Ante-Post Betting Explained

Ante-Post Betting Guide

Since the advent of sports betting centuries ago, bookmakers have offered different forms of betting to punters. One of the classics that remains a go-to option in the sports betting market is ante-post betting, a popular bet offering punters better odds and value than others.

In this guide, we will delve into the world of ante-post betting, covering the following area of interest:
  • Ante-post betting meaning
  • Rules of ante-post betting
  • Calculation of ante-post bets
  • The best sports for ante-post betting

What Is Ante-Post Betting?

Ante-post betting refers to placing bets on markets that will take place in the future, usually long-term, up to at least a day before the event. Also commonly referred to as futures betting or outright wagering, it involves placing bets on an entire tournament, league, or competition instead of specific matches or games within the event. For example, bet on the next Grand National, English Premier League, US Open winner, etc.

The idea behind ante post bet options is that backing a specific selection well before the event will give you access to a higher price than you would find close to the event’s start. It is because there is always uncertainty about the outcome of events that early. But as the event draws close, the prices will change to reflect the possibility of the wager you select occurring. Naturally, the closer you are to the event, the lower the odds of the selections perceived to have good winning chances.

A typical example of a massive ante post bet opportunity showed up during the 2016 English Barclays Premier League. Leicester’s remarkable triumph in the league is one of the greatest underdog stories in sports history and reflects one of the best ante-post bets. The team began the season with odds of 5000/1 at many sportsbooks, owing to its narrow escape from relegation the previous season. As the team progressed and consistently showed their skills and resilience, the odds prices gradually reduced drastically.

At an unbelievable starting price of 5000/1, Leicester’s win in the league shows how profitable ante-post odds betting can be. Any insightful punter who backed the team right from the start with even a small $10 would have walked away with a whopping $50,000 payday.

Ante-Post Betting Rules

One vital thing that every punter needs to note is that there are ante-post bet rules attached to this betting option. Most sports betting bookmakers generally feature similar rules for their ante-post betting markets, especially regarding horse racing. These rules apply to most horse racing events and market these bookmakers offer.

Let’s look at some of the essential factors and rules for successful ante-post horse racing:

  • Ante-post Non-Runner No Bets: Unlike standard horse racing bets, “Non-Runner No Bet” will not apply to your ante post bet, and all bets stand whether your selection runs or not. It means you will lose your stake if the horse doesn’t run for any reason.
  • No rule 4 deductions: When a horse gets abruptly withdrawn from a racing event, the usual reduction factor on the odds of regular markets does not apply to ante-post markets.
  • Not eligible for best odds guaranteed: Ante-post bets do not qualify for best odds guaranteed. Regardless of whether it eventually rose, you will only get the price you backed the wager.
  • Ante-post betting rules each way: Each way ante-post bet will settle at the advertised terms attached to the selection when you place the bet.

That said, there are also instances where your ante-post bets can be void, after which your stake will be returned.

It can happen under any of the following situations:

  • The race gets canceled and does take place later.
  • The horse gets balloted or eliminated from the race under Jockey Club rules.
  • The race gets postponed later at an alternative venue different from the original.

Factors to Consider for Ante-Post Betting

One undeniable fact is that betting ante post can be tricky. Several factors can influence the ante-post bet you place, positively or negatively. For example, you may back a particular horse to win the next Cheltenham Gold Cup due to its recent impressive performances. But unexpected circumstances can arise, and your selection withdraws from the race, for example. It will see you not stand a chance to win the bet or lose your stake.

That said, given the uncertainties that define ante-post bet opportunities, it’s crucial to consider certain essential factors before engaging in ante-post bet.

  • Latest news: It is essential to stay informed about the latest developments in the sports you are betting on. Always check for conflicting races and determine if your horse is a guaranteed runner.
  • Potential hazards: It is essential to factor in the potential hazards that can come into play to be successful with these bets. It would be best to consider the possibility of injuries, the financial state of a team to back their play, the possibility of transferring players, etc.
  • Form and performances: Considering form and performance is crucial in ante-post bets, especially in individual sports, as this provides clues to the chances of winning. You need to assess the recent form and performance of horses, individual athletes, individual players, teams, etc. Then consider their winning streak, previous results, consistency, and notable improvements or decline to try and determine selections with the best winning chances.

