Ante Post Betting, also called futures betting, refers to a wager that is placed well in advance, often weeks, months or even years leading up to the designated day of the event.

What is Ante Post Betting?

Ante Post Betting, also called Outright Betting (when placed on an entire competition/league, instead of an individual game) refers to wagering on matches/events that are scheduled to take place in the future. While it is a popular notion that this bet has its roots in horse racing, a punter can place an Ante Post wager on a football game or tennis match as well, as long as they are billed to happen on a future date.

When it comes to the rewards on offer, they are aplenty. You are essentially jumping the queue and wagering on your selection before the rush kicks in. This allows you to rake in the moolah as bookies thrive on the possibility that situations may change from the date of betting to the actual event/match day.

For example, you could wager on a horse — that has been performing at its peak — to win the following year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. How does the bookmaker stack his profits here? Well, he relies on the chance that the horse might not be running as well within a few months or a year. That is also the risk that you shoulder in Ante Post Betting.

Consider another situation where you back Manchester City to win the Premier League scheduled next year. However, a lot could go astray during this period – injury to key players, mid-season transfers, dip in form, and the likes. Since the gap between the day of wagering and the event date is usually long, you don’t know how your selection would eventually fare.

Considering there is the risk that your selection doesn’t put in the performance as you would’ve expected it to, an Outright bet gives you access to impressive odds – particularly if you wager months or weeks before the D-Day.

On the flip side, remember that should your selection — in case of horse racing — be a non-runner in the relevant race, you’d not get back your stake. In simple words, you lose the bet and the stake. This is unlike other bet types where the bet will be voided, and you’d stand to get your stake back should the player (or team) you backed doesn’t take the field.

Likewise, you might wager on Rafael Nadal in the Outright market to win the following year’s Roland Garros. However, right in the nick of time, Rafa pulls out with a freak injury. In this case, you lose the Ante Post wager and your stake.

Ladbrokes Ante Post Odds
Graphic showing Ante Post odds for the Betfair Chase 2020 Race. (Source: Ladbrokes)

Simply put, an Ante Post bet refers to a wager that you place at least a day before the event taking place. While its origins can be traced to horse racing (ante post translates to ‘before the post’), this bet applies to other sports including football, tennis, and greyhound racing.

For example, this could mean you wager on a horse you think is likely to win the following year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, or a club that might secure the next year’s Premier League title, or whether Novak Djokovic would win the Wimbledon.

Cheltenham Festival betting sites

Considering you wager on an event that is scheduled at a future (often distant) date, this type of bet is usually riskier when compared to its traditional peers. That being said, the upside of Ante Post Betting is the long odds it has on offer for punters. We'll look at this more in-depth as we explore the ins and outs of this bet.

Ante Post Betting In Horse Racing

Usually, Ante Post odds are aplenty on the more significant races, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National. As soon as a young horse starts becoming popular, bookies start offering Ante Post odds for races like the 1000 and 2000 Guineas. Remember that these races will only be scheduled the following year; however, there’s a chance for you to earn handsome profits.

After the 1000 and 2000 Guineas have taken place, the focus shifts to the Derby and Epsom Oaks that are run by three-year-old fillies and colts. (The Epsom Oaks is only open to three-year-old fillies). Here, the young gun you backed the previous year may turn up as the favourite. Consequently, your betting slip will get more attractive by the minute.

Bookies can choose to declare Ante Post odds for the next year soon after the current year’s race draws to a close. Depending on the performance – promising or disappointing — your selection puts in over the season, you will see the odds fluctuate.

What is the big risk factor of Ante Post Betting in horse racing?

In all fairness, the critical consideration to betting on horse racing in this market is whether or not your selection would eventually run. That’s because should your selection end up as a non-runner, you’d lose your bet with no refund of your stake. With this kind of a bet, you have to accept what lies in store – horses can sustain injuries easily or be pulled out of a race.

