The Grand National is the biggest horseracing event on the calendar, and not justone favored by the sports enthusiasts, since it’s also one of the betting events of the year. So what’s the best way to bet at the Grand National?
Held annually on the Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool in the UK, the Grand National has been on the go since 1839.
Forty different horses are trained by some the world’s best trainers and ridden by top jockeys, attracting crowds of up to 150,000 people and gluing the millions to the TV screens.
To make things more fun, placing bets on the Grand National has become a national pastime in the UK.
Although a few long shots, with 100/1 odds, have won the race, there should be a little method in the madness when it comes to placing bets.
The past 5 Grand National winners:
• 2013: Auroras Encore rode by Ryan Mania, SP Odds 66/1
• 2012: Neptune Collonges rode by Daryl Jacob, SP Odds 33/1
• 2011: Ballabriggs rode by Jason Maguire, SP Odds 14/1
• 2010: Don’t Push It rode by Tony McCoy, SP Odds 10/1
• 2009: Mon Mome rode by Liam Treadwell, SP Odds 100/1
A flutter on the Grand National is a fun activity even for those who do not usually gamble. It becomes a social event, but for those new to betting on a horse it can be a daunting experience.
To get things started, players need to find the right bookmakers. Land-based bookies are a good place for those who want to get a little additional help from the staff there, and also adds to the betting experience.
However, the most efficient method is to pick the bet fit from the number of online sportsbooks in the UK and Ireland who take bets on the Grand National.
Irish bookies Paddy Power are a trusted name with a renowned level of customer service. Signing up for an account with them is easy and they offer lots of money back promotions and special offers, not to mention a free GBP 250 when you open an account.
William Hill is another popular choice, especially when it comes to the Grand National. They are a trusted brand that accepts all varieties of credit cards. Other bookmakers to keep in mind include BetVictor, Bet365 and SkyBet.
Betting exchanges are another route to go down on, if you want to lay a horse, saying that it would lose, or making a “place bet”, your best options are Betfair or Ladbrokes’ new betting exchange.
Once the bookie is picked, a deposit is made into the account and then clients are ready to bet. Select the Horse Racing category and then choose the Grand National or 4.15 Aintree.
How to Bet
On first glance, betting could appear daunting to newbies. There are many horses to choose from, but not only that, there are different types of bets on offer.
The standard bet is the usual “win bet”, sometimes referred to as “On the Nose” betting. This is fairly simple. A horse with odds of 12-1 is picked and the customer puts down a stake of GBP 10.
This means that should the horse win, the customer will get GBP 10 x 12 plus the original stake back, so the total winnings would add up to GBP 130. However, should the horse lose, then the client forfeit their initial GBP 10 stake.
“Each-way” betting is another popular way to place bets on the Grand National. The punter has to put in double the stake, since two bets are being made.
One of the GBP 10 goes on the traditional win bet, whereas the other is placed on what is known as a “Place bet”.
The latter bets that the horse will come in either the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th positions in the race. If the horse should win then the customer collects both sets of winnings.
Place bets are set with odds that are normally ¼ of the original ones. So taking the above example, the winnings would be GBP 10 x 12 x ¼ + GBP 10 = GBP 40.
If the horse wins, the customer takes home GBP 170, if it comes in up to 4th place, then they would only take home GBP 40.
It is possible to only undertake a “place bet”. Totesport and the betting exchanges are good places to do those.
It is also possible to lay a horse, betting against a certain horse to win, but this can only be undertaken at a betting exchange like Betfair.
Which Horse to Pick?
Perhaps one of the hardest things a first time better or even for non-first-timers to do is pick a good horse.
While it might seem tempting to back a horse solely based on its name might be the easy option, but it’s not the smartest strategy.
There is a science to horse racing, and unlike the lottery it’s not based purely on chance. For those looking to win then a serious attitude needs to be adopted.
One tried and tested process of elimination is that horses that carry an excess of 11 stone rarely win. The handicap of the horse often refers to the allotted weight of the horse.
While this can help to cut down the numbers significantly, some horses over 11 stone have won the past four years.
Only 40 horses can run in the race, so another factor to consider is that horses running below the number 50 are unlikely to run. It’s best to bet on a horse that is guaranteed to make the line up. However, unexpected circumstances can lead to race dropouts.
It’s good to follow blogs and learn us much about the horses that are running, but even with favorites, it’s worth to note that only 8 out of the last 51 favorites have won. The odds are also more likely to give you fewer winnings should you bet.
The best way to bet to win is to do your homework – keep your eye out for advice from the experts to help you place your bet for the 5 April 2014.