Recommended Greyhound Betting Sites 2020
Greyhound racing is one of the sports most traditionally associated with betting in the UK. It traces its roots back to the turn of the 20th Century, but it has seen some seismic changes to its exposure in recent years, including a marked decline in attendances at the track. However, greyhound racing is still hugely popular with punters and is seen as a growing market online. Indeed, many top bookmakers still feature dog racing prominently, with plenty of focus on offers and promotions. Some of the best sites for greyhound betting coverage are shown in the table below:
Best Betting Site for Greyhound Odds
As with all sports, greyhound betting odds are going to differ from bookmaker to bookmaker. For some perspective, let’s look at the odds for the ante-post market for a notable greyhound race set for 2nd June 2018, the Derby Plate:
|Brand||Droopy’s Expert||Sporting Dave||Black Farren|
Best Site for Dog Racing Betting Promotions & Offers
All of PlayRight’s recommended online bookmakers are selected as a consequence of providing top promotions to punters across a variety of sports. However, some on the list provide excellent promotions specifically for greyhound race gambling.
Paddy Power sport, for example, ran a money back special on greyhound races for the month of May. The promotion refunded up to £25 on losing singles on selected races if your selection finished second to the SP (starting price) favourite. In addition, Paddy Power’s greyhound racing betting is also compatible with their Paddy’s Rewards Club promotion. With this promotion, you will receive a £10 free bet each week when placing five £10 bets on sports, including greyhounds and virtual greyhounds.
Verdict: Paddy Power
Best Site for In-Play Greyhound Betting
In the UK, the average race distance will be something between 480-525 metres. It takes the dogs around 30 seconds to complete a race, so you can guess that there would be slightly less emphasis on live in-play betting with greyhound racing than with other sports. However, the opportunity is still there to watch the latest live greyhound races, with bookmakers, such as Betfair Sports, allowing you to stream and watch the action if you have placed a bet on the race.
Best Site for Greyhound Betting Markets
Bookmakers will have special markets for big events like the English Greyhound Derby or The Oaks, but it can be difficult to find more than win (win and each-way) markets in day-to-day racing. However, Sky Bet comes out on top in terms of choice of greyhound betting markets. Below is an example of the markets offered for a low-key race held at Bell Vue at 2.08pm on 30th May 2018:
- Win/ Each-Way
- Inside vs Outside
- Inside vs Middle vs Outside
- Place Betting: 2 Places and 3 Places
Paddy Power should also be highlighted for their commitment to bringing a wide range of betting markets. While Sky Bet offers more markets, Paddy Power usually runs an intriguing market on ‘finishing in the bottom three’. Certainly, this would be an attractive bet to punters who feel they can spot a weaker runner.
Verdict: Sky Bet
Popular Types of Greyhound Racing Explained
As mentioned above, there are lots of different dog racing bets you can make with an online bookmaker. You should keep in mind that a standard greyhound race will have six runners. The most popular types are explained below:
|Straight Win||A bet on which dog will win the race.|
|Place Bet||A bet on a dog finishing in the top two positions.|
|Show Bet||A bet on a dog finishing in the top three positions.|
|Win-Place Bets||Sometimes called an each-way bet, this is a wager on your selection winning and/or being placed (requires two bets).|
|Pick 3||A bet on the winner of three consecutive races (odds are accumulated, but all three selections must win to pay out).|
|Perfecta/Straight Forecast||A bet on two dogs to finish first and second (in the correct order).|
|Trifecta/Treble Forecast||A bet on three dogs to finish first, second and third (in the correct order).|
|Superfecta||A bet on four dogs to finish first-fourth (in the correct order).|
|Reverse Forecast||Choose two dogs to finish first and second (correct order not necessary).|
|Multiple||Sometimes called a parlay or accumulator, a multiple refers to bets on a number of races (odds are accumulated).|
Dog Racing Tips, Tipsters and Systems
Most greyhound betting systems will focus on traps, i.e. predicting patterns based around the trap number of the previous winner etc. Anyone following these types of systems should proceed with caution as they are often found to be unreliable. In fact, looking around betting forums, you will see that many ‘tipsters’ offering advice on trap-based systems are scorned by bettors.
In saying that, trap position can be important and there is some evidence to suggest that marginal gains can be made by backing runners out of certain traps. For example, a 2015 study across all types of dog races showed that trap 2 and 3 were marginally more successful (18%) than trap 6 (15%) across the year. The main point here, however, is that if you can find an indication that your selection’s trap position can help it get a clean start, you may be able to make some profit out of selecting through a trap.
As is increasingly common with other sports, tipster sites will encourage you to pay a fee for signing up for greyhound racing tips. Some, such as greyhoundracingtips.info, will provide 40 dog tips per month for a fee of £29.99. Some of the advertised statistics, such as a 40% strike rate, sound very impressive, but you also must question whether you have the time, money and inclination to bet on greyhounds every day. In short, paying for tipsters should be reserved for serious punters.
In the end though, there is plenty of information online for you to do your own research on greyhound races. Like horse racing, information on trainers, form, age and other factors like the weather can all be used to help with your betting success.
Virtual Greyhound Betting
Almost all top UK bookmakers will have a dedicated virtual betting section. These ‘virtuals’ will include sports like horse racing, football, cycling and greyhound racing. Everything about virtual betting is the same as regular betting, including odds based on previous form, except one thing, and that is that virtual sports are computer generated. When gambling on a virtual dog race, for example, the site will use an algorithm to ensure a fair result for the race, but, as with all virtual sports betting, the race (or match) itself takes place only virtually, on a computer screen.
