The Tote gives punters plenty of options when it comes to betting on the wonderful sport of horse racing and one of these comes via the creation of the Quadpot.
A popular offering of theirs, it is very similar to the well-known Placepot, only it’s not quite as challenging.
How it differs is that rather than covering six races, the Tote Quadpot only includes four races, specifically the third, fourth, fifth and sixth contests to feature at a particular meeting.
You can typically place a Quadpot bet at any UK or Irish race meeting, plus occasional big international meets. For the four races at a particular course that a Quadpot covers, your job is just to pick a horse that places in each race. It’s as simple as that. Should you manage to do this then you will scoop yourself a share of the total prize pool, proportional to your (winning) stake.
There is no fixed position for where a horse must finish to be classed as ‘placed’ in a Quadpot as it depends on the size of the field. For races featuring four runners or fewer, you must pick the winner of the contest. If there are between 5 and 7 runners then second place is also included. For races with 8 or more horses going to post, then the top three are considered placed. Finally, the top four performing runners are considered placed in handicaps featuring 16+ horses.
To get a return on your bet, you must correctly pick a placed horse across each of the four races for the meeting. There is no consolation prize pool for just getting three correct, even if the fourth only just misses the place. There is also no bonus for picking winners. Horses are only considered placed or not placed for the purposes of this market.
Why Pick a Quadpot?
There are two main reasons why a punter would opt for a Quadpot bet. One is that their Placepot bet has been scuppered during the opening two races. Rather than having nothing to cheer for the remainder of the meeting, the Quadpot gives them a shot at redemption as it only begins from race three (and the betting shuts only moments before).
The other main selling point of the Quadpot is that it strikes a decent balance between having a very worthwhile prize pot but not being overly challenging or seeming almost impossible to win. It is less difficult to call right than other multi-leg bets such as the Placepot or Jackpot, but it often pays out more than a Double (winner of two selected races) would.
How A Quadpot Bet Works
The Quadpot is a simple bet to make. You just need to pick a minimum of one horse in each of the four relevant races. You are welcome to pick more, in other words covering two or even more horses in one or more of the four races, but this will increase the number of lines on your bet and thus the stake required.
When entering your stake you enter the line value, which is then multiplied by the number of lines you have. If you select just one horse per race, you will have just a single line bet. If you select multiple though, you will multiply all the selections (per race) together to calculate your number of lines. In the example below this would be 1x1x2x2 so four lines total (where it says 4x).
For this bet, the full lines are as follows:
1. Ashington, Robbie Dazzler, General Officer, Lights Are Green
2. Ashington, Robbie Dazzler, General Officer, Tommydan
3. Ashington, Robbie Dazzler, Chapel Green, Lights Are Green
4. Ashington, Robbie Dazzler, Chapel Green, Tommydan
If all our selections place with the exception of Tommydan, then we would have two winning lines (1 and 3) valued at £1 each. If they all placed except for Robbie Dazzler though, then all bets would lose as he is present across all lines.
For each winning line you have, you are paid a dividend out of the prize pot. Currently, the Tote are guaranteeing a minimum prize pot of £3,000 across meetings, although this is subject to change. How the Tote calculates the Quadpot dividend is that they get the net pool and divide it by the total cost of the winning stakes. This gives them an amount they then round down to the nearest 10p and declare to a £1 stake. So, if there were £82 of winning bets for a £3,000 pool, the dividend (per pound) would be £36.50. For a punter that placed a £5 winning bet, this would mean scooping a return of £182.50.
The minimum bet per line for a Quadpot bet is a mere £0.01 but the total value of your bet must meet or exceed £0.50. With limits this low, it does make Quadpot betting accessible to casual punters who might be enjoying a day out the races. You can have an interest in most of the day’s action for a small stake overall and only need your picks to place to maintain that interest through the card.
Note that although we have taken screenshots from the Tote website, you can also place a Quadpot bet on any racecourse with Tote facilities. It also goes towards the same prize fund, with payouts the same no matter where or how you placed your Quadpot.
There are not too many rules relating to Quadpot bets but for the few that do exist, it is well worth being aware of what they are.
