Bookmakers and Odds
Other countries, including those in the United Kingdom and Australia, use bookmakers. Often called “bookies” for short, these organizations or people take and pay off wagers at different odds than those presented by the racetrack or the pari-mutuel tote. This practice is illegal in the United States.
Whereas North America has win, place, and show wagering, the United Kingdom offers “each way” wagering, where one half of the stake goes towards winning, and the other half goes towards the second and third place, or even fourth place if there are over 16 runners with a quarter or fifth of the odds. Online betting sites have even given the option to go to fifth or sixth place with reduced odds.
Standalone shops – formerly known as turf accountants – are prevalent on many streets in the United Kingdom. These shops offer wagering away from the racetrack, much like an Off Track Betting facility in North America. They offer horse racing, greyhound, football, and even virtual racing with animated horses.
In 2001, a betting exchange was unveiled for the first time in England. Bettors were able to make wagers on horses that they were backing to not win, rather than win. This is called “laying” the outcome. This was revolutionary because, for more than 100 years, handicappers were only able to choose what horses they liked to win, not lose.
Backing a horse is liking it to win, and laying a horse is wagering on it to lose. The betting exchange requires people on both sides of the transaction, or it doesn’t work. This type of wagering can also be done during the race, rather than before the gates open.
An accumulator – or parlay bet – is similar to a Pick 3 or Pick 4, where bettors are asked to string together winners from multiple races. The difference, however, is that bettors can select their own races, as opposed to in North America where the multi-race opportunities are selected and printed in advance.
Best Bookmakers for Horse Racing Odds
Some of the best bookmakers we recommend are Bovada, MyBookie, and GTBets. They usually offer a generous welcome bonus for the new users and incredible promotions for the registered bettors. They also accept a variety of deposit and payout methods. We strongly recommend you check them out.