Category Archives: Betting Guides

tips for grand national 2018

Betting tips and advice for the Grand National 2018

By | Betting Guides, Horseracing, The Grand National | No Comments

Get all the Grand National tips for 2018!

The 2018 Grand National is nearly upon us. It is one of the most prominent sporting events of the entire year. And arguably, it’s the biggest and most famous horse race of the year.

This year’s race takes place at Aintree Racecourse at 5:15 pm on April 14th.

Around 600 million viewers worldwide will tune in to watch this year’s renewal. That’s more than the Super Bowl and the UEFA Champions League final combined.

And a significant number of that 600m will also have a bet, too. It’s the event more than any other that will draw in the casual punter for their annual flutter.

But how do bettors place a bet on Grand National? Well, there are a number of different combinations. Seasoned horse racing experts like to go on things like course, distance, and form. The more amateur punter might back a horse on its silks or its name.

Favourites don’t tend to win this race, however. So you might need some help. Here’s a guide to Grand National Tips that will aid your bets.

Don’t forget the form

When it comes to the Grand National and trying to pick a winner, there are many boxes a bet must tick. Seasoned horse racing punters will check on everything from ground conditions to the jockey’s form.

Horses are foremost in many racing observers’ minds, however. It’s a long jumps season and many of the favourites have raced in a lot of renewals up until now.

Some will have been rested specifically for this huge race. This year’s Grand National favourite, for example, Blaklion, didn’t run at Cheltenham so he’d be nice and fresh for Aintree.

It’s important to look at the form of the various trainers and stables involved. Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins had exceptional Cheltenham Festivals and could be big players here.

Would you like to know more about horse racing betting? Click here to learn how to place a bet on horse racing

Keep an eye on the Grand National trends

Analysing the trends of past winners can, a lot of the time, give the punter an edge over the bookies. It gives bettors a pattern of the most important statistics that make up a Grand National winner.

Here are just a few ahead of the 2018 Grand National:

  • 23 of the last 27 winners were aged 9-years-old or older
  • 5 of the last 12 winners came from Irish-based stables
  • 5 of the last 27 runnings have been won by the favourite
  • 15 of the last 27 (56%) market leaders were placed
  • 8 of the last 15 winners came from the top eight in the betting
  • 26 of the last 27 winners ran no more than 55 days ago, while 21 of the last 27 raced no more than 34 days ago

It used to be thought that weight was a crucial factor, with very few winning horses weighted at 11st or more, but in recent years this trend has turned.6 of the last 11 winners have been weighted at 11st or more, with the change being attributed to the race attracting a better standard of horse.

Applying these statistics to a bet won’t give you any guarantees, but it will give you a good chance of ensuring your bet is sound and your horse has a good chance. Get to grips with these numbers, and you can enjoy picking the horse that you think will emerge victoriously.

2018 Grand National favourites

So, bearing in mind the form, and analysing the trends, who are the favourites for the 2018 Grand National?

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Blaklion and Willie Mullins’ Total Recall currently head the betting jointly at 10/1.Blaklion went off as favourite here last year, but finished a disappointing fourth. Davies’ nine-year-old charge was also beaten by Yala Enki at the Grand National Trial at Haydock back in February.

Total Recall originally opened at 16/1 but has shortened significantly since. Mullins’ star has won the Munster National, the Ladbrokes Trophy, and the William Fry Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Elsewhere, Anibale Fly, Cause Of Causes, Minella Rocco, The Last Samuri, and Cheltenham winner, Tiger Roll, are all at 16/1.

Another Cheltenham winner, Rathvinden, is currently at 25/1. Willie Mullins’ charge ran a brilliant race at Prestbury Park to win the National Hunt Challenge Cup.

Types of bets available

Each-way bet

An each-way bet is a bet that consists of two separate bets. You bet both on the win, and on a place. For the win part of the bet to return you money, the selection must obviously finish first.

For the place bet, your pick must either win or finish in one of the leading places of the race.

