The art of betting is as old as racing itself. Read our quick guide to help you get started.
Before racing: It is always best to have a look at the horses in the parade ring before having a bet. There are loads of online options for before the day betting but it's best to shop around!
There are three basic ways to have a bet at Cheltenham: on the Tote with totepool; in one of the betting rings with a 'traditional' bookmaker; or in one of the three onsite William Hill betting shops.
For all customers placing their bets online before travelling to the racecourse it is advisable to check www.freebets.com for a wide range of bookmaker introductory offers and free bets as well as enhanced odds and money back offers for each day's racing at Cheltenham .
There are tote betting points throughout the racecourse, including the grandstands and most dining and hospitality facilities.
There are two main betting rings in front of the Tattersalls and Best Mate Grandstands. Shop around for the best odds. State the number of your chosen horse and the stake: "Number 3, £5 to win", listen to the bookmaker repeat the bet and then give them your stake. You will then be given an itemised receipt that gives details of the bet and any winnings due - check this carefully and tell the bookmaker if there is a mistake. You should keep the ticket safe and if the horse wins, hand the ticket back to the bookmaker for settlement.
Never destroy your ticket until after the 'Weighed In' announcement has been made. If your horse has not won there may still be a Stewards' Enquiry and the winner, or placed horses may be disqualified.
The two main types of bet are Win Only and Each Way. For a Win Only bet to succeed, your horse needs to win the race. An Each Way bet is effectively two bets - one for your horse to win and one for it to be placed. So a £5 each way bet will cost £10. Each bookmaker will display the terms on which they accept each way bets on the top of their board.
There are three William Hill betting shops at Cheltenham - one near the parade ring, one near the Centaur and one in the Best Mate enclosure. Here you can have all the normal bets you could have in any high street betting shop, including, of course, bets on races happening at Cheltenham.
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