Ante-Post Betting Calculation

Now, let’s get into ante-post bets rules for calculations. Unlike what many newbies may think when getting into this betting method for the first time, ante-post bets are typically treated the same as any other bet. You will find no difference in the odds and bet mechanics from any typical bet calculation. Depending on the sportsbook of choice and your preference, the odds will display in American (moneyline), fractional, or decimal odds format. To determine the potential payout you will get if your selection triumphs, you multiply the intended stake amount by the odds offered on the event.

Interestingly, there are also ante-post betting opportunities in betting exchange sites, which allow punters to lay their bets. The calculation here is also similar to that of any usual lay bet.

How to Calculate Your Payout for a Back Bet on an Ante-Post Market

If you don’t know what a back bet means, it is when a bettor puts a wager on a specific outcome of an event — for example, backing a horse to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup. It is the usual bet most punters place every day.

As mentioned, payout calculation in ante-post bets differs from any form of wager. You use the odds offered and the intended stake amount to calculate the potential payout. Let’s say you are faced with an ante-post bet to back Corach Rambler to win the Grand National at an odds of 8.50. (Note: the odds will display 750 in American format or 15/2 in fractional).

To calculate the payout: Payout = Odds x stake

If Corach Rambler wins the race, your payout will return $850 for a $100 bet. It will leave you with a profit of $750 (payout – stake).

That said, you should note that bookmakers usually charge a commission on punters’ profits.

How to Calculate Your Payout for a Lay Bet on an Ante-post Market

As we have mentioned, exchange betting sites for ante-post also offer opportunities for punters to lay their bets. If you don’t know what a lay bet means, it is when a punter places a wager on an outcome not happening. You will win a lay bet if anything else except that outcome happens. For example, if you bet on Real Madrid in a football match, you will lose your bet if the team wins. Conversely, you will win the bet if the opposing team wins or the game ends in a draw.

Calculating lay ante bets also works like any normal lay bet. The profit for your lay bet will be the same as your stake, excluding the commission. For example, let’s say you lay a bet on Corach Rambler during the Grand National at odds of 5.80 (Note: this odds will display 480 in American format or 24/5 in fractional).

To calculate the profit: Profit = Stake

Therefore, if you wager $100 on the lay bet, you will get a $100 profit, excluding the betting exchange’s commission.

One important thing to note about laying bets is that liability is always attached to the lay bet – i.e., the amount you will pay out (i.e., lose) if Corach Rambler wins the Grand National.

To calculate the liability: Liability = ((odds -1) x stake)

With a $100 stake and 5.80 odds, the liability here will be $480, which you will lose if Corach Rambler wins.

Bookmaker Ante-Post Betting Rules

As we have mentioned, ante-post betting has specific rules punters need to note when using this bet type. That said, while the rules are often general to all sports betting sites, each bookmaker will have its own set of ante-post bet rules and conditions that may differ from others. After all, the sports betting industry is quite competitive, and each platform wants to stay ahead. Every platform tends to have specific rules that suit them best for catering to their punters.

That is why it is essential for any punter interested in ante-post betting to make sure they know a bookmaker’s rules on the wager option before putting skin in the game with their money. Understanding these rules is necessary for any punter to succeed with ante-post bets. So, always take your time to do so.

Ante-Post Value

Ante-post value essentially refers to the perceived worth or advantage of placing a bet on a particular outcome of an event well into the future. As mentioned, due to the uncertain state of things in the early days, the odds offered on this market are usually more impressive and better than the ones available close to the event. So, by engaging in ante-post bets, you get better value on your odds.

Not every ante-post value will be worthwhile in the long run, as only one outcome will come through. As such, finding value bets in ante-post betting is essential. It means finding instances where bookmakers may have underestimated the winning chances of a particular outcome. Experienced bettors that engage in betting ante-post markets assess the odds offered by sportsbooks and compare them to their assessment of the likelihood of winning. And when they spot a selection with good value, they tend to go for it.

However, you should note that ante-post bets are subjective and require expertise, knowledge, and judgment to identify the best opportunities and value.

Where to Find Odds for Ante-Post Bets

As mentioned, ante-post odds bets are a pretty popular betting option that many horse racing and other sports enthusiasts enjoy placing. As such, many sportsbooks offer betting ante post services to their punters.

Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Bet365
  • William Hill
  • Ladbrokes
  • Paddy Power
  • Coral
  • Unibet
  • Boylesports
  • Skybet,
  • etc.

You should note that when searching for the best ante-post betting sites, one of your priorities should always be to choose reputable bookmakers to guarantee a safe and fair gaming experience. You should also always consider the availability of sports, betting markets, competitive odds, and other essential aspects of a good sports betting site.

That said, all the bookmakers mentioned above are some of the most reputable bookies on the market. They cover various sports markets, from horse racing to greyhounds, football, tennis betting, etc. The best part is that they offer some of the best and most competitive odds on the market, which is favorable for punters.

What Are the Best Sports for Ante-Post Betting?

One significant advantage of ante-post bets is that it is available across various sports. As long as a major sporting event is scheduled for the future, bookmakers are likely to provide ante-post bets on it. Interestingly, some of the best ante-post betting sites have even offered wagers for non-sporting events, including political elections, entertainment awards like the Oscars or Grammy, and reality TV shows. These markets allow punters to explore some exciting non-traditional bets.

However, some sports, such as horse racing, are more popular and appealing for ante-post bets than others.

Ante-Post Bets on Horse Racing

Horse racing is undeniably the most popular sport associated with ante-post bets, which is unsurprising as the betting option originated from it. The phrase “ante post” refers to “before the post” and is an indication of bets placed on horse racing events before the final declaration for a race (usually 24 or 48 hours before the race).

This sport features many races and events throughout the year for jump and flat racing, providing ample opportunities for horse racing ante-post betting. Bookmakers take advantage of this and take their time to offer a vast range of markets for this bet option. Here, the outright winner of the event is usually the most popular betting market. It is where you place a bet on the outcome of the race.

One of the best parts of ante-post horse racing is that these bet options are always available to punters well in advance. For example, as soon as a race concludes in the Grand National in a current year, bookmakers would immediately open ante-post markets for the following year.

Biggest Race Meetings to Place Ante-Post Bets On

One of the exciting things about ante-post horse betting is that several races occur throughout the year that punters can engage. These races usually occur during race meetings, attracting top-class horses, trainers, and jockeys, and are highly competitive and exciting to watch.

Some of the most important horse racing meetings that betting sites for ante-post focus on includes:

  • The Cheltenham Festival: Held annually in March, the Cheltenham Festival is one of the most prestigious and highly anticipated horse racing meetings in the National Hunt racing calendar in the United Kingdom. It takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire, featuring 28 races spread across four days, including four championship races – the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Stayers’ Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, and Champion Hurdle.
  • The Grand National: Held annually in April, the Grand National is one of the most challenging steeplechase racing events in the National Hunt calendar. It takes place at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool and usually contains 21 races spread across 3 days.

Others include:

  • Royal Ascot
  • King George VI Chase
  • Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
  • The Epsom Derby
  • 2000 Guineas Stakes
  • The Oaks Stakes
  • The St Leger Stakes



Positives and Negatives of Ante-Post Betting on Horse Racing

A simple fact is that anything with value will also have some downsides. So, while there is no denying that ante-post betting horse racing has several benefits to punters, the reality is that there are also some drawbacks to it. Now let’s get into the positives and negatives of this form of bet you need to know:

  • Ante-post bets tend to offer higher odds to punters than will be available close to the event.
  • Ante-post bets provide better value.
  • It offers extra excitement and anticipation to punters’ betting experience.
  • Horse racing ante post provides opportunities to back and lay the bet to secure a profit.
  • It provides more time to research and plan your bets.
  • You risk losing your bet in case of a non-runner (i.e., if the horse you back doesn’t participate in the race).
  • The wager won’t settle for an extended period.
  • Things can change between now and the event.
  • Free bets and promotional offers are usually not compatible with ante-post racing.

Examples of Ante-Post Bets in Other Sports

As mentioned, ante-post bets extend beyond horse racing. The betting option is available for various sports, covering many betting markets and opportunities. Naturally, the goal of ante-post with these sports is to obtain better value in odds on sporting events than you would find close to the events.

Some of the other popular sports that betting sites for ante-post wagering cover include:

  • Greyhound
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Tennis,
  • etc.

