It’s amazing to think it’s not that long ago that the only two ways to enjoy betting on horse racing were to either go to the racecourse, or stand in a betting shop and listen to radio commentaries. However, the savvy punter expects so much more for his money nowadays.
In a world where punters can now bet on course, in betting shops, over the phone, online and by mobile, bookmakers are striving to attract business, enticing new customers with exciting new account bonuses, and keeping members happy by offering exciting promotions and concessions.
Whether you’re new to betting on horse racing, or an experienced punter who’s always looking for the latest promotions to give him an edge in the market – here are a few things you might want to consider.
New Account Bonuses
Most bookmakers are happy to entice punters to become members with new account bonuses, and these can come in various forms. Some bookmakers offer first-deposit matched bonuses, whilst others offer free bets. These range from quite small bonuses to larger bonuses that have wagering requirements, so always read the terms and conditions to make sure you’re happy with them before proceeding.
One of the main reasons most punters should have accounts with several different bookmakers is to make sure they give themselves the best chance of getting the best-odds about their selections. However, it’s also good practice to bet with a bookmaker that offers the best-odds-guaranteed concession, meaning you’ll get paid out at the SP if it’s bigger than the early-price you took about your selection. Some bookmakers even offer best-odds-guaranteed-plus – a promotion which means if the SP is bigger than the price you took, you’ll get the SP boosted to the next official price.
Most people who bet on horse racing also love to watch the races they’ve bet on, which is why many leading bookmakers allow you to watch races shown live on Racing UK or Attheraces on their website. You usually need to place a bet on the race you want to watch, but qualifying bets usually range from just 50p to £1. Some bookmakers now even offer archived horse racing, meaning you can watch plenty of old races to help you study the form.
Some bookmakers even offer Loyalty Rewards to encourage members to always bet with them. An example promotion would be placing five bets of £10 or more in a week to receive a free bet of £10 the following week.
Concessions And Promotions
If you’re the type of punter who’s always looking for an extra edge, then you should keep an eye on all the leading bookmakers’ promotions pages. Here you’ll find all sorts of concessions, such as Enhanced Win-Only Prices, Extra Places, Better Each-Way Terms, or Free Bets for backing winners at 4/1 or more.
Some bookmakers even offer value concessions such as paying out on horses that pass the post first but get disqualified in the Steward’s Room, or not deducting any 5P Rule 4 Deductions.
I appreciate, that’s quite a bit of information, which is why I’ve picked out who I think are the three best bookmakers to use for betting on horse racing – as they provide everything you need between them… and more.
A Brief History
It’s hard to believe that in the year 2000 Ladbrokes was just starting life in a Portakabin in Stoke. However, such was the drive and innovation behind Ladbrokes, that it can now rightly call itself the world’s leading online bookmaker with over 20 Million Customers in over 200 countries.
Open Account Offer
Ladbrokes current offer the best “Open Account Offer”, and any new member opening an account is eligible for a 100% Match Bonus of between £10 and £200.
The significant terms and conditions of this offer are you must wager the sum of your qualifying deposit and bonus 3x, and only online bets containing one or more selections with odds of 1.5 or greater will count towards the wagering requirements. These wagering requirements must also be fulfilled within 90 days.
Best Odds Guaranteed
Ladbrokes also offer Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG) on every horse race in the UK or Ireland. For example, if you take 8/1 about a horse that is returned 10/1 you’ll be paid out at 10/1.
Ladbrokes Price Promise
From 10am, Ladbrokes promise to offer the best odds on all horses running in races that will be shown live on ITV that day, matching prices from Skybet, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, William Hill, Coral and Boylesports.
Ladbrokes Feature Race/ITV Racing 4/1 Offer
If you back the winner of any race shown live on ITV at 4/1 or bigger, or back the winner of any of Ladbrokes’s Feature Races at 4/1 or bigger, Ladbrokes will give you a no-lose bet up to the same stake (Maximum £50) on the next ITV or Feature Race.
Racing Value Concessions
- Enhanced win-only prices
- Enhanced Place Terms: including extra places, and 1/4 odds on each-way betting that would normally be 1/5 odds
- Showcasts: Take best odds guaranteed prices on forecasts and tricasts
- Get paid out on any horse that gets disqualified after being first past the post on all win and each-way bets, including ante-post bets.
