There are many differences between horse racing in the United States and horse racing in the UK. These include the racing surface, how horses are rated for speed, and the handicap system of making races competitive. The most important distinction may be that bookmakers still control much of the betting action at race tracks in the UK. Here is some idea of what to expect when you attend live UK horse racing.
Horse Betting with Bookmakers
When one arrives at a horse racing venue in the UK they will be greeted by a curious sight on the racing apron. Colorful banners and electronic displays will herald the presence of numerous bookmakers. These bookies set up shop right beside the race track where they can take betting action from the public.
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Some bookmakers like Ladbrokes are large operations that can be found at almost every track. Other bookies may be a smaller operation that is owned by one person who has a staff. Either way, the horse racing bookies in the UK make millions from booking horse racing bets. This is the primary way that most live racing fans in the UK bet horses.
It can be quite a spectacle to see these individuals at the racing venue. They are shouting out odds like carnival barkers, accepting bets, and paying them out when someone is lucky enough to win. It gives the racing venue something that is close to a casino environment.
What is a Bookmaker in UK Horse Racing?
A bookmaker is someone that facilitates wagering for those who want to bet on horses. This person or business “books” the bet from a racing fan, which means that they guarantee the bet with their own money. In other words, when you make a bet with the bookie the bookie is responsible for making sure you get paid if you win. The race track is not involved other than collecting commissions that permit the bookmaker to stay in business.
Bookmakers have a pretty sweet deal. They actually can’t lose. When you make a bet with the bookie you either win or lose, just like you would when betting at a race track in the US. The bookie, however, makes something either way. If you lose, the bookie retains your wager. If you win a small fee is deducted from your winnings in most cases. This fee is basically what you pay for the privilege of betting.
A bookmaker can also set the odds that they are willing to offer on each horse in a race. So, that horse that should be 5-1 on the tote board can be offered by the bookie at odds of 3-1. Whatever odds that you agree on with the bookmaker are the odds that you will receive.
In the US there is a much different way of betting on horses. The bookmaker in the US has long been removed from horse racing, and for a very good reason. Bookmakers were popular in the US when there were no simulcast broadcasts of racing events. In those days, you would read about a race in the Daily Racing Form or newspaper and then call up the bookie to make a bet. The bookie would take your bet and you would then wait to find out if your horse won the event. Sometimes the waiting could take days, and sometimes the bookie could be very hard to find when you won. Sometimes the bookies would even arrange for false reports on the outcome of a race so that they would not have to pay out winnings!
Other Ways to Bet on Horses in the UK
At EZ Horse Betting we are often asked by people if there are other ways to bet on horse racing in the UK. Some people just don’t like dealing with bookmakers, and they find many of the bets that the bookies offer to be confusing. There are indeed other ways that you can make racing bets in the UK.
Many race tracks now offer tote board or parimutuel betting in the UK. This is the same type of betting that you will find at American race tracks. Each bet that is offered in a parimutuel system has its own betting pool attached to it. All of the money that is wagered by bettors goes into the pool. Once the race is over the winners are paid out from the pool in shares equal to the amount of money that they have bet. The person who bet $10 will receive twice as much as the person who bet $5. This is how odds on each horse in a race are determined.
Tote board betting as the advantage of being controlled by the betting public. Those who are making the bets set the odds, not the bookmakers. This means bettors are usually getting fairer odds that are more likely to reflect a horse’s genuine ability to win a race.
There is another way to bet horses in the UK that you may find even more appealing. EZ Horse Betting suggests that you try creating an account with an online racebook that features horse racing from tracks in the UK. All of the racebooks that we recommend do, and you don’t even have to live in the UK to play the tracks there.
Your online racebook account will give you access to tracks in many parts of the world. Some racebooks include racing in Japan, Australia, and other locations. You will get to make the same tote board bets at the racebook that you would get to make at the track. In addition, online racebooks offer special perks like free past performances, free race replays, and many other handicapping tools. You could also be given a free money bonus when you make your first wagering deposit. Wagering is available on a computer, phone, or tablet.
Remember, the best way to beat the bookies at UK horse racing is not to bet with them in the first place! Use tote board betting at an online racebook and you could see your UK racing profits substantially increase. See our Bovada racebook review, Twinspires review or even our Betamerica review. All great choice if you are in the US. 5Dimes review for folks anywhere!
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