In some respects greyhound racing has fallen on hard times in the last decade or so, attendances at meetings are down, many tracks have closed and going for an evening out at the dogs is no longer a popular night out. In other respects the sport is booming, more money is wagered on greyhound racing than ever with an annual turnover in the UK around 100 million. Many UK tracks are now owned and preserved by UK bookmakers almost solely for the purpose of live streaming to punters. As a consequence there are more bet types an offers available for dog racing now than ever. In this article we discuss some of the best betting sites for greyhound racing, how to bet on greyhounds, popular bets, history, major meetings, odds/payouts and more.
The history of high street bookmakers was forged on the dog tracks in the early 20th century. Founders such as William Hill himself started out this way as did many others. Thankfully the sport survives to this day and has taken on a new lease of life in online gambling. Any bookie worth their salt will have a good greyhound market. Here are our best bookies for greyhound racing and why.
Coral are massive supporters of Greyhound racing and are doing their bit to keep the sport alive amongst dwindling stadium attendances. Coral own ans run both Brighton and Hove stadium and the classic Romford track, both of which they saved from closure. In addition to the sentimental side Coral have a fantastic market depth and range as well great odds and offers, particularly on races from their tracks.
Live streaming is available for all RPTV races as well as a ton of other races and obviously all races from their own tracks. As well as cracking odds they also have more lines available than most with a great virtual racing package too. Maximum payout is a nice 500k for major races too.
Coral also have a stand out greyhound promotion offering free bets for winners. If you back a 2/1+ winner in any race live on Sky Sports the bookies will give you a stake matched free token for stakes up to 25 to use on the next days greyhound racing, applies to win and the win part of each-way bets.
For the complete package there is only really one betting site to wager with, RaceBets. This company from Germany literally live racing and are one of the few bookies to offer foreign greyhound racing in addition to every meeting in the UK and Ireland.
RaceBets have best odds guaranteed for UK and Irish racing but the stand out feature is the information available. With this site you get more pre-race info than with most others, all available on the race card. This includes form, breeding, colour, winnings to date, records and stats for the dog along with starts, wins, place and earning stats for the trainers. Punters can even track dogs and make their own notes.
If you like horse racing too then there is no beating this site. Centring on just racing means this brand doesnt compromise. The lack of other distracting markets and products also results in one of the fastest sites, allowing you to place any bet within a maximum of 3 clicks or taps. Especially useful on mobile. Anyone who bets on greyhound racing should grab an account with RaceBets.
William Hill himself started out on the dog tracks and the company have kept with the tradition ever since. You wont see a greater market depth anywhere else, including full coverage of US greyhound racing too.
Hills give best odds guarantees on all UK and Irish races with streaming of all races on RPTV and dedicated greyhound radio coverage. Plenty of special features are available including Hotbox and virtual racing. Great news, blog, results and previews are available to help your find the right mutt to back.
Possibly more well known as a horse racing bookie Betfred also pull ahead of the pack when it comes to the dogs. You will find a complete depth of market for UK and Irish races with win, each way, forecast and tricast bets available on every race. All Racing Post TV raes are streamed live with no betting conditions. Live audio commentary is also available on all races.
Betfred also have a great long standing bet on 3 get 1 free greyhound free bet offer for races broadcast live on RPTV. Get a freebet bonus based on your average stake up to 25 if you place 3 or more bets on the same day for races live on the channel. Odds are competitive and payout maximums are nice at up to 250k.
Every major bookie will cover greyhound racing in some form, there are a couple of other bookies worth a mention for their greyhound racing features
Ladbrokes Another big player with complete coverage of UK and Irish races an live coverage of all races live on RPTV.
Paddy Power Guaranteed prices on many but not all UK and Irish races with extra place specials often applied to televised races
BetVictor Nothing to write home about for their real world greyhound coverage but their virtual greyhound racing has got to be the best going.
Vernons This bookie will return your stake up to 50 if your dog is beaten into second by a length or less in an race on Sky so you can try again.
Whether your after a regular reliable greyhound promotion or looking for meeting specifc deals we have got every greyhound deal worth talking about on our betting offers page.Click here to be taken to our comprehensive racing offers section.
Modern greyhound racing derives from the hunting sport known as coursing. Coursing is still practiced in some places around the globe and involved dogs chasing live animals, usually rabbits and hares, the winner being the dog that catches the rabbit. Coursing does not necessarily need a track. If you have ever seen the filmSnatchyou will know what coursing looks like.
