What Is Totopoly?

If you are a lover of horse racing and board games you may remember Totopoly.

Totopoly was designed by Walter Lee and Roy Palmer in 1938, originally published by Waddingtons, a British manufacturer of card and board games. The dice and card game is based on the lead up and during a horse race. The game is based on double-sided board for two phases of the game:

Number of players: 3 – 6

The game take less than 10 minutes to set up.

Contents: Playing board, 12 horses, money lease cards, trainers’ reports cards, advantage and disadvantage cards, tote pad and 2 dice.

Duration of game: 90 minutes (average)


A banker is chosen who looks after the cash, giving each player £700 and collects payments for horses and business before and during the auction of horses. Also, collecting horse entrance fees, the distribution of the prize money although 10% is taken by the tote. The banker and their own money as a player are kept separately.

Side one:

This is the pre-race side of the game. Each player has a selection of horses in one of two stables, Stevedon and Walroy, racing around a loop (racecourse) by way of throwing a dice and drawing cards (advantage or disadvantage cards) which become important in the second phase of the game which used the other side of the board. Each player throws the dice once and this is used to move their horses around the course. This game is based on chance (throwing the dice), negotiation and strategy. Some horses may be eliminated during this first phase of the game.

Side two:

This side of the board sees the race begin. However, before the start of the race you have an opportunity to place bets on your horses. Each player has £700. You may use your advantage cards to help your horse in this part of the game but you also have to use the disadvantage cards too. A disadvantage card can be used to cancel an advantage. This part of the games sees winners and loser of finishing positions 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Also, bets are settled.

Money Problems:

If you lose all your money and on the brink of bankrupt you may sell your horses to other players for a negotiated fee. You may also sell your advantage cards. You are not allowed to borrow from other players. If you have no money or assets, you are out of the game.

Horse Names: The original game horse names are used from the Lincolnshire Handicap dated from 1926 – 37.

The winner is the player with the most money or the winning horse.