As with all sports, there are a number of rules that you need to adhere to and be aware before betting on greyhounds. The majority of rules that we mention in this article are industry standard, in that most bookmakers will apply these rules. But, there may be some discrepancies between each bookmaker, so we would recommend that you check with your bookmaker if there is an issue.
Whilst you may think that you wont really need to know the rules as they are obvious, there will be times where bets can change without you knowing why. This article has been designed to help you understand why bets might change and what will happen to your bet should an issue arise.
Trap or Dog?
The first and probably most important thing to know with greyhound racing is that the majority of the time you are actually betting on the trap, not the dog. You may think that they are both the same, but, in fact, they are two very different entities altogether.
The reason behind this is that if a dog gets withdrawn from a race, they are almost always replaced with a reserve dog on the night. So, after all that research you place your bet on that dog has been done, it can be undone without you ever really being aware.
There are ways around this though and, to make sure that you do bet on the dog and not the trap, you will need to select the ‘No Reserve’ button that most bookmakers do include. However, if that option isn’t available, some bookies may require you to ring their customer support to team to place the bet and highlight to them that you are backing the dog, not the trap.
The only exception to this rule is if you have taken an early price for that dog, usually from the Ante Post market. In this case, the bet will be refunded if that dog does not run.
If a reserve dog is run in place of the original dog, then all bets placed on that trap will stand, apart from that of early bets. This will also apply to that of a dog that is non-runner and all bets that were previously staked will be paid out at the Starting Price for that trap.
Top Trap Betting
If you have bet on the top trap for a certain meeting then its worth noting that all prices are taken for BAGS/BEGS/RPGTV at the specific tracks. All bets will stand regardless of if your trap is vacant or if your dog from that trap withdraws mid-race.
If two or more traps are tied at the end of the meeting, then dead heat rules will apply. See below.
Dead Heat Rules
Dead heat rules will come into play when two or more dogs are tied. This is usually after the photo finish has become inconclusive and both dogs are deemed to have he same times and finishing positions.
Dead heat rules mean that your initial stake will be divided by the number of dogs within the dead heat and then applied to the odds or starting price that you took for your bet.
For example, you wager €10 on Trap 1 to win at odds of 5.00. The dog finishes tied with Trap 2 and the race is declared a dead heat. As there are two dogs within the dead heat, your stake will be divided by that number (in this case 2) giving you a new stake of €5.
Please note that you don’t get the difference of your original stake and new stake in return.
It’s worth noting that there is a difference between Early Price betting and Ante Post betting. The Ante Post is confirmed before a race has begun and before the taps for each dog have been confirmed. The Early Price is the time between the draw and a few hours before that race starts.
Early Price bets and Ante Post bets will have their own rules applied, such as if your dog has been withdrawn from the race as an advertised early price (then your bet will run as starting price instead).
Betting in Shops
When betting in a brick and mortar bookmaker, there are a couple of things that you need to be aware of. If when you place your bet with the cashier you state the name of the dog on your bet slip, your bet will only be in for that dog and not the trap. So, if the dog gets withdrawn, your stake will not be transferred to a reserve runner. This will also apply if you have the trap number and the dogs name written on the slip, as well.
The only way around this is to make sure that you have the trap number and only the trap number written on your bet slip. As long as you do this then the stake will be transferred across should that dog be withdrawn.
A common misconception in greyhound racing is that Rule 4 will apply to all bets, just as in horse racing. But, this is not the case! Do to the fact that reserve dogs will be brought in if a withdrawal occurs then the need for Rule 4 is not apparent with greyhound racing. If a trap fails to run or fails to start, then that bet will simply be deemed a loss and the rest of the race will run out accordingly.