Little Horseracing History
bookmaking for horseracing emerged in England during the
1800's. During this period, bookmaking was conducted by
various individuals and regulation as we know it did not
exist. Correspondingly, it was subject to much abuses.
response, M. Pierre Oller invented a machine that conducted
a new kind of auction pool that was less subjected to
cheating by operators, it was privately operated and allowed
anyone to bet on any horse. During this time in France, many
of the big races were held in Paris and bettors there
referred to "auction pools" as "mutuels".
As this was the case, when M. Oller's machine arrived in the
Americas, it was labeled the Pari-mutuel.
of Pari-mutuel is best done by example, a bettor who wants
to participate in a race picks the horse they think will
win. After the race, all the winners of the race get a share
of the money but it is not divided up equally. First, they
will receive their return for their initial investment.
rest of the pooled money is then divided among the winners
based on units of $2. For example, a person who bets $2 will
get back one unit while a person who bets $50 will get back
25 units plus their initial investment. There is also
mention to a horse's "odds'. These odds are determined
by the percentage of the pool wagered on the particular
horse. These odds are then used to determine the payoffs.
With the Pari-mutuel system, it makes no difference to the
track which horse wins since it's not their money that is
paid out but the money of the people holding the losing
term "tote" was derived from the Totalisator Co.
which operated majority of the betting systems in North
America. This machine is the scoreboard one sees at the
racetrack. If you watch a horserace on television, you will
also see this on the corner of your screen. At a minimum,
the tote board will include the following information:
of day, post time to the next race
odds of each horse in last race
and payoffs of last race
odds of each horse in the next race
boards at the high-end range will also include information
such as weather conditions, track condition, equipment or
jockey changes and pools or potential payoffs for exotic
information on the tote is tied directly to the computers
that keep track of the money that is bet. The figures are
constantly changing and so they are not in sync with the
real figures. You will not know the true size of the pools
and the actual starting odds until the race is over.
of Betting - Definitions
wagering - betting for a horse to win, place or show.
Doubles - asked to pick the winners of two consecutive
- have to pick the first and second finishes in one race in
the exact order.
- requires you to pick two horses to finish 1st and 2nd in
- pick the 1st three finishes in the exact order.
term "Boxing" in horseracing occurs when you cover
every combination of 2 or more horses with separate bets.
This can happen with Exactas, Quinellas or Trifectas.
term "Handicapping" refers to the assessment of
relationship between the speed of the horse and other
factors that affect a race's outcome