What is the origin of ‘nap’?

The term ‘nap’ is derived from the nineteenth century card game ‘Napoleon’, or ‘Nap’ for short. Napoleon is a simple trick-taking game, in which plays bid on the number of tricks they believe they can make, up to a maximum of five, also known as ‘Napoleon’.

In horse racing, or greyhound racing, the term ‘nap’ is used to signify the selection that a tipster considers has the best chance of winning on a specific day or at a specific meeting on a specific day. It is important to note that ‘nap’ simply denotes the level of confidence a tipster has in a selection, based on his/her appraisal of the event in question. More often than not, a ‘nap’ selection may be offered at shorts odds by the bookmakers – consummate with its chances of winning, in the eyes of the tipster – but, otherwise, there is nothing more, or less, special about it than any other similarly priced selection.

Obviously, some tipsters fare better than others with their ‘nap’ selections, as can be seen from the naps tables published from time to time in the racing press. Generally speaking, though, the ‘nap of the day’ is simply the ‘headline’ tip from each tipster.