The first official coursing meeting was in 1776 held in Swaffham, Norfolk, UK. This involved just two greyhounds allowed to course a single hare given a 240 yard head start. The first recorded coursing race with an artificial lure was held 100 years later in 1876. Six greyhounds were raced on a 400 yard straight track in Hendon, London. The theme didnt really catch on at this point in the UK and it was the Americans that took the sport forward to what we know today.
In 1912 the American Owen Smith invented the artificial hare to stop the killing of jack rabbits. In 1919 he opened the first professional oval dog track, complete with spectator stands, in Emeryville, Californina. This led the way to on course betting and pari-mutuel gambling, we know this better as the tote.
The oval greyhound racing track was introduced to the UK in 1926 by Charles Munn and Major Lyne-Dixon. In concert with Brigagier-General Critchley and Sire William Gentle 22,000 was raised to fund the launch of the Greyhound Racing Association, later renamed theGreyhound Board of Great Britain(GBGB). The first race was held in ManchestersBelle View stadium. The sport took off in industrial British cities and by the following year, 1927, there were over 40 tracks in the UK.
With races held in the evening and an urban setting the sport quickly caught on with working-class men. Owners and patrons came from mix of social classes but overall the sport of greyhound racing was far more accessible and less elitist compared to horse racing. Greyhound racing saw its heyday after WWII with over 34 million paying to attend races in 1946.
Greyhound racing started a slow decline from the early 1960s when off-course betting was made legal. Limited TV coverage, lack of sponsorship and abolition of the gambling tax lead to the sport being nearly wiped out. The sport declined from hundreds of tracks to the 25 still around today.
It is actually online betting sites that are keeping the sport alive. Live streaming of greyhound racing has created somewhat of a revival in the industry. Track attendances are still very low yet more people watch greyhound racing than ever before with in play betting and streaming. Bookmakers such as Coral even own tracks such asRomfordsimply to stream races to customers.
A positive consequence of the heightened involvement with online bookmakers means there are plenty ofgreyhound offersandbest odds guaranteesaround.
Following a peak in popularity in the 1940s greyhound racing attendances have been declining since off-track gambling became legal in 1960. The demise in greyhound racing has seen the number of tracks dwindle from 77 to less than 25 licensed venues today, many factors are responsible for this from lack of engagement with younger age groups to animal welfare issues and changing inner city environments. At the same time greyhound racing is exploding online with more money bet on races than ever before. Bookmakers themselves are buying up and cleaning up the industry to create a new future for the sport. Read more about this in ourdemise of greyhound racing in the UKarticle.
Greyhound Racing is operated in the UK under theGreyhound Board of Great Britain. The principle is simple dogs are drawn into traps numbered 1-8, although most races consist of 6 dogs. Traps have a defined colour scheme in addition to a number, shown in the table below, and this makes spotting your dog really easy. It is generally thought that the traps in middle provide the best chances. This is because it is close enough to the rail for the dog to take up an inside line but far enough out that the dog gets a good sight of the lure when it is released. In practice this makes little real difference.
Greyhounds race around an oval track with the distance variable based on the race type and the track the race is held at. Sprint races (D) are around 2-400 meters, middle races (A) around 500m, stayers (S) around 6-700 meters and marathons (M) 800-1100 meters. Different dogs obviously have different form over various distances just as horses. On the whole greyhounds are sprinters and so most races are middle distance or sprint races and races rarely go longer than one kilometre. The 3 most standard distances are 480 meters (525 yards), 500m (547 yards) and 515 metres (563 yards). As a rule sprint races are half an oval (2 bends), middle a whole circuit (4 bends), stayers 1.5 circuits (6 bends) and marathons two circuits (8 bends). Traps can be removed rapidly to the side so the way is clear if the dogs are racing more than a sprint. In Ireland you will find most race distances still indicated in yards. Race length is clearly visible on the race card. There are some hurdles races in greyhound racing. These are denoted as (H) or (CH) for chase hurdles.
Greyhound racing has a lot of similarly to horse racing when it comes to the bet types and systems available. Some bets are however more popular with dog racing and we will discuss those here.
Detailed articles on how to bet, bet types and popular offers can be found in ourbetting guidesandbetting offerssections.
The most common betting market for greyhound is still the typical outright winner single or each-way bet. With usually just 6 dogs competing in any one race it is quite attractive to try to pick an outright winner. Place and each way bets are typically the first two places and generally 1/4 or 1/5 of the winning odds. Races with 8 runners will usually pay 3 places. Pick dogs by their name, number or simply just the favourite. Most offers apply to this type of outright betting, especially on Sky televised races. Visit out top greyhound bookmakers to find the top offers or see ourgreyhound offerssection.
It is certainly worth shopping around for outright odds, nearly all bookies will provide outright lines at the very least and this is a competitive market.
