Betting is always a risky business, with everyone accepting that they stand to lose their stake money if the bet that they’ve placed doesn’t come in. One of the risks that not many people think about comes in the form of odds shifting to the point that the bet that you placed, which seemed like great value at the time, suddenly becomes less impressive because the odds have shifted quite a bit in the lead-up to the event starting.
Thankfully, some bookmakers offer the Best Odds Guarantee, which essentially says that if the Starting Price of a horse ends up being longer than the price that you received when you placed your bet, you’ll be paid out at the longer odds. It’s not just horse racing that bookies offer it on either, with the likes of outright bets for football tournaments and big golfing events also seeing BOG introduced to them.
Best Odds Guarantee Explained
In terms of offers and promotions offered by bookmakers, there’s an argument that the Best Odds Guarantee is the best of the lot. It is a feature that says that customers will receive the highest payout possible on an event, should the Starting Price be longer than the odds that the punter took when placing their bet in the first place. One thing that’s important to realise is that it doesn’t refer to any odds that were on offer at any point.
In other words, let’s imagine that you’ve placed a bet on a horse at odds of 7/1. As the race approaches, the odds drift briefly to 10/1 before coming in again, with the horse’s Starting Price being 5/1. You will be paid out at 7/1 because those odds are better than the 5/1 that ended up being the horse’s Starting Price, with the fact that the odds were 10/1 at one point being entirely irrelevant to the offer in question.
Alternatively, imagine that your bet of 7/1 was on a horse that ended up with a Starting Price of 10/1, meaning that you’ve missed out on 3/1 worth of bets. In this instance, a bookmaker with a Best Odds Guarantee in place will pay you out at the 10/1 odds because they were better than the price that you took when you placed your initial bet. A £5 wager, would would have seen you collect £40, has now become £55 thanks to the BOG.
As with many promotions and offers from online bookmakers, you absolutely don’t need to worry about doing the maths on Best Odds Guarantees. Instead, the bookie will do the working out for you and simply pay you at the correct amount. The only thing that you need to do is make sure that you’ve bet with a bookmaker that offers BOG and that the offer applies to the race that you’re betting on.
The important thing to note about BOG is for the vast majority of meetings it only applies to bets placed on the day of the race, usually after 9am (this is when the early board prices are released). Bets place before this time are classed as ante-post, which means if the SP ends up higher than the odds you took you would not get the better odds.
There are reasons to bet ante-post too, such as getting better odds in general and not having stakes deducted for non-runners. Generally, though, ante-post bets are placed weeks or months before, if you have waited until the day before a race to bet you may as well wait until the next morning and get BOG.
Making Use Of BOG Offers
Best Odds Guaranteed promotions are a really good way of ensuring that you get paid out the maximum possible amount from the bookmaker that you use. Not all bookies offer BOG, so it’s really important that you place your bets with one that does if you’re hoping to take advantage of the offer in question. It’s also important to realise that the Best Odds in question are those offered by the specific bookmaker, not just any bookie.
To put that another way, if you place a bet on a horse with odds of 5/1 and realise that another bookmaker was offering odds of 7/1, you can’t demand that your chosen bookie pay you out at the odds that were in place with the other company. The only two prices that matter are the price that you were offered and accepted at the time of placing your bet and the official Starting Price of your horse once the race has been concluded.
For big races, such as the Grand National and the Cheltenham Festival, many bookies offer BOG way in advance of the meetings. This means you can bet ante-post and maybe get better odds but if you are wrong and the odds do shorten you are covered by BOG.
Are There Any Downsides?
The general answer to this is ‘no’. The reality is that the Best Odds Guarantee is simply a way of making sure that you get paid the best amount possible. There’s no real reason why that should be seen as a bad thing. Bookies offer the promotion because they know that the number of times that they’ll end up paying out more money than the original bet is negligible compared to how many bettors’ business they’ll obtain because of it.
It makes no sense to place a bet with a company that doesn’t offer the Best Odds Guarantee, unless they’re offering such astronomical odds that they’ll always be better than the Starting Price. Sadly those companies either don’t exist or don’t stay solvent enough for us to take advantage of them, so opting for a site that has a BOG offer is always the clever thing to do.
Of course, it is important you read the terms to know when BOG applies from. You might bet at 8am on a race that day but BOG may not start until 9am, for example. Some BOG offers also have maximum payout limits, but if there are limits these are usually in the 10’s of thousands so unlikely to affect most punters.
Keep Your Eye Out When The Big Meetings Are On
Bookmakers know that the best chance that they have of making money occurs when the biggest horse racing meetings roll around. Whether it be the Cheltenham Festival, Glorious Goodwood or the Grand National, punters come out in force for the biggest occasions and that is when bookies can earn enough money to cover the rest of the year. Of course, it’s a competitive market, so they need to be wise to win over customers.
That’s why it’s common for bookmakers to make the likes of their Best Odds Guarantee one of the chief promotions at the time that a major horse racing festival comes around. If you’re weighing up whether to place your bets with Bookie A or Bookie B and Bookie A has a Best Odds Guarantee in place, you’re going to give them your money over Bookie B. That makes complete sense, so do your best to keep an eye out for such companies making the offer when your horse racing event of choice rolls around.
The real joy comes when bookies offer the promotion on ante-post bets. This means that you not only get the longer odds that are sometimes associated with bets placed well ahead of an event getting underway, but that even if the Starting Price of what you’ve bet on ends up being longer than the odds you accepted then you’ll be paid out on the longer odds. These offers are only really made ahead of the biggest racing meetings, however.
One of the beauties of the Best Odds Guarantee is that it can be offered on numerous different sports. You’re not just limited to using such an offer with horse racing or greyhound racing, given that many bookmakers will also offer it on the likes of football tournaments, golf events or even something like Wimbledon. In short, anything that gives you the chance to place your bet ahead of the event getting underway can have a Best Odds Guarantee attached.
If a bookmaker offers BOG on horse racing then there’s a really good chance that they’ll offer it on certain other sports too. This is always worth looking out for, thanks to the extra money that you can end up getting without needing to do anything specific to earn it. All you do is place your wager and then wait to see how much you’re paid out once the result has been confirmed. Joyously, it will sometimes be more than you were expecting but very rarely will it end up being less.