The Tote operates on a pool betting principle. What that means is that all the bets on a particular event are pooled together to create a sum of money. The tote then deducts a percentage from this pool, which is their profit. ( The actual percentage depends on the type of bet.) The remaining pool is then shared out amongst those punters who have successful bets. Therefore the less people that win the higher the return will be for those that do win.
The disadvantage of the Tote is that although indicative odds will be displayed, you don't know until after the race exactly what odds you have got. Another disadvantage particularly in the smaller pool bets is that if you place a large bet into the tote pool, you will skew the odds so that if you win you will end up winning a lot less than if you had placed the bet with a traditional bookmaker. Below is an explanation and some tips on the types of bet available on the Tote.
This bet is usually every Saturday, although it is sometimes held in the week at one of the big meetings such as Cheltenham. There are 6 races all of which will be televised, you have three ways to win:
Win Fund - Pick the six winners and you win the Win and Place fund dividends and get a shot at the big money bonus Fund the following Saturday.
Place Fund - If you have a horse placed in all six races you will win the place dividend.
Bonus Fund - There will be a nominated bonus race. If you are a winner of the Win Fund the previous week, then you get to select one horse in the bonus race, and pick up the Bonus Fund which is often hundreds of thousands of pounds if you win.
The Jackpot pool rolls over until it is won. Therefore when there is a large rollover the bet becomes very good value despite the deduction by the tote. Each day there is one nominated Jackpot meeting, to win this bet you need to select the winner of the first six races at the Totejackpot meeting.
This bet can reward the adventurous. The dividend can run into thousands if an odds on favourite is unplaced. It is available at all UK meetings. To win you simply have to pick a horse to be placed in each of the first 6 races. Its harder than it sounds!!
Simply a bet on which horse will win a race. Win bets on outsiders can return spectacular dividends. Mr Mcoldricks win at Cheltenham return a win dividend of £240 on the tote, whereas he was only 66-1 with the bookmakers. If you are backing a favourite you are probably better off placing the bet with a bookmaker.
A bet that a horse will be placed. The number of places
paid varies depending on the type of race and number of runners.
Less than 4 runners - Win Only
5 - 7 runners - First 2
8+ runners - First 3
16+ runners in Handicaps only - First 4
Pick a horse to be placed in each of the four totequadpot races, which are usually races 3,4,5 and 6 on the card. This has not really been very successful with pool totals sometimes as little as a few hundred pounds. In all honesty you are probably better off doing an Each way accumulator on the last four races rather than doing the quadpot.
Pick the horses to finish 1st 2nd and 3rd in the correct
order. The trifecta is available on selected races of 8 or more runners. If you
pick four horses you will have 24 chances to win and your total stake is 24
times your stake unit.
Pick the horses to finish 1st and 2nd in the correct order. A permutation exacta allows you to pick three or more horses to finish 1st and 2nd in any order and increases your chances of winning. If you pick three horses you will have six chances to win and your total stake is six times your stake unit.
In races of six or more declared runners, toteswinger bets are accepted for selecting two horses to finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd in any order. Toteswinger only involves horses deemed to have filled the first three places, even in handicap races of 16 or more runners. If the number of runners in a nominated toteswinger race is subsequently reduced to only four or five, dividends will only be paid in respect of 1st and 2nd placed horses (including reversed 2nd and 1st). If the number of runners in a nominated toteswinger race falls to less than four, the pool will be declared void and stakes refunded.
Bet 365 allow you to easily bet straight into the tote pools from their websites.
Details of current tote pools and dividends can be found at the link below:
Below is a list of the % deductions from each type of tote bet:
Win Bet - 16.5%
Place Bet - 18%
Jackpot - 29%
Placepot - 27%
Quadpot - 26%
Scoop 6 - 30%
Exacta - 25%
Trifecta - 25%
Toteswinger - 30%