Betting on Grand National Favourite

By betting on the favourite, you are placing money on the horse that the bookies think is most likely to win the race.

The odds of this horse are shorter than any other. Depending on how open a race is, or how strong a horse is fancied, a favourite’s odds could be quite short.

What does a handicap mean?

A handicap race in horse racing is a race in which horses carry different weights.

Essentially, the best-rated horse in the race will be given the most weight to carry in the race, allocated by the handicapper.

This essentially evens up the race and allows the perceived less-inferior races a chance of winning the race. In the absence of weights, the best horses would almost certainly win most races at a canter.

 How does the Aintree course going affect the result?

Course conditions are vitally important to race meetings. Certain horses will favour certain conditions over others.

For example, a horse might hugely enjoy soft conditions. Therefore rain, or even heavy rain, before the race, will favour his chances of running a better race.

On the flipside, a horse might prefer good running ground. And if rain and soft ground is forecast, he or she could be pulled from the race.

Course conditions include: good, good to soft, soft, and heavy.

how to place a bet on horses

How to place a bet on horse races

By | Betting Guides, Horseracing, Introduction to Horse Racing | No Comments

Betting on the horses can be a fun and exciting past-time, provided you only bet what you can afford to lose. There are three main ways to bet on the horses – at the track, in a betting shop or online, and each is slightly different.

With any bet, however, it often pays to shop around to get the best odds for your selection by comparing different bookies, shops or websites before making your final decision.

How to bet on horses online

To place a bet online you will usually have to open an account, but once you do you will be able to place your bets from the comfort of your own home with all the information you need at your fingertips.

One advantage to online betting is that the minimum stakes are often a lot lower than at the racecourse or in the betting shop. Be sure to read the terms and conditions before you sign up.

You need to know what the minimum deposit and withdrawal amounts are, if there are any maximum payouts, whether they accept your preferred credit or debit card, and any other rules that might affect your decision.

As an added incentive, many online bookmakers offer deposit match schemes for your first deposit, such as make a £10 bet and get another £10 bet for free.

Whether you prefer to size up the different bookies by the trackside or decide between the horses online, placing a bet on a horse race is easy. Whatever form your receipt takes (an email or a betting slip), keep a tight hold on it – you might need it if your horse performs well!

Placing a bet in a betting shop

To place a bet in a betting shop you need to collect a slip. These are usually stored on counters or in wall brackets.

Fill in the slip with the name of the racecourse or meeting, the time of the race you wish to bet on, the name of your selected horse, the amount you wish to stake and the type of bet that you are placing.

You then hand this to the cashier and receive a receipt, often a photocopy of your slip. You will need this in order to collect your winnings if your horse comes in, so hold onto it carefully.

Placing a bet at the racecourse

There are usually lots of bookies at the racecourse and they will all be set up in a row close by one another. This makes it easy to wander up and down to find the best odds for your bet.

Once you have made your selection and found the best odds, simply approach the bookmaker and state clearly the number of the horse, the type of bet you wish to make and the amount of your stake. Remember that each-way bets are double, so if you ask for a £2 each-way bet it will cost you £4.

Bookies at the racecourse only take bets for the next upcoming race so you will have to go back each time, but you won’t need to state which race you want to bet on. Be sure to hang onto your ticket as that’s the only way you can claim your winnings.

Other than at the Tote, you will usually only be able to place win and each-way bets with most bookies. There will be a minimum bet, which is usually £2 but some bookies will take £1 bets – if so, they will advertise this.

Horse racing odds explained

Horse racing takes place up and down the country every day of the year apart from Christmas Day.
Racing can generally be split into two seasons – the jumps and the flat. All-weather racing, on the other hand, goes on all year round.
To work out which bet you want to make, you’re likely to want to look at four main factors.

  • The form of the horse
  • The type of ground
  • The distance
  • The Class of the race

These four elements will make a difference to the price of a horse before the start of a race.
Horses can be stepped up or down in distance which then alters the stamina they require in order to win a contest.
Likewise, a sharp change in the weather conditions can dramatically alter the odds of a horse. A horse that prefers running on Good to Firm is going to be longer odds if the ground has been confirmed as Heavy.
Finally, the Class indicates the level a horse is running at. If a horse that has won in Group or Graded company (the highest level) steps down in class, their odds will likely shorten.