However, if the horse you backed is balloted out (meaning the owners were prepared to run the horse, but it wasn’t selected because of higher-rated horses being available for the spots), you will get a refund of your stake.

Horse Racing Ante Post Odds on William Hill
Graphic showing Ante Post odds on winning any race at the Cheltenham Festival. (Source: William Hill)

When Can Ante Post Bets Become Void?

Ante Post bets will stand should the race be postponed. However, if any of the following events occur, this type of bet will be declared void in the case of:

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    The race having been called off or abandoned by the concerned authority

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    The race having been declared void

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    The conditions of the race having been modified after Ante Post bets are placed

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    Your selection having been balloted out (implying that while the owner was ready to race it, the horse wasn’t considered because its higher-rated counterparts were selected for the available slots)

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    The horse racing venue having been changed

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    The surface of the race having been modified — from dirt to turf or artificial, or vice versa

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    The horse racing entries having been reopened

Essentials of Ante Post Betting

Read on to go over or learn some of the more important points to this bet:

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    Time of wagering

Let’s go over it once more: Ante Post Betting refers to wagering in advance – at least a day, and often weeks, months, and sometimes years, leading up to the main event.

While the term is commonly associated with horse racing, you can place this type of bet on any game/sport – football and tennis, for instance — that is scheduled to take place sometime in the future.

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    What are the odds?

Ante Post odds are almost always high as there is a significant degree of inherent risk. When you are wagering in this market, you have limited information and are essentially shooting in the dark, considering it is generally well in advance. You don’t know whether your selection would put up a promising performance or even turn up on the day of the event/match.

That being said, little rivals the feeling of having a 66/1 bet slip as opposed to starting odds of 5/1, more so if you go on to win your wager.

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    Refund of stake

In case the horse that you’ve backed doesn’t run the race eventually – be it because of an injury or a last-minute withdrawal — your bet will be deemed a loser. You will not qualify for any refund on your stake.

Consider another example when you had bet in the Ante Post market on Raheem Sterling netting the maximum goals in the upcoming Premier League. In case your selection suffers a freak injury and has to pull out of the contest, you will be set to lose the bet and stake. While this may seem a little harsh, you have to consider the primary advantage of this kind of a wager – the impressive value that is on offer.

For most punters betting in this market, the chance to win big often beats the risks of non-participants and non-runners.

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    Insure my bet?

In the weeks leading up to the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National, the two big-ticket races, multiple bookies generally offer a ‘non-runner free bet’ or ‘non-runner no bet’ insurance policy. It helps to cover your stake in the event of your selection being a non-runner. In this case, you can either get your stake refunded in full or get a free bet (to the value of the original stake).

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    Does ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ apply?

Ante Post odds are fixed; they don’t fluctuate from the price at which you take them at the onset. Also, considering you don’t get a refund on non-runners, Ante Post Betting is not subject to Rule 4 deductions. It implies that your bet would still stand at the original (full) odds and terms should any favourite withdraw from the competition.

That is also why the Best Odds Guaranteed promo doesn’t apply to this type of bet.

Best Odds Guaranteed William Hill
Graphic showing Best Odds Guaranteed promo on UK/Irish Horse Racing. (Source: William Hill)

How Does Ante Post Betting Work for Other Sports?

You can place this type of wager on almost every sport with one (or more) major events set to happen in the future. Trust the bookies to be keen on publishing Ante Post odds on these sports as soon as curtains drop on the ongoing year’s significant events.

Besides horse racing, football and tennis are two of the more popular sports in the UK.


There is an avalanche of bet options across sports, and the so-called ‘beautiful game' is no exception. Though the next edition of the World Cup is still a couple of years into the future (at the current time of writing), you will be able to find lucrative Outright odds on who would be crowned champions in Qatar.

This is despite the risk of injuries playing spoilsport and forcing marquee players out of the quadrennial showpiece or teams not having qualified yet, for that matter. You can also back selections in the English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, and the Champions League. If you think your favourite club could put up a better show in the next edition, go ahead and place that Outright wager.

