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A visitor to Bath Racecourse gives a big beaming smile as she stands in the crowd watching the races.

New Racegoers Guide

Your first visit to the races will be incredibly exciting, but can be a little confusing too, especially when it comes to betting. So, to help you enjoy your first racing experience, we have put together some useful information on how to enjoy betting responsibly with Bath Racecourse.

How do I choose a horse?

Everyone has a different method to choose. The race card (race day programme), as well as the racing post are good places to find useful information. You can also take a look at the horses and jockeys in the Parade Ring. Though if statistics isn’t really your thing, why not go with the common method of choosing a horse with a name that you like the sound of!
Jockey on a horse being led around the parade ring at Bath Racecourse.
A race goer at Bath Racecourse studies the racing post to look for more information on who to bet on.

 What type of bets are there?

 Once you have picked a horse, you need to decide if you want to be ‘To Win’ (where the horse has to finish first) or ‘Each Way’ (where the horse must finish in the first 2,3 or 4 depending on the number of runners in the race). ‘Each Way’ will be twice the cost, as you are technically placing two bets. One on the horse to win, and the other on it to place.

How do I actually place a bet?

You can place a bet on the tote or in the betting ring which can be found in front of the Langridge Stand. Tell the operator the horse you have selected, the amount you wish to bet, and the type of bet. You’ll be given a betting slip, which you must keep safe until after the race.
Various bet makers and their digital signs with betting odds scattered around the sides of the track at Bath Racecourse.

What happens if I win?

Well done! Your careful choosing has paid off and your horse won. Now you will need to wait for the jockeys to be weighed in, and for the announcement of the weigh in over the tannoy before the result is official. Once this is done, you just take your betting slip back to the operator, and receive your winnings.

Please remember to gamble responsibly and to only bet what you can afford. Gambling should always be for fun!

The Tote
Whether you are planning to make a first visit to the races or you’re a huge fan, cheering home a winner while clutching a successful betting ticket is, for many, an exciting part of the raceday experience.

When you bet on-course with the Tote, your stake (the amount of money you place on a bet) is pooled together with all other bets on that race and then shared out amongst customers with winning tickets. Your betting on the racecourse with the Tote supports racing, with the majority of revenues flowing back to that racecourse.

There are several bet types available with the Tote such as win, place, each way (win and a place bet) and an exacta (picking the first two in the correct order). One of the most famous tote bets is the placepot which rewards customers who can pick a horse to place in each of the first 6 races. The average dividend of the Placepot is over £454* to a £1 stake so it is a fun bet where you can a large amount for a small stake. 

You also have the option to place a ‘Lucky Pick’ bet, which is similar to the lucky dip on the National Lottery. However, the Lucky Pick is designed to be smarter than a random lucky dip as it uses a special formula which is weighted towards the more likely outcomes in an event. 

The Tote has a minimum bet of just £2 and accepts cash and card across all courses.

So, if you’re a seasoned racegoer or having a day out with friends, there are plenty of betting options and the friendly Tote team are always on hand to help with your selections. By choosing to bet with the Tote during your visit to the races, you’ll be doing so in the knowledge that racing is benefiting from your support.

Jargon Buster

Racing seems to have its own language, so read our jargon buster - then impress your friends and family with your racing knowledge!

  • Card – Short for racecard. This is your race programme with the runners and riders on.
  • Colours (Silks) – The colours worn by the jockey in a race.
  • Handicap – A race in which weights are to be carried by each horse according to recent or past racing performance.
  • Form – A record of a racehorse’s previous performance.
  • Furlong – An eighth of a mile, 220 yards or 201 metres.
  • Going – A term used to describe the condition of the ground, ranging from hard through to heavy. These include Hard, Firm, Good to Firm, Good, Good to Soft, Soft, Heavy.
  • Listed Race – A high-class competitive race.
  • Maiden – A race for horses that have not yet won a race.
  • Non-runner – When a horse is no longer running in the race.
  • Stewards – Officials responsible for enforcing the British Horseracing Authority’s Orders & Rules of Racing.
  • Under Orders – When the racehorses are called into line before the start of a race. Once racehorses have come ‘under orders’ they are judged to have competed in the race and no bets will be refunded.
  • Weighed in – Weighing of jockey before and after a race to ensure that the correct weight has been carried. At the end of the race when ‘weighed in’ has been announced this means the result is official and all bets can be paid out.
  • Weights – Fixed weights to be carried by horses in a race according to ability, age, distance, sex, and time of year. This weight includes the jockey and equipment, saddle and weight cloth.
  • Weight Cloth - Leather cloth with pockets that hold flat pieces of lead. They are removable and interchangeable. The weight cloth is carried under the jockey’s saddle and is to ensure that they ride at the correct weight in a race. 

How do you place a bet? You can find out all you need to know in our downloadable Betting Guide.


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