Weights, especially in handicap races, should also be considered.

Types of horse racing betting

There are several different ways you can bet on horse racing.

The most straightforward of these is picking an outright winner. If you place £10 on a horse at 4/1 and it crosses the line first, you win £50 (£40 winnings, plus your stake).

Each-way betting is another popular way of staking on races. It involves placing two wagers on the same horse in a single bet. A £5 each-way bet consists of £5 on a horse to win and £5 on a horse to place, creating a total stake of £10.

This way, even if your horse fails to win, you could still get a return on your bet if it finishes in the runner-up positions.

If your selection comes home in the place positions you will be paid out at 1/4 or 1/5 of your horse’s original odds. This is often dependent on how many horses run in the race.  Bigger renewals like the Grand National offer more places and more chances to win for speculative punters.

Forecast betting involves picking the 1st and 2nd horse home. This can be straight, reverse or in any order.

You can also pick horses to go into a traditional win accumulator, although with horse racing there are also variations available.

A Trixie consists of three doubles and a treble, while a Yankee has four selections with 11 separate bets; six doubles, four trebles and a straight four-fold.

Canadian, Heinz, Lucky 15, Lucky 31 and Lucky 63 are other variants that comprise a multitude of different bets within them.

Would you like to bet on one of the biggest horse racing events in the UK? Check out our complete guide with all information and betting tips for Grand National 2018

Ladbrokes odds betting football

What are the different types of ‘specials’ in football betting?

By | Betting Guides, Football, Premier League, The Champions League, The FA Cup | No Comments

You know the score – literally: betting in football largely revolves around predicting which team will outscore the other.

When it comes to the specials market however, you’re able to do more than pick a winner. Have your say on the potential score line, pick which manager’s next in the sack race, or who’s going to miss a penalty at the weekend; there’s everything to play for.

Winning margin

As its name suggests, this bet requires you to guess the winning margin during a particular match.

Fancy Leeds United to beat Charlton Athletic by two goals? If you place a two goal winning margin bet and either Leeds or Charlton win 2-0, 4-2, 5-3, 12-10, or by any other two goal margin, you will see a return on your stake.

Best Footaball Odds

Clean sheet odds

For those of you who are not familiar with the term, a team gets a clean sheet when it manages not to concede a single goal during the course of a match. Arsenal were renowned for incredible defensive play back in the 1980s and 1990s, so the odds of a clean sheet may have been 1/6 around that time.

However these days, they’re known for lacking strength in defence, and that will mean that the odds of them getting a clean sheet are higher.

Penalty/Missed penalty

Penalties are often the cause of heated discussions between pundits and punters alike both during and after football games.

As a result, it’s perhaps no surprise that bookies allow you to bet on whether a spot kick will be awarded and whether the taker will score or miss.

Ladbrokes website odds betting

Results minute markets

If you want to be really specific, you can place a bet that applies for exact portions of a match. This means you can bet on whether there’ll be a goal or a booking between the 10 and 20th minutes, for example.

You can even bet on how many corners will be awarded during that period. In fact, there’s virtually no limit to the precise predictions on which you can place bets.

Red card

We know that some footballers are more passionate than others and get booked more often as a result.

Some get booked for over-zealous celebrations, whereas others get yellow cards for getting a bit carried away during disagreements with the referee.

The precise reasons for the double booking or straight red card don’t matter; as long as you’ve placed that winning bet, you’ll see a return.

Next manager

This is another popular special bet. With managers coming and going so frequently, there is always speculation as to who will be taking over, so punters can have a go at making predictions.

The specials market gives you the chance to add an extra flair to your football watching, allowing you to have your say on both the on- and off-field antics that surround the beautiful game.

From red cards to clean sheets, the list of specials on which you can bet is practically endless.