Have a look at Bundesliga-related profit and loss stats that we have compiled, along with all La Liga season-end predictions.

The Top Goalscorer and Relegation markets have always had dedicated followers. However, there is an inherent degree of hazard here. What if you back Mohamed Salah to net the maximum goals, and he sustains a season-threatening injury early on! This is the sort of chance you have to be prepared to take.

For instance, Coral is offering Ante Post odds of 80/1 on Russia winning the Euro 2021.

Outright Betting Odds on Euro 2021 from Coral
Graphic showing Ante Post odds on the Euro 2021 ‘To Win’ market. (Source: Coral)


Ante Post Betting is rife in tennis, particularly across the Grand Slams. Fancy Rafael Nadal to win the Rolland Garros next year? Go ahead and place an Outright bet on the Spanish matador conquering the trophy for the 13th time. That being said, you have to factor in the volatility here as well.

Think about 2016 — Novak Djokovic defeats Andy Murray at the French Open final, winning the elusive La Coupe des Mousquetaires.

You might have then wanted to put all your bets on the Serb, considering he had had a dazzling run of form till then. But then came the slump, the debilitating tennis elbow that had all the tennis pundits write off the Djoker. He would not win a single Grand Slam throughout 2017, until his great resurgence at the 2018 Wimbledon.

Should you bet on your favourite but he has to withdraw because of an injury, your Ante Post bet would be deemed a loser. You also don’t get your stake refunded. However, potential winnings will almost always be lucrative.

For instance, Coral is offering odds of 100/1 on Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the French Open Men’s Singles Outright.

Outright Betting Odds on the French Open at Coral.
Graphic showing Ante Post odds on the French Open Men’s Singles. (Source: Coral)

Top Strategies for Ante Post Betting

In all fairness, there is no specific strategy to help you make the most of this bet. It eventually comes down to how strong your selection is and the ability of its opponents to pull it down as you near match day. When it comes to football, the Premier League market has traditionally been a more predictable one.

For instance, Manchester City has never finished any season outside the top 4 since 2010. That’s why they are one of the ‘safer’ bets in the Outright Ante Post market; so chances are you will not get odds any better than what you’d get during (or closer to) the following year’s Premier League chapter.

It is the riskier markets – horse racing, for instance – where identifying strategies can be challenging. A good run at the Epsom Derby, for example, can prompt you to back your favourite colt in the Ante Post market. But there are way too many slips here that you must think about.

Did you factor in the chances of injuries? What about a dip in form? What if it is withdrawn at the eleventh hour and slotted into another race? These are the pitfalls of Ante Post Betting, and that is precisely why you should think short-term. Let us explore how:

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    Consider a relatively late bet

This means placing a wager weeks before the scheduled event, and not months or years. This undoubtedly helps to check your risk, and considering it would be weeks leading up to race day, you can still get your hands on generous odds. More importantly, you’ll be in a better position to know if your selection would be running or has been slightly off form as opposed to taking shots in the dark with a more advance wager.

The same strategy can be applied to football for similar reasons and objectives. You’d know whether Sadio Mane would be taking the field from the get-go or choose to sit out of the early games due to a small injury.

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    Keep an eye out for promotions

Here, we are talking about ‘non-runner no bet’ or ‘non-runner free bet’ promos that serve to insulate your stake should your selection be a non-runner in the designated race. While the former returns your stake in full if your selection doesn’t run, the latter allows you to place a free bet up to the value of the original stake.

Know the best Non-Runner Non Bet (NRNB) bookies for the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National Non Runner No Bet.

Factors to Consider For Ante Post Betting

Let’s not mince words – Ante Post Betting is tricky. There are a myriad of factors that can either see your bet come up trumps or dent your chances at the same time. In an ideal world, you'd want a crystal ball to back your predictions. But you know that is not going to happen anytime soon.