Forecast betting is even more popular in greyhound racing than horse racing. This is possibly due to the smaller and predictable fields of 6 dogs. Most bookies offer forecast coupons for dog racing. Straight forecasting allows you to pick the dog to win and the dog to place second and tend to give high odds. Reverse forecasts allow you to pick the dogs that will finish in the top two places but in any order, lower odds but easier to predict. Tricasts, trifectas or trios allow you to pick the dog that will occupy the top 3 places either as an exact order or any order. For pari-mutuel bets see tote betting below. Click this link for more information about how to place aforecast bet.
Another popular greyhound bet similar to a forecast. Here you are picking 3 or even 4 greyhounds to occupy the top two places, this is a collection of multiple forecast bets. For example picking 3 dogs for the top two places is actually 6 straight forecast bets or 3 reverse forecast bets.
What is astarting pricein greyhound racing? When placing a bet you can either choose to take the fixed-odds from a bookmaker at the time of the bet or take the industry price on the dog when it comes under starters orders, known as the starting price (SP). If you are not taking the SP you may be better off with abest odds guarantee.
What is a favourite in greyhound racing? This is the dog with the lowest odds price and this can change several times before the start of the race in close races, the greyhound with the lowest SP price is the official favourite. You may choose to back the favourite irrespective of who it is. Many coupons will allow you to back the second favourite too.
Some bookmakers offerbest odds guaranteed on greyhound racingand will give you the SP if it is higher than the fixed odds price you received. This means if the SP is higher than your price you will automatically be given the better terms. It makes sense to bet with a bookmaker offering the best price guarantee as this can add extra value and security to your bets. Not as many bookies offer BOG on greyhounds as horse racing and there are more restrictions on raced. A list of UK betting sites offering best odds guarantee on greyhounds can be foundhere.
If you bet on a specific dog and it does not run prior to coming under starters orders the bet will be declared void and your money returned. If you have bet on a trap number the bet will be transferred to the reserve dog unless no reserve is in place where again the bet will be declared void. Reserves are usually in place for advnaced rounds such as semi-finals and finals. If a race is not run all money on that race will be returned.
An ante post bet is generally defined as any bet placed more than one day in advance of a race. An early price is usually defined as th price on the day up until about 15 minutes before the race when you will need to take either the SP or a bookmakers alternative odds. Most bookies will provide ante-post lines although beware these are not always afforded the same protections. For example bookmakers that offer best odds guarantees on greyhound racing will include early prices but generally not ante-post prices. Ante-post betting is useful if you think a dog is undervalued and will come in by the SP.
Tote and totepoolbetting is available for greyhound racing and is one of the only other sport other than horse racing with wide ranging pari-mutuel betting options. The system is simple rather than taking a fixed odds price from a bookie you are betting with your peers. Winners share a slice of the pot and this can often pay higher amounts than fixed-odds betting. The more popular the race the higher the pot, but also potentially the higher the share. The tote is fairly cheap to play (1 or 2 min stake) and can offer a fun way to bet on multiple greyhound races without shelling out a ton of money.
Not all race meeting are covered and not all totepool betting options are available but you should be able to bet totewin, toteplace, toteeachway, toteplacepot, toteexacta and totetrifecta and for larger meetings and finals you can usually place a totejackpot and other totepool bets. For a full list of totepool betting options, how to place them and where to find the best offers read outtote article.
This is a points based betting system offered by some online bookies. Usually you will predict the number of points scored by the favourites at a given meeting. There are usually 25 points for a win, 10 for second and 5 points for third place (dead heats are a split of the points, e.g 2nd place dead head = 7.5 points). With co-favourites the lowest race card number is taken as the favourite. A fun bet to play when you can find them.
Lines are sometimes available for to bet on the trap that will have the most number of winners in a race meeting. This is cumulative across the whole card and is not offered by all betting sites.
The race card for greyhound racing is a little simpler than the horse racing version. The nature of the greyhound racing also means it is a little more difficult to study form due to the longevity of the racing dogs. A greyhound will not race until it is 15 months old and will retire between 3-5 years of age. This means there is a high animal turnover and so lots of regular surprises. Saying that there are still plenty of variables to be aware of that can give you an advantage and by studying the racecard you can give yourself an leg up.
Most UK online bookmakers will display some sort of racecard for dog racing and we show you here and in the next section what a few of those terms mean.
