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A Beginner’s Guide to Greyhound Racing Betting

Greyhound racing remains an incredibly popular sport and betting on it is hugely exciting. There are greyhound races taking place in many countries around the world and each race brings with it many opportunities to place a bet and win.  

In this guide, we will explain all that you need to know to start betting on greyhound races. There are many different standard bets available, and we shall explain them all as well as the best way to use them. We will also look at the different factors that you should research before placing a bet to try to give yourself the best possible chance of winnings.  

Popular Greyhound Racing Bets 

When betting on a greyhound race you have many options beyond simply picking a winner. There are many different types of bet and if you want to have the best chance of success, then you should make sure that you understand all of them. Greyhound racing bets are often split into two categories, Common bets and Exotic bets. Here we will explain them all to you.  

Common Greyhound Racing Bets 

These are all bets on a single greyhound. 

  • Win – This is the most straightforward kind of bet, it is a bet on a particular dog to win a race. If it does, then you win the bet. 
  • Place – This is a bet on a dog to come in first or second place. If the greyhound finishes in one of the two positions, then you win. The odds on these bets will be less generous than a Win bet, but it gives you a greater chance of winning.  
  • Show – This is a bet on a dog to finish in first, second or third place. Similar to the Place bet, the odds will be shorter, but there chances of winning are greater.  
  • Across the Board – This bet is a combination of the above three. It is a win, place and show bet on a single dog. If your chosen dog wins the race then you win all three bets. If the dog finishes second, then you win the place and show bets, and if the dog finishes third, then you win the show bet. Essentially, the bet gives you the chance to improve your odds of winning something and you could be in for a pleasant surprise if the dog does better than expected.  

Exotic Greyhound Racing Bets  

These bets give you the chance to bet on multiple dogs in one bet, potentially increasing your winnings. However, these bets are harder to win than common bets (which is why they offer greater returns).  

  • Quinella – This requires you to pick dogs to finish in first and second place. However, it does not matter what order the dogs finish in, as long as they finish in the top two positions. 
  • Exacta – This is very similar to the quinella bet; however, the order in which the dogs finish is important. You need to pick which dog will finish first and which will finish second. As it is a harder bet than the quinella, the odds will be better, meaning that the winnings may be larger.  
  • Trifecta – This is almost the same as an exacta bet, except that it requires you to pick which dog will finish first, which will finish second, and which will finish third.  
  • Superfecta – Like the previous two bets, but this bet requires you to pick the dogs that will finish first, second, third and fourth in the correct order.  
  • Daily Double – This is a bet on two separate races. It requires you to pick the winner for both races. Normally, a Daily Double bet is offered on the first two races of a day.  
  • Pick 3 – This is exactly the same as the Daily Double bet, but it requires you to pick winners for three races instead of two. Occasionally you may also see Pick 4 or Pick 6 markets, on four or six races respectively.  
  • Jackpots – Some racetracks will offer jackpot bets, which usually involves a rolling prize associated with winning a Pick 6. The jackpot will continue to grow until someone wins a Pick 6 bet and then collects the entire pot. It can take a long time for this to happen, so the jackpot prizes may be very substantial.  
  • Boxing bets – This is a good bet to use when you think you know how a number of dogs will perform but you aren’t sure about specific place finishes. It requires you to cover all possible combinations and permutations. These bets can be placed on a quinella, trifecta or superfecta. For example, you could “box” six dogs on a trifecta bet and then if three of those six dogs finish in the top three, you would win the bet. You can box up to eight dogs, but the more dogs you box, the more expensive the bet.  
  • Keying bets – This is similar to boxing a bet, but instead you choose one dog, the key dog, to win.  
  • Parlay – As with a number of other sports, a parlay bet is placed across a number of races. If your bet on the first race wins, then the winnings roll over to the next bet, and so on until all the races are complete. The bets have very long odds and can result in huge payouts, but this is because they are very difficult to win. 

There are a few more types of bets that you may find on a greyhound race: 

  • Inside v Outside – The dogs in a race start from traps. This type of bet allows you to back either the three or four outside traps as one or the three or four inside traps. If any dog from your selection wins the race, then you win the bet. 
  • Odds v Evens – This is similar to the Inside v Outside bet, but it involves the trap numbers. You bet on the dogs starting from the traps with even numbers or with odd numbers.  
  • Top, Middle or Bottom – In the UK and Ireland there are six-dog races. This bet allows you to bet on two dogs starting next to each other. You can bet on the top two dogs, the middle two, or the bottom two. 
  • Winning Distance – This is a bet on the distance you think the winning dog will win by. Usually there will be a number of options, such as Under 1 length, 1 to 2 lengths, or more than 2 lengths.  

What to Consider when Betting on Greyhound Racing 

When betting on a greyhound race, many people, particularly those who are betting for fun, will just choose a dog based upon its name, its trap number, or the colour of jacket it is wearing. However, if you want to give yourself a better chance of placing winning bets, then there are a number of factors that you should consider.  


It may seem obvious, but looking at the recent form of a dog is an incredibly important thing to do ahead of a race. You can look at how it has run in recent weeks, how many times it has run, where it has run, where it has finished, and what kind of times it has posted. It is up to you how you interpret these facts and doing so is a skill in itself. For instance, a dog may have won many races, but as a result, there is a chance it will be tired.  


In the UK and Ireland, the standard distance for a greyhound race is 525 yards. However, there are also Sprint, Middle Distance and Long Distance races that are run over distances as short as 300 yards and as long as 1010 yards. You will also find hurdle races, which are normally between 300 and 575 yards. When looking at a dog’s form, do not forget to take into account the distance and nature of the races.  


While greyhound races in the UK and Ireland will normally have just six dogs in a race, in other countries, such as Australia, there are eight-dog races. The draw refers to the trap number that a dog is starting in. Many consider the best trap to be on the inside line, as this gives the dog the shortest route, especially if the first bend is just a short distance from the traps.  


Each greyhound race is given a different grade. For instance, you may see six 525-yard races taking place, but each of those races will be open to a different class of greyhound. The grading is based upon a dog’s time over the standard distance of 525 yards. Dogs are awarded a letter, a number or both, with A, 1 or A1 considered the highest grade (although it is AA0 in Ireland, 1 in Australia and A in America).  


As with any sport, not all trainers are the same. Many consider the trainer to be less important when betting on greyhounds, but it is still a good idea to be aware of the different trainers and what they are best known for. Some trainers may be better at training female dogs, others may be better with younger dogs, and so on. 


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