Betting Basics for Horse Racing

Backing Winners

What is the tote?

The odds at the tracks are posted on what is called a “Tote Board.” The word “tote” comes from the name of the first manufacturer of the huge electronic calculators that were used to tally the bets and calculate the odds at the race tracks. The company’s name was “American Totalisator,” and the calculators at the track were called Totalisators or “tote machines” for short. The boards on which the odds calculated by the tote machines were posted became known as tote boards, and the odds themselves, after betting starts, became known at the tote. When you see a link called “Live Tote” at a race track website it means that clicking that link will take you to a page at which live simultaneous betting odds are posted.

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