Tote Betting Explained

Tote Betting Explained

Bettors can put wagers on the outcomes of various sporting events through the use of tote betting, a type of gambling. So how does tote betting work? Tote betting has been around for decades in some form or another, and many people have found success with this type of wager.

But what exactly is it? How do you get started? What strategies should you use if you want successful results when placing your bet? We will explore these questions as we dive into the world of “tote” gambling and see whether or not this type of wagering is for you.

What Is Tote Betting?

Tote betting is also known as pari-mutuel wagering, which means “betting among ourselves” in French. It is a type of wagering where players place their bets into one collective pot, and the winnings are divided among those who placed winning bets. This system allows for more accurate odds than traditional fixed-odds betting since it considers all the other players’ stakes when calculating payouts.

Tote betting is advantageous as it offers customers different options and better value when making their selections.

Key Information

Tote betting is a form of gambling that involves pooling bets on horse races. It offers several advantages over fixed-odds betting, such as larger prize pools and more accurate odds due to multiple participants contributing simultaneously. 

There are various types of bets available, including winnings only (single), double (place) and treble (show). Tote betting allows experienced gamblers to benefit from higher returns, while those just starting out may prefer lower risks with potentially good rewards.

What is a Tote Pool?

A Tote Pool is a type of betting system where all bets are added up and used to pay out winners. The system is named after the Totalisator; a mechanical computer used to add up the number and value of bets on a race. With Tote Pool betting, punters place their bets into a pool with others to turn their selections into a lottery ticket.

This type of betting was state owned in both the UK and Tote Ireland when it was introduced in 1928 as an alternative to illegal off-course bookmakers. It was sold to Betfred in 2011 and is now a private company.

What is a Tote Placepot?

A Tote Placepot is an increasingly popular horse racing pool bet offering punters the potential to win big from relatively small stakes. To win on the Tote Placepot, bettors must correctly predict a horse to place in each of six selected races. The most recognised Tote Placepot is the Scoop 6 placepot which runs every Saturday.

Additionally, this betting system can be used both on-course or online through one of many top betting sites.

How Does Tote Betting Work?

Tote bets are placed at racetracks or through online bookmakers. Bets can be placed either before or during the race itself. The amount wagered by each bettor goes into a common pool which is then divided among those who correctly predicted the race’s outcome based on predetermined odds set by the house.

Calculating Payouts and Odds

The payout for each winning ticket depends on how much money was wagered overall in that particular pool and what percentage was allocated to each potential winner’s share (based on their original wager). For example, if there were five winners with £100 each in total winnings from a £500 pot, they would receive 20% (£100/£500) each from their respective shares in addition to any other bonuses or promotions offered by their bookmaker.

Additionally, when placing your bet, you should also consider what type of payout structure your bookmaker offers; some offer fixed odds, while others may use pari-mutuel systems where all winning tickets share equally regardless of individual stakes amounts.

One advantage of using pool betting systems is that it eliminates the need for complex calculations, as all winnings are distributed evenly amongst participants according to predetermined percentages set out beforehand. This makes it easier for both novice and experienced players alike.

Furthermore, these pools often contain large sums of money (especially when multiple races are involved), resulting in higher payouts than traditional fixed-odds bets, meaning more potential profits.

Tote vs Fixed Odds

Tote betting and fixed odds betting are two popular forms of gambling for horse racing. Both offer punters the chance to profit, but some critical differences between them should be considered before placing any bets. The main difference between tote betting and fixed odds is how winnings are calculated. With tote betting, all stakes from each bet go into a pool and dividends (winnings) are paid out based on how much money has been wagered overall.

This means that if you back an outsider who wins, your returns can be very high as you will share in the total amount of money placed by other punters on the race.

On the other hand, with fixed odds betting, your return is determined when placing your bet and does not change regardless of how much money is wagered overall or whether outsiders come through with victories.

Another important factor when deciding between these two types of wagering is liquidity; this refers to how quickly you can access your winnings after a successful bet has been placed. With Tote Betting, funds may take up to 24 hours to become available. However, with Fixed Odds Betting, they become available almost immediately after bookmakers declare the results official.

