TAB’s newest bet type, Odds & Evens, was met with derision when launched, and it’s fair to say that it hasn’t exactly caught the imagination of punters. But there’s one interesting feature of the product. It uses merged tote pools with other exotics, employing what TAB calls its ‘Merged Pool Technology’.

But what the hell is Merged Pool Technology, and why do they do it?

#### Tote Pools

First, a quick explanation of totalisator pools and how they work, for those who may not be aware.

Each bet type has a pool which all punters bet into. There are pools for Win, Place, Quinella, Exacta, Duet, Trifecta, First Four, Doubles, the Quaddie and the Big 6.

The TAB deducts their takeout from the total, and then the winners share the rest.

#### Dividends

What this means of course, is that tote dividends are constantly changing throughout betting. Every time somebody adds more money to the pool with their own selection or combination, the pool and dividends are affected.

But punters generally want certainty, which is why fixed odds are so popular.

Punters are generally more likely to bet into tote pools if they’re larger and more stable… so Merged Pool Technology is an effort to produce that.

#### What It Does

Merged Pool Technology – as the name implies – merges the tote pools of two similar bet types. This creates one, larger betting pool, from which both dividends are drawn.

At the moment, the TAB has Merged Pool Technology to create two merged pools:

• Quinella + Odds & Evens
• Trifecta + Trio

#### How It Works

We’ll go through an example that shows how the Odds & Evens pool is merged with the Quinella tote pool.

Let’s say there’s a six-horse race. The quinella combinations and pool is as follows. Note that everything here is net of the TAB takeout, which takes place before any calculations.

 Combination Net pool 1 & 2 \$156.80 1 & 3 \$102.68 1 & 4 \$132.80 1 & 5 \$105.42 1 & 6 \$72.80 2 & 3 \$65.63 2 & 4 \$94.45 2 & 5 \$39.92 2 & 6 \$42.78 3 & 4 \$50.83 3 & 5 \$278.04 3 & 6 \$37.12 4 & 5 \$38.10 4 & 6 \$24.58 5 & 6 \$64.35 Total Pool \$1,306.30

Meanwhile, customers are also betting on Odds & Evens:

 Selections Net pool Odds \$420.00 Evens \$156.90 Split \$588.30 Total \$1,165.20

Rather than having two separate betting pools that are more at the mercy of large swings in dividends, the TAB merges the pools.

This done by allocating each Quinella combination to it’s corresponding Odds & Evens selection:

 Quinella Combination Odds & Evens selection 1 & 2 Split 1 & 3 Odd 1 & 4 Split 1 & 5 Odd 1 & 6 Split 2 & 3 Split 2 & 4 Even 2 & 5 Split 2 & 6 Even 3 & 4 Split 3 & 5 Odd 3 & 6 Split 4 & 5 Split 4 & 6 Even 5 & 6 Split

From there, the Odds & Evens pools are simply allocated across each quinella combination in line with the amount in each combination.

 Quinella Combination Odds & Evens selection Quinella pool Quinella breakdown Odds & Evens pool O&E pool on Quinella combos Merged Pool 1 & 3 Odd \$102.68 21.1% \$420.00 \$88.71 \$191.39 1 & 5 \$105.42 21.7% \$91.08 \$196.50 3 & 5 \$278.04 57.2% \$240.21 \$518.25 2 & 4 Even \$94.45 58.4% \$156.90 \$91.58 \$186.03 2 & 6 \$42.78 26.4% \$41.48 \$84.26 4 & 6 \$24.58 15.2% \$23.83 \$48.41 1 & 2 Split \$156.80 23.8% \$588.30 \$140.12 \$296.92 1 & 4 \$132.80 20.2% \$118.67 \$251.47 1 & 6 \$72.80 11.1% \$65.05 \$137.85 2 & 3 \$65.63 10.0% \$58.65 \$124.28 2 & 5 \$39.92 6.1% \$35.67 \$75.59 3 & 4 \$50.83 7.7% \$45.42 \$96.25 3 & 6 \$37.12 5.6% \$33.17 \$70.29 4 & 5 \$38.10 5.8% \$34.05 \$72.15 5 & 6 \$64.35 9.8% \$57.50 \$121.85 \$1,306.30 \$1,165.20 \$2,471.50

#### Result

So we have a merged pool of \$2,471.50 across the Quinella and Odds & Evens.

Let’s say the winning combination was numbers 3 and 5, or Odd.

To work out final dividends for both Quinella and Odds & Evens, we take the amounts in the winning Odds & Evens selections.

 Quinella Combination Odds & Evens selection Quinella pool Quinella breakdown Odds & Evens pool O&E pool on Quinella combos Merged Pool 1 & 3 Odd \$102.68 21.1% \$420.00 \$88.71 \$191.39 1 & 5 \$105.42 21.7% \$91.08 \$196.50 3 & 5 \$278.04 57.2% \$240.21 \$518.25 \$486.14 \$420.00 \$906.14 54% 46% 100%

Based on this, 54% of the total pool will be shared among Quinella punters, and 46% among Odds & Evens punters.

 Final dividends Quinella Odds & Evens Total % share of pool 54% 46% 100% Total pool \$2,471.50 \$ share of pool \$1,325.95 \$1,145.55 \$2,471.50 Winning wagers \$278.04 \$420.00 Dividend \$4.77 \$2.73

(As with all tote bet types, dividends are then rounded down to the nearest \$0.10.)

Clear as mud?

You might have to go over it a couple of times to get your head around it… but really, it’s fairly straightforward from a mathematical point of view.

#### What It Really Means

Rather than betting into individual pools of \$1,306.30 and \$1,165.20, both pools are combined to create a larger, more stable base to bet into. This means more stable dividends throughout betting, and more predictability for punters. Mathematically, a small amount is transferred between the two individual pools, based on which wagers were more accurate on the Odds & Evens side.

Pro-punter Cameron O'Brien knows how to find value winners at big prices. He's done it time and time again for his Key Bets members. They get all of Cameron's tips from right across Australia, including stake, recommended price and runner comments.

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