Blaggers guide to racing

With the Cheltenham festival fast approaching there are many of you who will be festival virgins. There is nothing worse than going for a day out with a group of seasoned racegoers and being the only one who doesn’t know the difference between a spread bet and an each way. So here to stop you looking like an outside chance of even winning any money we will lay down the basics!

How to bet!

Pay attention to form: Look at the form guides and back a horse that has improved gradually or has been on a winning run. If you’re betting on a big race (which every race over the festival is) there is a good chance the horses have all been trained especially for that event.

Listen: Keep your eyes and ears open in the betting shop, it’s worth noting down horses that are being well backed.

Lay Bets: laying a bet is when you bet on something not to happen, for example, betting on a horse not to win a race. It can offer big rewards if done on favourites and can be a good way to make some money back if you feel a bet is going away from you.

Bet to win: Unless you're betting on 4 or 5 horses at high odds to place then there is no money to be made on betting to place. Have bets on horses to win, this offers the best returns.

Use accumulators: Accumulators usually offer the best returns, that's if you have the nerve to stick with them and not cash out. My advice is, place a couple of accumulators over the festival on your phone, this will give you the option to cash out. Then place one or two at a bookies, this will take away the urge to cash them out and make you stick with them.

If you can’t see anything in a bet, look for the signs: If you feel like backing a horse because it’s named after a town you grew up in or has the same name as your mate, do it, at least you have a reason to back it.

Be sensible: If you don’t think a bet is worth it then don’t make it, if you don’t have the money to lose don’t bet. Only bet what you can afford to lose.

Bookies betting terms!

Bookies seem to have their own language, I think it comes from cockney slang but I can’t be sure. On a raceday you hear many terms being thrown around from the bookies and it can be difficult knowing what they mean. Here is a short introduction into some of the terms used and what they mean!

Score: £20

Pony: £25

Ton: £100

Monkey: £500

Rock Cake: small bet

Jolly: a favourite

Knock/Welsh: when someone owes money but doesn't pay up.

Types of bets:


An accumulator is a bet that combines multiple selections into a single bet that will only win when all parts come in. The advantage of an accumulator is that odds are much higher but obviously this comes with an increased risk, only a single selection needs to lose for the entire bet to lose.


An each way bet is made up of 2 parts: the ‘win' and the ‘place'. Each part is an equal stake, for example, a £1 Each Way bet will have £1 on the ‘Win' and £1 on the ‘Place' making a total stake of £2. The win part of your bet is on your selection to win the event, and the place part is on your selection to finish either first or in one of the number of places, depending on the size of the race this can be 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or even 5th.

If your selection wins the race then both parts of your bet pay out. But if your selection only places, you will lose the win part of your bet (and lose that part of the stake) but get paid out on the ‘Place'.

The odds for the place bet are given as a fraction of the odds for the win and will be displayed to you when you place your bet, these are usually ¼ or ⅕ of the original odds.


A placepot is a cheap fun way to enjoy a race meeting without betting to much. All you have to do is pick one horse from each of the first 6 races and all they have to do is place. If you guess right and all your horses place then you receive whatever the dividend is at the end. This is always measured against a £1 stake, so if you place £2 on and the dividend was £70, you would receive £140.


A forecast bet is when you bet on one horse to finish 1st and another to finish in 2nd. This is placed as one bet and will only be a winning bet if the horses finish in the places you predicted them to do so.

Reverse forecast

A reverse forecast is practically the same as a forecast bet but it takes two straight forecast bets i.e, 1st horse selected to beat 2nd horse selected and 2nd horse selected to beat 1st horse selected. This means you choose two selections and it is two separate forecast bets put into one.


A trixie is a bet made up of 3 selections which make up 4 bets: 3 doubles and a treble. This can be considered a treble to which three doubles have been added, the advantage to a trixie over a treble is that should one selection fail to win a return is still generated.

Union Jack

A bet made up of nine selections, consisting of between 8 and 80 bets depending on the type of bet you go for. Named after the Union Jack due to the way groupings are determined, by laying out the selections in a 3 by 3 grid then drawing lines vertically, horizontally and diagonally to find 8 groups of 3. A benefit of this bet is it gives punters the chance to arrange their bets in a way that their most favoured selections have a greater bearing on returns than their least favoured. Position 5 appears in 4 trebles, positions 1, 3, 7, 9 appear in 3 trebles and 2, 4, 6, 8 only in 2.


A block bet consists of 9 or more bets. The selections are combined to produce a full cover bet, comprising of a straight accumulator and versions of all lesser accumulators (4-folds, 5-fold etc) all the way down to doubles.

Super Heinz

The super heinz is a bet made up of 7 selections consisting of 120 bets: 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, 7 six-folds and a seven-fold accumulator. This is full cover wager with a massive number of bets that should only be considered in rare circumstances and by experienced punters.


The heinz is a bet made up of 6 selections consisting of 57 bets: 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, 6 five-folds and a 1 six-fold accumulator. It is named after the 57 varieties Heinz company slogan.

Lucky 63

Lucky 63 is a 6 selection bet which consists of 63 bets: 6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, 6 five-folds and a six-fold accumulator. It is named after its 63 parts and the 'lucky' bonuses available.


A yankee is a 4 selection wager consisting of 11 bets: 6 doubles, 4 trebles and a four-fold accumulator. The yankee is rumored to be named after an American soldier that placed a small bet in the UK and due to the multiple roll-over mechanics at work won back hundreds of thousands.

Permed bet

Perm betting is an option whenever you want to bet on two or more selections. Typically it involves splitting a stake you plan to bet on multiple selections among as many smaller, combination bets as possible.

Permed yankee

A permed yankee involves 5 or 6 selections; the yankee bets are made up of the possible combinations of four different selections. The permed yankee would be 55 bets (5 individual yankee bets) Doubles. Trebles.


An Alphabet is a wager on six selections consisting of 26 bets: 2 patents (14 bets), 1 yankee (11 bets) and a six-fold accumulator (1bet). Named after the alphabet due to the 26 bets it contains.

Lucky 15

A lucky 15 is made up of 15 bets made from 4 selections. It consists of 4 single bets, 6 double bets, 4 trebles and 1 four fold. With the same amount of money being placed on each single bet, for example if you place a £1 lucky 15 then you would actually be placing 15 £1 bets. If all come in you take all the winnings and usually a 10% extra. If one horse losses then the bets that that horse was part of all loose.

GuideSamantha Hills