How are horse racing payouts calculated?

It’s a great idea to understand how payouts are calculated before you go making your bets. This ensures you are getting the best value for your selections! The numbers may seem scary but the odds and payoffs are actually pretty easy to learn. Here’s a run down of what you need to know…

The Win Odds

The easiest information on the board is the win odds. For example 20/1 means you will get £20 in profit for every £1 you wager. So if you wager £5, you would get 5 x 20 on this bet, which would give you £100 profit, plus you get your stake back so would have £105 returned to you. Let’s apply this to a bet which is 6/4, so for every £4 you wager, you’d make £6 plus what your stake was.

Using Total Pool and Bet Amount

  • First deduct the “take” from each betting pool. The take can be as high as 20%.
  • Then from this betting pool, you should subtract the amount of money you had staked as a bet to be left with the potential payout due to you. Working out Acca bets Selection Fraction Odds Decimal Odds Cumulative decimal odds 1 2/1 3.00 3.00 2 10/11 1.91 5.73 3 3/1 4 22.92 4 5/4 2.25 51.57 5 4/6 1.67 86.12

If the total pool was £1,000, and the take was 20%, and you had staked £100, you would calculate your payout as follows.

  • Subtract 20% from the total pool of £1,000, which will give you £800
  • From the £800, you should subtract the amount of cash you staked (£100) which would leave you with £700. Therefore, £700 would be your payout on this bet.

Payouts for Accumulator Bets

The odds for accumulator bets are calculated by converting the fractional odds of each selection into decimals and then multiplying them together. This can result in very high odds but the more selections you have, the easier it is for one to slip up and your bet to lose.

Working out Acca bets
Selection Fraction Odds Decimal Odds Cumulative decimal odds
1 2/1 3.00 3.00
2 10/11 1.91 5.73
3 3/1 4 22.92
4 5/4 2.25 51.57
5 4/6 1.67 86.12

For example:
So in this example your final outcome is 86.12 (rounded to 2 decimal places). If you were to put £10 on this, your return would be £861.20 + your £10 stake = £871.2

These being the most common bets you will make, hopefully this has gone some way to helping your understanding of how horse racing payouts are calculated.

For more useful information on Horse racing head to:

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Seven No Trumps

Racing Post – Weak in the market but produced a promising display in third on racecourse debut in a maiden hurdle at Ludlow (2m5f, heavy); should have learned plenty from that and in-form stable’s runners have to be respected.



Doc Kauto

Racing Post – Promising over fences last season but well held on only subsequent outing at Newton Abbot in July; market check advised after his absence.



Sword Of Fate

Racing Post – Has appreciated the recent return to hurdling, leading home several returning rivals when about 3l second over C&D at 50-1 last month (soft) and consolidating that form effort at Carlisle ten days later; shortlisted off same mark with Brian Hughes once more up, and drier ground is fine.



Akarita Lights

Racing Post – Last three starts 2m7f-3m1f on soft or heavy; runner-up at Market Rasen latest; does not look on a great mark but still considered.

Returns and odds correct at time of publishing.