In the UK horse race betting works somewhat differently than it does in the United States. At each racetrack there are bookmakers who compete for the action of those in attendance. There is also tote betting which is very much like the betting that one would encounter in the US. Here are some things you need to know about horse race betting the tote and betting with bookmakers in the UK.
Bookies at the UK Race Tracks
There is an amazing sight awaiting anyone that visits a UK horse racing track. All along the racing apron one will find colorful tents and signs that belong to professional bookmakers. These bookies are legal in the UK, and they largely govern the betting action at the track.
Bookmakers have been a part of UK horse racing for as long as it has existed. In the earliest days of the sport it was impossible to place a bet without them. You went to the races, found a bookie that was willing to take your bet, and put your money down. The same thing happens today. Bookies are responsible for offering odds on the horses in a race, and in the UK you can shop around for the bookmaker that is willing to give you the best odds.
In the old days a bookie might have just been one person running an operation. Today, the individual bookmaker has been replaced but the professional betting firm. Outfits like Ladbrokes rule the roost when it comes to UK horse betting and other sports betting.
This type of environment is not a problem for the fan of horse racing in the UK because they are used to it. In fact, many people who have bet with bookies at the track wouldn’t do it any other way. They believe the bookies offer better odds, and sometimes they do, and they also like that bookies are willing to take very creative bets.
It is important to remember when you are playing the races in the UK that betting with a bookie means that you are engaged in competition with one person – the bookmaker. It is your money against his, end of story. That is why the bookie can offer you better odds on a horse than you would get from the tote board. But those better odds come at a price. The bookie may charge you a fee on your winnings, known in the business as vigorish, and he or she will also attempt to arrange things to the bookmaker’s advantage.
Compare that with the type of betting that you would encounter at an online racebook where all bettors are essentially competing against one another. That type of betting is called parimutuel, but in the UK they call it betting the tote.
Betting the Tote at UK Race Tracks
In recent years the concept of parimutuel betting has caught on in the UK. The world “parimutuel” means “betting among ourselves.” This concept is the reason that horse race betting is legal in the US. All the money that is wagered by bettors is placed into a common pool. The winners are paid from that pool.
To keep track of parimutuel bets, a tote board is used which shows how much money has been bet on each horse in a race. This amount of money determines the odds which are offered on each horse. For example, if about half of the money in a win pool has been bet on one horse, that horse will be offered up at odds of 1-1 or even money. The betting public is basically saying that the horse has a 50-50 shot of winning. It has to be done this way so that the winners can all be paid after the race track has deducted the amount of money to which it is entitled for hosting the races.
Bettors in the UK not have the option at many live race tracks to bet the tote instead of betting with bookies. They can choose to bet their money into the parimutuel pool and accept the odds on a horse that have been determined by the pool.
A large reason that the UK has seen a surge in tote board betting is the growing popularity of online racebooks. An online racebook works by tying itself into the track pools. In other words, at most online racebook the money players bet gets figured into the pool at the live track. So, essentially bettors are getting the same betting opportunity that the players at the live track are getting.
Why Bookmakers Hate Betting the Tote and Online Racebooks
In the UK you will not find too many bookmakers that are overly happy about betting the tote. Why would they be? Those players who decide to make tote board bets are taking money out of the bookies’ pockets. The only way that a bookmaker can stay in business is by booking bets.
Bookies in the UK also do not like online racebooks. The truth is that online racebooks have become very popular because they do not require people to make a trip to the race track. It is now possible for the UK horse racing fan to bet from the comfort of their own home with a computer or tablet. Some online racebooks even have a mobile phone platform.
Those who read EZ Horse Betting are people who like to bet the races online. We have recommended some online racebooks for players in the UK that you might want to check out. You might also want to check out Betting Gods, a horse racing tip service that specializes in winning selections for UK tracks. See our Bovada racebook review, Twinspires review or even our Betamerica review. All great choice if you are in the US. 5Dimes review for folks anywhere!
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- Betting The Tote Vs. Betting With Bokmakers In The Uk
- Bookmakers And Uk Horse Racing
- The Dutching System In Horse Racing
- What Is A Rule 4 Deduction In Uk Horse Racing?
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