A Beginner’s Guide to Pari-Mutuel Betting

Pari-mutuel betting is the main form of legal offline betting in Japan and is the system used to bet on the country’s public sports.

What it is

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In pari-mutuel, also known as pool betting, wagers are placed against other bettors who have bet on the same event. All bets go into a pool, which is then shared equally among all the gamblers who made the winning selection. It is typically run by a state organization. In Japan pari-mutuel betting is overseen by the national racing entities.

In the countries that only have one form of legal betting, this is commonly the one, as is the case in Japan. The system can be used in any sport which participants finish in a ranked order. That’s why it is so popular in racing, including horse, motor and cycling events.

There are no fixed odds. Therefore, there aren’t many strategies that can be used to maximize the reward. The earned amount depends on how many people have placed a bet on the event and how many people picked the actual winner.

How it works

When you go to make a bet, you are only offered probable odds based on the status of the pool at the time. When the event is finished, the amount of all the placed wagers is added up. The responsible institution takes a commission, while the money left is divided among each and every gambler who picked the winner correctly. The potential payouts are calculated by dividing the pool after taking the commission by the total amount wagered on each participant.

Pari-mutuel betting has many types of bets available, appealing for both recreational and professional gamblers.