When you start following a new sport, there is a lot to learn. New cricket fans wonder what a googly is and just where is silly mid-off? It’s the same with greyhound racing with lots of jargon to get to grips with. Then there are the odds that are available on each race. Just what do they all mean?
The All-Important Odds
When you go to a watch greyhound racing or watch the races in your local bookmakers, betting is an important consideration. Bookmakers will offer odds on each race, and it is important that you fully understand them.
There are several different kinds of odds, the main ones being fractional and decimal. An example of a fractional odd is 5/2. This means if you stake £2 on a greyhound to win, you will receive £5 in winnings, plus your stake back making a return of £7. In decimal odds, the equivalent is 3.5. That £2 bet will see you receive £7 (3.5 x 2).
Types of Bets
Bookmakers regularly offer odds on which trap will produce the most winners during a meeting. For a comprehensive greyhound betting guide, be inspired by this page on onlinesportsbettingsites.co.uk.
There are several bets that you can make in greyhound racing. It’s not all about placing a bet on a greyhound to win its race. A straight forecast bet sees you having to correctly name the first and second finishers in the right order. For example, trap three to beat trap two. A reverse forecast allows you to get the first two home in any order but costs more to place.
It seems these days that there is an increasing number of bets that you can make.
What is a Trap?
Now we look at the jargon that is used in greyhound racing. ‘Trap’ has already been mentioned, but what exactly is that? Don’t worry it’s nothing that will put you in danger.
Whereas in horse racing, they have starting stalls, in greyhound racing they have traps. This is where the greyhounds wait just before the race begins. There are usually six of them in a line, so the greyhound has a level start. Some wider courses have eight-dog races; smaller ones only have five dogs competing.
Traps at Irish greyhound racing tracks are among improvements hoped for in a €250,000 improvement programme announced by the Irish Greyhound Board.
Hats off to the Grader
There are also handicap races, but these see the greyhounds having a staggered start. The grader (more about that in a moment), works out the distance start a greyhound can give to one that isn’t quite as talented. The supposedly best greyhound races off ‘scratch’ and will have to pass the inferior ones to win the race.
A photo finish can produce plenty of tension in greyhound racing. This is when the finish is so close, and it’s impossible to declare the winner immediately. The judge will look at a photo of the finish to determine the winner. If that is not possible, a dead heat will be called. If this happens in a handicap race, the commentator will usually declare ‘Hats off to the Grader.’
So, what is a grader? Greyhound racing splits into several different grades, ensuring that the race runs between dogs of a similar ability. The grader will judge the individual performances and determine which grade a dog will run in. If it is putting in good performances, it can go up to a higher grade, if in bad form, it can drop a grade.
When you are looking to make a profit from betting on greyhound racing, an important term is ‘Banker.’ There are lots of experts who publish racing tips, and the one they think has the best chance of winning is called a banker. It can also be called ‘the nap’ with their second-best tip entitled the ‘Next Best (NB).
A popular part of going to a greyhound meeting is the food and drink available. However, bar prices have nothing to do with how much gin and tonic costs. Bookmakers will issue odds for a race or a competition such as the English Greyhound Derby, where Irish greyhounds regularly do well.
They may only mention a certain number of runners, those most likely to win. If they put ‘50/1 Bar,’ that means all the other unnamed competitors have a price of at least 50/1.
As you can see, there is a lot to learn about the odds and jargon used in this sport. It won’t take long to get used to them, and you will enjoy the sport even more.