What is Ante-Post Betting?

Learn what ante-post betting is and how punters can use it for sports such as horse racing, football and golf.

ante-post betting explained
Written by Steven Hubbard
Verified by BettingLounge team
Last updated 17/06/2024

Ante-Post Betting Explained

Ante-post betting simply refers to placing wagers on events that will happen in the future. For example, while a lot of horse racing fans like to place wagers on the day of their chosen meeting, others prefer to take a more advanced view by checking out ante-post markets.

It is possible to bet on the outcome of major races such as the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National months in advance a lot of the time, with ante-post betting becoming very popular.

The ante-post term is closely associated with horse racing betting, being a very important type of bet for the leading bookmakers for the sport of kings. However, these types of wagers are also available for all sorts of sports, such as tennis, football and golf.

Betting on the winner of the Master's golf tournament months before the action starts at the Augusta National course would be considered an ante-post wager, as would putting a bet on the title winner in the Premier League in July before a single ball has even been kicked in anger.

Ante-post betting is also sometimes known as futures betting on some top UK betting sites. So what are some of the main benefits of choosing ante-post bets? Let's take a closer look.

Benefits of Ante-Post Betting

The main reason most people choose ante-post betting is to find the best value possible. Even when a difference in odds seems small, it makes a big difference to the potential profits on offer.

Horse racing betting odds can fluctuate a great deal, but timing the placing of a wager on a race via ante-post betting markets can be the best way to get a great price on a particular selection.

horse racing ante post

It might be the case that a horse's price for a race like the Gold Cup drops substantially as the popular Cheltenham Festival approaches, meaning those who backed it early on ante-post markets would be sitting pretty in the event the horse got the job done to turn it into a winning wager.

While the starting price for horse racing bets is fixed, UK online bookmakers are free to set their own prices for ante-post betting markets, meaning the odds can be extremely competitive.

Drawbacks of Ante-Post Betting

In racing, ante-post betting is often seen as a risk due to the fact a horse might not run in the race in question for a number of reasons, for instance, due to an injury or a loss of form.

It is therefore a gamble, taking a bigger price on an ante-post betting market in the hope that the horse even makes it to the starting line on the day of the big race.

In an era where betting bonuses such as Best Odds Guaranteed - or BOG for short - are widely available, the odds boost on ante-post betting markets might not be that large either.

There is also the wait to see if a bet will be a winning wager to take into account here as well.

When a bet is placed on the day of the game or race, it will not take long for the action to play out and for funds to be returned in the event that the bet wins. But for ante-post wagers placed weeks or even months in advance, that money is tied up until the outcome has been decided.

Major Meetings for Ante-Post Betting

Horse racing fans will be looking out for a few top meetings to focus on when it comes to ante-post betting. Here are some of the major meetings for ante-post betting in racing:

  • The Cheltenham Festival
  • Grand National
  • King George VI Chase
  • Royal Ascot
  • The Epsom Derby
  • The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

Steven is an experienced iGaming content writer who has been working in the industry since 2018. He is passionate about sports betting and enjoys writing about all aspects of the industry, including bookmaker reviews, betting tips and strategies, and news and analysis. If you have any questions about online gambling in the UK, please don't hesitate to contact him.