What is a ‘Mutual Pool’?
The term “mutual pool” refers to “pari-mutuel betting” and describes a gambling system where all wagers of a certain type are put together into a “pool”.
Fees, taxes and the “house-take” are then taken out, leaving the payoff odds to be calculated, distributing the pool proportionally amongst all the winning bets. Also sometimes known internationally as a “Tote” (after the term “totalisator”), it describes a process for calculating and displaying bets that have already been made.
‘Mutual Pools’ Explained
The mutual pool system is commonly found in jai alai, horse racing, greyhound racing and short duration sporting events and matches where participants finish the event in a ranked order. A type of pari-mutuel system is also commonly found in some lotteries. The mutual pool system varies from standard fixed odds betting as the final payouts are not determined until betting finishes and the pool is closed. In fixed odds betting, a payout is agreed upon at the time when the bet is sold. Normally government-regulated (in the UK this is by the Gambling Commission), it can be found in nation states where other forms of gambling are illegal. Parimutuel gambling is also highly convenient as one of the first forms of betting where players didn’t need to be present at the event to bet on its outcome.
The mutual pool system works as follows. Say a series of six outcomes to an event are bet on by different players, giving each a different total wagered value. The total “pool” would be the sum of all of those amounts together. When the event finishes, one of those outcomes is declared the winner. In calculating the payout to those winning bets, commissions, fees and taxes are first removed from the pool pot. The remaining amount in the pool is then split amongst those who placed a winning bet by dividing the total pot by the value of the winning outcome.