The Tote offers punters a fantastic alternative to the traditional bets and markets with it being the only British bookmaker to offer pari-mutuel betting. How it works is that all the money staked goes into one big pot with the total fund then being shared out equally among the lucky winners. Its much like the National lottery in the fact that the prize pot is shared out between however many winners there happens to be. There are various different types of bets that punters can have through the Tote including the Tote Win, Tote Place, Each-Way, Exacta, Trifecta, Quadpot, Placepot, Jackpot, Scoop6 and the Toteswinger.
The Scoop6 is a pool bet that is for six selected races each Saturday and once again punters are required to pick the winners for each of the six races. If the six horses are all placed then there is a place fund available as well which gives punters two chances of winning big on a Saturday afternoon.
The placepot is without doubt one of the jewels in the tote crown with race-goers up and down the country often having a go at winning the placepot. Punters will need to pick a horse to be placed in the first six races of a specific meeting to win part of what is normally a big jackpot.
The Tote Jackpot will be available for a particular race meeting where punters are required to pick the winners of the first six races. This is a particularly difficult bet but at the same time the potential pay-out is massive for any Tote Jackpot winners.
The Quadpot is available on races 3 to 6 at every race meeting of the year and is popular for the placepot punters whose bets have gone early. Punters will need to pick a horse to be placed in the third; fourth, fifth and sixth race of a specific meeting and the potential pay-out is a sizeable one.
The win bet is of course the most popular bet for tote punters as it is the easiest one to win. Punters need to pick any horse they believe will a race with a minimum stake of £2 and they will receive a pay-out if that horse wins. The win bet does give a punter a better chance of winning but does reduce the potential amount of any pat-out.
The tote place bet is another popular and common tote bet; it requires punters to pick a horse who they believe will be placed in a race. Handicap races with 16 or more runners will pay the first four places, between 8 and 15 runners and it will be first three and any race with fewer runners than eight will be for the first two places.
The Tote Swinger is a fantastic market for punters to get stuck into in races with six or more runners. Punters need to pick two horses that they believe will finish either1st, 2nd or 3rd in a race with the order irrelevant. It is possible to pick more than two horses here but that will of course increase the initial stake.
The exacta bet is where the stakes start to rise as do the potential winnings with punters required to pick the first two horses home in the correct order. The race has to have three runners or more for an exacta bet and is perfect for punters who may be struggling to decide between two horses.
The trifecta bet is available on certain races each day and it requires punters to pick the first three horses in the correct order. This is of course a much harder bet for punters but the potential pay-out is a big one if someone lands the trifecta.