You will need to sign up to a bookmaker as normal to place a virtual bet. However, some on the recommend list, such as Paddy Power, allow you to watch virtual greyhound racing free without opening an account. The biggest draw with virtual dog racing betting is that you can place a wager whenever you want. Races literally start every couple of minutes and will run twenty-four hours a day.
UK’s Main Greyhound Races
Below is a look at some of the most important races in UK greyhound racing. It should be noted that most ‘Derbies’ are not individual events, but knockout competitions that feature heats run over a period of several weeks.
English Greyhound Derby
First run in 1927, the English Greyhound Derby is the most prestigious dog race in Britain. It has been held at Towcester Greyhound Stadium (500m track) since 2017. Run over a series of heats in late-spring, it culminates with the Final in early June. The prize for the 2017 winner (Astute Missile) was £175,000.
Scottish Greyhound Derby
Held at Shawfield Stadium in Glasgow in early April, the Scottish Greyhound Derby has been run since 1928. It has also moved venues several times over the years but has been at the 480m Shawfield track since 1995. The 2018 champion, The Other Reg, picked up £20,000 in prize money.
Irish Greyhound Derby
Held at Shelbourne Park and run over 550 yards (approx. 502m), the Irish Greyhound Derby has been a major race since its inaugural event in 1928. The heats are run in August, with the Final taking place in late September. €150,000 (approx. £130,000) was awarded to the last winner, Good News.
Northern Irish Derby
A relatively new event in greyhound racing, the Northern Irish Derby is held at Drumbo Park. It was first run in 2011 – becoming the richest dog race in Northern Ireland with a £20,000 prize. 36 dogs contest the heats of the Northern Irish Derby on the 550-yard track, which takes place from early to mid-June.
Other Notable Races
Other important races include: Ladbrokes Golden Jacket (Crayford, February), William Hill Classic and Grand Prix (Sunderland, July), Puppy Derby (Towcester, November). Essex Vase (Romford, November) and Champion Stakes (Romford, August).
Greyhound Racing Grades and Disciplines
As with horse racing, dog racing runners are split into grades based on their perceived level. Generally, the best greyhounds will be put into Grade 1 races, next best into Grade 2, the next into Grade 3 and so on. Of course, performances and results can mean that a dog can go up and down the grades.
Aside from the grades, it is important to note that not all greyhound races are the same in terms of distance and style. These are usually determined by the number of bends in the track a runner must navigate:
- 2 bends = sprint
- 4 bends = standard
- 6 bends = stayers
- 8 bends = marathon
So, as an example, the 17:07 at Bell Vue on 30th May has the prefix “A2” before it. In this case, the ‘A’ refers to a standard race (4 bends) and the ‘2’ to the fact that there the runners are Grade 2 dogs. Sprint (usually prefixed with a ‘D’) and standard are by far the most frequent type of dog races you will come across in the UK.
In addition to this, races will also come in different categories: Category One, Category Two, Category Three. The Derbies and other important races mentioned in the section above all fall into the Category One section. Some interesting Category Two and Three races include: The Coronation Cup and Rose Bowl (Romford), Northern Flat Championship (Bell Vue) and Yorkshire Oaks (Sheffield).
A final aspect to consider for dog racing betting is the sex and age of the dog. In terms of sex, it’s worth noting if the runner is male (dog) or female (bitch). Generally, dogs are considered somewhat more reliable (in terms of consistency) than bitches. This is because both training and competition can be interrupted by the bitch being in heat. There will usually be an abbreviation on the race card, referring to ‘d’ (dog) and ‘b’ (bitch). There is no general rule to say that a dog is better than a bitch, but you may want to do some extra research if a bitch is your selection, i.e. to check whether the bitch is back to peak form after being in heat or giving birth.
The age of the dog is also very important. A puppy, in terms of greyhound racing, is considered as such up until 24 months of age. A puppy can race from 15 months, so there is a nine-month window for a puppy to race in special events like the Puppy Derby. When the greyhound reaches two years old, the trainer can generally tell whether it will have a successful career or not.
Greyhound Racing: History and Overview
Modern greyhound racing is said to have originated with the invention of the electric hare in California in the 1910s. The first race in the UK took place in 1926 at Bell Vue, with the inaugural English Greyhound Derby taking place a year later at White City Stadium.
In terms of track attendances, there has been a big decline in greyhound racing in the UK over the last few decades. Ironically, some of this decline was attributed to the big rise in bookmakers’ shops on the UK high street in the 1950s and 1960s, with the inference being that punters no longer needed to go to the track to place their bets.
The fact that there have been so many closures is undeniable. For example, in the 1940s, Britain had nearly 300 greyhound tracks, today, there are 27. However, online betting companies may hold the key to keeping the remaining tracks going in the future. There is much debate about whether a statutory levy taken from bookmakers can help the industry sustain itself while at the same time providing other benefits such as animal welfare.
Greyhound racing is obviously most comparable with horse racing in that there is a wealth of information available to help you with your betting success. As with horse racing, it pays to shop around bookmakers to find the best odds and types of market. In addition, some online bookies can help supplement your bets with regular greyhound betting promotions. PlayRight’s recommended list of bookmakers has been carefully chosen on the basis that they offer the right blend of top odds, choice of markets and betting promotions.