New to Tote? Sign up to get our latest Welcome Offer
Join Tote >

What is Tote Betting?

  • Bet on a horse, if it wins you share the pool with others who backed it.
  • The more people who back the winner, the lower the winning dividend.
  • The fewer people who back the winner, the higher the winning dividend.
  • Bet Win, Place, Each-Way or have a go at a variety of multi-leg and exotic Tote pools.

When you bet with the Tote, instead of giving your money to a bookmaker, everybody’s money is pooled together. If your horse wins, you share the pool of money with the others who also backed it. The more people who backed the horse, the less you will win. If very few people back your selection, the winning dividend will be higher. 

How does a Tote bet work?

There are a variety of different Tote pools you can bet into. The most basic pools are the regular “Win”, “Place” and “Each-Way” wagers you can place on course and online. These are single leg pools where you bet on a horse you fancy in one race, much the same as you would with a high street or on-course bookmaker. 

A Tote bet works by placing all of the money for a certain bet type into a pool. In a daily Tote Placepot pool for example, players must find a horse to “Place” in the first six races on a given racecard. The people who successfully negotiate all six races will win a share of the pool. If there are 10 winning units left at the end in a Placepot pool worth £10,000 after deductions, the winning dividend will be £1000. 

What’s the difference between Tote and Fixed odds?

With fixed odds betting at your local, on-course or high street bookmakers, you will be offered a fixed price for your chosen horse. With Tote betting, your stake money enters a pool with all of the other bets placed on the race. 

If your horse wins the total pool amount, minus deductions, will be divided up by the total amount of winning tickets to produce the winning price or “Dividend”. If you back a popular horse, the dividend will be lower and if you back an unpopular horse that happens to win, you can get paid out to some big dividends as less people in the pool will have backed it. 

How are Tote odds calculated?

Tote odds are calculated by dividing the total pool by the number of winning tickets in the pool. For example, if £5000 is the total pool for a race after deductions and £1000 (20%) of the pool was on your selection, the winning dividend will be: £5000/£1000 = £5.0 or “4/1”. 

What are the types of Tote bet?

There are a wide range of Tote bets for you to try, from single race wagers to multi-leg and exotic pools where you can win big for small stakes. Here are the different types of Tote bet to look out for on-course and your new Tote website: 


Tote Win and Place pools are our most straightforward bets, where you can bet on a horse to Win or Place in a race. Like with fixed odds bookmakers, you can also bet into the Win and Place pools combined to form an “Each-Way” bet on the Tote.


The Tote Exacta requires you to find the first two horses to finish in a race. This can be a straight Exacta or a reverse Exacta. The minimum bet is £2, or a £1 reverse Exacta totalling £2. The reverse Exacta is when you pick the same two horses but they can finish in either order.


The Tote Swinger is a great bet if you think two horses will run well in a race. If they both finish in the first three, you’ll win a share of the pool. You'll have a winning Tote Swinger if you've backed: 1st and 2nd placed horses, 1st and 3rd placed horses, 2nd and 3rd placed horses. Like all Tote wagers, the less popular your selections, the higher your winnings.


A Tote Trifecta is where you choose three horses to finish first, second and third in a race of your choice. Big dividend payouts are commonplace when you back the first three horses home in any race. You can bet on a straight Trifecta or a combination Trifecta. With a combination Trifecta you will include the six possible order permutations, so your stakes will multiply by the number of permutations you back.


Tote Placepot is your first bet of the day, our most popular bet type and a regular raceday ritual for horse racing fans. To win the Placepot pool, you must pick a horse to finish placed in the first six races at any given meeting. With an average payout of over £450 to £1 stakes, the Placepot is a great way to win big for small stakes.


The Tote Quadpot requires you have to find a horse to place in races three, four, five and six at any given meeting. If your Placepot goes down in the first two legs, or if you think the first two races are too tricky, the Quadpot is for you as it starts from race three at any given meeting. Get through the four legs of the Quadpot with a placed horse in each to win your share of the pool.


The Tote Jackpot takes place at a single chosen meeting on a daily basis and starts with a minimum pool fund of £10,000. In order to win a Tote Jackpot pool, you have to pick the first six winners at the chosen Jackpot meeting. Easier said than done, but if your single line or permutation wins the pool, you can get paid out at a big dividend for small stakes. 


Tote Scoop6 pools take place on Friday and Saturdays. We select six different races on the day and you must pick the winner of all six in order to win the pool. A Scoop6 bet costs just £2 for a single line in the pool and winning dividends often racks up into thousands or hundreds of thousands of pounds. 

Read More