Betting Win, Place and Show on Greyhounds and Understanding Odds

Gambling Tips for the Dog Tracks

Win, place, and show betting on greyhounds is not the rocket science many make it out to be. Many people go to the dog track and are bewildered by the odds and various terms, but betting win, place, and show on greyhounds does not need to be confusing. Read on, and you will find that the various wagers are not that difficult to figure out, and betting win, place, and show on greyhounds will become an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon or evening.

Simulcasting, where a live signal from a track is beamed into another track, an OTB, or a race book, makes it possible to wager on greyhounds in almost every state in the country. This allows a gambler to choose the track where he feels he has the best opportunity to prosper. Most gamblers will focus on the tracks that have the largest pools, or money bet into each race, to give themselves the chance for bigger payoffs. Greyhound tracks offer pari-mutuel wagering. Pari-mutuel, translated from the French, means "betting among ourselves". The race track has no stake in the outcome of the race for the simple reason that it is going to get its cut no matter what.

To make matters easy, we will say that there is a total of $5000 bet in a race on all the dogs in the race to win. This is called the "win pool". The track, depending on what state it is in, is going to take a certain percentage of that money right off the bat. That is how a track stays in business. It gets a set percentage amount out of each pool. This is called the "take-out". If the track gets 15% of the win pool, then out of the $5000 bet on the race that is in the win pool, the track takes $750.00. The rest of the money is divided up among those with winning tickets. Let's say that the four dog won this race, and that 100 people had the four dog bet to win. You would divide the $4,250 left in the pool after the take-out by 100 winning tickets to get a payoff of $42.50.

The same applies to every pool. The dog track immediately "takes out" its share from each wagering pool, whether it is win, place, or show, or an "exotic" bet like a quiniela or trifecta. The more money that goes through the betting windows, the more the track takes in. This is why some tracks are closing, as casinos crop up and take away customers. The track gets a bigger share of the "live handle", or money that is wagered at the actual track, than they do of the simulcast wagering. Tracks in Connecticut and Massachusetts have closed due to the popularity of the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos, which have lured gamblers away from what was once one of the only games in town.

A Win bet means that your dog has to be victorious. Most tracks offer eight dog races; some occasionally have nine participants in a contest. The "toteboard" will allow you to see the odds at which your dog is going off at. It is found on the grounds of the track, usually behind the backstretch of the oval. The odds are also shown on a number of televisions in any betting facility. Even though the odds can be a bit perplexing, there is an easy way to keep them straight. Although you can wager as little as one dollar on a dog at most tracks, the odds are based on a standard two dollar amount. A dog that goes off at 3-1 will pay 3 times the $2.00 that was wagered, plus the original amount of the bet added in. 3-1 will pay 3 x 2 plus 2-$8.00! 12-1 pays off as 12 x 2 plus 2 or $26.00. This concept is not hard to understand. What can confuse the newbie are odds such as 1-5 or 3-2.

Most tracks provide a chart that translates the odds. Doing the math is not complex with the "fraction' type odds. 3-2 is simply 3 divided by 2 or 1.5 times the $2.00 {$3.00} plus the original $2.00 of the wager for a payoff of 3 plus 2- $5.00. An overwhelming favorite of 1-5 means you are getting a payoff of 1/5th of the $2.00 {.40} plus the original $2.00. Below is a list that helps break down the odds and their payoffs.

1-5 pays $2.40
2-5 pays $2.80
1-2 pays $3.00
3-5 pays $3.40
4-5 pays $3.80
1-1 pays $4.00 1-1 is referred to as an "even money" wager
6-5 pays $4.40
7-5 pays $4.80
3-2 pays $5.00
8-5 pays $5.00
9-5 pays $5.80
2-1 pays $6.00
7-2 pays $9.00
9-2 pays $11.00

After the odds of 9-2 there are no more "fraction" odds, only whole numbers. The payoffs on a 7-1 winner, for example, can range from $16.00 to $17.80, depending on the exact amount being divided up between the ticket holders.

Place betting gives you the luxury of not having to win the race to be paid. The place pool pays out to those whose dog wins or runs second. It is important to note that the odds on the toteboard only reflect the win odds, and that these have no bearing on what a dog pays to place. Usually, there is much less bet into the place pool, making the payoffs correspondingly smaller. Again, the payoffs are determined after the track's "takeout" has been removed and the remainder is divided up by the amount of winning tickets.

Show betting makes it necessary that your dog only has to be in the top three finishers. It does not means that the dog has to run third. The dog that wins will have a show payoff, as well as the dog that finishes second, because both have run better than third. Again, the toteboard does not reflect the show odds, and the payoffs are for the most part not that big. Occasionally a dog that is a long shot will come in, along with others that were not expected. If a small number of show tickets are sold on these greyhounds, then the show payoff will be considerably higher than most.

Here is an example to help clarify things. In this payoff the two dog won the race, the four dog ran second, and the six dog ran third. Here is what the toteboard could look like after the race.

2 $8.20 $5.40 $4.00
4 $6.00 $3.20
6 $2.80

This means that if you bet the two dog to place, you will receive $5.40. If you have the two greyhound to show, it will return $4.00. The four dog gives you back $6.00 if you bet it to place, and $3.20 if your wager was for it to show. The six will pay $2.80 to show.

The term "betting a dog across the board" means that you are placing a wager to win, place, and show on the same dog. This is a good strategy if you really like a particular dog in a race. This way, if it fails to win but still "hits the board" by running second or third, you will most likely show a profit. "Off the board" describes the greyhounds that didn't make it into first, second, or third. Avoid these dogs at all costs!




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