What IS parimutuel betting? With the White Pine Horse Races arriving in Ely, August 20-21, we thought this might be a good opportunity to brush up on some basic betting info, excerpted from Wikipedia. Whether you come to race, watch, bet, eat, drink and/or socialize, it’s a safe bet you’ll have a great time! 🙂

Parimutuel betting
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Parimutuel betting (from the French: Pari Mutuel or mutual betting) is a betting system in which all bets of a particular type are placed together in a pool; taxes and the “house-take” or “vigorish” are removed, and payoff odds are calculated by sharing the pool among all winning bets. In some countries it is known as the Tote after the totalisator, which calculates and displays bets already made.

The parimutuel system is used in gambling on horse racing, greyhound racing, jai alai, and all sporting events of relatively short duration in which participants finish in a ranked order. A modified parimutuel system is also used in some lottery games.

Parimutuel betting differs from fixed-odds betting in that the final payout is not determined until the pool is closed – in fixed odds betting, the payout is agreed at the time the bet is sold.

Parimutuel gambling is frequently state-regulated, and offered in many places where gambling is otherwise illegal. Parimutuel gambling is often also offered at “off track” facilities, where players may bet on the events without actually being present to observe them in person.

The parimutuel system was invented by Catalan impresario Joseph Oller in 1867.[1]

The large amount of calculation involved in this system led to the invention of a specialized mechanical calculating machine known as a totalisator, “automatic totalisator” or “tote board”, invented by the Australian engineer, George Alfred Julius. The first was installed at Ellerslie Racecourse, Auckland, New Zealand in 1913, and they came into widespread use at race courses throughout the world. The U.S. introduction was in 1927, which led to the opening of the suburban Arlington Racetrack in Arlington Park, near Chicago and Sportsman’s Park in Cicero, Illinois, in 1932.[2]

Strategy and comparison with independent bookmakers
Unlike many forms of casino gambling, in parimutuel betting the gambler bets against other gamblers, not the house. The science of predicting the outcome of a race is called handicapping.

Parimutuel bet types
There may be several different types of bets, in which case each type of bet has its own pool. The basic bets involve predicting the order of finish for a single participant, as follows:
In Canada and the United States, the most common types of bet on horse races include:

Win: to succeed the bettor must pick the horse that wins the race.

Place: the bettor must pick a horse that finishes either first or second.

Show: the bettor must pick a horse that finishes first, second or third.

Across the board: the bettor places three separate bets to win, place or show.

Exacta, perfecta, or exactor: the bettor must pick the two horses that finish first and second, in the exact order.

Trifecta or triactor: the bettor must pick the three horses that finish first, second, and third, in the exact order.

Superfecta: the bettor must pick the four horses that finish first, second, third and fourth, in the exact order.

Box: a box can be placed around exotic betting types such as exacta, trifecta or superfecta bets. This places a bet for all permutations of the numbers in the box. An exacta box with two numbers, commonly called quinella or quiniela, is a bet on either of two permutations: A first and B second, or B first and A second. A trifecta box with three numbers has six possible permutations (of the horses in the “box” three can finish first, two can finish second, and one can finish third: 3 × 2 × 1) and costs six times the betting base amount. A trifecta box with five numbers has 60 possible permutations and costs 60 times the betting base amount (5 × 4 × 3)

Win, place and show wagers class as straight bets, and the remaining wagers as exotic bets. Bettors usually make multiple wagers on exotic bets. A box consists of a multiple wager in which bettors bet all possible combinations of a group of horses in the same race.

More information can be found on Wikipedia and other horse racing and betting sites online. Best of luck and – most of all – have fun!! Horse Races