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what is a placepot bet

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Using fixed odds is the way that most people bet on horse racing. There are other ways of betting on the horses though, and the main alternative is via the Tote. One of the options when it comes to the Tote is placing a placepot bet – but what is a placepot bet, exactly?

This page will explain all that you need to know about using a placepot bet in horse racing. It will explain how does a placepot work, how to bet on tote placepot options, and how you can place a placepot bet online. You’ll never need to ask what’s a placepot bet again!

What is a Placepot Bet? How it Works, and What You Need to Know

Most people in the UK understand how you place a bet. You make your selection, find out the odds, hand over your stake and keep your fingers crossed. If your selection wins, you multiple your stake by the odds (and add your stake back on if you are using fractional odds) to work out your winnings.

That’s the main way people bet, but there are alternatives – different bet types – especially when it comes to horse racing. One of those is pool betting. This is where all bets on a specific event are pooled together. When the event has concluded and bets settled, the money in the pool is then divided out between all those who chose the winning selection. Pool betting can be more beneficial than fixed odds betting when an underdog wins, but it is generally less beneficial when a favourite wins.

Pool betting in the UK is controlled by the Tote. The Tote is a pool betting company that was set up in 1928 by the UK government as a way of allowing people to legally bet on horse racing. It was run by a governmental department until 2011 when it was purchased by Betfred, who sold it on eight years later to a group of independent investors called UK Tote Group, who still run the Tote to this day.

The Tote now has several options that allow horse racing betting and to a lesser extent, football. Pool betting is the most popular, but among the other options is the placepot. With a placepot bet, you choose at least one horse in each of the first six races at any specific UK meeting. To win the placepot, a horse you’ve selected must place in each of those six races.

How to Place a Placepot Bet

There are three ways you can place a placebot bet – at a UK horse racing meeting, at most UK betting shops, and online at the Tote betting site. For our example, we are going to be placing our placebot bet online.

Head to the Tote betting site, sign in (or create an account of you don’t have one) and select bet types > Placepot. The following options will then be shown:

placepot 1

You must select a meeting at which you will be placing your placepot bet. The amount of money on the right-hand side of the screen is the money currently available in the placepot to win

Once you have selected your meeting, the six legs of the placepot will be shown to you:

placepot 2

Go through each leg and select a horse you think will at least place. The number of places (usually between two and four) will be indicated via the information for each race.

placepot 3

Once you have selected at least one selection in each race, the placepot bet will be added to your betslip. Set your stake and then hit the ‘Place Bet’ button. The minimum stake per entry, or line, is 10p, although the minimum overall stake must is £1.

Note that if you select more than one horse for any race, then all possible placepots will be placed. For example, if you select two horses for one race, then that is two possible placepot bets of two selections each. If you select two horses for two races, then that is four possible placepot bets, and so on.

When you place your bet for a placepot bet you will notice that potential winnings are not indicated. This is because every winning placepot entry becomes a winning dividend. The placepot prize pool is divided between all entrants with a winning dividend.

In addition, as it is possible for multiple horses to place in a race, it is possible for different placepot bets to earn winning dividends, even when placed by the same bettor.

What is a Tote Placepot Bet?

A Tote placepot bet is available at most selected UK and Ireland horse racing meetings via the Tote at the racecourse, at a bookies or online via the Tote site.

The aim of winning the Tote placepot is to select a placed horse in each of the first six races at the meeting. You can make as many Tote placepot bets as you wish, and even on the same meeting with different horses.

All monies bet on the Tote placepot are pooled and shared out between those with winning Tote placebot entries, depending upon their stake. For example, someone who placed a £1 placepot will receive four times the amount of someone who placed a 25p placepot bet.

All winning dividends have a deduction to allow the Tote to function, remain in business and even return a profit. The deduction of the placebot pool is currently 27 percent for UK meetings, and 30 percent for Ireland.

Calculating Placepot Payouts

Using any kind of placepot bet calculator is not possible when you place your placepot bet, as the size of the overall pool cannot be determined until the first race of the specific meeting is under starters orders. It is possible though to use a placepot bet calculator once the size of the winning dividend has been determined.

Say, for example, the placepot is paying £500 for a £1 stake. You have ten lines of 10p each in your placepot, and six of those are winning lines.

