Betting with Bookmakers
The colourful competition between Bookmaker and punter is an atmosphere unique to a racecourse and one that should be experienced.
No matter how big or small the bet, a Bookmaker will be happy to take you on!
Some newcomers are hesitant to place a bet with Bookmakers at a racecourse, believing they are only there for the big punters. This is far from the truth. You don’t have to be a big punter to place a bet with a Bookmaker.
Bookmakers are also happy to answer any of your enquiries regarding odds (dividends). All you have to do is ask.
In December 2000, Victoria’s Race Bookmakers led the way in the world of betting by modernising the outdated imperial odds betting system. The only State in Australia where Bookmakers (Thoroughbred, Harness and Greyhound at Metropolitan and Country tracks) all converted to Fixed Dollar Dividend displays simultaneously from 1 December.
The move has been seen by Bookmakers, Government and the Racing Industry as tremendously innovative and successful. Some established punters reluctant to accept the change now clearly recognise it as essential whilst the casual recreational punter who had experienced difficulty with 13/8 or 8/11 odds now easily manage the fixed dollar dividend system.
Consequently, more discerning punters are switching to Bookmaker betting either on course or over the telephone system and betting turnover with Victoria’s Race Bookmakers has increased by 95% since the year 2000.
In a horse race, while all horses have a chance, not all horses are considered as being equally likely to win – that’s what makes betting on the races so exciting.
Bookmakers give their assessment of a horse’s chance in a race by putting up their betting market or dividends display. It is to the punter’s advantage to have an idea of what is a good price about their selection and to place their wager with the Bookmaker with the best dividend on offer.
Unlike some other forms of betting, placing a bet with a Bookmaker guarantees a fixed dividend return.
A Bookmaker’s betting board displays the dividend that Bookmaker is offering for a horse in that particular race. For example, a “5” beside a horse’s name on a Bookmaker’s board means they are offering a price (dividend) of five dollars for that horse to win (odds of 4 to 1).
For example, if you bet $1 on that horse and it wins, you will receive $5 when you return your betting ticket to the Bookmaker, representing a figure of the $1 you placed on the horse and the $4 you won from the Bookmaker.
When you bet with a Bookmaker on-course you know what you are getting. You are not betting “blind”.
By looking at the Bookmakers’ Board you know exactly how much to outlay to win a certain amount. For example if the price on the board is $3 and you invest $1 with a Bookmaker, if the horse wins your return will be $3. If the price is $5.50 your return for a $1 would be $5.50 or for $10, it would be $55.00. If you fancy a long shot at $51 then for a $10 investment your return if the horse wins will be $510.
The Bookmaker will continue to bet the prices displayed until the amount they wish to lay against each runner is reached. The Bookmaker then shortens (reduces) the price and lengthens (extends) the price of other horses to try to balance his book.
Bookmakers will take bets ranging from 50 cents to thousands of dollars. To bet with a Bookmaker you need only invest the amount you want to bet.