Trackside OTB

Rules You Should Know

An Explanation of Net-Pool Pricing:
Historically, prices on pari-mutuel races have been calculated by dividing the GROSS amount of winning bets by the net pool. The net pool is the total amount of wagers reduced by the commission rate, or take-out. This process returns a fair price provided all wagers were made using the same take out. Not all international jurisdictions, however, are allowed by local law to wager into U.S. pools using the local take-out rates, and must use the standard take-out rate for their locality. They have, therefore, been forbidden from wagering into our pools.

To accommodate multiple take-out rates, the Net-Pool pricing model was established in approximately 1995. Under the Net-Pool pricing model, the payouts are calculated by dividing NET amount of winning bets, (rather than the GROSS amount as in Standard Pricing) by the net pool. Each locality then multiplies the payout by the compliment of the commission rate (1- commission rate) to arrive at the local payout.

This process weights each wager according to the local commission rate, as the higher the local commission rate (take-out), the lower the local price. For example, $100 bet at 17% commission is worth $83, and $100 bet at 18% commission is worth $82. The payout at the locality with a 17% commission rate will therefore be slightly higher than the payout at the locality with an 18% commission rate.


Place and Show Pools:
For most pools and payouts, if all localities were using the same take-out rate, the prices would be identical under both the Standard and Net-Pool pricing models. But in any multiple winning runner pool (Place and Show and any other pool in which a dead-heat creates two or more different payouts), the Net-Pool model distributes the same amount of winnings slightly differently. This is a function of allocating the profits to the different winners based on their NET winnings rather than their GROSS winnings. The total amount of monies paid out will not change, but the net effect, in these cases, is that the favorites will pay a little less, while long shots will pay a little more.


$2.10 Payouts and Minus Pools:

Fans will notice that show pools with a heavy favorite that you would expect to return $2.10 for all three runners, now may now pay significantly higher on the two non-favorite horses. This is because that even though the payout on the favorite is reduced to a number even farther below the minimum $2.10 payout, it still must return $2.10. But the other horses are not participating in the minus pool as they were under the Standard Pricing model. 

Calculating Projected Payouts using Tote Board Information:
While the win odds and “Will Pays” displayed on all tote boards and TV screens will be accurate, as a result of net Pool Pricing, one can no longer accurately calculate the payouts using only the information available on the tote board. This is true for all pools, including the Win pool. The reason for this is one needs to know the commission rate of the wagers on each runner in each pool to determine the true NET pool and NET winning wagers. The tote odds continue to be accurate, as the tote has all of the necessary information to properly calculate and display the current odds / payouts.

Arlington Park Ticket Cancellation Policies

You should always check your tickets before leaving any manned ticket terminal. Mistakes do happen, even with experienced mutuel tellers. Also, you’d be surprised how many times a customer asks for the “number two horse” even though that is not the number of the horse they actually want, but that horse is currently at 2-1 odds.

Mutuel tellers will always correct a mistake if you bring it to their immediate attention. And, if you catch an error after you left the window, as long as you present it for cancellation prior to the race going off, it can be cancelled. There are some limitations, however.

  • Tickets up to $500 in value can be cancelled at any manned mutuel window up until the race goes off.
  • Tickets over $500 in value require the approval of the Mutuel Manager prior to cancellation.
  • In all cases, tellers will cancel a ticket to correct an immediate mistake.

You may also cancel tickets at any self-service window. There is a different set of limits that apply, however.

  • Tickets up to $500 ( $50 maximum after 6:30 PM) in value can be cancelled at any self-service window up until 0 minutes to post (2 minutes to post after 6:30 PM)
  • Please note that many tracks do not run their races until two or three minutes after their scheduled post time, but once the tote clock reaches zero minutes to post for that track, cancellations can only be made at a manned terminal.

If you are wagering via a Betting Account (Arlington Cash Card or Twin Spires Card), you may cancel your wagers by calling up your account history and checking “Cancel” next to the appropriate wager. All current self-service limitations apply.