The first step is to divide the placepot by the size of your stake based on £1. As 10p is one-tenth of £1, then you need to divide the winning dividend by ten, which is £50.

The second step is to multiply this by the number of winning lines you have. In this case this is six, so your overall winning placepot haul is six times £500, so £3,000. All this will be worked out by the Tote automatically, and your winnings paid immediately if you placed your bet online (else, collect your winnings from the Tote section at the racecourse, or via your bookies).

You do not need to worry about the dividend reduction for your placebot bet calculator efforts. The dividend is reduced before the winning dividend amounts are revealed.

As winning dividends cannot be pre-determined, we are unable to offer a placepot bet calculator. However, we have plenty of other bet calculators for you to use.

Strategies for Placepot Bets

Many people place their placepot bets in the same way that they select lottery numbers – completely at random. The Tote betting site itself even has the option of picking horses at random if that makes life easier, however, it is probably better if you follow a placepot bet strategy if you want more chance of success than ‘random’. Here are three popular placepot bet strategies.

Strategy 1: Betting on the Banker

There’s a reason that every race has a favourite, and that’s because favourites place more often than they don’t. Remember with a placepot bet you are just betting on horses to place – the odds are completely immaterial. Therefore, it may be the easiest and most successful placepot bet to pick the favourite for each race. The downside to this is that a lot of people will do exactly the same, so winning dividends may end up quite small.

Strategy 2: Not Betting on the Banker!

You will likely get higher dividends if you don’t bet on the favourite for every race. For some races, if the favourite is not an out-and-out favourite, it may be a better bet (literally) to back the second favourite or even third. Also, look for horses that frequently place, but do not win that often. Take note of the number of places in the race. It’s not really worth a punt on a long shot if there are only two places for the race.

Strategy 3: Make with the Multiples

If a race has a number of places available (say three or four) then it may be worth your while backing more than one horse in that race. The beauty of a placepot bet is that you can still win even if you back different horses in a race. For example, you can gain four winning dividends if you back four horses in a race with four places and all four place. You are also covering yourself should only two or three of your horses place. Look for races with no out-and-out favourite too and plenty of places – backing multiple lines could lead to multiple wins!

Pros & Cons of Placepot Bets

So, now you have heard all about placepot bets and know where to place one, you may be eager to get started … but what are the best and worst things about placepot bets that you need to know? We have selected the main pros and cons of the placepot bet, and you’ll find them listed below:

  • High potential wins for small stakes
  • You can study the form, or you can just trust to luck!
  • No need to worry about odds, as prices are not a factor
  • Only available on horse racing
  • No idea of potential winnings – cannot be predetermined
  • Low dividends if all the favourites place

Where Can I Place a Placepot Bet

Placepot is run by the Tote. If you want to know how to bet on Tote placepot bets, then you can do this one of three ways – at the Tote booth or section at a UK racecourse, via most real-world betting shops in the UK, or at the Tote betting website.

Some betting websites may have their own version of the Tote placepot or something similar – just known by a different name (and nothing to do with the Tote). It will be based on fixed odds though, as the placebot bet is a pool bet, and not a fixed odds bet.

If you want to examine your horse racing betting options at the best UK online betting sites, then take a look at out guide to the best betting sites in the UK.

Wrapping Up

Pool betting is one option that is an alternative to fixed odds betting. One popular bet when it comes to pool betting is the placepot – a bet on six horses in six different races at the same meeting all finishing in the assigned places. You can bet on a line for as little as 10p with a placepot bet, although your minimum overall bet must be £1.

Now you know what is a placepot bet, and more specifically what is a placepot bet in horse racing, why not place a placepot bet online at the Tote website? Just follow the placepot bet rules, make your six (or more) selections, and then hope you earn at least one winning dividend!


What is a placepot bet?

Can I place a placepot bet in horse racing?

How does a placepot bet work?

What’s the best way how to bet on Tote placepot bets?

How do you use a placepot bet calculator?

How much is a placepot bet?

Peter Addison
Peter Addison
Peter Addison

Peter joined the team in 2023, having previously worked for many high-profile gambling-related sites such as RightCasino, JustSlots, WhichBingo and An experienced head when it comes to all aspects of iGaming, Peter is a fanatic fan of sport, including football and US sports such as baseball and American football. He is also a multi-published fiction writer, although sadly, not a wealthy one.