How Does a Placepot Work? Placepots Betting Explained

Author Image Article By Diarmuid Nolan GDC - Icon - Black - Info
Fact Check Icon Fact Checked byKevin TaylorGDC - Icon - Black - Info
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The Tote placepot is one of the UK and Ireland's favourite horse racing pools bets, offering punters the chance to win large Tote pool dividends from small stakes.

Our horse racing experts at Gambling.com led in house by Diarmuid Nolan and Dean Ryan have taken the time to explain the bet in detail. 

Betting on the placepot is available for every racing meeting in the UK and Ireland each and every day at the Tote, which remains one of our favourite betting sites.

Read on to find out where you should place your bets, the best strategies needed to be successful and how to work out a suitable staking plan for perming your placepot selections.

What is a winning Placepot bet?

To win by betting on the placepot, bettors just have to select a placed horse in races 1-6 on a selected race card. Your stake then goes into a pool, which is then divided between the winners.

The average placepot dividend is £407 from a £1 stake. Recorded at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival, the largest ever placepot dividend is £91,774.50 from a £1 stake.

At the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, one punter landed £182,568 from a £2 placepot. At a massive £91,283.10 from a £1 stake, it fell just short of the biggest ever placepot.

"The placepot is a wonderful bet for experienced horse racing punters as well as those who only  follow the big meetings like Royal Ascot, Cheltenham and the Aintree Grand National.

The trick to making it worthwhile is to concentrate on the meetings with the most betting interest. Festivals and Saturday weekend racing will usually see bigger pools with more people playing. That’s when you want to win the Placepot!"

Content Breaker Quote Author ImageDean Ryan | Horse Racing Expert

You can also bet into the Tote pools and play the placepot with many leading online bookmaker apps, they will provide Tote betting markets via their usual platforms.

Below you'll find three alternative options we recommend for playing the placepot. The service is the same standard as Tote except you won’t have access to pool updates or live payout information.

The bet will settle in exactly the same way as any other once the dividends are announced.

If this still sounds like your kind of bet, then read on as our experts explain everything about how to bet on the placepot.


Read More: Check out Cheltenham free bets from UK betting sites


What is a Placepot Bet?

To place a bet on the placepot pool, punters must first select one horse in each of the first six races at their chosen horse racing meeting.

Any number of extra horses can also be selected for each race. The more horses in the bet, the more the bet costs.

How Does a Placepot Work?

Placepots might sound complicated, but they are an easy bet to work out once you get your head around them.

The first step when explaining placepots is working out how they ar calculated.

When calculating the total cost of your overall placepot bet, you simply multiply your chosen stake by the number of selections picked in six races:

  • e.g. if you have two horses in each race and your stake is 20p, your total bet would be: 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 0.2 = £12.80 (64 bets x 20p).

This is a very popular type of placepot bet, but there are any number of different placepot permutations to play with. Here are two other popular types of placepots:

  • Straight Lines - Pick one horse in each of the first six races. Stake a minimum of £1 to play: 1 x 1 x 1 x 1 x 1 x 1 - One line with a £10 unit stake = £10 total spend.
  • 4 Bankers - Pick one horse in four races and two in two: 2 x 1 x 1 x 1 x 2 x 1 - Four lines with a £2.50 unit stake = £10 total spend.

The are two things to remember here. The minimum unit stake is £0.10 ( £0.10 on each horse selected), and that the placepot dividend is paid to the pound. You get the amount listed in the placepot dividend for every pound you staked (Incomplete pounds are rounded down).


Read More: Get top 2024 Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds


Where to Place a Placepot Bet

The placepot is a pool bet, controlled by the Tote placepot in the UK.

You can make your placepot bet on-course at the Tote placepot betting window or via the Tote placepot online.

What Places Are Counted In The Tote Placepot?

Placepot places change depending on how many horses run in the race.

The following table illustrates how places are paid out in the placepot:

Number of RunnersPlaces in Placepot
4 or less1st
5, 6 or 7 runners1st, 2nd
8-15 runners1st, 2nd, 3rd
16+ runners1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th

What Happens if You Have a Non-Runner in a Placepot?

If any horse you select for your placepot bet is a non-runner, your stake will be placed on the SP favourite (the horse that starts the race as the favourite).

If there are joint or co-favourites, then your money will go on to the favourite with the lowest saddlecloth number.


Read More: Compare the best Grand National Odds


How to Win The Tote Placepot

The smallest payouts come when the favourite places in every leg of the bet as they will nearly always be the most-selected runner.

So it pays to avoid the favourite when betting on the placepot if you can find something else to hit the places instead.

A popular Tote placepot betting strategy is picking a few banker selections, while building a bigger group of runners in your placepot for trickier races.

A placepot selection is considered a banker if it is the only horse you decide to choose in the race. It means you have put all your faith in that one horse.

Picking your placepot bankers is a key opening step to building your placepot. Look for a consistent horse, who might not always win, but always runs well and finishes in the placings the majority of the time - or go all in with the odds on a favourite who just shouldn't get beat.

Once you have your banker, or bankers, the aim is to pick at least two horses in each of the other races to increase the chances when the choice is less obvious.

"By picking a banker or bankers, you keep the number of bets in your placepot manageable rather than staking lots trying to cover all eventualities. "

Content Breaker Quote Author ImageDiarmuid Nolan | Horse Racing Expert

How Much Does a Placepot Cost?

When working out the cost of a placepot, it’s important to know how your stake works. There are two minimum stakes in a placepot: the minimum stake per line, and the minimum total stake.

More often that not, the minimum stake per line is 10p, although some placepots have a minimum stake of 5p per line. For the total placepot, the minimum stake is £1.

So, if you wanted to place 50p on a 20 line placepot, then the total stake would be £10.

How is The Prize For a Placepot Calculated?

The beauty of a placepot is that the amount you win can change with every bet.

To calculate the winnings for a placepot, you first need to wait until all bets have been placed. From the final pot, 27% is deducted from the total pool, with the remaining 73% being divided amongst the winners.

So, if the total pool is £50,000, £13,500 will be deducted from the pot, with the remaining £37,500 divided between any winners (depending on the value of their winning lines).

The actual value that you’ll be awarded from your winning placepot will depend not only on your choices, but the choices of other bettors as well.

For example, if less favourites land in the places, then the dividend will generally pay out more.

More bettors tend to lean towards the favourites, so if there’s an upset in a race, then the dividend grows as players lose. 

Placepot Betting on The Cheltenham Festival

As with any meeting, you can place a Placepot bet on any races at the Cheltenham Festival. Cheltenham is one of the biggest horse racing betting events of the year, so it's no surprise that placepots are always popular.

With four days of racing to look forward to, that's four potential Cheltenham placepots to be placed.

If you're looking for general Cheltenham betting, you can find the latest Cheltenham Festival Odds right here at Gambling.com

For the best tipsters, experts and horse racing analysis check out our news section, especially when it comes to the big meetings at Royal Ascot, Cheltenham and the Grand National, that's when the Placepot really comes into it's own.

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