So you want to back a horse or two in the Grand National – but how do you place a bet?
The easiest – and best value – is to open an online account with one of the leading bookies.
Most of them offer free bets or money back for new customers so they are the ones to look out for.
For example, Unibet will give you a £20 free bet if you bet £20 (£5 minimum bet); Paddy Power is offering you a £10 free bet when you bet £10; and Ladbrokes and Coral will offer a £5 free bet when you bet £5.
There are loads of online bookies so shop around for the best deal – sites such as oddschecker.com will give you a list of all the runners and riders and compares the odds for most of the big bookies.
You can then see which bookie is offering the best odds for your horse and see what they will offer you as a new customer.
For the Grand National some bookies offer as many as six places for each-way bets, they are the ones to go for too.
How do I sign up for an online account?
It’s easy. You have to fill in your personal details – name, address, email address, phone number etc – and set up how you will pay. Debit cards are best but PayPal is easy too.
It’s very quick generally but don’t leave it to the last minute, however, as websites can be slower than usual on big betting days.
Tip: Do make sure you read the terms and conditions for the free bet offer. If there’s something you don’t like or understand move on. There’s plenty more fish in the sea.
How do I place a bet in a shop?
On Grand National day betting shops have extra staff in to help first-time punters.
But placing a bet in a shop is simple. You’ll need a betting slip – there’s loads of them dotted around the shop, along with pens!
Simply write down the name of your horse and ‘Grand National’ and your stake eg £10 win or £5 each-way.
Then fill the amount in at the bottom – a £10 win bet is £10. £5 each-way is £10 (an each-way bet is actually two bets, a win bet and a place bet).
Then take your slip and cash to the counter. It’ll be stamped and a copy given back to you. Keep it safe as you’ll need it to claim your winnings later. If you’re lucky!
What else should I know?
Don’t bet more than you can afford to lose and when the fun stops STOP.
Who is going to win the Grand National?
That’s the $64,000 question. The race is off at 5.15pm on ITV1. Good luck!