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Bookmaker and totalizer (tote) are ones of the most promising areas in the gaming arena. According to data provided by H2 Gambling Capital in 2017, betting brings 50% of the total online gambling revenue. However, facing the choice of bookmaker or tote, what should you prefer? What is the difference? What is in great demand and what is more profitable to open in your casino?

To create a holistic view of these two concepts, let’s consider each of them separately.

Bookmaker office

Bookmaker office is a gambling establishment that accepts bets on various sporting events. The bookmaker evaluates the probability of each of the possible outcomes of a sporting event assigning the corresponding coefficient to it.

The bookmaker office accepts bets on the outcome of a sporting event according to a pre-calculated coefficient. There can be many outcomes: the victory of the 1st team, a draw, the victory of the 2nd team. Each has its own coefficient which can vary depending on the number of technical and marketing factors: the injury of a key player, changes in the positions of team members, weather conditions, a decrease in players‘ motivation.

What does bookmaker office make?

– calculation of the coefficients;
– drawing lines;
– receiving money and paying prize money;
– registration of coupons with the terms of the money bet.

If the player predicts the outcome of the match correctly, the office pays him the winning amount, otherwise, all funds are transferred to the bookmaker. It should be understood that the profit of bookmaker is formed not only due to losses but also due to correctly set coefficients. Thus, regardless of the results of this or that event, the bookmaker will get profit in any case.

Bookmaker is a legally registered organization with a license. They are issued by special commissions that are located in the countries where the gambling industry is allowed at the legislative level.

What is the coefficient in bookmaker offices and how to calculate the potential amount of winnings?

The bookmaker coefficient is a value that indicates the probability of an outcome in a particular sporting event taking into account the margin of the bookmaker.

It is important to remember that winning at the rate and real payout are different concepts.

You can calculate the amount of the payment by the formula:

Coefficient x bet amount = payout amount

The amount of net profit for a player in the event of a win is determined as follows:

Amount of payment – amount of the bet

For example, the office offers the following quotes for the upcoming Manchester United-Liverpool football match: 1.75 (P1) – 5.55 (Х) – 7.77 (P2). Then, in the case of a $ 200 Liverpool winning bet, the player’s potential net profit will be:

$ 200 x 1.75 – 200 = $ 150


The tote appeared in the times of ancient Rome when private bets on gladiator fights were in great demand. After a while, tote spread to horse racing and other kinds of sports. The modern version of the rules according to which players bet on the tote belongs to Joseph Oller.

A tote is a special kind of betting where you make bets on the outcomes of several sports events simultaneously.

The main feature of the tote is the absence of coefficients and betting on several sports events at the same time.

Tote wins depend directly on the number of correctly guessed outcomes (P1, Draw, P2) or the determination of the exact score. Bettor’s task is the following: identify one of the three possible outcomes for the match in the column next to each game.

The prize fund represents the total amount of the bets of all participants, with the exception of a 10% deduction to the organizer, which is then divided between all the winners. The tote coefficient is calculated individually for each draw separately. It means that the more winners there are, the smaller the size of the prize there is.

Let’s suppose that a tote consists of 14 sporting events. 100 people take part in the draw, each of whom made a bet in the amount of $20. Thus, the total pool of circulation is $2000.

Taking away $200 of the commissions laid by the organizer (10%), the amount that will be distributed among the winners is $1,800.

The minimum number of correctly guessed outcomes required to win is 10 events. Then the distribution of the prize will be as follows:

Number of guessed outcomes Winnings
10+ 35% ($630)
11+ 25% ($450)
12+ 20% ($360)
13+ 10% ($180)
14+ 10% ($180)

Tote is a type of betting, but there are very few separate ground institutions or Internet resources that are focused only on it.
There are offices that specialize in totalizer only in such gambling capitals as Las Vegas, Monte Carlo, and other gambling cities.

What is the main difference between bookmaker and tote?
The main difference between the work of the bookmaker office and the tote is in the order of formation of winnings and the process of their further payment. Consider the following:

  • Marathonbet;
  • Parimatch;
  • Sportingbet;
  • 1xBet.

Bookmaker. The work order of the bookmaker is as simple as possible. A bettor makes a bet on the outcome of a sporting event and waits for results. In case the bet worked, the win belongs to a bettor. The amount of the money prize depends directly on the set of the bookmaker coefficient. For example, the player bets $100 on the victory of the first team with a value of 1.5 and does not lose. As a result, his winnings amount is $150 in case of the absence of an office’s commission.

Tote. The algorithm for calculating the tote win is more complicated. It depends on:

– total number of participants;
– the number of bettors that correctly determined the outcome of the games;
– total amount of all accepted bets.

The prize fund in the tote bets is the sum of all bets made taking into account the calculation of the commission in the amount of 10%.

The winners are players whose number of guessed outcomes has reached the minimum allowable (the exact number is indicated in advance in the rules of the draw). That is, the task of each player in the tote is to determine as many correct outcomes as possible. The size of the bet also affects the winnings.


The main difference in the tote and the bookmaker is that in the first case, the participants play against each other. Also, a totalizer features the absence of any coefficients. In turn, in bookmaker, the main opponent of the player is the office itself, and the correct calculation of the coefficient is extremely important here.

Today, the tote is less popular among thrill-seekers than the bookmaker. The absence of coefficients, a strong dependence on other participants of the race pushes away experienced bettors. However, in order to decide what to choose bookmaker or tote, the operator first needs to focus on the target audience: how much casino customers are interested in tote betting and what profit should be expected in the future. After analyzing the target audience, the casino operator will be able to make the right decision and avoid losses.

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