Along with Cheltenham and the Grand National, Royal Ascot is one of the three marquee events on the British horse racing calendar. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about wagering on the big event. We’ll list the best Ascot betting sites and special offers, give you strategic tips for your Ascot betting, and much more besides.
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As one of the biggest betting events of the year, it’s no surprise that most bookies pull out all the stops for Royal Ascot. In addition to providing a huge range of markets for it, many top sportsbooks will also put plenty of special offers in place. These are the most popular such deals you can typically find.
This is the most common horse racing offer around, and it should apply to just about every Ascot race. To use it, simply place a regular Race Winner bet before the off. If the starting price for your horse is better than the first price you were given, you’ll automatically get those odds instead. If your original price remains superior, you’ll simply keep that. Ladbrokes offers Best Odds Guaranteed on all British and Irish races, including those at Royal Ascot.
Again, these are common throughout the horse racing calendar, but can also be extremely useful for Royal Ascot. Many bookies will give you an odds boost to use each day, while some will give you multiple tokens. Either way, you can use these to artificially inflate the price on a market of your choice. BetVictor is one site on which you can get an odds boost for every day of Ascot.
Instead of making you more money, insurance deals are designed to help you avoid losing it. There are two main types for Royal Ascot. The first is Fail to Finish, which – as the name suggests – gives you a refund if your horse doesn’t complete the race. The second is Beaten By a Head (or similar), in which you’re refunded if your pick loses narrowly to the winner. 10Bet is just one of our recommended sites which offers the latter deal.
This offer applies automatically to qualifying wagers. Similarly to insurance deals, it gives you a free bet if your Race Winner pick finishes second instead. This is a fairly common promotion, but Betfred has arguably the best version for Royal Ascot.
Rather than Race Winner, Each Way wagers are arguably the smartest way to bet on Royal Ascot. They get even more attractive when you’re incentivised with special offers, such as 888sport’s Each Way+. This innovative deal lets you choose between getting either enhanced odds on the place part of your Each Way, or simply gaining an extra place instead.
Ensuring you’re getting the best odds on every Royal Ascot wager can be time-consuming. When your bookie has a Price Promise in place, you don’t need to, as this automatically ensures that the site’s odds are at least a match for their competitors’. Bet365, for example, carries a Price Promise for every single race at Royal Ascot, thus guaranteeing that you’re getting good value on your wagers.
Arguably the most valuable Ascot promotions of all are those which give you free bets. After all, these valuable tokens can either be used instead of cash – to preserve your account balance – or as part of a no-risk matched betting strategy.
There are two main ways to get free bets through your Ascot betting.
The first route is to acquire them via welcome offers. These are typically easy to trigger, and give you – by far – the biggest rewards.
The best such welcome offers are called ‘Bet X, Get Y’, in which you place a real-money qualifying wager, and are rewarded with free bet tokens. Any deals offering a 1:1 return or greater are acceptable here, but – at the top end – you can get 3:1 returns via ‘Bet £10, Get £30’ deals.
Other welcome offer types – like Deposit Matches, or Risk-Free Bets – also deliver free bets, but are slightly trickier to use. The former requires you to place rollover wagers before withdrawing any bonus winnings, while the latter simply reimburses you if your first wager loses.
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The second way to get free bets is through ongoing promotions. These will typically take the form of ‘insurance’ deals, in which your stake gets refunded – as a free bet – under certain circumstances. Perhaps the most famous example is Money Back if 2nd, in which – if you place a Race Winner wager, and your runner doesn’t win but finishes second – you’ll get a free bet refund.
As Royal Ascot draws closer, you’ll find more and more betting sites offering free bet offers such as these. Your priority should be finding welcome offers created specifically for the event, on sites with which you don’t already have an account. Once Ascot begins though, switch your focus to ongoing free bet offers. In both cases, be sure to check the full terms and conditions for any deals you’re interested in, to ensure you trigger them correctly.
To get the ball rolling, here are the 10 best Royal Ascot free bet offers you can start using right now.
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When it comes to betting on Royal Ascot, the sheer quality of the odds you’re taking is incredibly important. After all, if your bookies are offering poor prices, there will always be a cap on your potential earnings.
Fortunately, with dozens of different Ascot betting sites available, this should never be an issue. Ensure you have accounts with multiple bookies before the event kicks off, and – before each race begins – you can simply shop around, then place your bet on the sportsbook offering the best price for your chosen runner.
