In the world of horse racing betting, "Tictac" refers to a traditional method of communication used by bookmakers and on-course bookies to relay information and odds to their colleagues or clients. The term "Tictac" originated from the distinctive sound made by bookmakers when relaying information using hand signals and vocal cues.
Before the advent of modern technology and digital displays, on-course bookmakers used Tictac as a means of conveying real-time information to fellow bookmakers or punters in crowded racetracks. The practice involved a combination of hand gestures, finger movements, and vocalized codes to communicate the latest odds, betting updates, and other relevant information.
Bookmakers would stand on a raised platform, known as a pitch, and would use their hands and fingers to indicate the changing odds and prices. For instance, they would use their fingers to represent the numbers one to ten, with specific hand gestures indicating the corresponding digit. Additionally, they would use specific movements to represent odds, such as pointing upwards for decreasing odds and downwards for increasing odds. Vocalized codes, such as "tic" for odds decreasing or "tac" for odds increasing, were also employed to reinforce the visual signals.
The Tictac system required a high level of skill, concentration, and coordination, as bookmakers had to process and relay information rapidly in a noisy and fast-paced environment. It was a dynamic and efficient way of disseminating information, allowing bookmakers to react swiftly to changes in betting patterns and adjust their odds accordingly.
However, with the advent of electronic display boards and online betting platforms, the use of Tictac has significantly declined in recent years. The emergence of digital technology has provided more accurate and immediate information to punters, making traditional hand signaling less necessary.
Nevertheless, Tictac remains an iconic aspect of horse racing history, symbolizing the rich tradition and camaraderie of the betting profession. While modern technology has transformed the way bets are placed and information is conveyed, the legacy of Tictac serves as a reminder of the vibrant and colorful world of horse racing betting.