The Tote Scoop6 is a very popular and affordable bet that takes place across the course of 6 races every Saturday.
It’s a great value bet, costing just £2 per line but often paying out hundreds of thousands if not more, and even if your selections don’t win you still can. This is because of the place fund which pays out if all of your selections finish in the places. On top of this, the winner of the Scoop6 is allowed to predict the winning horse from the hardest race in the next week for a chance to win even more.
That’s a lot of opportunity and entertainment value for a £2 stake.
It works in the same way as any other pool bet for the most part, with each bettor’s stake going into one big pot to then be split up amongst any eventual winners, but it is seen as the Daddy of them all.
How Does the Tote Scoop6 Work?
Each week, the Tote will select 6 races from Saturday’s meetings to form the basis of the Scoop6. This is already different from most other Totepool bets because they tend to be wagered on individual races or a number of races all from the same meeting.
The other ‘special’ thing about the Scoop6 is that all of the races are televised, meaning bettors can watch at home and cheer on their nags. The number of tickets still in the competition will usually be announced after each race too, so anyone still in the running after a few races can see how many people they are battling for the big money.
The six races that are chosen will often be the most difficult of the day to predict, due to a number of factors such as the size of the field (more horses mean more possible outcomes), and the age and experience of the horses running (younger inexperienced horses have less form to study and can be less predictable).
All of the money from all of the bets is collected together, 30% is taken by the Tote to pay the operational costs, and then the rest is divided into 3 pools:
- The win pool
- The place pool
- The bonus pool
- The starting fund
The win pool is obviously where the majority of the money goes, then the place pool gets about half of that and the bonus pool gets a much smaller percentage of the money. The starting fund is a very small amount from each week, around 5%, that is kept behind to boost the next Win pool after it has been won, so it is there to make sure there is still something worth winning after a big rollover, for example.
The competition rolls over if no one wins it too, so these pools can get very big indeed after a few weeks without a winner.
Betting on the Scoop6
So that’s a bit about the Scoop6 and how it works from an operational point of view, but what about from a betting point of view?
Bettors must choose the six horses they think will win each race on the card. They can enter the competition as many times as they like, but each line of 6 horses will cost £2 to bet on – it’s a lot like the lottery if you think about it, except you can use some skill with the Scoop6.
In order to stand a chance of winning anything, each horse on your ticket must win or place in the race that they run, although most people get knocked out pretty early on.
If your first horse doesn’t even place then the whole bet is over, for example. This is most people’s reality most of the time.
To win the big money each of your horses must finish in first place, so even if 5 of them finish 1st but 1 of them finishes 2nd you cannot win the main prize. You will, however, take a share of the place pool.
Even if none of your horses win, so long as they all finish within the places for the race they run you will win a share of the place pool. This is usually worth an awful lot less of course, but the dividend can still be very good if not many people share the winnings – it has been as high as £60,000 in the past but equally it could be around £70.
If anyone does win the main prize, they also get the chance to win the bonus pool the following week, by correctly guessing the winner of a single race.
In all of these circumstances, your share of the prize pools is dictated by how many other winners there are.
If we take a pool of £60,000 and a pool of £300,000, you could actually come away better off if you are the only person winning the £60,000 pool (£60k take home) rather than 1 of 10 who win the £300,000 pool (£30k take home per person).
So winning is hard, and the amount the winner takes home can really yo-yo from one week to the next.
Another aspect of the Scoop6 that can cause quite a bit of buzz is the frequent rollovers.
Since it is a very difficult competition to win, it is not uncommon for no one to get it right for a few weeks in a row. When this happens it triggers a rollover meaning all of that weeks’ pot is added to the next weeks, creating a mammoth prize pot that only keeps growing if no one wins the next week either.
This has a compounding effect because as the pot grows more bets are made since the prize is more attractive than usual, which in turn makes the pot grow even faster, and so on.
In 2014 the main pool reached £10 million with a further £5 million in the bonus pool, but it could also be around £20,000 – £30,000 the week after a win.