What Is Ante Post Betting?

Calendar IconAnte post betting – which you may also see written as ante-post or antepost – is, to give the simplest and quickest answer possible, a type of bet placed at least a day before the event.

The phrase is Latin for “before the post” and is primarily a racing term used to describe bets placed before the final declaration for a race, although ante post bets also exist in just about every sport. In America this type of bet is known as a “futures bet”, for obvious reasons.

Features of Ante Post Betting

Risk and Reward Circled in Red

Ante post bets can often deliver huge odds but that is because they also come with a considerable risk. In just about every sport, and certainly in horse racing, if your selection doesn’t take part in the event you will receive a refund of your stake. However, this is not the case in ante post betting. If your horse is injured, entered into another race or, sadly, even suffers a fatal injury, you simply lose your stake.

As said, the upside of this is longer odds and there is potential for great value in an ante post bet, especially if you think the horse, team or competitor is set to improve. Bets placed ante post are based on less information than is available closer to the time and so they are inherently risky, but little beats the feeling of sitting on a betting slip that says 50/1 when the current price is, for example, just 10/1… especially if your selection goes on to win!

Non-Runner No Bet/Money Back

On certain major events, most commonly big horse races, such as the feature races at the Cheltenham Festival or the Grand National, bookies may offer a very handy insurance policy on ante post bets. Non-runner no bet, or non-runner free bet offers mean that if your selection doesn’t race, you’ll get your money back – at best – or see your stake refunded as a free bet. This is normally available in the week before an event but could be two weeks or even longer before.

Rule 4s and Best Odds Guaranteed

Because ante post bets are fixed at the price you take early and there is no refund on non-runners (subject to the above offers), they are not subject to Rule 4 deductions. This can really work in your favour should one or more of the favourites be forced to withdraw as your bet will stand at the full odds. Equally, ante post bets are not covered by Best Odds Guaranteed promotions.

Example of Ante Post Bets

Paddy Power Horse Racing Antepost Screenshot

As said, ante post bets are most commonly placed on horse racing but they can be placed on a variety of sports and events and below is a list of some of the most common ante post wagers from a range of sports. Ante post bets can offer great value but as well as that they can also offer a lot of long term interest in an event, further enhancing their value, albeit in a non-monetary sense.

  • Big Race – as soon as one big race is over, there are invariably ante post odds on offer either for the same race the next year or sometimes for a similar race later in the season.
  • Football – pre-season ante post bets are hugely popular, with accumulators on who will win all four English leagues, top goalscorer bets and promotion bets all commonplace before a ball has even been kicked.
  • Major Tournaments – for major tournaments in any sport ante post bets are very popular but especially for football, where you might back the winner of the World Cup before qualifying is completed or before the draw has been made.
  • Tennis and Golf – ante post bets on the majors are very common in both of these sports, either for later in the season or even for tournaments the following year.
  • Reality TV – ante post bets on reality TV events are quite common, for example betting on who will win the X Factor or Sports Personality of the Year before the finalists are known based on an early indication of potential.