Ultimately both Tote Betting and Fixed Odds Betting offer punters exciting opportunities to profit from horse racing events, but gamblers must understand their preferences to decide which option best suits their needs before placing any bets!

Did You Know

Tote betting is a popular form of pool betting that allows bettors to wager on the outcome of horse races. It offers an exciting and potentially lucrative way to participate in the sport, with advantages such as:

  1. Eliminating complex calculations
  2. Higher payouts than traditional fixed-odds bets
  3. Potentially large sums of money in pools when multiple races are involved

Betting strategically can increase your chances of success, so it’s important to understand how payouts and odds are calculated before placing your bet.

What Are the Different Types of Tote Bets?

The two main types of tote bets are win and place bets. A win bet allows you to pick your horse and place your bet for a straight win. The minimum bet is £2, with returns calculated by multiplying your stake by the dividend offered at that time (e.g., if you stake £2 at a 10:1 dividend, you will receive £20).

Here’s a quick overview of some popular Tote bets:

Tote Win

A tote win bet is a form of pari-mutuel betting offered by Tote, the largest pool betting operator in the UK. A straight win totepool bet on any horse in the race. All bets of the same type go into a common pool, and odds fluctuate according to how much money has been placed on each outcome. The dividend for every bet is determined by dividing the total win pool by how much has been staked on that result.

This differs from other types of tote bets as they all involve different odds, dividends and payouts depending on how much money has been wagered on each option.

Tote Place

A tote place bet is a type of wager placed on the outcome of a single-horse race. Unlike other types of tote bets, tote place bets do not concern themselves with predicting winners and losers in an event. A place bet involves selecting one or more horses to finish either 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th depending on how many horses line up in a race (for races with 5+ runners). Three places can be selected if there are 8 or more horses in the race, while four places can be chosen when there are 8+ runners in a handicap race.

The payouts for these wagers can vary depending on how many horses are running in the race.

Tote Jackpot

The most popular type of Tote bet among punters looking for big wins from small stakes! To land this one, you need luck, skill or both, as it involves picking all six winners on one card correctly – if nobody does so, then it rolls over into the next jackpot meeting!

A minimum stake of £1 is required, and further stakes can be added in multiples of 50p. This bet offers attractive payouts that can reach up to £1,400,000. It differs from other types of tote bets in requiring punters to select multiple horses at once rather than just one horse per bet.

Tote Scoop6

A Tote Scoop6 bet is a special jackpot tote offered by bookmakers such as Totesport and Betfred every Saturday for the biggest meetings and races. This type of bet allows punters to select a horse to be placed in each race while also providing enhanced dividends compared to other Placepot bets.

The Tote Scoop6 usually features difficult races with high numbers of horses running, making it an exciting challenge for experienced punters. Non-syndicated bookmakers typically accept the Tote Scoop6 bet and payout according to the dividend set by the Tote.

Tote Each Way

As there is no each-way tote betting, if you want to back a horse each way with the Tote, you must place separate win and place bets. A ‘Tote Each Way’ bet combines a Tote Win and Tote Place bet that involves the punter wagering two separate amounts. The first amount is placed on the Win pool, and the second amount on the Place pool. Compared to non-Tote bookmakers, who offer a quarter or fifth for their e/w component, Tote place payouts are determined by betting pools and are higher.

Punters do not need to bet on every horse in a race with’ place only’ bets and can expect different odds compared to an each-way bet. Lastly, punters can make this type of wager without knowing the exact odds from bookmakers.

Tote Exacta and Reverse Exacta

Pick two horses to finish first and second in the correct order – similar to a computer straight forecast (CSF). You can also place reverse exactas or combination exactas with more than two horses, but three horses equate to six bets, and four horses equate to twelve bets.

Tote Trifecta Bet and Reverse Trifecta

Pick three horses to finish first, second, and third in the correct order – similar to a tricast bet. A straight trifecta involves selecting those same three horses in the correct order, while the minimum stake for this type of bet is £2. 