Ladbrokes odds betting football

What is a football accumulator and how do I place a bet?

By | Betting Guides, Football, Premier League, The FA Cup | No Comments

Football accumulator betting tips

Football accumulator betting has become increasingly popular in the UK over the last two decades. For many, it now slots right in as an essential part of the week – alongside actually watching the footy itself! But what is a football accumulator? And how do you go about placing a bet?

What is an accumulator?

Frequently known as an ‘accy’ or ‘acca’, a football accumulator is a bet that combines two or more selections into a single bet. For instance, you could fancy Real Madrid, Liverpool, PSG, and Borussia Dortmund all to win at the weekend, so you’d stick on a single bet that they all do. If you think a fixture will be a draw, you can select ‘draw’ and add that to your selection. So if you fancy wins for Real Madrid, Liverpool, and PSG but fancy Dortmund to draw at the weekend, you could stick a bet on that. It pulls together all the odds into one selection and will only give you a return when all your selections are predicted correctly.

One of the other most common examples is the ‘Both Teams To Score’ accumulator. You bet ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on whether you think both teams will score in each game in your selection. There’s many more complex versions though. You could also pull together selections that range from how many corners a team will get or how many goals a team will win by.

How to create an accumulator?

It really couldn’t be easier. Check out our Premier League betting page or our football page if the Prem isn’t your thing.

Now you have the Sportsbook in front of you, it’s time to select your picks. You don’t have to stick to one league and you can spread your bet over a number of days. Over the course of a weekend, there’s football from a variety of different countries for you to include in your acca. You could start it off with a Friday night game in the Championship or La Liga for example. You could then build your acca with a lunchtime Scottish game on a Saturday and round it off with a Premier League match on a Monday night. Outright win, lose, or draw accas may be popular but you could go for specific match results or scorers. As an example in a match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool. Liverpool is 21/10 to win and score Over 3.5 goals. It’s not all about the big teams though, you could even bet on the German reserve league! – but remember the more teams on the accumulator the less chance of winning!

Advanced tips!

Many may be comfortable with a BTTS or an outright accy but others like to build a bet with a few more advanced tips. A Trixie involves four bets with three selections in different events. The bet includes three doubles and one treble. A minimum of two of your selections must come in to get a return.


A Heinz consists of 57 bets involving six selections in different events. The bet includes 15 doubles, 20 trebles, a huge 15 four-folds, 6 five-fold, and a six-fold accumulator. A £1 Heinz costs conveniently £57. You can back one at £1 each way at £114. You may feel with the volume of moving parts in this bet, it’s better to go with the heavy favourites but this isn’t necessarily the case. A mix of supposed strong favourites, mid-priced selections and a pick at larger odds could be the way to go.


An Asian handicap can be used to bet on an outcome of a football match where the two teams are given a positive or negative goal-related handicap. What does this mean? Well, the handicap is a figure such as +0.5 or +2.5 or -1.0 or -2.0. This figure represents either a goal head-start or a goal deficit for either team.

For example, if Man City are 1/12 to beat Huddersfield. Thus price suggests City could run up a score. So you could put on an Asian handicap on City at -2.5. This means you are backing them win by three goals or more.

What can you win?

There are a number of ways you could win a football accumulator. More often than not all your picks must come in to claim your returns. Have a look at our Best Acca Around page for the latest accumulator offers The feature is available on all of our football leagues where your bet will be recalculated as though the pick hadn’t been selected. So your losing five-fold could become a winning four-fold for instance! Then there are Odds Boosts. Another popular feature among our acca customers. With this feature, you get the chance to instantly boost your odds on any pre-event sports bet – every day! You can do this simply by logging into your Ladbrokes account from 10:00 am (UK Time) and head straight for your ‘My Account’ section where your Odds Boost toke will be waiting for you! The difference between this and any normal price enhancement is that you have full control over when and what to use your Odds Boost on. In February 2018, a customer turned 50p into a whopping £61,482. The plucky punter correctly predicted the outcome of a 17-match European accumulator. The bettors’ dream appeared to be dashed when Crewe Alexandra struck in the 88th minute. But two stoppage-time goals from Exeter saw his dream become a reality! Many would have cashed out after that 88th-minute goal. Because sometimes you do need a safety net! The Cash Out facility allows you to settle your bet before the market/event has been completed. This can be a big money-saver or money-maker in some cases depending on how well your bet is doing. A re-calculated sum will appear at the bottom of your betting slip which you can then take home!

