Within the world of betting there are a number of different types of wagers that punters can enjoy, such as fixed odds, spread betting and also the exchanges. However, there is another form of betting called pool betting, offered primarily at Tote, that has been around for almost a century and is well-known to seasoned horse racing betting connoisseurs but still relatively unknown to a huge number of bettors in the UK.
So we present to you our Tote betting review, where we will take you through everything you need to know about Tote live pool betting, including a little bit about its history, the main Tote markets, and why it can be a very enjoyable way to place your wagers! And with betting on the go being so important to many punters these days, we’ll also take you through the main features of the Tote iPhone app and of course the Android version.
Bet £5, Get £20 in Free Bets
Bet £5, Get £20 in Free Bets
The Tote was originally set up in 1928 by the UK government, to help regulate the horse racing betting business and ensure profits were being fed directly back into the industry. It was originally called the Horserace Totalisator Board but became widely known as the Tote, which rolled off the tongue far more easily! Tote horse racing is far and away the most popular sport to bet on, with the only other Tote markets offered being football ones.
When it comes to the question of “What is Tote betting?”, the key difference between the Tote and more traditional forms of fixed odds wagering is that you are betting to win a share of a cumulative pool of prize money rather than placing a wager at a specific price. You can place win and each-way bets on singular races or go for the big bucks by trying some accumulator bets such as the placepot. All the money that’s been wagered on a race or a series of races goes into a prize pool and if you’re a winner at the end, a “dividend” will be created by the Tote and that amount, multiplied by your unit stake will be your profit. And the less people that are successful, the higher the dividend will be!
Tote betting used to be exclusive to racecourses and betting shops, but in 2020 an online Tote sportsbook was launched, along with the Tote app, both regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. And as we would expect from modern online sportsbooks, their Responsible Gambling section is extensive, with tools to regulate your gambling as well as advice on how to face any betting issues you may have, with the help of GAMSTOP and BeGambleAware.
We were also happy to see that The Tote has a very extensive Responsible Gambling section, with advice on how to spot if your gambling is becoming a problem, tips for others to spot if their friend or family member is experiencing difficulties, and links and numbers to call if you want to seek help. There’s also a section on how to prevent minors from being exposed to gambling content online.
And of course, there are all the usual tools for punters to regulate their own gambling to ensure it remains a fun pastime rather than anything more, such as the ability to set daily, weekly and monthly deposit limits, the option to take a time out for a specific length of time or to self exclude altogether. You can also set a “reality check” which will pop up after a certain amount of time to let you know how long you’ve been on the site, hopefully jolting you back into reality!
The Tote betting site has entered a hugely competitive space, with an enormous number of sportsbooks all vying for the punter pound, and while they have a USP that is different to the vast majority of bookmakers, they have also realised the need to attract punters to their site.
And in the time-honoured tradition, the best way to draw in new customers is with a new customer deal that offers them a little something extra after placing their first bet. And the Tote “Bet £10, Get £40 in free Placepot bets” promo is a good one, where new customers will be rewarded with £40 in free placepot bets when they sign up and place a wager of at least £10.
|Tote Promo||Offer description||Wager requirement||Min qualify odds||Offer expiry||Min deposit|
|Tote Free Bet||Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets||None||None||7 days||£10|
It’s not just new customers who can enjoy some betting perks though, there are also a nice range of existing customer offers to keep things interesting once you’ve used up your welcome bonus!
We’ve had a thorough look at the Tote betting site and now it’s time for our Tote review, where we will bring you our take on how the Tote performs across a selection of key areas that are hugely important to punters.
There are only two sports available at the Tote, which are horse racing and football. When it comes to the different types of racing bets, while you can place single and each-way wagers, most Tote punters will be interested in the multiple bets available, and of course the huge amounts of money up for grabs!
Here’s a rundown of the main Tote horse racing and football betting markets:
As with fixed odds horse racing, Tote players can bet on runners to either win or place. This is the simplest option, meaning that it comes as no surprise that it is the most popular.
