Why Its Time To Turf The Home Totes

With an increasing number of betting options being offered by the bookies, the home tote is fast becoming the worst of them all


There’s nothing worse than leaving money on the table.

Unfortunately, with ongoing changes to dividend types offered by bookmakers, that’s exactly what some punters may be doing – whether they know it or not.

Today we’ll look at those occasions when you steer away from fixed odds and elect to take a tote price.

From the very start, Australian online bookies have offered a range of tote-derived products. They’re great for punters and have stopped most people betting into a single tote pool, as there’s zero downside: at worst you’ll be paid the same as your home tote, and you’ll do better if other totes pay a higher dividend.

However, the offers have evolved a little, and are not all equal – some cover a wider range of potential prices and therefore will give you better result overall.

Home Totes

Of course, you can still bet into the traditional tote pool. You just shouldn’t. There’s absolutely no reason to, and you’re definitely costing yourself money by doing so. Any of the bookmaker’s tote offers will give you a good chance of getting a better dividend, with no possible downside – you can’t be paid less than your home tote.

So this applies to TAB.com.au (official totes for Victoria and New South Wales/ACT), UBET (official tote for Queensland, NT, South Australia and Tasmania) and TABtouch (official tote for Western Australia).

Don’t bet tote with any of these operators. Period. The only punters who benefit from it are the handful of whales who inject huge amounts of volumes and thus have special rebate deals with the operators.

(If it’s a social thing whereby you like to get out of the house and go up to the TAB / pub to do your betting… then go for it. But take your phone with you and bet with a bookie!)

Best Of The Best

Best of the Best is a fantastic product. Unfortunately, it’s only currently available with Ladbrokes and Neds for Saturday metro racing. While most bookies offer you the best of the three totes and the official starting price, BOB offers you the best of these and the best official fluctuation. Use it for all Saturday tote betting.

Tote Offers

We’ve put together the below table to guide you through the tote offers from each of the major Australian bookies. For each type of racing (Saturday Metro, Other Metro, Non Metro), it ranks each of the bookies on their offers.

The answer? Make sure you’re always using the #1 ranked options for each type of racing. That’s it. If you use anything else, you’re getting lower dividends and costing yourself money.

That’s all there is to it.


Alternative 1: Betfair SP

The most established alternative to any of these is Betfair SP (Starting Price). Betfair’s starting price market isn’t derived from any of the Australian totes and doesn’t operate exactly the same as a traditional tote – it just totals all the Back and Lay funds on each runner and pays whichever side wins accordingly.

Commission is deducted from the winnings, like all Betfair markets – that’s the equivalent of the traditional tote takeout.

Alternative 2: TopBetta and the Global Tote

TopBetta have gone down a very different path, launching their own totalisator: the Global Tote. The idea is to have a massive pool for all racing, predominantly for bookmakers (Australian and potentially overseas) to bet their exposure back into, at a takeout rate lower than current totes. It’s still in the early-ish stages, so they’re currently busy doing deals with racing authorities and bookmakers around the world to use it, which will give it the volume any tote needs.

The good news is you can bet directly into the Global Tote pool through TopBetta – it’s their default and only tote betting option. Fundamentally it should offer a better price than other totes because it has a lower takeout rate, though again… it’s still early.

Given the two alternatives aren’t related to our regular tote pools and dividends in any way, the only way to see where you’re better off betting is to do a study of dividends. Stay tuned for that in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, stay away from those home totes!