One thing we’d always recommend you look for in a bookmaker is one offering Best Odds Guaranteed.
Often shortened to ‘BOG’, this allows you to get the best price for your horse between the one offered at the time of the bet and the official SP.
It is a fairly common offer these days, so much so that it isn’t even classed as an offer by some bettors, more of an expectation, but if you are using a newer site or a smaller brand it may not be included, so do check.
It’s an easy concept to understand which we will cover below, along with some information about where it came from and what might happen to it going forward.
Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG) Defined
BOG can be offered on any races, at the discretion of the bookmaker. The traditional way of dealing with BOG online is to offer it on every British and Irish race, daily. This is now changing, however.
Here’s how it works:
A bookmaker can offer Best Odds Guaranteed on certain races and will advertise this within their horse racing section.
When you place a bet on a qualifying BOG race and that bet wins, you are paid out at the highest odds between the price you accepted at the time of the bet, and the official SP (starting price).
So, in the first example if you’d placed a £10 bet on Quel Destin, taking the current price of 5/1, you’d expect to win £60 in total.
Even having taken that price, as he won at 8/1 your new return would be £90. Essentially, the original price is taken out and your bet is settled at the SP which was higher.
This sort of drift also keeps it in focus that when a horse’s price does increase markedly, that doesn’t mean the horse suddenly has no chance. After all, the horse doesn’t know it’s drifting in the market so if you have done your research and have no new information to change your thinking, then keep the faith.
As for the second example, this was one for the big-hitters.
Those willing to risk £200 at 2/9 on what they thought was a shoo-in would have taken that price. In this case, Teddy Blue was backed right into 2/11 meaning the bet pays out at the early odds under BOG rules.
£200 at 2/9 lands a return of £244.44, while the same stake at 2/11 would return just £236.36.
So, no matter which way round your bet lands, it always makes more sense to bet with a bookmaker who offers Best Odds Guaranteed.
Do All Bookmakers Offer BOG?
The short answer is no.
When Best Odds Guaranteed was still new, it was something offered by very few bookmakers indeed. Some of the larger high street brands would offer it in the shops for a limited time on the morning of the races in question, with perhaps extended hours offered online.
As time went by, some online bookmakers began to offer extra BOG races, eventually leading to no time limits.
By the late 2010’s, the vast majority of major online bookmakers trading on British and Irish horse racing offered Best Odds Guaranteed on all domestic races the second prices went live, with no time limits.
In the early to mid-2020s however, things were moving slightly backwards again in that regard.
William Hill was one the first of the big brands to change their BOG promo, making it apply only on the day of the race. That followed Paddy Power’s move to allow the terms only from 8am on the day of the race rather than from when the race is first priced up.
After the news regarding those two brands removing some BOG benefits, as well as others coming forward to say they won’t offer it at tracks owned by certain owners due to behind-the-scenes rows, a survey was undertaken by the Horseracing Bettors Forum.
It found, unsurprisingly, that Best Odds Guaranteed was by far and away the most favoured concession offered by bookmakers in the UK.
Why Are Some Bookies BOG Terms Different?
The reason given is that, after reduction of stakes allowed on FOBT machines in bricks and mortar betting shops, bookies had to reel in some concessions. It seems BOG was a casualty of that.
It would be short sighted however to think that is the only reason.
As expendable income reduces, combined with more and more competition arriving on the market, bottom lines get squeezed and bookies have to make concessions somewhere. Punters can choose from so many online bookmakers now, all offering something a little bit different, and this spreads business out more thinly.
So certain bookmakers decided to alter their Best Odds Guaranteed terms to try and mitigate this. The way in which they do this is up to them, but it just means that every bookie offering BOG isn’t necessarily offering the exact same deal.
If some firms were to start disappearing or were bought out by larger brands, it might at first appear to reduce competition which many would see as a bad thing.
However, if we were left with five or six major brands and just a few others sharing customers, we would likely soon see those brands offering certain concessions to punters in order to steer them away from their main rivals. In that situation, BOG terms might improve to their former glory.
While differing spot promotions work for football, tennis, boxing and Formula One, racing punters would choose Best Odds Guaranteed over pretty much any other offer every time.