A selection will be counted as a loser if it does not compete after coming under the starter’s orders. If it is pulled before this time though it is considered a non-runner. If you select a horse that ends up being a non-runner, your selection will be replaced by the starting price favourite. In the event there are joint or co-favourites, the horse with the lowest racecard number will be selected. If there is no official starting price, the first runner quoted in the Racing Post forecast will be the substitute.
If part of your Quadpot bet is a walkover (a race featuring just one horse, an uncommon occurrence but one that can happen), is abandoned or made void, it will only be included if it is rescheduled for later the same day. Where this does not happen, the pool will simply be settled on the other legs that do run as normal, whether that be one, two or three of them. If none of the four legs feature, all Quadpot bets will be voided and stakes refunded.
For the purposes of Quadpot bets, dead-heating horses will count as placed even if they share the final placed position. If a race includes the top three finishers as placing and there is a dead heat for third place, both horses (or all horses if there are more than two) will be considered as placing. This does end up reducing the dividend though as it produces more winning bets.
To be awarded a place, a horse must finish a race. Positions are not awarded based on the time a horse exits the race. So, if a five-horse contest sees just one finisher, the horse that fell on the final fence would not be deemed as finishing in second place.
By now you know what a Quadpot bet is and how it works, but what is the best approach when placing such a wager? Although there are no proven profit-making methods, there are certain tactics we recommend you follow to increase your chances of success.
Avoid too Many Favourites
Picking the favourite for one or two races is absolutely fine for any Quadpot bet but should you pick three or four, it could well end up being a poor value bet, or certainly one that ends up with very low return. We say this because should the bet win, favourites are likely to have featured on many other Quadpot slips.
This is partly because any non-runner selections are replaced by the favourite and partly because favourites are, naturally enough, popular with other punters. Indeed, there is even an option on Quadpot betting that allows you to pick the unnamed starting favourite. The resulting dividend therefore tends to be low whenever the shortest-priced horse manages to secure a place position across most, or even all of, the races, as there are so many winning bets.
This is an extra consideration with pool betting that you do not get when betting at fixed odds with a bookie. Not only do you have to consider which horses have a good chance of placing, but you have to consider if they are likely to be a popular selection. Of course, any win is better than nothing but fewer wins with a much larger dividend will likely work out better than more wins with smaller dividends.
If you have little idea who the ‘popular’ picks are, just check the market activity. Any horse near the top of the market that has shrunk in price, for example one that has moved from 5/1 to 3/1, has likely done so because punters are backing it heavily. Horses that drift in price (odds increase) by contrast tend to be ones that have commanded little interest in the market. Of course, there are often reasons for these market moves, suggesting a horse might be more, or less, likely to place, but the market is not always right!
Go For Consistency
Some horses are known for running very hot and cold. Unbeatable on their good days, but a long way off the pace on their bad days. For ‘to win’ bets these can be good value but they are not such savvy options when backing horses just to place. If you can instead find a horse that performs consistently well, even if it rarely wins, these tend to be better picks for a Quadpot. Serial runner-up performers, of which there are plenty, are bad for win bets but are welcome for most Quadpots (providing there are more than four runners).
Now it is very possible that among the field there is no horse with any decent level of overall consistency. If this is the case then it is all about spotting if there is consistency in key areas, whether this is a particular course, distance or going. By checking the form guide in a little detail, you can often pick up these trends, which helps give some insight into how a horse may perform.
Use Extra Lines (But Not Too Many)
If there is one race on the Quadpot that features a very large field, this will most likely be the contest that poses the greatest danger to your bet. You can improve your chances of successfully navigating the event though by picking more than one horse.
This can be particularly useful in non-handicap events as here only the top three are considered placed regardless of how big the field gets. By covering two or three options for any large race that comes your way, you are effectively helping to protect your other selections.
While using extra lines can be very useful in these larger fields, or perhaps when you are simply torn between two options, make sure you do not go overboard. Having two horses in two races will give you four lines, so four times your base stake, which is not too bad.
If you ended up backing three horses in two races, and a pair in the remaining two contests though, this would be a whopping 36 lines (3x3x2x2). If you wanted to bet around £2 overall this is still possible with a 6p per line bet (£2.16) but the problem with this is your payout will likely be extremely small. If the dividend ends up being £20, your 6p winning line would return just £1.20. Alternatively, if you plump for a bet worth £1 per line, your overall stake is a substantial £36, meaning that any errors could prove costly.