Tab, the horse racing, soccer and rugby betting operator that rules the roost in South Africa, has been around for many years, originally operating purely from outlets at race courses and stadiums, and today with a thriving online presence. In fact, you should check out our review of Tab Online here.
If you are already an aficionado of horse racing or sports tote betting, fair warning: this article probably won’t tell you anything new. This is a primer for those gamblers who have tried their hand at cards, roulette, craps, slots – all the other games we know and love – and are looking for a new thrill. In this article, we’ll break down what tote betting is all about and how Tab Online’s odds work.
Conventional gambling operates on a one-bet, one-win principle, for the most part. This is especially true when you’re playing games like online slots. You as the player place a bet, and if you are successful, you win the whole prize. Even with progressive jackpots or games like poker, where multiple players contribute to the prize pool, there is usually one winner. The odds are also fixed: you can clearly see what the payout will be for a specified bet amount, depending on the win.
Tote betting differs quite significantly from fixed-odds betting in two ways:
If you are one of the lucky people who places a winning bet on a horse, you and the other winners will share the prize money among you. To quote directly from Tab Online: “payouts on tote bets are determined by dividing the number of winning tickets into the total pool after the statutory commissions and taxes have been deducted.”
How the winnings work, exactly, is also a pretty complex process. You don’t typically only bet on one horse to win one race, for example. In horse racing, you could place bets on Win, Place, Eachway, All To Come, Swinger, Exacta, Trifecta, Quartet, Double, Pick 3, Bi-Pot, Place Accumulator, Jackpot and Pick 6. Each of these different types of selection can result in various combinations of winnings.
We highly recommend spending some time going carefully through the very detailed instructions on Tab Online’s website to learn exactly how each of these types of betting selection works.
Odds for horse racing and other tote bets are calculated and updated constantly. They will take into consideration not only horses’ or teams’ statistics, but also the way people are betting. As new bets are placed, these odds shift and are only finalised after the race starts and pools are closed.
For this reason, it is commonly held that the best way to place your bets is not necessarily based on the odds presented by Tab, but on the statistics of the participants.
There are many different approaches you can take to placing bets on tote games. The most common type of bet for horse racing, for instance, is betting to win. You simply select the horse you want to bet on, place a bet to win, and if they win, you do too. You can also bet on a horse to place – this means that they don’t have to win the race, but they have to place in first, second, or third position (depending on the number of horses in the race).
This applies to soccer tournaments as well. You can place bets on teams that go to finals, semi-finals, winners and more. Each different type of game will have unique options available for betting.
It is worth noting that, especially for the newcomer, tote betting can seem pretty complex and full of rules and expectations. We admit that this perception is often reflected in reality, with the uninitiated often giving up quickly, calling it too complicated and returning to their tried and trusted casino games. However, tote betting enthusiasts will tell you that the complexity falls away pretty fast once you understand how it works, and it becomes second nature.
Fortunately, again, Tab Online has provided plenty of resources and support to help you learn how to bet.
Tab Online offers players an easy-access portal where they can view upcoming games and races, see the statistics and estimated odds, and place bets. Once you have registered and logged in, you will be able to see the details for every upcoming race and game, including the current odds estimate, pool size and statistical information on the players, teams, horses or jockeys.
Players can place their bets on the website or telephonically, and they can also call in to find out current odds. Once pools close and the race begins, no further bets are accepted, and the odds no longer fluctuate. Once the race or game is over, payout odds are calculated based on the number of winners and the size of the prize pool.
If you’re already an established horse racing or other tote betting enthusiast, you won’t need us to tell you that Tab is – literally – the only place to go for online tote betting in South Africa. Their licensing is such that they are the only operator currently legally authorised to manage this kind of betting in the country, so if you want to bet on tote, you need to visit Tab. That said, we can still highly recommend their website, as it makes it super easy for even a total newcomer to learn how to bet, and provides enough information to do it effectively.
Tote betting certainly isn’t for every gambler, but those who do enjoy it swear by it. The enjoyment of the game comes as much from making choices based on statistics and prior performance, rather than pure chance, as it does from winning. This is a style of gambling that asks the gambler to be more involved with their choices, to study the players, the horses, the coaches, the jockeys, and make decisions that way. It’s much more complex than placing a simple bet on a hand of blackjack, but it can be so much more rewarding when you know you made the right choice.