When an accumulator does come in, it can be a hefty win. In 2011, one lucky Ladbrokes punter won a massive £272k from a £2.50 nine-fold acca! An 85th minute Fernando Llorente strike for Athletic Bilbao salvaged a 1-1 draw against Barca and gave the mystery man a huge pay-day! Disclaimer: Tips are for information purposes only and do not guarantee a win No betting strategy should encourage you to bet more than you can afford.

All Odds and Markets correct as of the date of the publication

Horse racing betting tips: Advanced

By | Betting Guides, Horseracing | No Comments

Simple horse racing betting involves learning to understand the odds and working out what each type of bet does. More advanced bettors, however, will not simply rely on the odds but will study form, take the going into account, and pay attention to what’s happening on race day.

Different bettors have different systems and each one works in its own way, but experience really does count for something. The following horse racing betting tips are for those who have already gained experience of the basics and are looking to make more knowledgeable selections.

Use the racecard

The racecard provides all sorts of information about form, helping each bettor to make informed decisions. It shows the results of the last three races of the previous season and of runs so far in the current season.

A horse that has 311-32, for example, has placed third then first then first last season, and third then first this season. This could well mean that this particular horse takes a while to warm up but is likely to do better once he has a couple of races behind him, which could indicate that this time he is a good bet.

The racecard also details the names of the trainer and the jockey. This information can be used by those in the know to determine whether the horse has a good chance or not.

Read up

If you truly want to be able to make well-informed betting decisions, then it pays to read up before you go. Knowing things like which horses, trainers and jockeys are having a good run this season before you get to the races can help you make the right selections.

Take the time to find out in advance if the horse you are thinking of betting on has suffered any injuries this season or has shied away from the starting stalls.

Use your eyes

Prior to each race all horses are paraded in the paddock, giving you a prime opportunity to see if the horse you want to bet on looks ready, willing and able. A horse that has previously done well but today looks nervy might not be such a good bet after all.

Pay attention

No matter how much you might know, there may well be others at the track who know more. Listen to others’ opinions and pay attention to whether odds are going up or down. Don’t by any means rely blindly on any tips you get, but weigh up what the experts say on the racecard or in the newspapers to help make your decision.

Take a risk

Accumulator bets are far riskier than single bets but the payout is also far higher. If you’ve only ever placed single bets before, experiment with a double, treble or four-fold bet. You could also try a forecast, where you have to guess the first two horses to come in correctly.

Ultimately, there are no sure things in horse racing; even the most experienced gamblers can’t win all the time. Don’t bet more than you can afford, and this will help you to enjoy yourself whether you win or lose.

How to read horse betting odds

By | Betting Guides, Horseracing | No Comments

For all the millions of people who bet on horse racing throughout the season, there are a surprising number who do so without truly understanding the odds. All but the most novice bettors know that short odds mean the horse is more likely to win whereas long odds are much riskier but with a higher payoff if the horse does win.

However, using the odds to work out probability is something most people simply don’t (or can’t) do. Here you can find out how to read horse betting odds and how, using a simple formula, you can work out the probability of all your bets.

Calculators at the ready!

Using odds to calculate returns

Betting odds are expressed in the UK as numbers separated by a forward slash, such as ‘3/1’, ‘9/2’, ‘13/8’, ‘100/1’, etc. Where the odds are X/1 it is fairly easy to work out the horse’s chances and the returns on the bet.