You can also place reverse Tote trifecta bets or combination trifectas for added complexity and potentially bigger payouts! A reverse trifecta requires picking three horses that can finish first, second and third in any order.


This is an unusual bet where you pick two horses that will finish anywhere within the top three positions in a race – this one requires some serious skill and luck! This bet is only available when six horses are participating in the race, and it can be won by picking the horses that finish first and second, first and third, or second and third.

The minimum stake for this type of bet is 10p online or at shops, but at the racecourse, the minimum stake is 50p with a minimum total spend of £2 per tote. Swinger bets differ from other types because their odds are adjusted after each race due to their higher risk level.


A placepot is a pool bet that allows punters to win hefty payouts from relatively small stakes. It involves correctly picking a horse to place in each of the six chosen races, with Scoop 6 placepot being the most popular one. Punters can win a large sum of money from a relatively small bet when participating in this betting pool.


A Quadpot is a tote bet that covers only four races, the final four races of the placepot. It differs from other types of tote bets as it does not involve selecting multiple horses for each race but allows bettors to select one horse per race and specify their stake. The dividend for a Quadpot is declared once the last race results are known, and betting pools are divided by remaining stakes.

Bettors also have the option to select a favourite rather than naming a specific horse in every race.

Countries That Offer Tote Betting

Tote betting is a popular form of wagering on horse racing available in many countries worldwide. In America, Hong Kong, Australia and France, tote betting is the primary way to bet on races. The United Kingdom and Ireland also have totes, but punters more widely use fixed-odds betting.

In American racing, pari-mutuel pools are created from bets placed at racetracks or off-track locations such as simulcast centres. All money wagered goes into one large pool, and payouts are determined based on how much was bet on each selection in the race. This system ensures that all winning tickets will receive an equal share of the total pool amount regardless of how much they wagered compared to other winners.

Hong Kong’s Jockey Club offers pari-mutuel and fixed odds wagering for its customers, with different types of bets available depending on which type you choose. Pari-mutuel pools are formed from all bets taken before post time, while fixed odds wagers can be made up until post time when final odds become available for each runner in a race.

Australia has two primary forms of tote betting: Totalisator (TAB) and On Course Betting (OCB). TAB involves placing your bet through an automated teller machine at various outlets throughout Australia. At the same time, OCB requires you to place your bet directly with a bookmaker at any racetrack or designated off course venue before post time for a particular race meeting or event day.

France also uses a pari-mutuel system similar to those found in America, and Hong Kong, where all money wagered goes into one large pool with payouts being determined by how much was bet on each selection in the race rather than predetermined odds set by bookmakers before post time like most other countries offer today.

Several countries worldwide offer some form of legalised gambling through their respective racing industries via pari-mutuel or fixed odds systems. Hence, it pays dividends if you research beforehand before deciding which method best suits your needs and understand what type of returns you may expect should you be successful with any given wager placed during these events!

Betting Tips When Tote Betting

Tote betting can be a great way to make money if you know what you’re doing. To increase your chances of success, it is crucial to understand the basics and develop a strategy.

By following these strategies for successful tote betting, punters should be able to increase their chances of making profitable wagers while also having fun at the same time. By researching the form and trends of each race, as well as understanding how bookmakers set their odds, bettors can gain an edge over other competitors.

Additionally, it is crucial to understand the different types of bets available and when they are most advantageous. Furthermore, setting a budget and sticking to it will help control losses. Finally, always remember to enjoy yourself when placing your bets!

Compare the Odds on Different Tote Betting Platforms.

It is important to compare the odds on different tote betting platforms in order to assess the likelihood of a successful bet. By comparing market percentages and form, bettors can identify any discrepancies between the fixed odds offered by bookmakers and those of the Tote, which does not take a commission from the pot. Doing so allows them to secure potentially more significant returns on their bets by taking advantage of shorter odds when more money has been earned on a horse or longer odds when less money has been earned.

Look for Promotional Offers, Such as Free Bets and Bonus Offers.

