A Tote Placepot is a very popular type of pool bet, in which bettors must choose 6 horses from the first 6 races of a meeting that they think will finish in the places.
All of the money wagered on the placepot for that meeting will be pooled together, a percentage is taken for operational costs, and then the rest is split between any eventual winners.
Punters can choose as many lines as they want for the placepot, but each line will cost them an additional stake. That said, the minimum overall stake is only 50p, and the minimum bet per line is a penny so it is possible to cover a lot of angles for not much money.
The placepot is available on all UK and Irish meetings but will always only include the first 6 races of the day, and the amount in the pool will vary depending on how many people have been betting on that meeting.
How Does the Tote Placepot Work?
There are a few steps to making a placepot bet, and the first is to select your meeting.
Depending on what kind of bettor you are you might do this simply by looking at which meeting has the biggest pot on offer at the time, or you might have a strong opinion on a number of runners at a particular meeting and therefore choose that one to bet on.
Once you have chosen your meeting, you have to select a horse for each leg of the bet. The term ‘leg’ just means each race really; race 1 is the first leg of your bet, race 2 is the second leg, and so on.
It is perfectly ok to select a number of different horses for each leg, but every time you do this a new line will be added to your betslip which you will have to pay for, so it’s a balance between betting enough lines that you feel you have covered all the angles you want to cover, without the total bet getting so high that your risk/reward ratio is off kilter.
For example, a single line with a £5 stake per line would cost you £5, but ten lines at a £5 stake per line would cost you £50. You might be happy with that, or you might want to reduce your stake per line to 50p for a £5 total bet.
Once your bet is placed, every horse on your betslip needs to finish in the places or your bet is lost. That means even if the first 5 horses place but the 6th does not, you win nothing.
If you do win, you will get a dividend from the placepot. The amount you receive will depend on three things:
- Number of other winners
- Size of your winning stake
- Which horses you picked
The Tote will work out a dividend per £1 bet for each horse that placed. Unlike with a Tote Win though, the placepot can be won by bettors who made different selections as there can be up to 4 places per race.
In order to reward bettors who may have backed a horse at much longer odds, the dividend is calculated per £1 bet on each horse, so it’s quite complicated. Essentially though, it just means that a punter who wins a placepot bet with 6 horses priced at 10/1 or longer would probably win more than a punter who backed 6 horses to place at odds of 5/1 or shorter. The punter who took more risk gets a greater share of the reward.
Is the Placepot a Good Bet?
The great thing about the placepot is that you don’t have to kill yourself trying to find the winner of each race, your horses just need to do well enough and finish towards the front of the field.
This makes it a much less intimidating bet and also one that people are happier to spend less time researching. This, combined with the fact that it doesn’t cost much to make, means it is a great option for your average punter who doesn’t have loads of time to study form and just wants a bit of fun.
It can still pay out quite nicely if you win though, with the average payout in 2021 being £441 for bets made with Tote+.
It’s also a very regular bet, being available every day that races are run, and a very flexible bet, since you can choose any meeting you like the look of and any number of combinations to cover the bases you want covered.
Most importantly, it can provide a lot of entertainment value provided you don’t get knocked out after the first race. A stake of a few quid can hold your interest all day if you get past race 3 or 4, and some people who do get knocked out early on buy back in with the Quadpot instead.