In the world of horse racing, there are certain phrases that crop up time and time again. If you’re new to the sport or haven’t been paying much attention over the years, it is possible that you will be quite confused about what a NAP is, amongst countless other terms that seem to be used for the pure purpose of confusing the uninitiated.
What, for example, is a Burlington Bertie? How do you know if you’ve made a good decision with your Straight Forecast? Do you need Acca Insurance if you’ve already got health and home insurance?
In its most simplistic term, a NAP is the best bet of the day in the eyes of a given tipster. It really is that easy, even though it seems much more confusing on account of the fact that the term doesn’t seem linked to the meaning.
When big meetings, such as the Cheltenham Festival, are just around the corner, you’ll often hear punters say things like ‘That’s my NAP’. All they are saying is that the bet in question is the one that they think is the best for the entire meeting, encouraging you to feel as though it is a bet that you should definitely place.
The Origins Of ‘NAP’
Getting an understanding of the origins of the word NAP might help you understand what it means. As is so often the case with gambling terms, it actually emerged from France. In the 19th century, there was a card game called Napoleon. It was a trick-taking game, in which players had to bid on the number of tricks they believed they could make. The maximum number of tricks was five, which was a Napoleon, lending its name to the title of the game. Over time, that got shortened to Nap, rather than having to say the full word.
A Nap, then, was the best hand that could be played in the game of Napoleon. Quite how it moved from a French card game to the race track is something that the history books aren’t exactly clear on. All we know is that in both horse racing and greyhound events, the term Nap, which changed to NAP, was used to signify the best bet that someone could place. The NAP could be for a specific day, a given race or even the entire meeting that is taking place at a racecourse over a certain period of time, such as the Cheltenham Festival.
Should You Bet On NAPs?
The obvious question that most punters will ask themselves is whether or not betting on a NAP is the right thing to do. There is no simple answer to that question. Ultimately, a NAP is just one punter’s best guess at a horse that is going to perform well. The likelihood is that bookmakers will respond to the ability of a horse by lowering its odds, which many bettors often feel is sure-fire proof that it is a good bet to place. In reality, it is no more proof of a horse’s ability than long odds are that a horse is definitely going to lose.
The question then becomes: how much do you trust the tipster in question? There will always be a very personal answer to that. Some people have huge amounts of faith in certain tipsters, in spite of the fact that there is no more or less evidence about their ability to predict the outcome than the bettors could manage on their own. If you trust the person that has declared a certain horse to be their NAP then it goes without saying that you might well think that placing the bet is the right thing to do. If the person in question’s previously suggestions have worked out, that is worth bearing in mind.
How Much You Trust Tipsters
It is impossible to remove the notion of a NAP from the world of the tipster. A NAP is literally just a bet that a tipster believes is nailed on to win. They are just human beings, offered the same level of evidence that you have available ahead of a meeting or race. In the vast majority of cases, they don’t know anything special and therefore what they’re saying is essentially just their best guess. It might turn out to be right, but it equally might prove to be entirely false and you will lose money just as you would with a bet of your own choosing.
It would be unfair to suggest that all tipsters are hawkers simply trying their luck. There are definitely some out there that spend large amounts of time thinking through their bets and doing lots of research to back it up. But it is also true that there are plenty that don’t have a clue what is going to happen and they’re just taking a wild guess. If you follow their advice, you are just as likely to lose your bet as to win. The best thing that you can do is to take a look at their previous suggestions of NAPs and see how many of them have come good.
Find Your Own NAPs
Every now and then, one of the racing newspapers is likely to publish a table that tells you how well certain tipsters have done with their suggestions. Even those have to be taken with a pinch of salt, however, given the fact that the tipsters will usually work for the newspaper and therefore can’t be trusted to be impartial. With this in mind, the best thing to do is to consider how you might be able to find your own NAPs at any given race meeting. That might sound silly, but we already know that tipsters are mostly just guessing anyway.
The only thing that tipsters do that most ordinary punters don’t bother with is a lot of research. Think about it: if your job is to offer recommendations of bets to people, you can spend a lot more time researching a horse’s form, the likely Going for the race and so on than someone who is, say, working as a builder in the day time and then is trying to figure out what to bet on at the weekend. If you can, spend some time doing work in looking up the various things such as form and Going, you might be able to come up with your own NAP.