Now, let’s examine what ante-post betting looks like in some of these sports.

Greyhound Ante-Post Betting

Like horse racing, ante-post bets are also available on greyhound racing events, such as the famous Greyhound Derby. With this sport, you can place an ante-post wager on a specific greyhound to win a future race or achieve certain milestones, such as winning a championship cup.

That said, due to its similarity with the sport, greyhound ante post betting also shares rules similar to horse racing. A typical example is the non-runner rule, which will have a punter lose their wager if their selection does not run.

Ante-Post Football Betting

Football is another popular sport with ante-post betting enthusiasts. With this sport, the focus of ante-post bets is more on significant tournaments, leagues, and cups, not individual matchups. For example, a standard ante-post bet would be who will win the next English Premier League between Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool. Football ante post bet markets for the next football season are usually available to bettors on betting sites even before the conclusion of the current season.

The exciting part about outright bets with this sport is that some of the best bookmakers provide football ante-post handicap betting opportunities to their punters, which gives them more advantages. Other ante-post bets in football include betting markets like the “Top Goal Scorer,” “Most Assist,” etc. For example, a punter can be “Robert Lewandowski” as the top goal scorer in the next Spanish La Liga season or “Antoine Griezmann” to win the most assists.

Tennis Ante-Post Betting

Tennis enthusiasts also have the opportunity to engage in ante-post bets on their beloved sport, as individual sports are among the best options for this betting option.

Regarding tennis, ante-post betting usually focuses on major grand slam events, including the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. The four major grand slam tournaments occur annually and offer abundant opportunities for long-term ante-post bets and wins.

With tennis, bookmakers usually provide ante-post bet markets on individual players and their performances during events. For example, you can place an ante-post bet on Novak Djokovic to win the next US Open.

The Evolution of Ante-Post Betting

As mentioned, the concept of ante-post betting has been around for quite a while, with its roots in horse racing. The idea has since then expanded beyond horse racing to accommodate other sports, such as football, golf, tennis, etc.

The explosion of online betting and all the advantages that came with it made ante-post betting more popular and known to punters and sports enthusiasts. It has also greatly influenced the evolution of these bets. Today, punters have access to a broader range of ante-post markets to explore and the opportunity to compare odds on different betting platforms to find the best value.

Overall, the evolution of ante-post betting has made this betting option a prominent feature across a variety of sports. With continued sports betting advances, this option can only get better for punters.

Is Ante-Post Betting Worth It?

With ante-post betting explained in this guide, you can see it is well worth it. The betting option allows punters to place bets well in advance, potentially securing better odds and value. It also gives players the thrills and excitement of long-term wagers as they religiously follow their selection with rapt anticipation. Another exciting part is that whether you are passionate about horse racing, greyhound racing, football, tennis, or other sports, ante-post betting opens a world of opportunities to every punter.

On the flip side, ante post betting carries inherent risks that can impact the outcome of your bet, such as non-runners and unforeseen circumstance changes. That is why it is crucial to approach this betting option with careful consideration and adequate knowledge of ante-post bets rules and the factors involved. You should also always apply proper research and analysis to make informed decisions on your bets. Doing this will improve your chances of success.

If you can take the risk of the bets and believe you have found a selection with good value, then ante-post betting could be the ideal option for you. So, don’t hesitate to give it a try.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is ante-post betting?
    Ante-post betting refers to placing wagers on future events, such as horse racing and other sporting events, well in advance, often weeks or months. It usually allows punters to secure better odds for more significant value than they would find close to the event.
  • When does ante-post betting stop?
    The stop time for ante-post bets usually varies depending on sports and sportsbooks. However, it generally usually stops at a predetermined time before the event. For example, bookmakers in horse racing usually offer ante-post bets for big races until the final declarations (usually 24 to 48 hours before the off).
  • Are ante-post good bets?
    Yes, ante-post bets are good. They tend to offer higher odds and better value to punters. However, you should know that it also comes with some risks.
  • Still have questions?
    Ask our experts
Rebecca E
Writer & Media

Rebecca is a Liverpool gal and a big fan of the club. She likes nothing more than sharing tips and predictions on sports betting. Her other favorite sports include horse racing, snooker, and golf. Rebecca is in charge of writing and media at BetZillion. You can thank her for making our articles look so great.

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