Here, punters must successfully predict the first two finishers in a race. Straight and reverse exactas are also offered by the Tote pool betting site. The latter means that the horses can finish in any order.
Should you back two horses that finish inside the top 3 you will win a share of the pool. Those who successfully back an outsider will receive higher earnings.
A trifecta involves predicting which three runners will finish in the top 3 places. A straight trifecta means that the order is not important. However, some will fancy placing a combination trifecta. This means successfully predicting the exact order, with six possible outcomes being available.
Here, punters must bet on a horse to place in the first six races of a particular meeting. This is an excellent option for those looking for major returns from a small stake.
For those looking to avoid the first two races of the day, the quadpot makes it possible to back a place finisher in races 3, 4, 5 and 6 instead.
Available on specific race meetings, punters must successfully predict the winner of the first six races in order to collect the jackpot.
The Scoop6 is the grandaddy of jackpot bets thanks to its huge prize pot. Every Friday and Saturday, six races are selected to make up that day's Scoop6 and then it's just a case of trying to pick six winners. No problem, right? Costing just £2 per bet, this popular pool often returns dividends of tens of thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds to the winners.
The Pick 7 is essentially a seven leg Bet Builder for a particular football match. You can pick your own or join a syndicate for the chance to win even bigger prizes.
The Tote's version of the football accumulator bet is a simple case of picking the correct result in five games selected for you by the site, again with the chance to pick your own or join a syndicate.
Contrary to popular belief, the odds in a particular betting market are not necessarily indicative of the chance of that outcome winning. Of course, the odds are reflective of the various end results but crucially the bookies will apply a margin, which is pretty much their version of a commission. That's why they are called "fixed odds."
However, over at the Tote they do things differently because they make their money by taking a percentage of each prize pool, so their odds are solely affected by how many people bet, how much they bet and what they wager on. And with no margin to worry about punters can often get better prices at the Tote, particularly when it comes to outsiders.
And speaking of the long shots, if you can identify a high-priced winner you will often benefit more at the Tote than you would have done at a standard sportsbook because the price will have reflected the lack of bets placed on that outcome.
There are no maximum limits to the amount of money that can be staked or won on a Tote bet, because the size of the pool provides a natural limit to the available winnings.
Betting on horse racing in-play is usually only found at the exchanges, so it probably won't surprise any Tote punters to find that there are no live Tote horse racing markets offered. Football enthusiasts however, may be disappointed at the lack of in-play options on offer at the Tote.
It's 10 out of 10 for the Tote when it comes to live streaming, as Tote punters can watch all UK and Irish race meetings live on the site, as well as selected international race meetings, even if they haven't placed a bet on the race.
As well as their bread and butter betting offerings, Tote also offers virtual betting events including horse racing, greyhound racing, football, basketball, American football, motor racing and marble racing. And no, you haven't misread that last one, virtual marble racing is actually a thing and take it from us it's surprisingly compelling!
And if all the marble racing excitement is too much for you then you can head to the Tote Casino section of the site to partake in a large number of slots and Tote games, including Blackjack and Roulette.
The Tote site has its own version of the "Best Odds Guaranteed" feature which is prevalent on most other UK betting sites, so if the amount you would have won betting on a horse at its official starting price (SP) is greater than the Tote dividend, they’ll pay out at those odds. They also have their version of a price boost in Tote Plus, where any pool with a “tote+” symbol will receive at least a 10% bigger payout on winning Tote bets than when playing through any other channel.
The Tote Customer Care team is available between 8am and midnight, 7 days a week, with the easiest way to contact them being the Live Chat feature. When we tested the response times we found that a chatbot was the first respondent, which is usual among modern betting sites. However, if our virtual pal couldn't answer our query we were always put through swiftly to a real person, who always answered our questions swiftly and effectively.
In addition, a handy betting guide on site is also a useful tool for people who may be new to Tote pool betting.
