Pari-Mutual betting is one of the oldest forms of betting and is essentially betting into a pool before money is then divided. They are often free from taxes and bookmakers will take a percentage of the pool before then paying out on the winning result. The amount you win will be a percentage of first the amount of money that has been wagered and also the number of punters who have backed the same result.

What you’ll find from these types of bets is that you can often get much more favourable odds than if you backed the same result with a bookmaker, essentially down to the fact that very little is taken by the bookmaker. This is because that instead of taking a percentage off each result, they can take a smaller cut from the winning bet as they have already made more form the original losing stakes that have occurred.

One of the key elements to remember with this type of betting is that you essentially don’t know the exact odds you will be receiving for the result until all bets have been placed and the result is known. This is because to work out amount you receive you (more specifically, the bookmaker) will need to know the full amount wagered and then the amount that it’s going to be distributed to. Let’s run through an example…

There are 8 lots to bet on as heighted below, with the total amount bet on each result included next to the number:

  1. £100
  2. £50
  3. £450
  4. £70
  5. £20
  6. £290
  7. £170
  8. £80

The winner of the bet is option 3. The total prize pool for this bet would be £1,230. Let’s say that the bookmaker then takes their vig of 10%, equalling £123, leaving £1,107 in the pot. The remaining balance is then distributed to all bettors who have wagered on option 3: £1,107/ £450 = 2.46 = £2.46 per £1 wagered. This will include the £1 wagered, so a profit of £1.46 for every £1 staked.

There are many different forms of this type of betting ranging throughout different sports. Some of the main and more popular ones we have listed below.

The Football Pools

The football pools have been around since 1923 and are regarded as one of the oldest forms of betting in the world. Each week you will need to select from a number of football matches based across the associate leagues in the UK. You will score points for selecting games that end as a score draw, a no score draw, home win and away win. The points will work from 3 for a score draw, 2 a no score draw and then 1 point for an away or a home win.

Players will need to choose 11, 12 or 13 selections, depending on which game they are playing before then having their best 8 scores from those picks adding towards their total scores. In the pools generally it will be broken down in to 6 points categories, with 28 being the best, 27 second, 26 third and so on. The majority of the prize fund each week will be in the top bracket, before the rest is split between the lower categories.

Just like the example above, if you fall into one of the points categories you will be in with a share of the prize money. The fewer people that are in that category, the more money you are likely to win due to a bigger dividend. The pools have become famous for offering up some huge prizes for a very small initial outlay. The biggest ever payout was in 2010 where one player won over £3 million selecting 8 score draws across several leagues.

Totepool Betting

The Tote is one of the oldest forms of betting and is associated with horse racing. The concept of it works almost identically to the example set out in the first part of this article in that players place a stake on the horse for the payout to be determined once all money has been received and then divided between the number of bettors after the race has been completed.

There are many claim that the unpredictability of the price you are getting with the Tote actually puts the bettor at a disadvantage, but in fact the odds often work out to be very similar of the starting price that you will get from a bookmaker. There will be times when the number of bettors and the amount places will exceed what a bookmaker were able to offer, making it a very lucrative betting type.

For more information about this type of bet, see our Totepool article.

Football Jackpots

Football jackpots are becoming increasingly popular with bettors around the world as they offer a huge payout for a relatively small initial outlay. The concept works very much the same as the pools, but instead of the score draw being the top result, you will need to select from either a home win, away win or a draw. One of the most popular jackpots is from Coral.

Coral Football Jackpot

You will need to make 15 selections for each coupon you submit. The games are from a  range of major leagues from around the world and for each match you can select either a home win, away win or a draw. You need to get a minimum to of 13 correct outcomes from your 15 to be in with a cash prize.

As with The Pools, the prize fund is split into three groups; Jackpot Pool, 1st Consolation Dividend and 2nd Consolation Dividend. The prize pool is massively top heavy, often with a guaranteed jackpot pool that can exceed £1 million with some bookmakers. To win this you will need at 15 of your selections to be correct. 14 correct selections will get you in to the 1st consolidation dividend and 13 gets you into the 2nd consolation dividend.

With the football jackpot you can select the amount you wish to stake per line and also the number of lines (games) that you include in your bet. The more you select the more chance your picks will have and the more you will receive for a successful card.