The Tote is one of the oldest betting formats and has been established since 1928. Primarily it was government owned before being bought out by betting giants Betfred in 2011. The company has one of the largest fleets of high street betting shops amassing over 500 throughout the UK alone.
The company is primarily focused on horse racing and has been since its integration into the industry. Its unique selling point – compared with other bookmakers – is its ‘Totepool’ which allows punters to back horses and for the money to enter a pool before then being paid out as a dividend. Many compare this form of betting to the lottery, where the money is combined and then distributed among the winners.
There are 9 different Totepool bets all of which offer something a little bit different. Let’s take a run through the format of each:
- Tote Win – Probably the simplest and most popular form of tote betting is the Tote Win markets. It’s basically you having to select which horse wins in order to collect your dividend of prize pool. This form of betting can offer up to 7% higher odds than taking traditional bookmakers starting odds.
- Tote Place – The Tote place is similar to each way betting. The race must have at least 5 horses running and depending on how many horses run will depend on how many places are paid out. 5, 6 or 7 runners will pay out 2 places. 8+ will pay out on 1st, 2nd and 3rd. 16+ runners will pay out on 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
- Tote Exacta – The Tote Exacta is the same as doing a straight forecast and essentially is picking which horse will finish first and second in the correct order. There are three variables to this bet which include
- Straight Exacta – Choose the correct order for the horses finishing first and second
- Banker Exacta – Choose which horse you think will win then as many selection as to who you think will finish second as you please. The more you horses you pick the more you will have to bet
- Combination Exacta – Pick two horses to finish in first or second but in any order.
- Scoop 6 – The Scoop 6 is probably the highest profile of the Tote bets and to win you must select the winners of 6 races shown on terrestrial TV on a Saturday to stand a chance. Pay days for the Scoop 6 can be very lucrative and often run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.
- Tote Place Pot – The place pot is another very popular Tote bet and requires punters to choose the placed horse from the first 6 races of any one meeting. Tote Place rules apply and where there are fewer numbers than needed for a place to register, the horse must in that race.
- Tote Quad Pot – The Quad pot is very similar to the place pot instead punters are required to pick the placed horses from just 4 races, rather than 6. The races are usually race 3-6.
- Tote Jackpot – The Tote Jackpot is essentially the week day Scoop6 and requires you to pick the first 6 winners at the nominated race meet. Rollovers do occur meaning prize pools can soar depending on winners.
- Tote Trifecta – The Tote Trifecta means you have to choose the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed horse of a nominated race. The Trifecta is essentially extremely tough but as so few winners are matched; pay-outs are often massive for a small stake.
- Tote Swinger – The Tote Swinger is another popular tote pool bet and requires you to pick two horses to finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a nominated race. It essentially gives you three chances of winning as they can finish 1st and 2nd, 1st and 3rd or 2nd and 3rd, and you will receive pay-outs for either.
Pros and Cons of Tote Betting versus Traditional Betting
Earlier in the article we compared Totepool betting to the lottery, and it rings true in more ways than one. It can be a bit of lottery when comparing it to betting with a more traditional bookmaker as you’re never really sure of what price you’re going to get and therefore can’t compare odds.
On the other hand you open yourself up to potentially getting massively inflamed odds depending on how many people have contributed into the pot and the pay-outs on offer. The diverse nature of Totepool betting allows so many variants of betting keeping it fresh and entertaining. Once more the massive exposure the Tote gets at racecourses around the UK opens up the doors to the Tote continuing to grow and those dream 7 figure paydays a reality!