- No 5P Rule 4 Deductions
Watch Live And Archived Horse Racing
When you place a qualifying bet at Ladbrokes, you can also watch the race or races you have bet on live on desktop, Android, iPad or iPhone. You can also access Ladbrokes’s Racing Archive on these devices, where you can watch races that were broadcast on Racing UK and Attheraces.
It’s easy to see why Ladbrokes is the world’s leading online bookmaker, as it ticks lots of boxes that the savvy punter looks for. You get a fantastic welcome bonus of up to £200, best odds guaranteed, and you can watch all UK and Irish Horse Races Live. Meanwhile, their Price Promise, 4/1 Free Bet Offers, and Racing Value Concessions are all likely to put extra money in your account at some point.
A Brief History
Paddy Power was established in 1988, and is Ireland’s biggest bookmaker, with a large high-street presence, and an even bigger online and mobile membership. It’s a bookmaker that takes itself very seriously, but also knows how to make punting fun. It’s famous for some crazy adverts, whilst it also offers some of the best concessions of any bookmaker on the planet.
Open Account Offer
If you open a Paddy Power account and deposit just £10 – you’ll receive £30 in free bets, which is the equivalent of a 300% Bonus.
Best Odds Guaranteed
Paddy Power offer best odds guaranteed on all Irish and UK Horse Racing. For example, even if a horse you’ve backed at 2/1 drifts out all the way to 10/1 (or any other price) you’ll get paid out at the bigger odds.
VIPP Loyalty Offer
If you fancy some regular free bets at Paddy Power, then you’ll want to opt in to this promotion as players placing five bets of £/€10 or more between Monday and Sunday of any week will receive a £/€10 Free Bet the following Monday. Bets may be placed as singles or multiples providing combined odds are greater than 1.5. This offer applies to all online, phone and mobile bets.
Extra Place Specials
Paddy Power are famous for their concessions, one of which is their extra-place specials on certain races. They will often pay-out on 4 places instead of 3 places, or even 5 places instead of 4 places.
Money Back Specials
Another fantastic concession that Paddy Power are famous for is their Money Back Specials, which usually give punters their stake back as a free bet if their selection finishes second, third or fourth to the SP favourite in featured races.
Crowd Powered Prices
Paddy Power also offer Crowd Powered Prices on certain bets, and the odds they offer increase when an agreed number of punters bet on the stated outcome.
All horse races broadcast in the UK or Ireland can also be watched at Paddy Power, once a qualifying bet has been placed on that race.
Paddy Power may not offer the biggest new account bonus, but their 300% Bonus is still well worth claiming. However, where Paddy Power really makes its mark is the extra concessions it offers such as Extra-Places and Money-Back Specials. Meanwhile, the new VIPP Loyalty Offer and Crowd Powered Prices suggest that there will be many more exciting times ahead with this innovative bookmaker.
A Brief History
When you bet with Ladbrokes, you’re betting with a company with a long-established reputation in the bookmaking industry, a company that states its values as having a love for sport and respect for its members. It has recently teamed up with Coral to create the biggest high-street bookmaking presence in the UK, as well as a massive global online presence.
Open Account Offer
Ladbrokes are currently offering new members a choice of two great open account offers.
The first is the chance to open an account and deposit just £5, and receive £20 in Free Bets. You must first bet the £5 you deposited on a single with odds of at least 1.5 and, once this bet is settled, you can place your four £5 Free Bets on singles or multiples.
Alternatively, you can make a first bet of between £5 and £50 and receive a matching 100% Bonus as a Free Bet. Both bets can be singles or multiples, providing selections have odds of 1.5 or higher.
Best Odds Guaranteed Plus
Many bookmakers offer best odds guaranteed, however whilst Ladbrokes also offer this concession on all UK and Irish Horse Racing, they also take this offer one step further by offering Best Odds Guaranteed on certain meetings (usually one meeting per day). Therefore, at these meetings, if the SP is higher than the price you took when placing your bet, you will not only get the better odds – but the price your bet is settled at will be boosted to the next price. For example, if you took 8/1 and the SP of your selection is 10/1 – you’ll actually get paid out at 11/1.
The recent merger between Ladbrokes and Coral means that the UK’s biggest high-street bookmaker is now in a powerful position, and it’s clearly aiming to attract plenty of new punters with its two new-account offers. Meanwhile, savvy punters would be crazy not to make the most of their Best Odds Guaranteed Plus Promotion.