All of our recommended betting sites provide extremely competitive odds, so – if you have a few accounts with a handful of these – you should be fine. If you want to follow your own path though, you must ensure that the horse racing prices that bookie offers are acceptable ahead of time.
To give you an idea of the kinds of odds you should be targeting, here are the current 10 favourites for the Royal Ascot Gold cup, along with their best prices at the time of writing.
Stradivarius @ 5/6 – Betway
Subjectivist @ 11/2 – Bet365
Trueshan @ 8/1 – Paddy Power
Spanish Mission @ 10/1 – BetVictor
Santiago @ 12/1 – SpreadEx
Tiger Moth @14/1 – MansionBet
Serpentine @ 14/1 – Unibet
Search for a Song @ 14/1 – MansionBet
Emperor of the Sun @ 16/1 – Betfair
Ocean Wind @ 20/1 – MansionBet
Whichever races you’re interested in during Royal Ascot, you’ll actually have a good amount of choice as to exactly how you wager on them. As explained in the next section, these bet types can be split into ante-post and pre-race. Let’s look at the four best pre-race betting markets which you’ll typically want to take for your Ascot betting.
This is the most basic betting market you’ll find for Royal Ascot. Quite simply, you’re picking which horse you think will win an individual race.
While these might be straightforward bets, however, they’re certainly not easy to win, with every Royal Ascot race having at least eight runners. The trade-off, of course, is that – even with this basic bet type – you’re still given very good odds.
Each Ways are arguably the most popular bet type amongst experienced Ascot bettors. It’s not hard to see why, as they present an excellent mix of risk and reward.
Although you’re still betting on one horse, Each Ways actually have two parts. The first is a regular ‘Race Winner’ wager. The second is a ‘Place’ part, in which – if your horse doesn’t win, but finishes in a certain range – you’ll get your stake back, plus a small profit. For a regular 12-runner race, for example, you might get five places, and a 1/5 payout.
Remember that – because they have two parts – Each Way bets also require you to wager two stakes. If you want to bet £10 in total, therefore, £5 of this will go towards the Win part, and £5 will count for the Place part.
These work similarly to accumulators in any other sport, like football. You bundle together several Race Winner picks into one multiples wager, and require each horse to triumph for your overall wager to win. For Royal Ascot, you’re free to pick horses racing on the same day, or different days across the festival. Multiples are difficult to win, but deliver sizable rewards when they do come off.
A whole range of exotic multiples are available for Royal Ascot, from Tricasts and Forecasts, to Yankees and Trixies. In each case, the predictions you’re making have a slightly different form. All exotics are the definition of high-risk, high-reward. We’d only ever recommend putting minimal stakes on them, but – because of the huge potential winnings, and the simple fact that they’re fun – they can be worth dabbling in.
Because of the nature of horse racing, both in-play and outright markets are basically non-factors for your Ascot betting. You therefore have two main timeframes to deal with – ante-post, and pre-race. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each type in turn.
Ante-post markets are your long-term option for Ascot betting. They open many months before Royal Ascot begins, before the final field is even close to being finalised. Typically they are limited to the two most basic bet types: Race Winner and Each Way.
Both the advantage and disadvantage of ante-post wagers is their unpredictability. On the one hand, making an early call can net you some incredible value. On the other, a runner who’s going strong in March might be in poor form when Ascot rolls around in June, and basically be a non-factor come race-time. They could even get injured, meaning that – because No Runner No Bet offers don’t usually apply to ante-post wagers – you simply lose your stake for nothing.
We’ve covered the most common pre-race bet types above. The biggest pro for staying patient, and taking one of these over an ante-post wager, is that you’ll have much more information available to you. Wait until the day before Royal Ascot, for example, and you’ll know exactly which horses are competing in the final field, and have the complete form record for every single runner. Injuries should also be a non-factor, and you’ll be covered by far more special offers, including various Insurance deals.
The main con, of course, is that everyone else also has more information available to them. This naturally includes the sportsbooks, who will lower their odds for most runners significantly once they have a more accurate picture of their chances. Your risks for pre-race Ascot bets are lower, therefore, but so are your potential rewards.
Unlike many other big betting sports – like football or tennis – in-play betting is almost non-existent in horse racing. This applies to Royal Ascot too.
With that said, even if it can’t help inform your live gambling, streaming is still highly desirable for Ascot. Quite simply, after putting in the hard work with your research and staking plans beforehand, actually watching the races play out is both exciting and rewarding. Fortunately, many of the top Ascot betting sites actually provide live streams of all the races, across the five days. Not only that, but – in some cases – this is available for free.