Claiming a free bet or betting promotion will allow you to have the extra money in your betting bank at no extra cost. Having a larger bankroll means you have a greater chance of winning as you can place more bets on your chosen betting site.

Researching the Race and Horses

Before placing any bets, you must research the race and horses involved. Take time to read up on past performances, form guides, track conditions, and jockey records. This will help give you an edge when deciding which horse or bet type might be best suited for you.

Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of both favourites and outsiders gives bettors an advantage when deciding which horse has the best chance of winning. Researching horses and other competitors helps bettors make more informed decisions about their bets to increase their chances of success.

Utilise Handicapping Strategies to Gain an Edge in The Betting Markets.

Handicapping is vital in horse racing because it enables bettors to make informed decisions about which horses to support or oppose based on their assumptions. By using the Tote and taking advantage of valuable information, such as profitable racing tips and advice from reliable tipsters, bettors can increase their chances of making a successful wager. Handicapping also helps people understand the form, enabling them to make more accurate predictions about which horses are likely to perform well.

Keep Track of The Current Form & Odds

Bettors should keep track of the odds and form when betting on horse races to maximise their returns. Understanding and analysing the market odds and form can help bettors make informed decisions about where to place bets, whether they choose to use the Tote or Fixed Odds.

Understanding the Different Types of Bets

Many different types of bets are available in tote betting, including win/place/show wagers, exacta boxes, trifectas and superfectas. You must understand how each one works to choose the right option for your situation.

Did You Know

The key takeaway from the above is that tote betting can be a great way to bet if you know what you’re doing. To increase your chances of success, it is important to research the race and horses involved, understand the different types of bets available, study the form and handicap of the horses and set a budget for yourself. 

By following these strategies, punters should be able to maximise their profits while still having fun simultaneously.

What are the Different Dividends in Tote Betting?

Tote betting offers a range of customer dividends based on the total win pool and the amount of money placed on each outcome. The more money placed on an outcome, the lower dividend will be returned, while fewer bets will result in a higher dividend.

Different dividends are available depending on the type of bet placed; for example, Trifecta bets involve three selections finishing first, second and third in the correct order. Combination Trifecta bets involve using the ‘Any’ column to spread out bets across multiple outcomes.

Placepot and Quadpot bets require selecting one runner to win in selected races, while Jackpot requires selecting a runner from each of six leg options. Tote betting provides many benefits, such as increased profits and customer satisfaction due to its secure nature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Better to Bet Fixed or Tote?

The answer to this question depends on the individual and their goals. Fixed betting is when you place a bet at a set price, regardless of what other people are doing or how much they’re wagering. If your selection wins, you’ll receive the same payout as everyone else who bet on it.

Tote betting is different in that the odds change depending on how many people have placed bets and how much money has been wagered. With Tote betting, you could win more than fixed betting, but there’s also an increased risk involved since the odds can fluctuate quickly. Ultimately, it’s up to each person to decide which type of betting works best for them based on their preferences and risk tolerance level.

How Are Tote Winnings Calculated?

Tote winnings are calculated based on the total amount of money wagered in a given race. The pool is divided among all winning tickets, with each ticket receiving an equal share minus deductions for taxes and other fees. The more money that is bet, the higher the payout for those who hold winning tickets.

Additionally, certain types of bets may have different payouts depending on how many people placed them and how much was wagered overall.

Is Tote Betting Good?

Tote betting can be a great way to get involved in gambling online. It offers an exciting and potentially lucrative form of wagering, with the potential for large payouts if you are successful. However, it is essential to remember that risk is still involved, and losses can occur as well as wins.

As such, it is essential to do your research before getting involved in any online gambling activity, including Tote betting. Whether or not Tote betting is good for you will depend on your personal preferences and goals when gambling.


In conclusion, tote betting can be a great way to make money online if you know how it works and what strategies to use. It is important to remember that there are risks involved in any form of gambling, so always bet responsibly. Before placing your bets, research the available sites and find one that is legitimate and secure. Ultimately, the answer to “does tote betting work” depends on how well-informed you are about the process and how much effort you put into making successful bets.