Greyhound Racing Bets

Greyhound Racing BetsJust like horse racing, greyhounds command a large betting audience, with the sport and gambling very much linked. Meets attract plenty of punters who take advantage of the odds and specials on offer there, but the growing exposure to greyhound racing both on television and online mean there are now increased betting opportunities for all.

Many large bookmakers offer a range of online markets on all of the big meets and races, with options ranging from simple race bets to combination and specials bets. Here are a few of the most common betting markets for the sport.

Race Betting

The simplest of all bets, punters are asked to wager on the dog they expect to win the race. Very much like horse racing, there are race favourites and outsiders, and factors such as form, the reputation of the trainer and track conditions all have an impact on the odds. Dogs leaving a ‘favourable’ trap, though the definition of favourable is in this case very much open to interpretation, can also inspire a flurry of bets and shorten a dog’s odds.

While some dogs are faster and more suited to the race than others, there is much more of a chance the odds will be turned on their head than in horse racing. Some would argue that the safest option is to avoid the rank outsider, steer clear of the favourite and pick a well-placed dog with competitive odds.

Place Betting

If gambling on a winner seems too risky a venture, place betting is a handy solution. Instead of betting on a dog to win outright, the stake is laid on a top two finish. Therefore, if the dog finishes either first or second, the bet wins. The caveat to that bet is that the odds are much shorter than race winner odds, and if a dog wins the race you do not receive the sort of winnings you would by betting outright.

Each Way Betting

Essentially, each way betting means you are betting twice on a dog. One bet on it to win the race, the other on it to place. That means the number of chances for the bet to be successful increase, but the wager doubles, so a £1 each way bet means the punter puts £2 on the dog.

If the dog wins, both bets are successful, while if the dog finishes in any position behind first that counts as part of the bet, the wager on winning is lost but the place bet pays out. As the field for all races is relatively small, an each way bet will normally just entail a top two finish, though it can vary from venue to venue and bookie to bookie.


A much more specific bet, the forecast market asks punters to select the dogs they think will finish first and second. The market can be quite unforgiving – if the dogs finish in the top two, but in the wrong order, the bet fails. However, the potential winnings are exponentially larger than simply betting on an outright winner, or backing a dog to place in the top two.

Because the vast majority of greyhound races have just five or six dogs running, a forecast is much easier to predict at the dogs than it is at the horses. As such forecasts and other related bets, of which more below, are a big feature of greyhound betting.

Reverse Forecast

A reverse forecast bet is to forecast betting what an each way bet is to the outright market. While it is again based on picking the dogs that will finish in first and second, the reverse forecast covers both outcomes. For double the wager, you cover the possibility of either Dog A finishing first ahead of Dog B, or Dog B winning the race with Dog A in second. The odds are naturally shorter than forecast bets, but require more strategy, or at least much better guesswork, than the each way market.


A straight trifecta, or a tricast bet, is an extension of the forecast bet in that punters bet on the dogs that will finish first, second and third, in the order they are written on the betting slip. Trifectas are normally only offered when at least six dogs race, though bar drop-outs pretty much every race will feature six traps. The odds are bigger than for forecast bets and huge compared to simply betting on an outright winner, so the trifecta brings much bigger potential winnings and a much greater risk.

Of course, correctly picking the first three dogs in the right order is extremely difficult. To make things easier, as with a forecast, you can opt for a bet where the order of the dogs doesn’t matter. This is called an “all ways tricast” (or trio) and is essentially six bets in one, such that a £1 bet will cost £6.

Other Greyhounds Bets

The aforementioned markets are the most common ones offered, and are available at every venue as well as on most major bookmakers’ websites. However, on occasion bookies will offer odds on other bets too, though it is in going to race meets and perusing the markets available there that punters tend to get the largest range of options. Here are a handful of other bets that may be available.

Combination Forecast

An extension of the reverse forecast, the combination forecast allows you to select the dogs that will finish in the top two from a larger selection. For instance, picking three dogs means if any two of the three place in the top two, the bet that selected those two dogs wins. The total stake would be £6 from a £1 bet, because there are six possible combinations.

Daily Double

The Daily Double requires bettors to pick the winner in two races which are pre-selected by the track, rather than just one. Some venues will offer the Daily Double on consecutive races, though that is not always the case. Betting on one winner is a challenge; betting on two is extremely difficult. The vastly increased odds make up for that however, if you are feeling lucky.

Pick 3

For thrill-seekers who laugh in the face of the Daily Double, the Pick 3 market asks punters to pick the winner of three consecutive races, with the bet being made before the first race begins. Pick 4 and Pick 6 wagers are also sometimes offered, paying out the sort of winnings that make headlines. Of course, in essence these are just accumulators and you can create your own greyhound accas by selecting any number of dogs and races.

Trap Challenge

The Trap Challenge asks punters to bet not on the dogs, but on the traps. When you bet on a Trap Challenge, you are betting on the trap that most winning dogs will leave from during the day. The Challenge is usually specific to one day and one location, which can mean two or three races form the bet, or quite a few more.

There is more strategy involved than one might think; statistics can be found detailing the most successful traps at certain race locations, while regular racegoers notice idiosyncrasies of the sport such as the inside traps being more successful in wet weather conditions.


There are plenty of specials offered on greyhound racing, but they are more often than not devised by the host track (and only offered there). These vary from location to location and are not relevant to online betting but if you happen to go for a day out at the dogs, be sure to look out for these.