Many racecourses will have a betting shop that you can enter to study the information on runners and riders, place a range of bets and watch the racing action on TV.
These are no different to the betting shops on high streets around Britain and will be operated by one of the country’s well-known bookmakers. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask the betting shop staff to help you.
Your potential winnings will be displayed on the printed ticket the bookmaker gives you when you place a bet – this works in the same way as it does in the betting ring by the course.
How to place a bet
The experience of placing a bet in a betting shop at the races or on the high street can be an exciting one and it’s not as complicated as you might think to fill out a betting slip by hand.
This is the part that puts many people off because they’re not sure what to write or mark down, but the slips are all printed in a user-friendly way that makes it clear how to pick a specific horse (or specific horses) and how much money you want to put on it (or them).
You can find the slips and pens or pencils on the counters around the betting shop.
Don’t worry if you get it slightly wrong either – the staff at the counter will always double-check that you have marked down the exact bet you are intending to place so there’s no confusion when you return to the cashier if your horse is placed or wins the race.
How to pick the right horse
Betting on the horses isn’t a scientific process and is more of a game of fun when played responsibly. To get a better understanding of the bets you’re placing in the shop, there are a number of things you can consider to get more informed.
The best place to start if you don’t want to ask the staff is to get your head around the basic jargon in horseracing – you can do that with our racing jargon guide here.
You can then get down to the detail of reading the racecard to see stats like the recent form of the horses in the field. Reading the form might take a bit of getting used to if you’re new to the sport, but once you’ve grasped it, you’ll know your way around a betting shop with a bit more confidence and you’ll add an extra dimension to your raceday experience.
Please remember to gamble responsibly and only bet what you can afford so you can continue to enjoy your day at the races.