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Tote Betting Explained

tote betting

When you place most types of sports bets it will be the betting site, bookmaker or sportsbooks odds compilers that will determine just what odds you can make use of and secure.

However, when you place a bet known as a Tote bet, your stake money is going to be put into a pool and then it will be shared out by all of the winners of the type of Tote bet placed.

As such if you pick an outsider for example to win a horse race and place that bet on the Tote your money is added to the win pool and then once the operating costs and any relevant betting taxes (if any) are removed from the pool it is then divided out between the punters that picked out the winning horse.

I should however point out that you can place a Tote bet of any value, so for example if you placed a £9 win bet on a horse and the just one other person picked out the winner but they placed a £1 bet then the prize pool will be split 10 ways and you will receive 90% of that pool with the other punter picking up 10% of it.

Obviously there will be more than two punters betting on each type of Tote bet available and all punters stakes will be added to the pool, but those figures on how the share of the pool is divided out will give you  basic idea of how Tote betting works. Below I will give you an overview of just what other bets rather than just a Tote Win Bet you can place on horse races.

Where to Place Tote Bets Online

I would tend to steer punters that do fancy placing any of the Tote related bets and wagers that are listed below towards the BetFred betting site, for they did actually buy out the Tote several years ago and as such they are a betting site that is directly connected to the Tote itself, being the new owners of it.

However, be aware that most UK betting shops betting sites are going to allow you to place any of the Tote bets you fancy placing with them, and as far as the stakes you can place on such bets and winning payout dividends they are going to be the same no matter where you choose to place such bets.

But do take a look over the BetFred betting site, for if you are an avid fan of betting on horses then you are bound to find their additional betting offers and bonuses appealing.

Plus, if you do fancy giving that betting site a try by clicking onto our links that will then transport you instantly over to their website you will be able to sign up and will instantly qualify for their high value sign up bonuses, the details of which are to be found on that website by the way.


A Tote Win bet will see you having to pick out one horse that you think will win a race, much like when you bet with a bookmaker though rather than when pool betting, the payout dividend will be determined by whether the horse you backed was the favourite or an outsider.

As more punters will be backing the favourite to win a horse race the payout dividend announced after the race is run will be lower than it would be if a complete and rank outsider won that race as not many punters would have backed that latter named horse of course!


A much lower risk type of Tote bet is a Place bet, and when you place such a bet the horse you select must finish in one of the top few positions of the race.

Be aware though that it will be the type of race your chosen horse is running in and often just how many horses are running in that race too that will ultimately determine just how many places will be deemed to be winning ones and ones that are paid out to.


Picking out a horse to win a race and the horse that will also finish second spot is something many punters do enjoy doing, and by placing an Exacta Tote Bet then that is what you are faced with doing.

Obviously the odds on picking out the first and second placed finishers is any race can be much more difficult than picking out the winner alone and as such the dividends declared on those types of bets will be higher than are declared on a simple win bet.


A Trifecta bet is one of which you have to try and pick out the first, second and third placed finishers in any horse race, and whilst that may seem like an impossible thing to do, the rewards can be huge if you do manage to pick out the first three placed finishers in any horse race in the exact order they finish the race in!


The Quadpot bet is one on which you are tasked with simply trying to predict one horse in the last four races at any one race meeting are going to finish in one of the top positions in that race.


A Placepot bet is one on which you have to pick out one horse running in the first six (usually) races being held at any one single racecourse, and if your horses do manage to finish in one of the tip few placed positions in those races then your bet will be a winning one.


If you place a Tote Jackpot bet then you will be told by the Tote which six races are being used for that bet on any given day of the week and it is those races that you are then tasked with trying to pick out the winners of, if no one does so the jackpot will roll over to the next day and will continue to roll over until won.