Pari-Mutuel Betting and Wagering System Explanation

In Pari-mutuel betting, a participating player gets a ticket in the name of the horse that he thinks will win. The prize money is paid to the winners from the entire cash pool of all the race entries. The prize money is distributed after the deduction of the operator’s taxes and operating costs. These systems of wagering mean the operators will always have profit. Moreover, there is no fixed amount of winners in a race; there can be any amount of winners.

The passing times have brought about several evolutions in the Pari-mutuel betting system. There was an introduction of the daily double (Selection of winners from two specified races, typically the initial two). The perfecta (selection of the first two winners in the exact order) and pick six (the winners of six consecutive races, typically the second through to number seven). The practice of pari-mutuel has grown over the years and is now in practice inside jai alai and dog racing.

A History of Pari-Mutuel Betting

Pari-mutuel betting started way back in the year 1870 in the country of France. A French businessman by the name of Pierre Oller was the inventor of this betting technique. Gradually, it became the most popular betting technique on horse riding. The racetrack itself conducts the majority of Pari-mutuel betting. In France’s old days, they had a national Pari-mutuel betting system to conduct the betting activities. This was established back in 1891.

One of the most talked-about negatives of the system was the complicated calculation involved with Pari-Mutuel Betting. George Julius, an Australian engineer, developed an automatic totalizer. This completely wiped the problem of Payout calculation.

One of the most significant changes in Pari-mutuel betting came in the year of 1920. There was a development of totalizers, mainly computers; they would mechanically calculate the betting pools and the horse’s odds to win. These odds of the horses to win will be flashed as public knowledge to present the betting market scenario for that race. They also displayed results of the race, running times, payoff amount, alongside other information.

How is parimutuel betting calculated?

The pari-mutuel wagering has a simple calculation method; this takes place before an event. The pari-mutuel wagering starts with the acceptance of various outcomes. After the event is finished and a winner has been determined. The entirety of the pool amount is distributed between the wagered persons and the outcome of the event.

Suppose the entire pool money is $1028. After the beginning of the event, no more bets will be accepted. Let’s say; number 4 horse has won the race that had a pool of $110. All the taxes and the operators’ operating costs are deducted then; the pool money is processed further. A formula is also used to help with the calculation of the winning pool amount of the pari-mutuel wagering.

Types of Pari-Mutuel Wagers

There are in total of seven types of pari-mutuel wagering in practice. They are as follows:

  • Trifecta: A bet on three of the participants to come first; all in the correct order.
  • Duet: A bet on two selections that might finish anywhere in the top 3.
  • Each way: This is a type of pari-mutuel wagering combination, ordinarily present in regions outside of North America. This is a combination of a winning bet and a place bet.
  • Show Wager: This is only exclusive to people in North America. The bet is placed on the participants finishing first, second and third.
  • Exacta: A bet on which participants might end up finishing first or second. The call-out has to be in the correct order.
  • Across the board: This is only exclusive to people in North America and is a combination bet of show wager, place wager.
  • Place Wager: In the place wager, the bets are on either first or second. The number of wagers entirely depends upon the number of betting participants in the game.

Where is The Pari-Mutuel Betting Used?

In recent times the pari-mutuel has skyrocketed there are more and more racing games adapting the pari-mutuel system. The most prominent of all the sports is horse racing. But, other racing sports are very popularly connected with Pari-mutuel betting. These include jai alai, greyhound racing, and short duration events where the participants finish in ranking order. A modified version of the pari-mutuel is also famously used in gambling or lottery systems.

Is pari-mutuel betting legal?

The pari-mutuel is legal in most of the countries around the globe. There are around 43 states in the United States of America that have legalized this system’s use. As low as only seven of the states in the United States of America don’t have pari-mutuel legal. Similarly, in the United Kingdom, they have a regulatory body known as the Horserace Totalisator Board. They regulate all the activities of this system.


The spread of Pari-mutuel betting after its inception in France spread quickly into the world’s other regions. Major countries like Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, United States of America, New Zealand. All of the countries mentioned above accepted the system in its early days. All of them proclaimed that the betting system was fairer than compared to others. Oller went on to bigger and better things by introducing Moulin Rouge to the world.

This method of betting is best practiced on a personal level, over the internet, or via call. The race track is always going to take a commission for their involvement in the entire process. If a bookie is involved in the transaction of Pari-mutuel betting, then he will also take his commission after the transaction is finished.


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