Category Archives: Betting Guides

Grand National day out

Betting tips and advice for the Grand National 2018

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

Get the Gran National tips for 2018! All you need to know about the form, trends, favorites and previous winners.

The Grand National is the most watched horse race of the year. In fact, it is one of the most-watched sporting events on the planet. Around 600 million people around the world watched the 2017 renewal.Even those who do not gamble for the rest of the year are likely to have a flutter on the National.

Thousands of speculative punters make their selections based on the name of the horse, the colours of the jockey’s silks, their favourite number and other factors.

With five horses so far having won with odds of 100/1, anything goes at Aintree. However, if you don’t have such a system, this guide will help you work out how to bet on Grand National day.

Check out the people form

Checking on the form of the horses is the first thing most experienced bettors will do, but on Grand National day, check on the form of the people involved too. Look for repeat winners among the jockeys and especially the trainers.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, for example, has had two winners in the Grand National in the past 20 years and over a thousand winners of National Hunt races since 1982. Jockey Leighton Aspell has ridden the winning horse in two of the previous four years.

Look for hidden trends

Statistics can help work out how likely it is that certain horses will win or place in the upcoming Grand National. Identifying trends and using these to make your selections might just give you that edge. Here are a few of the statistics to date:

  •  21 of the last 27 Grand National winners carried 10-12kg or less!
  •  9 of the last 10 winners had won or placed in at least one race already that season
  • 9 and 10-year old horses win more Grand Nationals than any other age group
  • Since 1952, 68% of the winners were priced at 20/1 or less
  • However, over the same time period only 11% of winners were priced as the favourite
  •  26 of the last 27 Grand National winners have officially rated at 137 or higher
  • The last 10 winners had previously won a race over 3 miles

It used to be thought that weight was a crucial factor, with very few winning horses weighted at 11.0 or more, but in recent years this trend has turned. 6 of the last 11 winners have been weighted at 11.0 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 victorious.

2018 Grand National favourites

So, after all that, who’s going to win this year’s Grand National?

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Blaklion is the current favourite once again having started the 2017 race at the head of the betting.The nine-year-old star lead last year’s race with two fences to jump but faded and finished fourth. Can he justify favouritism this time around?

Native River, Cause of Causes, Total Recall, and The Last Samuri are also well-fancied among a field of over 30 Grand National Runners.

Cause of Causes was second in last year’s renewal, finishing a reasonably close second to One For Arthur.Gordon Elliott’s 10-year-old certainly has the pedigree and could come into contention once again.

Of the horses lower down the betting, Whisper looks an interesting prospect. Nicky Henderson’s 10-year-old ticks a lot of the trend boxes and has had a good season to date.

Don’t miss out on what should be one of the most exciting sporting spectacles in the world this April.

And don’t forget, you can get all your Grand National odds at Ladbrokes – saddle up!

how to place a bet on horses

How to place a bet on horse races

By | Horseracing, Betting Guides, 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.

Ladbrokes odds betting football

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

By | Football, Betting Guides, Premier League, The FA Cup, The Champions League | 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.

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

Football accumulator betting has become very popular in the UK over the last two decades. In fact, they have become something of a ritual to many football fans across the land.

In some ways, accumulators have become as important as the games themselves (well, almost).

So what exactly is a football accumulator, and how do you go about placing a bet?

What is it?

A football accumulator is a bet that combines two or more selections into a single bet. It will only give you a return when all of your selections win.

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Ladbrokes website odds betting

Why should I place an accumulator bet?

The main benefit of placing an accumulator bet is that your winnings will be much greater than if you placed a single bet since the risk of losing your bet is higher. In fact, just one of your selections needs to fall for you to lose your whole bet.

In the unlikely event that one of the teams you’ve bet on doesn’t play, you won’t lose your stake. Instead, we’ll recalculate your accumulator as though it hadn’t contained the selection. So if you have a 5-fold accumulator, it then becomes a 4-fold instead.

Of course, betting on so many games happening at the same time adds to the sheer thrill of it all. Almost every Saturday, when there are over 40 matches going at once all over the country, your options are almost limitless. This can transform any contest into a crucial game.

Many fans agree that no other type of betting matches the thrill of having that last-minute goal clinch your accumulator. And while accumulators play a part in all English football leagues and other sports too, they have become very much part of football culture for many punters.

How do I place an accumulator?

It really couldn’t be easier. Simply choose your bets and tick the winning team of the matches you want to add, and our system will add them to your online betting slip.

You can also make use of our Bet Calculator to help work out the potential profit on an accumulator bet.

The amount of money you can win with an accumulator is almost without limits: your winnings accumulate with each correct selection. But beware – the more teams you add to your accumulator, the less your chance of winning.


Horse racing betting tips: Advanced

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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

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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.


How are odds calculated in horse racing?

By | Horseracing, Betting Guides, 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.