The large number displays the trap allocated to that dog and the name is the name of the greyhound. The other names on the card will indicate the owner and the trainer. In greyhound racing quite often these are the same person. Underneath the greyhounds name you many see a form guide indicating the number of races run by the animal with the number of 1st and 2nd places. Sometimes there may be a list of the last 5 or so races showing distance, place at each bend, distance won by, the actual winner of the race, the time the race was won in, the sex of the dog and the weight of the dog. Most of this information is not displayed on the betting coupon but can usually be found in form and statistics guides offered by the best greyhound betting sites.
At the top of the card and on the betting coupon there will be an indication of the race distance of the current race. Also displayed is the race class, the going (slow, normal, fast or wet) and racing remarks.
In greyhound racing there are 25Greyhound Board of Great Britain(GBGB) regulated stadiums in the UK and several independent tracks. TheBookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service(BAGS) and the bookmakers evenings greyhound service (BEGS) is a programme of greyhound races in either the morning / afternoon (BAGS) or evening (BEGS). Most of the GBGB regualted tracks run BAGS and BEGS races. Most BEGS and BAGS races are broadcast live on Sky or Racing Post TV, are supported but eh full satellite information service and offer the highest payouts.
Open races (OR on a racecard) represent the highest class of racing in the UK with two divisions. Major open races made up of category one, two and three and minor open races. In Ireland the top middle distance races are known as AAOs. In the USA top races are called Racing Secretaries A Class (RSA), In Australia group races are usually called Free For Alls (FFA).
Most races held around the world are Graded Races (GR). D denotes a sprint race, A middle distance, S Stayer and H for hurdles. For example A-1 is a top grade middle distance dog that will run at up to 40 mph. Grades can go as low as 10 or 11 and the level of graded race depends on the race and the track. The grade of a dog is a good indicator of its proven ability. In open races dogs of mixed grades can race each other, in graded racing all the dogs in race will have the same class (e.g. an A-6 race).
Greyhound races tend to be measured in the metric friendly metre in the UK, in Ireland many races are still primarily listed in yards but most race cards will display both formats. The three standard middle race distances in the UK 480 metres, 500 metres and 515 metres. Distances are variable depending on whether it is a sprint, middle, stayer or marathon race, this also depends on the size of the course.
Some dogs prefer to run the shortest distance and are known as railers and are best suited to the first traps. Other greyhounds prefer to run wide near the outside of the track where the hare goes, these are wide runners and are best suited to the end traps. The rest of the dogs prefer the middle ground and these are predictably known as middle runners and are best suited to the middle traps.
Slightly simpler than horse racing. Track condition is indicated as fast, normal, slow or wet track. Dog races tend not to be abandoned with weather as much as horse racing as there is less risk to the animal of injury. Fog is basically the only thing that will stop a greyhound race. The short distances and high speed racing means track condition can have less of an effect than in horse racing. Theres a lot to think about though. For example in a wet race the inside track will become waterlogged first potentially disadvantaging those dogs on the inside rail.
Gender is important when it comes to consistancy. Dogs are seen as more consistent than bitches, especially at middle distances. This is mainly to do with bitches seasonal variation due to females going into heat. There are of course exceptions to this rule. In the UK dogs are denoted by a d on the card and bitches with a b.
Many years ago hanidicap races were common in the UK and a lot of fun to watch. In modern times these have all but died out. This race would mix dogs of different grades together with staggered traps so that the dogs of the highest ability would have to run further. A huge amount of fun to watch if you can ever find one.
Greyhounds can race from 15 months old but until they are a full 2 years old they are classed as puppies. Greyhounds racing peak for middle distance is usually around 30-36 months although many dogs that enter racing early can mature as early as 21-30 months. The sprint racing peak also tends to be younger. Dogs over 36 months tend to move down to lower categories but can keep going up to 80 months in some cases.
Dog weight range is much tighter than in say horse racing. Most male dogs weigh between 28-36 Kg (60-80 Lbs) standing around 70-75 cm tall. Heavier dogs tend to be taller so have a longer stride length. Bitches tend to weigh less (22-31kg) and are not as tall (68-71cm), this can allow them to move into gaps that some dogs cannot fit into.
Greyhounds have their own style of racing. Some dogs have early pace, middle pace, finishing pace or all round pace. You can spot these dogs by looking at two statistics. The first being the split times and the second being the recorded position on the bends. A dog with finishing pace will have the fastest split times at the end and if its say a middle distance race with 4 bends the bend position may look like 4,2,3,1 for example.
You will find these on the race card in short code. These are observations about the dog from previous races. A few examples: vsv very slow away, aled always led, fw finished well, etc. Studying these in combination with split times and bend positions can give you a fairly good idea of how a greyhound is going to race.
