Placepot’s are one of a number of bet types that have been derived from the Tote.
They allow punters to bet small amounts and win huge sums of money, which is one of the reasons they have become so popular.
You are able to access these types of bets with most online bookmakers, although it is worth noting that they all feed into the same Tote pot for the bet.
How do placepots work?
The idea behind this bet is that for each race meeting the Tote will create a betting card. On that betting card, you need to choose at least 1 horse from each of the races within that meeting to finish within the placed positions.
The number of horses that are in the race will determine how many positions are included. This is how they will be ranked:
- Up to 4 runners – unavailable
- 5, 6 or 7 runners – 1st and 2nd
- 8-15 running in handicaps – 1st, 2nd and 3rd
- 8+ runners in non-handicaps – 1st, 2nd, 3rd
- 16+ runners in handicaps – 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th
Your bet is worked out on a “per-line” basis. You can choose how many lines you want to include for each race by selecting more possible horses to place. If you choose more than 1 for a certain race then you only need to have one of those horses finish within the placed positions.
To work out the price of your bet you simply need to multiply the chosen stake by the number of selections you have made in each race. So, if you had 2 picks from each bet and bet £1 per line, then it would look like this:
- 2*2*2*2*2*2*1 = £64 for the overall stake
This might seem quite high, which is why a lot of punters actually bet much less per line. You can bet as low as 10p per line if you want. If you were to do this and choose the minimum number of selections per bet of just 1, then the lowest you can bet on this market would be 10p given that you are betting one single unit.
How are bets paid?
After all the money has been taken for the Placepot it is then pooled together to create a single pot of money. After this takes place fees and taxes are taken from the pot and then you are left with the remaining balance, which then becomes the dividend which will be paid out.
The dividend is the amount that you receive for each £1 placed. So, if the dividend was £500 and you have staked £10 total, then you would be set to receive £5,000 in returns.
The amount that is put into the pot and the number of winners will determine how much you get back.
Large jackpot wins
As we have stated earlier in this article, the lure for these types of bets is that you can bet small and win big. It’s stated that the average dividend for these Placepos bets is around £400 per £1 staked, which is massive.
One of the biggest wins ever came about in 2019 when one lucky racegoer won an incredible £182,568 after staking just £2 on a Placepot at the Cheltenham Festival. Included were places for horses priced 6-1, 5-1, 10-1, 20-1, 7-1 and 5-1. From the 6 places, 4 of them were winners which makes it even more impressive.
The total pool for the bet was £958,481.10 and was shared by just 10.5 winning units crating a dividend of £91,283.10. This dividend is actually only £500 short of the single line record.
As with all bet types there are definitely certain strategies that you want to include for these types of bets. A lot of them are just solid betting strategies for horse racing in general, but as with all bet types, there are certain nuances with this bet type that make it work more efficiently in your favour.
Avoid just backing the favourite
One of the most obvious things to do for this bet and something that lots of beginners will do, is simply to back the favourites from all 6 races at a meeting. After all, you would assume that all have a decent chance of at least placing, if not winning, which you would be right about.
The problem is that this is what a lot of other punters will do – you can even select options with most bookies that give you the Starting Price (SP) favourite for each race which makes it super easy to select.
If you were betting with a bookmaker then this would be fine as you are taking whatever odds they give you, but when you bet within a dividend, if there are a huge number of winners then the dividend is going to be really small as you are all sharing the same pot.
There are plenty of times where this has happened, and as a result, returns were way down on what they should have been.
Let’s look through two examples of this from 2 different races this year, both at Epsom Racecourse. The first meeting that we look at is from 1st June 2019 and in total there was a prize pool of £181,310.
The result saw that 3 favourites placed from the 6 races. In two of the races where no favourites placed, the field size commanded that 4 places were being paid in that race. From that, the bet paid £378.10 for every £1 staked.
Another meeting at the same track in May saw a similar sized Placepot of £189,130 for the total amount in that race, but from the 6 races there were 4 favourites that placed. Given that this was a popular result the dividend paid just £70.20 for every £1 staked.
As you can see, even the split from 3 to 4 favourites winning in one meeting has a huge effect on how the dividend will be paid out. For the big wins or even just to make it more worthwhile, try to avoid betting on the favourites, and if you think they are going to dominate then find another meeting to bet on.
This doesn’t mean that you need to avoid the favourite in every race as there will be times when they offer good value, especially in shorter fields. Just don’t pick them for all six because even if you do win, it won’t be for much money.
Consistent horses are the key
Horses that are consistent over a decent period of time are going to be your friend when it comes to Placepot bets. Erratic horses can scupper your chances straight away, and whilst they have a chance of winning, they might have as good a chance of coming in last as well.
You need to be able to target horses that consistently perform well.
A good trait to target is that of the previous form at the track. Often, when horses are comfortable at a certain track and have performed well their previously, they tend to keep that record going.
Remember, you don’t need to pick a winner here, just horses that are going to stay well and grab you that place you need.
Be wary of adding too many lines
As we mentioned previously, the number of lines is essentially the number of picks per race that you choose. The more picks the higher the cost for your bet. 2 selections per race will cost you £64, 3 will cost £729 and 4 will cost £4096. As you can see, it soon starts to spiral.
You can mix it up a little bit though if you wish and choose 1 or 2 for each race. You don’t need to choose the same number for each of the races.
Work out what you want to spend prior to placing your bet and then adjust where you think it would be best to add in extra picks around that.