Signing up and depositing for the first time at Tote is a quick and simple process which should only take a couple of minutes, and the key steps involved are outlined below:
Your first step is to visit the Tote website and click on "Bet Here" to start the registration process. Most people prefer to do this on a desktop computer or laptop, but the fact that you only need to input one piece of information at a time before clicking through to the next page actually suits mobile browsers very well.
Next up you will have to input your name, date of birth, address, phone number and create a username and password. You will also need to verify your account, which we were able to do after depositing, but it's a great idea to get this out of the way here, in case you forget once you're ready to bet! And verification is a simple process where you just need to click a link which will have been sent to your email address.
Now it's time to fund your account, starting with a click on your balance at the top right-hand side of the screen. That will bring up the Cashier page and from there you can select the amount you wish to deposit and then input your debit card details, which will be remembered for future deposits.
Once you're ready to place a bet then you just need to click on racing or football at the top of the home page. If it's a football punt you're after then the available Match Predictor and 1x2 markets will appear and then you can just click through to make your selections.
Racing is slightly more complicated, due to there being far more bet types and race meetings to take into consideration. However, the site layout is certainly a friendly one as you can just click on the bet type, for example, "Win/Place" or Tote Placepot, which will then take you through to the next page where you can select specific races and the type of bet you wish to place. Then you just need to click on the plus sign to add your selection to a betslip which will appear on the right-hand side of the screen, add more selections if needed, set your stake and press "Place Your Bet".
If you're in a position to withdraw any winnings then the first thing to say is well done! If you want to get your hands on your cash then just click on your balance once again and then "Withdraw" on the left-hand side. Input the amount, click withdraw and then you will be given the option to select the same payment method you used when you made your deposit.
To be perfectly honest we weren't quite sure what the Tote mobile betting experience would be like, given how many races and markets are on offer! We're pleased to report though that the Tote app handles everything admirably and is quick to load and easy on the eye. And there is both a Tote iPhone app and an Android version.
When it comes to navigation, once you have tapped on either "Multi Leg Bets" or "Single Leg Bets" at the top of the screen, each race meeting and individual race is clearly signposted and once you have added a selection or multiple selections to your betslip, you have the option to hide it at the bottom temporarily, so you can see everything more clearly.
There is no specific Tote bonus code needed to qualify for their welcome offer, but here are the latest codes found at some of the leading UK betting sites at present:
Betting Promo Code & Free Bet Codes
Visa and Mastercard debit cards are the only Tote payment options, with the minimum deposit being just £1. The table below provides a full breakdown of the payment methods currently available:
|Banking Method||Fees||Min Deposit||Min Withdraw||Withdraw times|
|Debit Card||None||£1||£5||3-5 working days|
As with any sportsbook, Tote betting comes with both benefits and limitations. Based on our Tote review, we have been able to confidently list the main pros and cons of the bookmaker. So, let’s take a look at what we like about Tote, as well as what we don’t like:
We have answered the question of "What is Tote betting?" in this review and we would highly recommend Tote pool betting to any horse racing fans in particular, as it's a unique way to wager on the Sport of Kings. When it comes to multiple bets, for a small outlay you could win big and even for single-race bets, the odds are often more favourable than standard fixed odds bookies.
The Tote sportsbook is a great way for punters to try Tote live pool betting as both the main site and Tote mobile experiences are strong, with a well-thought-out desktop site and a Tote betting app with excellent usability. There is a generous Tote welcome offer and enough existing customer deals and site features to keep you playing long after your betting bonus has been spent!
The Tote was set up in 1929 but they are a new addition to the online sportsbook sphere, having been launched in 2020.
Yes. Tote is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. Security measures are also in place to protect customer details at all times.
Only Visa and Mastercard debit cards are accepted at Tote.
Yes. The main sportsbook bonus at Tote is bet £5 get £20.
All horse racing from the UK Ireland and selected meetings from further afield such as South Africa can be viewed live, whithout the need to have placed a wager.
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