Yes, You Can Make Money From Doggy Roulette!

Some punters regard betting on greyhounds as a kind of doggy roulette with only six numbers. But others study form in as much detail, or more, as the avid student of the horseracing variety I suppose it all comes down to your temperament. We’ll have something to say about both approaches here, but one thing is sure – the roulette idea is certainly the quicker and easier one, and we’ll start with that.

First, let’s look at the main bets placed on greyhound racing. The straight win bet is probably the most popular, and also the Forecast where you have to name the two dogs who finish 1st and 2nd in the correct order. There is also the Tricast, which pays more, and here you have to name the three dogs to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the right order. As we said earlier at almost all meetings each race has six runners and we tend to make our selections by trap number rather than name, unlike horse racing. So with six runners the actual odds against each dog are 5-1. This has prompted one simple punting suggestion. There will not be a bet in every race, but where there is it will obviously be worth it. If there is one dog priced at more than 5-1 then back it. Or if there are two at more than 5-1 and at least one of them is 10-1 or higher, then back them both. The other morning in the betting shop when I was thinking about this idea, the very first race of the day gave a winner at 12-1.

The next plan is pure roulette with no real logic to it at all. Yet I have seen it for sale over the years for a three-figure sum. I have also seen extended results for it showing good profits using a retrieving staking plan. It works like this: You just observe the first race of the meeting you are interested in and note the trap number of the winner. Let’s say it was trap 2. You subtract that figure from 7 to give you the trap number of the dog to back in the second race – trap 5. If it wins you stop betting at that meeting. If it loses you again note the trap number of the winner, say it’s 6, subtract that from 7 to give you the trap number of your selection for the third race, trap 1. And so on, stopping at a winner.

Using a retrieve staking plan you aim to make a profit at every meeting. The completely illogical nature of the selection method should ensure fair prices and you’d be unlucky to back too many short priced favourites*. I’ve selected one day at random to show the method in action, the 4th of January. Here are the results from the four BAGS meetings that day. At Sunderland there was a winner in the 5th race at 7-2, at Sheffield a winner in the 6th again at 7-2, at Romford in the 10th race came a winner at 5-1 and at Crayford it was the last race with a winner at 4-1. Before anyone risks a penny on the idea I’d suggest you do a careful check on it for yourself first.

* Editor’s note. I believe that there is an element of logic around this idea and it is based on the law of averages. The figure 7 combined with the trap number of the previous winner generates a random number. The reason it is 7 is because you can take any number between 1 and 6 from it and you’ll still be left with a trap selection.

Staying with the roulette approach we’ll move on to Forecast betting – trying to find the 1st and 2nd in the race. Personally, I find it difficult enough to find a winner, but I know that Forecast betting is very popular, so here are some ideas which should help. First, I think that anyone making a Forecast bet should know the true odds against forecasting the 1st and 2nd in the correct order. The answer is 29-1. Yet, if you look at Forecast dividends you’ll find that not very many are as big as the true odds. Indeed if a shortish priced favourite wins with the second favourite in 2nd place, the return can be well down in single figures. Every Forecast punter should be aware of that. And one final thing before getting down to the plans – I’d strongly urge that you place a Reverse Forecast bet: that is two bets instead of the one on a Straight Forecast. Just suppose you backed the Straight Forecast, traps 1 and 2, and it turned out 2 and 1 with a whisker in it. With the Reverse Forecast you win; with the Straight Forecast you lose.

A wide-ranging survey I saw some time ago, and which I believe still applies, covering a large spectrum of BAGS meetings. It showed that traps 1 and 2 turn up most frequently in forecasts, more than any other combination. I’m not too surprised because it seems to me that these two inside traps must have a slight advantage. So that’s the simple first idea – back traps 1 and 2 at any BAGS meeting in a Reverse Forecast and stopping at a winner. The figures suggest that in about9     out of 10 meetings the 1 and 2 combination will appear at some point. So a modest increase in staking through the card should give you a profit 9 times out of 10  – that’s the theory.

Another approach which I’ve seen work very often is this. Look at the trap combination which wins the first race on the card and then follow that combination in all the other races, again stopping at a winner. Even backing the Straight Forecast only can pay off. On a recent day again picked at random there were four BAGS meetings and these were the results:

Hall Green – 1st Race 2 and 1. Then in the 8th race 2 and 1 paying £ 25.68.

Brough Park – 1st Race 2 and 3. Then in the 2nd race 2 and 3 paying £ 23.89.

Hove – 1st Race 6 and 5. Then in the 3rd race 6 and 5 paying £ 15.45.

Perry Barr – 1st Race 1 and 2. Then in the 4th race 1 and 2 paying £ 15.12.

You’ll notice too how traps 1 and 2 have figured there.

One further Forecast idea makes use of information available in the Racing Post. Or you could use it for win bets only. With 6 traps taking part in races you would expect each trap to win about 16.6% of the time. Anything over that would seem to indicate that for whatever reason that trap had a slight advantage. The Racing Post gives these percentage figures for many meetings. At any meeting where a trap has a figure of 19% or more it would appear to have a definite edge and I would back it to win, down the card stopping at a winner. If there were two traps with a figure of 19% or higher, then I would back that combination as a Reverse Forecast down the card, again stopping at a winner.

For anyone wanting to attempt a Tricast, which is far too ambitious for me – naming 1st, 2nd and 3rd in correct order – I’d suggest this: We stick to my traps 1 and 2, and add the outside trap 6. So a Tricast of traps 1, 2 and 6 in any order requires 6 bets out of a possible total of 120. The six bets are, of course, 1-2-6, 1-6-2, 2-1-6, 2-6-1, 6-1-2, 6-2-1. If you land the Tricast you can reasonably expect a sizeable dividend, possibly of three figures. Now there’s an incentive!