Remember that all winning bets also return your original stake. So, a 3/1 £10 bet will pay out £40 in total if it wins: 3 + 1 =4 and 4 x 10 = 40. Where the second number is greater than one a formula is required to calculate the returns. Where the odds are X/Y, the formula goes: X + Y / Y. This figure is then multiplied by the stake to work out the returns.


A bettor makes their selection and places a £10 bet to win on a horse at odds of 13/8. To calculate his returns, he adds together 13 and 8 then divides the answer by 8, before multiplying the answer by his stake, which is 10. So, 13 + 8 = 21. Divide 21 by 8 to get 2.625, then multiply by 10. The total returns on this bet should the horse win are £26.25.

Working out probability from odds

To work out probability, another formula is used. Where the odds are expressed as X/Y, the formula goes: X + Y = Z, Y / Z x 100 = probability.

So, to find out the probability of a 7/2 bet we add together the 7 and the 2, giving us 9. We then divide the 2 by 9 to get 0.222. Multiply this by 100 and we have 22, or a probability of 22%.

Each-way odds

In each-way betting, bettors are able to make a selection based on the horse not just winning but also placing – essentially, two equal bets with half on the win at full odds and the other half on the place at fractional odds. These are usually 1/4 or 1/5, and are decided by the bookmakers before the race.

A £10 each-way bet therefore costs £20, with £10 to win and £10 to place. If the horse wins, both bets are paid out. If the horse places, the £10 bet to win is lost and the £10 place bet is paid out at the fraction decided – at 16/1 with quarter odds, therefore, a £20 bet pays out £50 for a place or £220 for a win.

Understanding how odds and probability are calculated will help you make informed decisions about which horse to back, and how much you can afford to stake. Keep these calculations in mind, and you will give yourself the best chance of picking a horse that seems likely to win, while still keeping responsible betting in mind.

Click here to find more about how to place a bet on horse races

How are odds calculated in horse racing?

By | Betting Guides, Horseracing, Introduction to Horse Racing | No Comments

The amount you can potentially win on any bet is based on two factors – the stake and the odds. The size of the stake is up to you, and as any winnings you get are multiplied by your stake you stand to win more the higher the amount bet. The odds, however, are controlled by the bookmaker and can change as a particular race gets closer.

But how are odds calculated? There are a number of factors that get taken into consideration when bookmakers compile odds for a horse race and each bookmaker or betting shop will usually have a team of odds compilers working to set the right prices.

What factors affect odds?

There are a wide variety of factors that can affect the odds on a horse race, and the odds compilers spend time gathering all the available information before setting the early price. This price may then fluctuate up to the start of the race, when the ‘starting price’ becomes fixed.

Odds compilers will generally get feedback or help from a number of other people such as form experts, private handicappers and gallop watchers situated at the various stables. They will also take into account factors which might affect the amount of support a particular selection, such as whether the jockey or trainer is particularly popular or successful at present.

Once all this data has been compiled, the bookmaker decides what profit margin they want to operate to. This is also known as over-rounding. This is built into the odds by shortening some or all of the prices, worked out based on the determined chances of the runner in order to help ensure the bookmakers make a profit.

Competition keeps bookies from over-rounding too much – those who continually have higher prices than their contemporaries soon find that the bettors are heading elsewhere.

How different events affect setting the odds
The amount of information a bookmaker can gather has an effect on how the odds are set. For example, in a race where the horses are all well known, form can be effectively judged so even in a race that is likely to attract lots of bets and some substantial ones the bookmakers can be fairly confident that they have correctly set the prices.

In this circumstance even a few substantial bets prior to the race would not have a drastic effect on price, and therefore the over-rounding will be relatively small. However, in a race of the same size and length but featuring relatively unknown horses – such as a maiden – things are different.

Not only does the bookie have little or no form to go on, but they can’t even judge how people are likely to bet. In this case the over-round percentage will likely be set much higher, as any substantial bets on horses with longer odds will affect the pricing.

Whether betting at the racetrack, online or in the betting shop, it pays to shop around and get the best odds for your bet. They won’t vary dramatically from bookie to bookie, but 10-1 still pays out more than 9-1.