Racecourse bookmakers provide part of the magical ingredients of a raceday.
A busy betting ring of bookmakers adds plenty to the atmosphere and sense of excitement at the racecourse. You will see them with their betting display boards (and sometimes bright umbrellas), usually in front of grandstands and on the rails that divide the different enclosures at the racecourse. This is known as the betting ring.
Racecourse bookmakers advertise the odds they will offer you on each horse in the next race on their display boards. While they may adjust these prices as money is wagered ahead of the race, you will receive the odds advertised for your horse at the time you place your bet – this is known as a fixed-odds bet.
Your potential winnings will be displayed on your printed ticket the bookmaker gives you when you place a bet.
Before placing your bet, you may wish to shop around to see if anyone is offering better odds on your horse than their fellow bookmakers. Equally, some experienced racegoers wait until the last possible moment before the race to place a bet if they believe the odds on their chosen horse will improve, but remember that prices can also decline – or shorten – and you could be too late getting your bet on!
You may find useful this short film on Betting with Racecourse Bookmakers (courtesy of Great British Racing):