Gambling for the first time? Thinking of going to the Grand National? Good for you, because it’s never too late to have some fun and excitement.

In fact, why don’t you start having fun right now? Read the article below.

Types Of Wagers

When you’re taking a bet on a horse, you can go straight and bet straightforward, or you can be adventurous and place an exotic bet.

What’s the difference? Straightforward betting is simple, easy and beginner-friendly.

You bet on one horse to:

  • Finish first
  • To place (either 1st, 2nd or 3rd, though some bookmakers pay up to five places for the Grand National)
  • To show up which is similar to the ‘Place’ bet but is specifically first, second or third place

And that’s it. Really simple, if your horse wins or places and you have a win or each-way bet, you collect your winnings.

Exotic betting is more complicated and hard to do successfully. I mean, it’s easy to bet, but very hard to win. Exotic bets are when you bet on several horses at once, in a single race, that they’ll finish in exact positions you predicted. It is definitely trickier and my advice is to leave those kinds of bets to the professionals who know how to beat the odds.

Now that you know how you can bet, let’s make sure you pick a winner – there’s real science to it (sort of).

How to pick the winning horse?

First, buy a racecard program. It’s packed to the brim with useful data you can use to place smarter bets.

  • Past performances? Has the horse you picked ever won?
  • Is it an all-surface horse or does it have a favourite type of race track?
  • Has the horse recently been bumped up a class? Great for the horse, but it’s a newcomer amongst experienced horses (hint: skip that one)
  • Who rides it?
  • Who trains it?
  • What is it’s odds of winning?

This crucial info and much more can help guide your betting hand. But before you choose, use your eyes and common sense and visit the paddock. Before the race, the horses are paraded in the area of the track called the paddock. Here you can approach and watch the horses up close.

What to pay attention to?

You want a horse that seems calm but alert. One that looks like it’s conserving its energy so it can explode on the race track. You can notice them by vibrant, fluid movement that’s infused with serene calmness.

I know, it sounds weird when you read it here, but trust me, when you see it you will understand (and you’ll feel like a horse betting genius). You don’t want a horse that’s overly excited, turning in circles, biting, rearing. They’ve already spent half of their energy, and the race is yet to start.

The amount you can win is based on the odds given to a horse. The higher the odds, the less likely is the horse to win (but the reward is greater). The lower the odds, the more the horse is more expected to win.

Pro tip:

If you want to play it safe, back the horse with the lowest odds. Statistics show that:

  • A win bet will be right 33% of the time
  • Eachway bets are right 53% of the time
  • If you bet the favorite will show- you’ll profit 67% of the time


Whether you win or lose, you need to remember this, you go to the races, and especially to the Grand National, to have fun. Because if you don’t enjoy yourself, what’s the point of it all?