top performing dogs, with the lowest grades populated by young dogs, or those nearing retirement. These are the mainstay races for every greyhound stadium.
The fact that dogs rarely race away from their home track makes it easier to see patterns emerging. Observing, or researching trends makes a good basis for a greyhound betting strategy, but should only be considered as a part of it.
Races are further divided into categories determined by the minimum prize pot on offer which varies from £150 for a Minor race, up to £50,000 for a Derby.
There are also several different types of race:
In the UK, six dogs per race is the maximum permitted and each trap has its own colour scheme, which is reflected in the ‘blanket’ each greyhound wears. This is great, because betting on greyhounds is much easier when you can spot your dog so easily by its blanket colour.
Strategies for betting on greyhounds are loosely related to some horse racing betting strategies, such as the 1.01 strategy and many punters enjoy wagering on both sports. Interestingly, the top UK greyhound races are also named after horse racing classics including the Derby, the Grand National and the Oaks. To successfully implement the best greyhound betting strategy, there are a few things you’ll need to learn first.
It must be said that there is no substitute for going to a stadium and watching greyhound races in real life. Not only is it huge fun, but it’s also entirely different from watching on TV or via a live stream, it's perhaps the best way to bet on greyhounds. Naturally, you can also place wagers to add to the excitement of the night. All UK greyhound stadiums have a Tote, where your winnings will be related to the total in the pool. However, the best greyhound odds are found with the trackside bookies and we think it’s a much more entertaining way to wager.
If you can’t attend in person, the next best thing is to watch as many races as you can. You’ll find some meetings are televised but you can always find videos of greyhound races to watch online. You’ll be surprised just how much you can learn from them. You’ll get to see just how quickly greyhound races are over and understand why in play betting strategies are not ideal for greyhound betting.
The ability to understand greyhound form is absolutely crucial if you want to develop the best greyhound betting strategy. Whether it’s on a form card at the stadium, or online, the information is formatted in the same way and mostly displayed using abbreviations. There’s no denying you might find it tricky at first, but the information contained there is a major key to successful greyhound betting.
We can’t go through everything here, as it’s a broad subject, but there are one or two vital things to know. In the UK it is the Racing Manager at each track who decides which trap each dog will run from. The decision will be based on a number of factors including how each dog behaves when it leaves the trap during trial races. This is a key point for consideration when you are developing your greyhound betting strategy.
After the dog’s name on a form card you’ll see a letter in brackets. An R indicates that the dog heads over to the inside rail, an M denotes that the dog runs centre track and a W means it goes wide. You’ll also see the Racing Manager’s comments on how the dog ran in previous races, which can also give you more insight for future races.
A good place to start is to take a look through the greyhound racing rules on the GBGB website, which will explain a lot of things. Fortunately, they are written in a style that makes them easy reading and will certainly enhance your greyhound betting knowledge and help you understand any how-to bet on dogs racing strategy you come across!
Publications like the Racing Post are useful for tips and statistics, as is the Timeform website. We always recommend that you do some practice by using them to make a few selections without wagering, especially if you’re new to betting on greyhounds. You’ll invariably find the greyhound results today posted online, so if you can’t watch the races you can check later and see how accurate your predictions were.
It’s always worth following the lower grade greyhound races, which is where the younger dogs will be running. Not only will you find some great odds due to the unpredictability of the outcome, you might also spot a future champion dog in the making.
Although greyhounds are bred with a certain type of race in mind, at this stage they will be trialled over different distances. The ability to spot in advance where they seem most comfortable and have consistent results is worth keeping a note of now as a part of your overall strategy.
Focusing on lesser events is actually a good ploy for some other sports too. If you wanted to make the best use of a tennis in-play betting strategy for example, you would have been watching your players rise through the ranks from a young age and have a fair idea of how they’ll react in a pressure situation.
Watch more greyhound races, learn about how grading works and develop your knowledge about the various UK greyhound tracks. By doing so, you’ll start to see that certain types of race have more appeal for you than others and you’ll most likely develop a liking for one or two tracks in particular.
If you prefer, you can follow a particular trainer’s dogs, or even specialise in greyhound hurdle racing. Once you know what you really enjoy most about this sport, that’s the time to build your greyhound betting strategy around those particular factors. Developing your knowledge in those areas will give you a clear advantage over other punters when you bet on greyhounds.
Betting on greyhounds largely falls into four main categories:
We firmly believe that the best way to bet on greyhounds and the best greyhound betting strategy will use a mix of all types of bet, so we’ll go through and explain briefly how they work.
By straight bets, we are referring to the least complicated single bets you can place, which equates to outright winner or betting each way. Bearing in mind that there are only a maximum of six dogs in each race, you are less likely to find any decent odds in this category, unless there is an anomaly of some sort to take advantage of.
Here you’ll find the ones with the funny names that horse racing enthusiasts will already know about:
An accumulator bet requires you to predict the winner from a given number of different races. The way an accumulator works is by automatically betting your winnings on the next race. So you could select three races, or the entire card for the day’s greyhound racing. The more selections, the greater the odds and the bigger the potential payout. However, every prediction on your ticket must be correct, or your bet loses. Placing low-stakes accumulator bets should always be a part of your betting strategy.
Prop bets are real fun to place and usually have some decent odds on offer as well. There are plenty of variations on a theme such as total number of dogs and/or bitches that will win a race, or whether a track record will be beaten. Another one that we really like is the Trap Challenge where you bet on the highest number of wins from one of the six traps. Regardless of the race outcomes, if you pick the correct trap, you win. Prop bets generally require less knowledge than other wagers, so they are an easy option if you're a beginner, or have yet to define your strategy, but are equally valuable to seasoned greyhound punters too.
Although a more correct term would be a matched betting strategy, it does involve placing bets. The way it works is that you cover every bet you place with your bookie by 'laying' it. That means placing a second bet on a betting exchange. When carried out meticulously, matched betting can virtually eliminate your gambling losses. However, it involves a considerable amount of time and effort, which could ultimately reduce your enjoyment of the sport. It's something you really must weigh up for yourself.
As you can see, there’s plenty of different bets to get your teeth into. The best greyhound betting strategy will make use of a mix of bet types for each betting session. So having decided on your bankroll for the day or event, you should apportion a percentage of it to different types of greyhound betting.
For example, your betting strategy might mean that the greater percentage will focus on selecting winners, albeit with low odds. The remainder you might split between carefully chosen forecast or accumulator bets and some fun prop bets. Of course, if you’re planning to use any type of matched or arbitrage betting system, then it’s an entirely different scenario.
It’s not just greyhound racing punters that benefit from using a strategy. Each sport has its own unique characteristics which you can manipulate to your advantage within a strategy. Read about other sport strategies and understand why cricket betting strategies and golf betting strategies are completely different, for example. It will all add to your betting knowledge, even if you’re not intending to bet on those particular sports.
It also helps to know the ins and outs of betting styles and when to apply them. For instance, understanding that in matched betting you cover your bets by laying them, whereas backdoor cover is more about having awareness. That is, taking account of different outcomes that you’d find useful in coming up with the best football betting strategy as well as other team sports wagering.
Our guides to different betting styles and strategies are all designed to help you become a more profitable punter, one who knows how and when to bet, no matter which sport is your choice. Now that you’ve finished our guide to creating the best greyhound betting strategy, we hope that you feel empowered and ready to go out and start placing your first wagers.
There’s no denying that betting on greyhound racing requires plenty of in-depth knowledge, but if you have a genuine enthusiasm for this sport, you’ll really enjoying learning more. We hope that our guide has shown you that there is more to betting on greyhounds than simply picking race winners.
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