Grand National Betting Guide

Having your first ever bet on this year's Grand National? Read our free guide below...
Having your first ever bet on this year's Grand National? Read our free guide below...

If you're new to racing, this basic guide to betting on the Grand National should help answer some of the questions you might have. If you're not sure exactly what type of bet you want to have on the Grand National, here are some of the basics.

Don't forget though, having a little flutter on the horses should be fun and it doesn't have to be complicated. Sometimes you're as likely to have a winner by just deciding you like the name of the horse or the colours of the jockey!

Here we explore some of the basics to help you understand betting:

What your investment will return

When placing a bet, your stake or investment is the amount of money you are willing to gamble - be it a cautious £1 or a rather more adventurous £100. If you're a winner, your winnings (also known as 'returns') are calculated according to your horse's odds. So if you back a horse, lets say Monty's Pass at 10/1 - if you place £10 on the horse at 10/1 and he wins, your winnings will be £100 and you will also get your £10 stake back, therefore your total returns will be £110.

Grand National Bet Types

Win Betting - Is also referred as 'on the nose', and it means that you're selecting a horse to win. This is as per the example above about Monty's Pass.

Each-way Betting - This gives you a win bet and a place bet on the same horse. As it is two bets, your stake is doubled, so a £10 each-way bet would cost you £20 to place - but you only need your horse to finish in the first four for it to be a winning bet.

If your horse wins, both parts of your bet are winners, and you would collect on both the win part and the place part of it. Typically, for a place, you will get around a quarter or a fifth of your main odds, depending on the bookmaker. 

Assuming your bookmaker if offering a quarter of the odds - if you placed £10 each-way on Monty’s Pass, your investment is £20, and will return;

Win part - £110
Place part - £35

If Monty’s Pass was to finish second, third or fourth, you would just be paid out for the place part of your bet, which would be £35. As you have staked £20 in total, your total profit would be £15.

Place Betting - You are just betting on a place alone, so if you backed Monty’s Pass to place in the Grand National, you would be paid out if he finished in any of the first four places - first, second, third or fourth.

Sometimes, bookmakers may offer additional places on the Grand National, which would give you a better chance of winning - so it may pay to shop around to find the best deal. 

Also remember that your winnings are tax free.

For the Grand National it is probably a good idea to place each way bets, as the odds of the horses are generally quite attractive - and in excess of 10/1.

Betting exchanges are slightly different to bookmakers, as you are betting against other punters. The odds that are offered tend to be higher, though if your bet is a winning one, you would be charged a commission on your winnings. With place-only betting, you usually find that another individual is prepared to offer higher odds than the bookmakers - so it may be worth keeping in mind if you want to place this particular bet.

Grand National Speciality Bets

As this is such a major betting race, bookmakers tend to offer more unorthodox markets alongside the generic ones, and these can include:

  • How many horses will finish the race
  • All horses to jump the first safely
  • The winner to be trained in Ireland 

The amount of speciality of bets can vary from bookmaker to bookmaker, and it may be worth shopping around to find something which peaks your interest.

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