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Race Night Tips | Running The Tote

At your charity Race Night, the Tote is where people place bets on the horses. You will require two volunteers to run the Tote for an average attendance. If you are expecting lots of people to come then be prepared to increase the staff on the Tote otherwise it will take a long time to get people through. You need to try and keep things moving otherwise people will loose interest.

There are eight horses in every race and there is a roll of tickets for each horse. They are numbered from one to eight ie Race One, No1, Race One, No2, Race One, No3 etc

When the Tote opens the punters will come up to place their bets. Usually it’s a pound a bet and they can have several bets on the same horse or back different horses. For each bet placed they receive a ticket for the horse they have backed in return for payment of one pound.

The Tote staff need to keep a record of how many tickets have been sold for each horse. The easiest way to do this is to make a simple Tally. Write  the numbers one to eight down the left hand side of a sheet of A4 paper and put a tick next to each number every time you sell a ticket. Do this for every race.

When the Tote closes you can quickly add up the number of bets placed / tickets sold.

Take half the money received from ticket sales and put it away in a safe place. This is for your charity. The balance will be shared out amongst the people who have backed the winning horse. There are no odds and you don’t get your original stake back either.

Whilst the race is running quickly go down the list and work out how much you are going to pay out on each horse so that you can immediately announce what the payout is when the horses cross the finishing line. You only pay out on the winner.

Make sure that you have plenty of pound coins in the float to pay out with.

When working out what the payout is, round up or down to the nearest pound. Don’t get involved in fractions. It evens itself out over the night.

The Tote Lady with Ron

Race Night "Tote Lady" with Ron

Running the Tote is not difficult. The main thing is to remain calm and be methodical. You will soon work out a routine and after the first race it will be easy.

Feel free to ask questions here if you wish.

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