www.twinspires.com is a churchhill downs company that offers online horse race betting - stake $500 in first 30 days and get $100 free.

Parimutuel Betting

Horse race betting is all about the odds. Whether you choose to place your wagers with a bookie, a sportsbook, at the racetrack or online the most important part is understanding the odds you are wagering. Fixed odds are very easy to understand. The amount you risk and the expected payout do not change. However parimutuel betting is extremely popular in horse race betting. Understanding how parimutuel betting works is key to successful gambling in horse race betting.

History of parimutuel betting

Parimutuel betting was invented in the late 1800’s. Parimutuel comes from the French term for “mutual wager”. In the UK this is referred to as the “tote” which is short for totaliser. The Tote board was invented to assist in all the calculations required in this form of wagering. Most governments passed laws regulating this form of betting as with all the calculations by hand that parimutuel betting required it was very common for corruption and fraud. This form of wagering boomed in popularity after 1913 and is now the favorite method to bet on horse races. This form of wagering is not only used on horse race betting, however. Greyhound racing, Jai Alai and a number of other sports use this method of wagering.

How does parimutuel betting work?

When placing a parimutuel bet you are not betting against the house. You are placing your bet in a pool with other people’s bets. All the Exacta bets are in one pool, all the Trifecta bets are in another pool. As bets are being placed, the odds change to reflect the amounts wagered. The horse with the most dollars wagered on it is the favorite. The favorite can change many times before post time, when no more bets are accepted.

How does the house make money?

Parimutuel horse race betting is not betting against the house, but making collective wagers with other spectators. So how does the house make money on this? When all the bets are collected and bets are no longer accepted on a race then the racetrack subtracts a set percentage from every pool. This percentage goes towards government taxes, wages for racetrack employees, and contributing to the race purse.

Parimutuel betting for a profit

In the long run, a skilled gambler can make a profit. Unfortunately when it comes to betting at the racetrack or sportsbooks, the track’s takeout and taxes on winning make it difficult to make a decent profit. Online sportsbooks and internet gambling have addressed this issue. To entice players to place their wagers online many horse race betting sites offer a bonus system allowing players to earn a return on bets they wager. These online bookmakers have a much smaller overhead than brick and mortar racetracks. While racetracks may need to takeout as much as 25% of the betting pool an online sportsbook may only take out as low as 2%. Some online racetracks also have loyalty programs in place that allows gamblers to earn points with every wager that can be traded in for cash or other bonuses.