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Ante-post betting explained

You have probably seen the term ante-post splashed around for online betting, but what does it mean exactly. Well, the ante in betting is the stake which is put up by a player in whatever market, let’s say horse racing, because that is where the term originates from. The post refers to the horses posting for the start of race, while ante is a prefix meaning ‘before’. While it has its roots in horse racing you can now find ante post wagers across most sports.

It simply means that you are placing a bet in advance of the event happening. When it comes to football betting you are looking at the major markets of trying to predict who will win a particular league or trophy before the tournament has even started. The ante-post market on the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League are particularly popular markets, as well as the FIFA World Cup which can attract bets even as far out as four years ahead of the next edition. The finish of one World Cup usually send punters to immediately have an ante-post wager on the next one, based on how a country may have just performed at the biggest tournament in the world.

The Evolution of Ante Post betting

Again, you can go a long way back to horse racing to find mention of ante post bets, however, thanks to the explosion of online betting, punters who never even look at horse racing have become fully familiarized with the term. As well as having big appeal in long term outlooks such as major football tournaments, bookmakers have also seen a rise popularity from their offerings of other football ante-post markets such as Top Goalscorer, Relegation, Top 6 Finishes and Highest Scoring Team. You can find plenty of ante post options around to fill your needs.

Ante-post Value

What value do these long-term speculations have then if you are betting so far out? You have to take into account that if you are having a long-term bet on the World Cup for example which is a couple of years away at the time. You have no idea about what star players are likely to be missing through injury come the time of the tournament, or any other factor which may affect a team’s performance. It is more of a gamble, so therefore you will naturally be able to find a little more value in backing a selection as an outright ante-post bet than if you wait until just before the start of the tournament when everything is in place.

So it can be argued that you need a little more skill and judgement to pull off a big ante-post wager. The value is there in having a long term punt, but a bit of the extra risk can be compensated for when it does get closer to the start of the World Cup kick-off, by perhaps laying that country (backing them not to win). So at least you may be able to cover any potential stake losses from the ante-post bet with that. Couple those two aspects and you will probably find some value in looking at long-term markets.


Some bookmakers will offer ante-post insurance, such as when you have selected a horse in a race, but they don’t even make it to post. Look for Non-Runner No Bet insurance for these instances. But always check with your bookmaker to make sure because some stakes may be lost if your runner doesn’t post. When it comes to sports betting, stakes can be returned on competitors and teams who don’t take part in a competition. Say you have had an ante post on England to win the next World Cup, but they fail to make it through qualifying, you would likely be eligible for a refund. Ante post bets are usually voided in the case of a postponement. Rules vary, so check the terms with your bookmaker.

Ante post Pros and Cons

The pros and cons of ante post betting are all wrapped up in the same thing. The advantage of not having a clear picture of form and variables like injuries in betting on an account so far in advantage leads to bigger odds being presented, but because of those unknowns, it makes the bet more risky. Having an ante-post wager on an event can at least raise interest in the build-up to the tournament, and that is when it is best to look again at your long term bet and decide to hedge it by backing another option in the market in direct opposition of your ante-post bet.