Win Bet

A win bet, or tote win bet, is the most straightforward type of parimutuel wagering. You simply back a runner, and you win if they do.

A win bet, also called Tote Win Bet, refers to a bet placed on a race where the punter is backing a specific runner to be the outright winner.

When placing a parimutuel win bet, the payout is not determined by the bookmaker (unlike with fixed-odds sportsbooks). Instead, tote odds are determined by the amount of money collected in the pool.

Punters will back respective horses on individual races and eventually when the race ends, the pool will contain a certain amount of money. This is when the odds will be determined for the winner. Essentially, the entire pot of money will be equally distributed to the people who have backed the winner, minus the operator's fee.

Tote betting is also called pari-mutuel betting and pool betting. The word "Tote" comes from the "totalizer" which used to be a leaderboard showing the tally of all bets wagered at the racecourse.

Win Bet Explained

A Win Bet refers to backing a horse to win a race outright. If successful the money will be equally distributed between all the other people who have backed the same horse as you. This is the type of wager that is common among all UK gambling sites that offer horse race betting.

It is important to note that the final odds will only be finalized after the race has finished. The odds that you see on the screen should only act as a guideline and will likely change by the time the race has finished.

A win bet can be paired with a place bet to hedge the risk. This is called an each-way bet.

Pool Betting Example

Take an example with a few runners and below is the break down of all bets that occured in the run up to that race.

+$10$10Win Bet for Runner A
+$15$25Win Bet for Runner B
+$5$30Win Bet for Runner A
+$5$35Win Bet for Runner C
+$30$65Win Bet for Runner A
+$15$80Win Bet for Runner C
$80Total of the Pot
-$16$6420% Fee Held by the Operator
Simplified ledger as example of pool betting.

In this example, the net prize pool is $64. The odds for each runner is calculated by taking the entire prize pool amount, and dividing it by the sum of all bets for that runner:

Runner A64 / (10+5+30)1.42
Runner B64 / (15)4.26
Runner C64 / (5+15)3.2
Odd calculations using the parimutel system.

The race ends, and Runner A wins. There are three winning wagers, respectively pocketing $14.20, $7.10, and $42.60. The sum of all these payouts reaches $64.00, which was the net pool of bets.

Example of a Horse Racing Win Bet

For this example, we have chosen a horse race that involves eight runners and has a total pool of £2,000. The money placed on each horse is as follows.

  • Horse A: £300
  • Horse B: £450
  • Horse C: £400
  • Horse D: £250
  • Horse E: £200
  • Horse F: £150
  • Horse G: £150
  • Horse H: £100

In this example, Horse C wins the race. This is how the payout will be calculated. Firstly the parimutuel operator will take 20% of the total pool. meaning the total of £2,000 will come down to £1,600.

Then this number will be divided by the amount staked on the victorious horse. In this case, that sum will be £1,600 divided by £400. This will mean that the eventual odds for horse C will be 4.0. Therefore a stake of £10 will return £40.

Pros & Cons of Win Bets

What are the advantages of tote win bets?

  • If you bet on an outsider you are likely to receive more money than you would with a bookmaker.
  • You are unlikely to experience any stake limitations.
  • Your conversion rate doesn't have to be as high as in other forms of betting.

What are the disadvantages of tote win bets?

  • It is impossible to determine your wager's exact payout as the odds aren't fixed.
  • You can place a Win bet at great odds and eventually see the returns diminish.
  • If the market is weak there is potential for one or a few bets to completely skew the market.

How To Place a Tote Win Bet Online?

  1. Log on to your favorite online parimutel betting site.
  2. Click on the race you would like to bet on.
  3. Click on the win icon next to the horse you have decided you want to back.
  4. Set your stake for this win wager.
  5. Confirm and receive a notification once your selection has been added to your bet slip.

How To Place Tote Win Bets On a Racetrack?

To place a tote win bet at a racetrack you will need to approach any Tote operator and give them these four pieces of information:

  1. The amount you would like to bet
  2. The type of bet (in this case, a 'Win Bet')
  3. The horse's number
  4. The race's number

It is a very simple process. You don't even need to approach the operator with a bet slip. After placing the bet you will receive a ticket confirming that you have placed a valid win bet.


Our answers to common questions bettors ask about win bets at the Tote or the racecourse!

What is a tote win bet?

A Tote win bet is when you back one horse to win a race. In order for you to win a Tote win bet, the horse you backed has to win the race. If successful you will get an equal share of the tote pool.

Do tote win bets pay more than place bets?

Win bets pay more than place bets because the chances of winning the bet are higher with a place bet. Indeed, the horse backed doesn't need to finish first. For this reason, the odds for win bets are a lot higher.

Can I place tote win bets online?

Tote win bets are available via multiple sports betting operators such as Tote themselves. The process is very simple and once you have done a few you will feel completely comfortable with placing them.

What is the difference between tote win and tote place?

When you are placing a tote win bet, your horse needs to win the race in order for you to win the bet.

With a place bet, however, all your horse needs to do is finish in the top few predetermined positions. When there are between five and seven runners the top two will be placed, and when there are eight or more runners the top three will be placed.

What does tote win mean?

Tote win is a bet you can make on a horse race. Similar to fixed-odds betting, you will be backing a horse to win the race.

The only difference being if your bet wins you will not be paid by the bookmaker. Instead, the money staked is collected in a tote and the winnings will be distributed equally between punters who backed the winning horse.

Placing a Tote win bet is very simple. After you have placed a few we expect that you will be very comfortable with the whole process.

You simply back a horse to a win, just like you would on a traditional fixed odds bookmaker, and if your horse ends up winning you will make money. You are not betting against the bookmaker on this occasion though, you are betting against other punters.