For instance, you bank on a horse’s good show of late, and accordingly back your selection to win the Derby next year. But plans go awry, and your selection pulls out of the race on the big day. Likewise, you bet on Liverpool to win the next edition of the EPL, but the all-important defender suffers a last-minute freak injury and is forced not to take the field.

With that in mind, you would want to consider some essential factors before dabbling in Ante Post Betting. Let’s take a closer look:

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    Keep up to date with the latest news

As with every other sport, it's important to keep an eye on the most recent on-goings in the world of horse racing. Is there any other race that is scheduled the week prior? If so, chances are it would not run both the races. It's important to know if your selection would be a guaranteed runner and whether it has a good chance at outrunning the rest. Check out websites such as Racing Post or Sporting Life, which are both excellent and renowned sources for horse racing news among punters.

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    Factor in the hazards

There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip. In Outright Betting, it is prudent not to shy away from the risks; instead, count them.

When you back your preferred team to reign supreme in the EPL next year, think about their chances should a key player injure himself in the weeks leading up to kick-off. And in case that happens, would the club be on a solid financial footing to invest in a better alternative? Have you factored in the possibility of mid-season transfers? Could a rival club buy off that game-changer of a manager?

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    Consider form

This is all the more important in individual sports – tennis, for instance. Rafael Nadal is unstoppable on clay — the fact that he has won 12 French Open titles (12-0 across French Open finals), 11 Monte-Carlo Masters, and 9 Rome Masters is testimony to the claim. However, his record on grass – with 78% wins vis-à-vis 92% on clay — isn’t as enviable.

To date, he has lost three Wimbledon finals of the five he has played, not to forget the sporadic upset defeats along the way. Remember his 2015 second-round loss to qualifier (and then World # 102) Dustin Brown on Centre Court? Or, for that matter, his shocking fourth-round exit from Wimbledon in 2014 when the big-serving Australian, Nick Kyrgios, making his wildcard entry, pulled off the upset of the year?

Think about it this way – you want to lose 45 pounds. You are determined to shed the excess weight, but you know it is going to be a long-drawn-out process – it could be a few months or even a year. You do not know how things would pan out over this period.

That is exactly what Ante Post Betting is. As a general rule of life, farther the event, more uncertain the outcome. The value of ante-post betting will depend on how you perceive risks and the confidence you have in your selection. If you can stomach risks and think you have spotted a good value bet, then Ante Post could just be the ideal wager for you.

If you're looking for a more secure approach to betting, it's best to consider traditional wagers or wait until closer to the event day before making an Ante Post bet. To get the most value for your money, it's important to compare odds from various bookmakers and also read bookmakers' reviews from unbiased sources. By doing so, you can find out which bookmaker is offering the best odds and services to suit your needs.

To conclude, betting can be risky if you don’t know how much you can afford. Do your homework, exercise caution, and leave the rest to luck. You can also check out our detailed article on Betting Terms & Definitions

Ante Post Betting FAQs

You will lose the bet and stake if your selection runs in a different race at the same meet.

Should a race be abandoned and not take place at the same track on another day, your bet will be voided and stake refunded.

No, they are not. Ante Post bids don’t fluctuate, no matter what the starting odds are.

Betting is risky, irrespective of whether you’re wagering in advance or playing live bets. The earlier you bet, the higher the chance of one (or more) factors going astray and affecting the final outcome. However, the greater the risk, the better the rewards.

Similar to Ante Post Betting on horse racing, you lose your bet and don’t get a refund on your stake.

Yes. Most reputed bookies offer the option to cash out often weeks up to, and sometimes during, the scheduled events.

WRITTEN BY James Cormack View all posts by James Cormack

Big sports fan specialising in football. Experienced the lows of Vlad Chiriches and Tim Sherwood as a Spurs fan along with the more recent ‘success’ under Pochettino. My following of the New England Patriots since 2012 somewhat makes up for the lack of silverware produced by Spurs in my lifetime.

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