What Is Place Betting?

horse racingThere are several bet types that you can place when betting on horse racing. Place betting is a simple option to choose, where you back a selection to achieve a position within the places. This is most often the first three positions, although races with bigger fields of competitors can have more places to select from, too.

Place betting is also something used in greyhound betting and pretty much any sport that has a finishing order (football, golf, tennis tournaments, etc.), with the same sort of rules surrounding it.

For typical horse races a bookmaker providing this market will usually offer odds that a runner will come in the top three positions. In a smaller field of runners, such as five, six or seven, only the first and second positions would pay out. It’s only when the field reaches 15 or 16 runners in a handicap race that the first four positions are considered ‘places’. Thus, a fourth-placing runner could still see you receive a payout if you wager on it to place.

Place bets differ to each way bets because the place only stakes a bet only on a top finish, from 1st to 4th position for example, depending upon the running field. Each-way betting required two separate bets, one being a win bet and the other a place bet.

Should you wager on a horse finishing in first or second place, and it secures one of those finishes, you would receive a positive return in this circumstance. If it finished in fifth place, as an example, in this situation, then the bet would be a losing one.

The bets are simple to understand and bet on and provide a good option when you want to bet on a horse, team or player that you think will finish highly in an event but won’t necessarily win it.  If you bet each-way and a the selection places second or below you lose the win bet, with a place bet you get the same payout whether it finishes first, second, etc.

How Place a Place Bet

place betting market example horse race

If you do choose to place a bet of this kind, then you should also know that if the selection wins it will usually pay out less than other options. In comparison to a win bet, for example, the possible payout is noticeably smaller. That’s because there is a wider number of options available when you opt for a place only bet.

Simply put, a place only wager only needs to see the horse finish in one of two or more positions. A win bet needs to see the horse you select finish in first place for you to receive a positive return.

It may be the case that place bets aren’t available at times, too. This is usually determined by how many horses or greyhounds are participating in a race. Any time that a race has less than five runners in it, for example, is not likely to feature a place only option. This is because two of the five places could end up paying out, which doesn’t tip the scales in favour of the sportsbook.

If you’re based in the UK, then place bet is a familiar enough term. If you’re betting from North America, the term means something slightly different. A place only bet in the United States is a lot more limited than what it is in the UK. Across the sea, the horse or greyhound must finish in first or second place only. Any other places would not provide a payout.

Calculating Returns from Place Bets

betting slipEngaging in place betting will see you receive place terms at the same time. These serve as the rules and regulations that relate to the wager. Within those rules, you get the horse’s odds and place odds. The former is the horse’s odds of winning the race in question outright. The place odds relate to the portion of the payout you would receive if the place bet were successful.

In most cases, place bet odds are written as a more traditional fraction – 1/4, for example. Let’s use an example to describe this type of outcome and how to calculate your potential return.

If you place a wager of £10 on a specific horse winning a race at 4/1 and it won you would recieve £40 winning plus your £10 stake, i.e. £50 total.  If you opt for a place only bet with 1/4 odds would get you a £10 winnings and your £10 stake back, i.e. £20 total.  The difference is if the horse doesn’t win but finishes in the places the place bet pays out but the win bet doesn’t.  The lower odds reflect the higher chances of the bet winning.

There are also industry standard odds for place only bets when it comes to horse racing and greyhound racing in the United Kingdom. These are:

  • If four runners or less are participating in a race: win only.
  • Between five and seven runners participating in a race: 1/4 odds for places 1, 2 and 3.
  • Over eight runners participating in a race: 1/5 odds for places 1, 2 and 3.
  • Between 12 and 15 runners participating in a race: 1/4 odds for places 1, 2 and 3.
  • Over 16 runners participating in a race: 1/4 odds for places 1, 2, 3 and 4.