How do I put a bet on?


When you visit the Racecourse, there 3 ways of putting a bet on at the Racecourse.


Follow the tabs below for a ‘How To’ guide to having a bet.

The Tote

The Tote offer what is known as ‘pool betting’.


The Tote is available on-course and is a pool betting service (like a lottery). This means that for each race, all the money for the different bet types are put into one pool and then shared out amongst the winners after each race.


When you have a bet on the racecourse with the Tote, it supports racing, with the majority of revenues flowing back to that racecourse. There are several bet types available with the Tote such as win, place, each way (win and a place bet) and an exacta (picking the first two in the correct order).


One of the most famous tote bets is the placepot which rewards customers who can pick a horse to place in each of the first 6 races. The average dividend of the Placepot is over £454* to a £1 stake so it is a fun bet where you can a large amount for a small stake.


The Tote has a minimum bet of just £2 and accepts cash and card across all courses making it one of the most convenient ways to place a bet on-course with large payouts available for relatively small stakes


You also have the option to place a ‘Lucky Pick’ bet, which is similar to the lucky dip on the National Lottery. However, the Lucky Pick is designed to be smarter than a random lucky dip as it uses a special formula that is weighted towards the more likely outcomes in an event.


Whatever way you make your selection- by choosing your favourite jockey silks or studying form, there are plenty of betting options and the friendly Tote team are always on hand to help with your selections. (*for the 12 months leading to October 2018).



When placing your bet with the tote, you will need to give the number of the horse that you have chosen, and NOT the name.


It is important to check your ticket thoroughly when you put your bet on, but if you have any disputes with your Tote bet, there is a Tote Raceday Manager at every race meeting. Simply come to the Raceday Office and asked to be directed to the Tote Betting Office.

The Bookmakers

If you don’t fancy having a bet with The Tote, you can head down to the ‘Rails’ and visit the Racecourse Bookmakers.


Bookmakers offer ‘Fixed Odds Betting’. The bookmakers are located in designated Betting Areas which are at the front of the stands in all Enclosures. The Bookmakers display their best ‘price’ or ‘odds’ for every horse and are in competition with each other to provide the most competitive price. When you put a bet on with a bookmaker you get the odds on display at that time, therefore you know exactly how much you will win when you place the bet, but you run the risk of losing out if the price of the horse gets bigger!


If you have a strong fancy for a horse, you can seek out the best value at the ‘Bookies’ knowing exactly what you’ll collect when your selection wins.


The betting ring can be a very daunting place for the first time racegoer. However, it needn’t be. Just follow these straightforward guidelines and you’ll discover how easy it is to bet with a bookmaker.

  • Pick your horse and look around for the best odds. Try to offer the correct stake money for your bet.
  • Consider the way you want to bet eg.
    • WIN – you win if your horse is officially the first past the post
    • EACH WAY – you win if your horse wins or is placed
    • BETTING WITHOUT THE FAVOURITE – you can back a horse and collect if it wins or finishes second to the favourite
    • AWAY BETTING – with several race meetings taking place on the same day, some bookmakers choose to bet on races at other racecourses.
  • Check with your bookmaker what terms he is offering – not all bookmakers accept ‘Each Way’ or ‘Without the Favourite’
  • Some bookmakers have minimum bets eg £2, £5, £10
  • Tell the bookmaker the name of the horse (he won’t necessarily know the number). Listen to the bookmaker repeat your bet to his clerk and correct the bookmaker if he makes a mistake. Collect a betting ticket as a receipt. Make sure you check this ticket!
  • If your horse wins, present your betting ticket to the same bookmaker that you placed the bet with and check your winnings!
  • Never destroy your ticket until you hear the ‘Weighed In’ announcement which will be made over the PA – there may still be a steward’s enquiry and the first past the post may be disqualified.
  • If there are any disputes with your bet, we have a ‘BETTING RING MANAGER’ at EVERY race meeting. He will be outside the Raceday Office straight after each race.

Most importantly, have fun – wander around the betting ring and make sure you get a great price. Compare the price with what the Tote are offering (bearing in mind the Tote odds could change) and then find a place in the stands to make sure that you shout your horse home in  first place!



The Betting Hall

A third option for putting a bet on at the Races is in the Betting Shop.


Situated near the Parade Ring, the Betting Hall at Pontefract is run by William Hill.


The Betting Hall has a bar and toilets and you can bet both at Pontefract AND other racecourses racing on the same day and watch all the coverage live from in the Hall.


There’s also a Tote facility within the Betting Hall and you can bet with the Tote here as well.