Having a bet at the races is great fun, whether you’re a high roller or only want to risk a couple of pounds, so take a look at our guides beneath and surprise your friends with your new found betting knowledge. How the odds work, where and how to place your bet and where to go for advice on who to pick.

Everything you need to know to get started is in the guide beneath.

Free Download: Go-Bet-Guide

To place a bet, all you need to do is:

  • Choose your horse
  • Note the time of the race
  • Decide how much you wish to stake – you can place a bet from as little as £2

You can then choose where to place your bet – making sure you always check your bet immediately on receipt, as any mistakes cannot be changed once a race has begun.


Unlike racecourse bookmakers who offer you odds – or prices – for betting on each horse in a race, the Tote offers you a pool bet. This means the betting stakes on a given race are pooled together and, like a lottery, is then shared out among customers with winning tickets.

The Tote has a minimum bet of just £2 and accepts cash and card across all courses making it one of the most convenient ways to place a bet on-course.

Betting with the Tote at on-course supports racing, most of the revenue taken here at York flowing back to our racecourse. So, by choosing to bet with the Tote, you can do so knowing that racing is benefiting too.

Win and each way (Win and Place) bets are very popular with customers. However, you may also try to win more with an exacta, where you need to pick the first two in the correct order.

It wouldn’t be a raceday without a placepot.

One of the most famous tote bets is the placepot which rewards customers who can pick a horse to place in each of the first 6 races. It’s a chance to win big from a small stake- in March 2019, one racecourse customer won more than £182,000 to a £2 stake!

To take part, just fill in a placepot slip at any Tote kiosk and hand it to a member of the team.

Just remember, to join in, you need to do your placepot before Race 1.

 Not sure which horses to choose? Try a lucky pick bet

A ‘lucky pick’ bet, is the easiest way to bet on-course. Similar to the lucky dip on the National Lottery, the lucky pick is designed to be smart as it uses a special formula which is weighted towards the more likely outcomes in an event.

Lucky pick is available for any Tote bet. So, you could get a lucky pick placepot at the start of the day and ask for lucky pick win bets on any race.

You can also have lucky pick wallets which give you a selection of bets and are available for £5, £10, £15 and £20.

There are two types of lucky pick wallets. Meeting wallets are sold before race 1 and include some bets that lasts for the whole day (such as the placepot). Race specific wallets are specific to one race.

Ask for a lucky pick at any Tote kiosk or team member on-course.


William Hill are on site in the Lewes Stand, and also have a kiosk in the Paddock Bar.


Bookmakers are available on the Grandstand side at all fixtures, and are available at select fixtures in the Picnic Enclosure.


You will need a credit or debit card to open an online betting account with any online bookmakers. Minimum bets and opening balances vary.

GamCare’s staff are dedicated and experienced professionals, helping problem gamblers and their friends and  families