When betting on horses, what matters most to the majority of bettors is the payoff (often referred to as payout). We bet on horses with the intention of winning so it’s not surprising that you would want to have horse betting payoffs explain.
And, since the tote boards can be a little confusing at first glance, we’re going to explain the payoffs so that you can know just what you stand to win based on the odds at play.
Understanding the Tote board
While tote boards are packed full of information, they won’t give you the exact payoff amount but rather an idea of the profit you stand to make off of each horse based on the amount that you bet. To make it easy, we’ll give you an example: If the board reads 5-4, that means you will receive a payoff of $5 for every $4 you bet. Another example, just to bring the point home and be clear; 20 -1 would mean a payoff of $20 for every dollar you bet.
The tote board does hold the information that you need in order to calculate your exact payoff but it’s going to require a little more than just a quick glance. You will need to note of the total win pool listed on the board as well as the amount bet on that particular horse in total, meaning everyone who bet on that horse. It’s important to understand that the win pool amount is not going to be the actual amount that gets paid out to all of the winners in the pool. This is because the track has to collect its share, known as their “take”. The take is a percentage that is used to cover things like the track’s expenses, state/local taxes, and of course, the track’s profit. Finding out your particular track’s take is easily done online or via the track.
Now, onto the good stuff—your payoff! To calculate exactly what your payoff will be, you need to subtract the “take” from the total win pool amount and then subtract the amount of money that you wagered on the horse. Next, divide that amount by the amount of money you bet on your horse. Payoffs are always rounded off to the nearest nickel or dime, so keep that in mind when trying to figure out your exact payoff. That’s it! Easy.