How Does a Placepot Work? A Tote Placepots Beginners’ Guide

Written By:  Finn Huxley

The Tote Placepot bet is one of the most popular pool bets in horse racing, so you’ll find many bookmakers and recognised operators offer them. We have seen a lot of users asking “how does a placepot work” and easy answer is: to select horses to place in a series of daily races. This challenging bet requires some skill but is still one of the most enjoyable ones you can try.

In this article, we will cover everything you should know about Tote Placepots, including how they work, the divisions, placing, and cost calculations. We’ll even include some tips and tricks for good measure, too. Let’s dive in.

So, What is a Tote Placepot Bet?

A Tote Placepot is, as we mentioned in the intro, a type of bet offered by some operators and bookmakers (see more betting terms here). This option is particularly popular among racing enthusiasts in the United Kingdom.

The way a Tote Placepot works is relatively straightforward. You must pick a horse to place in the first six races of a meeting. You have the option to make multiple selections in the same race meeting (each one will be called a ‘line’). So, one of the best ways to increase your chances of picking a horse that places is to add multiple lines.

The pool bet of a placepot depends on the number of people playing it. The more that do, the larger the pool. And, consequently, the fewer people who pick a winning combination, the bigger the placepot dividend!

Placepot Selections and Placepot Bet Slips

We established that adding more lines increases the chances of winning a first racing pool bet. Now, calculating the number of lines is simple: All you need to do is multiply your lines for race one by the number of lines for race two, then multiply the resulting number by the number of lines.

This sounds a little more complicated than it actually is, so let’s see a table:

Race Number Number of Lines Running Total
1 2 1
2 2 2 x 2 = 4
3 1 2 x 2 x 1 = 4
4 2 2 x 2 x 1 x 2 = 8
5 3 2 x 2 x 1 x 2 x 3 = 24
6 2 2 x 2 x 1 x 2 x 3 x 2 = 48
Total 48

The Tote Placepot is typically available at all British meetings, and the rules are the same for each bet.

Tote Placepot Cost and Prize Pool

In a Tote Placepot, there are two minimum stakes you should consider:

  • The stake per line
  • The total stake

Depending on the operator, the minimum stake per line is around 10p (some of them might do 5p), and the total stake is around £1. So, if you look at the table above, a total of 48 lines would give you a total stake of £24. Another consideration to keep in mind: You usually need at least ten lines to play.

Calculating the Tote Placepot Prize Pool

Now, how is the placepot dividend calculated? And more importantly, how is this first bet shared among the participating bettors?

The first thing that happens after a meeting is a deduction. From the total pool, 27% is taken. So, it’s the 73% that stays that will be distributed among the winners (suppose the pool is £200,000. The sum to be split will be £146,000).

The placepot winnings are published so you can see how much you’ve won. This will depend on the number of successful lines you picked in your bet slip and how much you staked per line.

To calculate how much you have won, you just have to multiply your stake per line by the number of winning horses. This will give you a percentage of the pool. For example, if the placepot is £1,000 to a £1 stake, and you end up with four winning lines (20p each), you would have 80p (that is, 80p worth of the pool) in winning bets – or £800.

Tote Placepot explained: Tips and Strategy

The first thing to consider is that the fewer favourites in a horse racing event that place, the bigger the dividend will be. Among placepot players, there will always be a tendency to pick the stronger horses. If they don’t place, then a lot of those bets will fail.

Some people choose to play a single line (in other words, they select just one horse in each race). This is called a “straight line” and is generally considered quite a bold approach because you’d need to be quite lucky to get it right! Most punters, though, will prefer to use multiple selections and go for the more competitive races, so they have a better chance of winning.

Tip 1: Be Pragmatic With Your Lines

One of the best things you can do if you’re new to Tote Placepot (or if you’re a seasoned bettor, for that matter) is to use a reasonable number of lines. What do we mean by reasonable? Well, if you know there is one horse that is very likely to win, you shouldn’t use too many lines as they will decrease your chances. So, evaluate which race and see when it’s more convenient to adapt your lines.

Tip 2: Target Multiple Lines When It’s Competitive

Following on our first tip, if you see one horse (an SP favourite) that is more likely to place in a race, save the other lines for other races – where there is more than one horse that will probably do well. Going three-handed can help keep your bet alive, so strength in numbers can be a good choice.

Tip 3: Avoid Vulnerable Favourites

Lastly, a good way to do better is to see how many horses are running and avoid vulnerable favourites that might not place. Many players will go for them because they are popular, but if the market leader fails to see there’s another horse that’s a good bet, you could get big placepot fund dividends.

Where Can You Place Horse Racing Placepot Bets?

If you’re looking for the best horsing race apps, we recommend you give bet365 a chance. Their placepot is easy to use, and it’s a great start for beginners.