What Does SP Mean In Horse Racing?

Five Star Newcomers For Tuesday’s Racing

What does SP stand for in betting?

In the world of gambling, you’ll end up coming across many abbreviations that, if you don’t know your way around a bookmaker, can be quite confusing. One of these is ‘SP’, which means ‘starting price’ and you will find this a lot when betting with horse racing as most bookmakers have it.

In the most simple terms, ‘SP’ ultimately means the available odds on a horse at the start of the race in which it is running.

How is the starting price determined?

For each horse running, the prices on offer from bookmakers are ordered into a list from longest to shortest prices. Such a list, once compiled, is then divided into two equal halves and the starting price (SP) will be the shortest odds that you can get from the half that has the longest odds.

On the day of the race, bookmakers will offer a choice between placing a bet at starting price, or a fixed price. Some bookmakers offer best odds guaranteed, which means if a bettor takes fixed odds when the bet is placed and the starting price turns out to have higher odds, the payout is calculated using the starting price, should the bettor win.

When should you use the SP?

For most punters within horse racing, the days of the SP have moved out of their vision and they are more focused on the best odds guaranteed. There is still some incentive to back a horse at SP, but since the arrival of bookmakers offering the best odds without question - which most betting sites offer from 9am on the day of the race - it’s advisable to back this rather than the SP.

However, some of the bigger races may not offer the best odds guaranteed, and for this reason, backing the SP might be better. At the end of it all, if you are betting with a bookmaker that doesn’t offer best odds guaranteed, the SP is likely the better option. Of course, this ultimately comes down to how confident you are in that horse and how much research you have done on that race, as the odds could change come to the race itself.

Best Odds Guaranteed or SP?

The outlook on SP has changed a lot in recent times thanks to the addition of best odds guaranteed. Ultimately, there is very little incentive to back the SP when you literally have the best odds guaranteed if you are a little more patient.

However, please note that this is not always the case and there will be some differing outlooks from bookmakers up and down the UK. For example, some races will not offer the best odds guaranteed, but more popular races will.

What bookmaker should I use to get the best starting price?

Once you’re aware of the SP and the best odds guaranteed, it’s time to pick a bookmaker who offers both so you’re getting an accurate look at where the best odds are.

If you’re after the best odds guaranteed when taking a horse racing punt, our recommendation for which bookie to choose is Bet365. They are a world-leading bookmaker as they offer best odds guaranteed on all UK and Irish racing, so you can’t really go wrong with betting with Bet365 if you’re after finding the best odds for UK and Irish horse racing.

You can sign up for Bet365 right here, but do also be sure to check out our bookmaker page too, so you can get the best signup offers and odds available to you.