In the build-up to Royal Ascot, it’s also worth checking out live streams of other races featuring runners you’re interested in. While statistics should form the backbone of your betting strategy, the eye test still has a role to play in your analysis.
If Royal Ascot live streaming is a priority for you, these are your five top options heading into the 2021 festival.
As with all horse racing festivals, there’s no guarantee of making money on Royal Ascot. There are definitely measures you can take to vastly increase your chances though, with these being five of the most important.
Knowing that Royal Ascot comes around in June every year, you have plenty of time to prepare for it in advance. Part of this preparation should be to create a staking plan. Decide how much money you want to bet in total before Ascot, then identify which races you’re actually interested in wagering on. After that, simply divide your total amount by the number of events you’re going to bet on to work out your individual stakes.
Don’t be afraid to open accounts with a few different bookies in the buildup to Royal Ascot. By doing so, you can take advantage of both welcome offers and ongoing promotions for the festival. This also allows you to pick and choose the best odds on any horses you’re interested in backing.
There’s a huge amount of analysis and betting tips out there each year for Royal Ascot. Most of this is available for free, and you should use as much of it as possible to help your gambling. Quite simply, the better informed you are, the more likely you are to make high quality picks.
There’s no need to simply stick to Race Winner wagers. Each Ways arguably provide a more sensible alternative, but there’s plenty of room to get creative outside of these two bet types. Look to mix in more high-risk/high-reward wagers too – including straight and exotic multiples – while lowering your stakes accordingly.
Just because Royal Ascot provides dozens of betting opportunities, does not mean you need to get involved in all of them. Be sensible in the amounts for both your deposits and individual stakes, and – if necessary – impose strict deposit limits on yourself. The Royal Ascot is supposed to be enjoyable, and betting responsibly is the main key to ensuring this remains the case.
The British horse racing calendar revolves around three main events: the Cheltenham Festival, Grand National, and Royal Ascot. Ascot is the last of the three to take place each year, usually being held in mid-June. It runs for five whole days, with the 2021 edition – for example – running from Tuesday 15th – Saturday 19th June.
Of those three main events, Royal Ascot is arguably the most prestigious. Hundreds of thousands of people attend each year, dressed in their finest, with members of the Royal Family being the most famous attendees. The event’s history adds to this prestige, stretching all the way back to the 18th century, and it also happens to be the most lucrative race meeting in Britain, with over £7 million in prize money up for grabs.
Over 30 different races are split across the five days of Royal Ascot. These vary enormously in the number and quality of the runners taking part. The undoubted centrepiece of the whole festival, however, is the Gold Cup, which is traditionally held on the third day. If you’re just starting out with your Ascot betting, we’d definitely recommend focusing on this race, which receives the most attention and betting tips. Below, you can check out the Gold Cup winners from the past decade.
Few horse racing events – in the entire world – can compare to the atmosphere created by Royal Ascot. Between its history, pageantry, and the sheer quality of its racing, the prestige exuded by this event is truly unique. By getting involved in Ascot betting, you can also feel as if – in a small way – you’re a part of this great festival.
In this article we’ve outlined the best bookies, bet types, and special offers available to you, and given you some top Royal Ascot betting tips. All that remains for you to do is put it all together, and make some informed, smart picks for the 2021 edition. We wish you the best of luck this June, and – in general – a profitable and responsible betting experience.
We’ve listed 15 of the very best Ascot betting sites at the top of this article. Our number one option is SpreadEx, but the likes of Bet365 and 888sport are also excellent. If you specifically want to place exchange bets, we’d recommend Betfair as your top choice.
Bet365 has arguably the best prices of all. This is thanks to its Price Promise, which ensures that its odds are at least a match for those of its competitors. If you go with a betting exchange though - like Betfair, or the Ladbrokes Exchange - you can take whatever odds you please.
Absolutely. Several of our top Ascot bookies provide a live streaming service for the festival. You can do so for free on Bet365, or by fulfilling very basic requirements on sites such as 888sport or Paddy Power.
Some bookies create special welcome offers for Royal Ascot, but ongoing promotions are much more common. Some of the most popular include Money Back deals, Insurance offers, and Odds Boosts.
Royal Ascot takes place in mid-June of each year. It usually runs across five days - from Tuesday to Saturday - with a variety of races taking place each day. The 2021 edition is scheduled for 15th - 19th June.
Joe is a highly-experienced writer, with a focus on sports betting content. His specialties include sportsbook reviews and betting tips. A keen football fan, he also loves analysing and writing about the beautiful game.
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