What is a multiple bet?

In the context of horse racing, a multiple bet is a bet in which a single stake is placed on two or more selections, win or each-way, in two or more different races. Any returns from the first selection are staked on the second selection – in the case of an each-way multiple bet, on a win-to-win and place-to-place basis – and so on.

A multiple bet involving two selections in two different events is known as a ‘double’, a multiple bet involving three selections in three different events is known as a ‘treble’ and a multiple bet involving four, or more, selections in four, or more, different events is known as an ‘accumulator’. In each case, all of the selections must win – or, in the case of an each-way multiple bet, at least be placed – in order to generate a return.

However, it is also possible to place a ‘full cover’ combination or permutation bet which, as the name suggests, combines all the multiple bets – that is, doubles, trebles and accumulators – for a certain number of selections. Popular bets of this type include the ‘Yankee’, which combines four selections in six doubles, four trebles and one fourfold accumulator, making 11 bets in total, and the ‘Super Yankee’, or ‘Canadian’, which combines five selections in ten doubles, ten trebles, five fourfold accumulators and one fivefold accumulator, making 26 bets in total.

What is the Tote?

Established by an Act of Parliament in 1928, the Tote was, until sold to Betfred in 2011, a state-owned bookmaker. Formerly known as the ‘Horserace Totalisator Board’, the Tote differs from other bookmakers insofar as it offers pari-mutuel, or pool, betting on a variety of horse racing markets.

Straightforward win, place and each-way markets are available, along with more ‘exotic’ markets, but all stakes for each market are added to a kitty, or pool, from which the operator takes a percentage, before calculating the winning dividend. The dividend amount is determined simply by dividing the remainder of the pool by the number of winning bets.

Since 1992, other bookmakers have been able to take Tote bets, which are added to the appropriate pools, via a spin-off, known as Tote Direct. The seven-year monopoly on pool betting held by Betfred expired in July, 2018, but market rivals the Alizeti consortium, which already owns 25% of the Tote, and Britbet, which has the backing of 55 British racecourses, have agreed that the Tote will remain ‘as-is’ until at least 2025.