Sunday 25 February 2018

Ballybrit betting – an idiot's guide...

As hordes of novice punters descend on Ballybrit, Richard Forristal explains the gambling lingo

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

With the best part of 150,000 people likely to pass through the gates at the Galway Races, chances are there will be a considerable share of gambling novices roaming Ballybrit.

In 2012, the week-long jaunt accounted for 12pc of the overall attendance figure for the year, so swathes of the revellers are unlikely to be expert speculators on the gee gees.

However, with aggregate sums of around €20m staked on-course during the festivities, there is little point giving layers a head-start. Punters need to be au fait with the basic options.


When you back a horse to win, it must do precisely that – only then do you collect.


Backing a horse this way is effectively having two bets – you're backing it to win, and also to be placed.


Betting exchanges essentially give you the option to back a horse to lose. For example, if there are 10 runners in a race and you 'lay' horse A for €100 at 6 (5/1), you effectively have nine horses on your side.


A punter placing this bet needs two horses to win. A €1 double on horse A at 2/1 and horse B at 3/1 will yield €12 (the €3 from horse A all goes on to horse B). If either horse fails to win, the bet is a loser.


Three horses have to win here. A €1 treble on horse A at 2/1, horse B at 3/1, and horse C at 4/1 will yield €60 (the €12 from horses A and B all goes on to horse C). If any of them loses, you lose your €1.


An ambitious bet where you need four or more horses to win.


This is a combination bet in which you pick out three horses (in different races) and you effectively have seven bets: three win bets, three doubles, and one treble. So a €1 patent will cost you €7. The amount of returns depends on how many horses win.


The most popular form of combination bet in bookie shops. Four horses must be selected and it involves a total of 11 bets: one accumulator, four trebles, and six doubles.



You can simply back a horse to be placed with the Tote; ie, it must finish in the first three if there are eight or more runners, or in the first four if it is a handicap with 16 or more.


There are a few variations, but effectively you need to forecast the first and second in a race. A Reverse Exacta means your two horses can finish in either order, as opposed to the Straight Exacta. The dividend is usually high.


Predict the first three home in the correct order. There is also the Combination Trifecta, a hybrid of the Exacta and the various permutation options; you can have numerous selections and you don't have to forecast the correct order.


A sporting Tote bet that is popular at Galway. This involves selecting a horse – or horses – to be placed in each one of the first six races.


An ambitious bet where punters try to find the winners of four races. In Ireland, it's the winners of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth races.


Makes the Jackpot seem easy – select the winners of the first six races on any card. The cost depends on how many selections you want, beginning at 50c for a share of a line. Win funds are guaranteed at €25,000 (Monday to Saturday) and €35,000 (Sunday).

Irish Independent

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