This is the Grand National betting explained. We explain how to place a bet on the Grand National as well as the options you have available for your Aintree bet. If you are an infrequent punter then we will walk you through the options that exist for betting on the big race.
Each-Way betting on the big race
The most fun and popular way to get involved with the Grand National is to have an each-way bet. There are always 40 runners, the maximum allowed to take part.
An each-way bet is two bets in one, one to win and one to place. So a £10ew bet on a horse at odds of 12/1 costs you £20 and consists of these two wagers:
- £10 to win at 12/1 = £100 profit and your £10 stake returned = £110 returned to you.
- £10 to place at 12/1. Place terms are ¼ odds, so your odds for a place on a 12/1 shot are 3/1 (12 divided by 4) = £30 profit and your £10 place bet stake returned = £40 returned.
So if that 12/1 shot won then you would get back £110 + £40 = £150 in your betting account, of which £130 would be pure profit and £20 would be the stakes returned to you.
You can read this page about how to place a bet, it is very easy: How To Place A Bet With An Online Bookie.
Take a look at the place terms available
The bookmakers sometimes offer enhanced place terms for the Grand National. The usual place terms are ¼ odds 1,2,3,4. That means if your selection comes in the first four of the race then your place bet will win.
However you can often better that. Bookies like Bet365 regularly offer places down to the first five home. That means if your horse comes fifth they would pay you out on your place wager. The best we have seen in recent years was BetVictor‘s first six home in last year’s Grand National. So they paid out on the sixth horse. That is actually pretty generous, certainly in comparison to the normal terms.
If you want to know who is offering which place terms this year then take a look at this page: Grand National Place Terms. You will see a detailed odds table there. At the bottom of the table you will see the up-to-date place terms for each bookie listed.
We advise having an each-way bet on the big race, as described above. You could just have a Win Bet but then if your horse is second you would not get a pick-up and would wish you had gone each-way.
Because of the competitive nature of the Aintree showpiece race, even the favourites tend to be at nice each-way prices. So just having a Win Bet would be a bit foolhardy in our opinion.
The Grand National is a 40-runner handicap, where each horse carries different weights according to their respective abilities. The topweight is theoretically the best horse in the race, so carries more weight than his rivals. Because it is framed by those conditions, you can appreciate the event is always wide open. Even the outsiders have a chance. In 2013 66/1 Auroras Encore won while a few years earlier Mon Mome prevailed at 100/1. The reason to make this point is to drum home the message that each-way betting, while it may be the housewife’s way of wagering, is certainly the shrewd option here.
You could even split your stakes and go each-way on a couple of horses, maybe one that is fancied in the betting and another that is a longshot you like.
Is There A Grand National Free Bet Available?
As well as checking out the place terms, as we have already discussed, you could look out for a free bet. If you are a new customer then a bookmaker will often offer a free bet promotion.
The bookies have differing approaches on Grand National day. Some remove their regular offer altogether. They do this because they know there will be a rush of new clients anyway, so why give them a bonus? Other bookmakers retain their free bets in order to maximise sign-ups.
If you click through to this page on Grand National day itself, it will state which bookies are still offering a free bet for the big race and what that free bet actually is: Grand National Free Bets.
How To Pick Your Selection
You have a number of ways to choose your selection:
Form: If you are a once a year punter then it could be a drag to pour through impenetrable form lines of all the horses. A few key points to make are that you need to back a horse that has won over three miles or further as the Grand National is over four miles and needs a horse with extreme stamina. They must have a good jumping record. You don’t want to see ‘F’ (meaning ‘fallen’) in their form figures.
Another historic trend is that horses that have run well in the Grand National before tend to run well again as it is such a unique event. The ‘horses for courses’ proverb certainly applies. So look for horses that have placed in the race before, but avoid them if they are getting on in years. Do not back any horse that is 12 years or older as they have a poor record.
An easier way is to read a couple of Grand National Tipping previews by the experts. We have links to two websites that both give big race tips and their reasoning. You don’t have to follow their tips, but they discuss a number of the horses and it will give you an idea of who you might want to bet on. These are the two websites with tipping articles that we recommend you read:
By The Horse’s Name: It is well known that many once-a-year bettors pick a horse by its name. For instance I have a friend called Al, and his family all backed a runner called Weird Al one year. They all lost their money, but you get the idea! I reckon the horse named ‘Simon’ might have attracted some cash when he was running a few years ago.
Betting on the race is meant to be fun. Have a bet, sit down and watch events unfold on the TV. So picking a horse merely by the name is not the crime of the century, and in such a competitive handicap race as the Grand National, they do all genuinely have a chance.
Picking Up Your Winnings
Even more fun than watching the spectacular race unfold, is getting the winner or a big-priced placed horse. It is very easy to collect your winnings as the online bookmaker sites will ‘settle’ the race within 20 minutes of it finishing. That means when you log back into your betting account with one of the major bookies the money you have won will be waiting for you and you can withdraw it back by the method you deposited it. That most likely would have been by credit or debit card or possibly via an e-wallet such as Paypal.
We hope this article has explained how to place a bet on the Grand National, but more than that we hope you back a winner.