While the majority of people enjoy betting on a day-by-day basis, taking a look at the events coming up, there is a longer-term view that some like to take, and when it comes to placing bets, this is known as ante-post betting.
While long-term bets can be placed around many sports, in terms of ante-post betting and the rules around this, it is very much something for horse racing punters. When it works, ante-post betting is fantastic, giving you the edge both in terms of taking a big price and landing a winner. However, when it doesn’t work, you won’t even get a run for your money.
This is very much a risk/reward style of betting, the risks are much higher, but place your bets at the right time, and you could be rewarded in a way that you didn’t even think was possible.
Beginners Guide to Ante-Post Betting
As mentioned, the rules around ante-post betting are specific to race, mainly horse racing, though some ante-post markets are available for greyhound racing. Long-term markets are open on other sports but don’t have the same rules attached, as there is no such thing as non-runners.
First of all, an ante-post bet is classed as something that is placed before the final field is declared. At this stage, you don’t know for certain what is running in the race. It could be three days before the race, so just ahead of the 48-hour declarations, or it could be 12 months in advance, the same rules apply.
Secondly, to understand where the value lies with ante-post betting, you need to understand how these markets are created by bookmakers. They will offer odds on a race based on what they think will run in it. As horses impress in the build-up by running well in other races, as new contenders emerge, some contenders drop out, and others disappoint in their other runs, the market reacts and makes changes.
These can be dramatic, if a horse really impresses or one really disappoints, they could still be in line to run in the race, but the odds on offer will be dramatically different than before their prep run. Of course, if horses are pulled out due to injury or other targets, this also affects the entire market.
Finally, the risk is greater with this kind of betting than with regular wagers because there is no guarantee that you will receive your money back if your selection doesn’t run. With regular betting, if your horse doesn’t run, you receive your money back, or if it’s on a multiple bet, that leg is void, but with ante-post betting, that is not the case. The additional risk with this type of betting is that your bet is either a winner or loser, nothing else, so if your horse doesn’t run, you will simply lose your stake.
Key Rules of Ante-Post Betting
Ante-post betting has its own set of rules, which differ from the other wagers you place. Here are the key differences and the rules around those, which you need to make sure you are aware of before placing your first ante-post bets.
- If your horse doesn’t run in the race you have backed it for, then you will lose your stake. The only exception here is if your horse is declared to run but gets balloted out, then you will get your money back.
- Ante-post bets are classed as anything placed before the final declarations of a race. This is usually 48 hours before the race but can change depending on dates, so make sure you know the cut-off for any bets you are placing if they are close to the day of the race.
- Ante-post bets all have the same rules, regardless of when they were placed, as long as it’s before the final declarations, it can be three days before, three weeks before or three months before, the rules are the same.
- Prices fluctuate in the market heavily, especially when contenders run in other races. The price you take is the price you get, no exceptions.
- On prices, no rule 4 deductions can be applied to ante-post bets, so for example, if you have a bet and the two favourites do not run in the race, that doesn’t affect your odds, you still get the same as you took when placing your bet.
- If you are betting each way, make sure you check out the each-way terms when you place the bet, these are the terms your wager will be settled at, regardless of what happens with runners. For example, if you place a bet and the terms are to pay out on the first three, but then only five horses run, you will still get paid out on the first three places, even though regular racing rules would only pay out on the first two.
- Bookmakers have lower payout limits for ante-post bets. This shouldn’t affect many people, but if you are a big punter or placing an acca type bet, you may want to check the payout limit with your bookmaker for ante-post bets before placing, just to make sure you are not over the limit.
When Can Ante-Post Betting Work in Your Favour?
The biggest wins with ante-post betting come when you land two wins together. The first is seeing your selection cross the line in first place, while the second is winning with the price. For example, you may be on the favourite, but by placing your ante-post bet months before, ahead of when the horse showed its quality, you could have big, double-figure odds on your betting slip, so you get the value and the win combined.
While there is risk attached to ante-post betting, and the opportunities are perhaps not as strong as they were in the past, now that bookmakers have become a little more cautious, there is still the chance for all punters to land wins like this, of course, with a bit of luck involved.
What are the Downsides to Ante-Post Betting?
For every good ante-post betting story, there is, of course, a downside to this type of betting. In terms of the biggest downside, this is, of course, when you don’t even get a run for your money. After you’ve placed a bet, your selection either goes to a different race or is injured and unable to compete, so you don’t get anything for your bet.
Having losing bets is part of being a gambler, but not receiving a run for your money is certainly the worst part of ante-post betting.
Other things, such as taking a much lower price, are also not ideal, but this is the nature of ante-post betting, where the risks are bigger, and so are the rewards. It doesn’t suit everyone, some people would prefer less risk but guarantees of winnings, whereas ante-post betting will appeal to many others because they love the positives.
By understanding the key rules around this form of betting, you will be able to look at the markets and work out if there is any value out there for you and whether you think the risk is worth the potential reward.