Live betting as such is not possible on greyhound racing but saying that you can bet on races right up until the race comes under starters orders. The beauty of greyhound racing is they are quick, a middle distance race is around 30 seconds or so, not much time to bet in play. Many bookies will offer commentary and streaming and with a race every 10 minutes or so it is a sport for live betting. For information about individual bookmakers live betting, news and streaming severices see ourbetting site reviews.
Out best bookies for greyhound betting at the top of this page shows the bookies with the best news, results and statistic features. Information displayed on the betting coupons is fairly sparse so if you want to study form you are going to want to pick a bookie with great support features.William Hillhave superb from guides with news and blog features and Skys associated Sporting Life is a great resource for news and results. With many bookies now offering results and statistics guides it makes sense to bet with these features.
Streaming is not quite as wide spread as with horse racing but enough bookies now offer it that you should be able to at least listen to commentary on any given race. Most of our recommended bookies offer free streaming of races on Racing Post TV (available on Sky) and Sky Sports.
With most streaming bookies all races on RPTV are free but you will need to bet at least 1 to watch the others. A list of bookies that offer best odds guarantee and streaming for greyhound racing can be foundhere.
There are tons of greyhound races and competitions in the UK. Here we show you some of the top and most famous races / meetings. Expect to find some decent offers and prices from bookeis for many of events.
Going back to 1927 in 2015 the prize for the winner of this classic race is 250,000. The competition has 6 rounds with about 180 entrants and is run from late May to Late June each year. Originally held at White City from 1927 for nearly 60 years the race is now held atWimbledon stadium. The race is run over 480 metres.
Another original classic held atShawfield stadiumin late April. The race is also held over 480 metres with 36 entrants and a top prize 20,000 to the winner.
Held atShelbourne parkin south Dublin this is the top Irish greyhound race. Another classic first held in 1928, the race is usually held in mid-September and is run over 550 yards.
Relatively new race first run back in 2011. The race is also held over 550 yards atDrumbo Park. 36 entrants compete for a top 25,000 prize.
A classic category one race run atBelle Vueand confined to bitches, first run in 1927, top prize around 15,000.
Held at Wimbledon this is a classic stayers race. This Cat One race is run over 687 metres, first held in 1928 and held at Wembley until 1998.
The top hurdle race, held atSittingbourneand again a classic dating back to 1928. Held at White City until 1984, then Hall Green and Wimbledon before moving to Sittingbourne in 2012.
Top greyhound races on the calendar include the All England Cup held inNewcastle, the Golden Sprint, Essex Vase and Champion Stakes held atRomford, the Arc and Produce stakes run inSwindon, Laurels atBelle Vue, Produce Stakes and Eclipse atNottingham, East Anglian Derby inYarmouth, Steel City Cup inSheffieldof course, Gold Cup and Summer Stayers competed atMonmore, Regency and Sussex Cup inHove, Henlow Derby, Lowther Stakes inTowcesterand theSunderlandClassic and Grand Prix.
Run with between 1 and 4 rounds in a maximum 15 day period, minimum prize money of 12,500.
These races have 1 to 3 rounds in a maximum 15 days, minimum prize money for this category is 5,000.
Usually with only 1 or possibly two rounds within a 9 day period but generally run over one day, minimum prize of 1000.
Odds for outright lines are fairly competitive for major races and most bookies will give odds for those at least. Odds can be compared on odds comparison sites. As a rule it helps to bet with the bookie that has the best fixed odds and best odds guarantee. This way of the greyhounds price drift out and the SP is higher you will automatically get the higher odds.
Enhanced oddspromotions,extra placesprice promisesand free bets can be found quite often for televised greyhound racing especially those in association with Sky Sports. For a list of regulargreyhound offerssee our betting offers section.
Greyhound racing offers good payout limits for major races. There are a lot of greyhound meetings so do check the grading as some events classed as minor can sometimes have massively lower limits.
As an example Bet365 payout limits for greyhound racing:
1,000,000 for all BAGS and BEGS meetings, and those covered live on Sky Sports.
25,000 for non BAGS and BEGS meetings at Belle Vue, Coventry, Hall Green, Hove, Monmore, Nottingham, Oxford, Perry Barr, Peterborough, Romford, Sheffield, Sunderland, Swindon and Wimbledon.
25,000 for all other meetings that are published on the website (except exceptions stated below).
10,000 for non BAGS and BEGS meetings at Newcastle, Crayford and Kinsley
10,000 for all other Greyhound Racing not listed above.
5,000 for non BAGS and BEGS meetings at Sittingbourne.
If you like to bet on races one after another you may also want to consider payout times. Greyhound races can be as little as 10 minutes apart so you will want to find a betting site that will settle your wager as quickly as possible to free up funds for the next race. Some bookies are better than other at this.
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