Tote Placepot

If you walk into any betting shop in the UK you’ll often see lots of different types of betting slips – one of this most popular has loads of boxes in a grid, much like a lottery ticket-type-thing – these are tote placepot slips and they are one of the most popular horse racing betting types in the country.

Find out more about the Tote Placepot today (sometimes just called a Placepot) – a fun bet enjoyed by many punters every day.

Tote Placepot Betting

What is a Tote Placepot?

It’s much-loved bet, placed by both amateur and professional gamblers, because it’s a means of winning a large pot of cash for a small outlay.

The bet consists of choosing horses that “place” in the first six races at a race meeting. The prize money is a pool of money made up of every bet placed on the Tote Placepot – this is then split between the lucky winners. This means the payout differs every time.

Every UK racecourse meeting will offer a placepot. This typically only covers the first 6 races of the meeting, unless they’re feeling generous and do more and minimum stake starts from 5p!

What Are The Placing in a Placepot?

Places are determined by the amount of runner in a race and are as below:

  • If > 4 runners, you must pick the winner
  • Between 5 and 7 and your horse can win or come second
  • 8+ and your horse should place first, second or third
  • 16 and over with a handicap and you’re looking at the top 4

How Much Do You Win in A Placepot?

It depends on the size of the “pool” and how many people have placed a Placepot bet. After that, 28% of the pool is scooped off by Betfred because they need to pay their staff for the admin. The other 72% is for those who win.

If you’re having trouble following, let’s use an example with actual numbers:

  • Say there’s £500k in the placepot.
  • Say there are 1,500 tickets who win
  • The payout will be £500k x 72% = £360k THEN divided by the number of winners (1,500) = £240

So, £240 goes to every £1 that placed. 5p is the absolute minimum wager you can put in the placepot. If you had 5p go in, you’d have £12. If you put a tenner in, you’d have £2,400.

Should I Just Bet On the Favourites in Placepot and be Quids in?

It’s not that simple or easy and if everyone did that, then the payout would be very low. That said, there’s an option on the Placepot betting slip to back the starting place favourite in every race.

The aim of a tote placepot isn’t to outright win the race, you just need your chosen horse to place. So, yes, although it’s very tempting to back the favourite to win or place it’s always good to identify a favourite you think is weak and won’t – and go against them. There’s a chance that favourite could fall, run below form or have an unlucky run and this would wipe out a huge part of the competition in the pool and increase the returns.

Is A Placepot Worth It?

A placepot is a good bet (if you have a good run) as you can have an interest in a lot of races. You don’t need your horse to win every race just place, so this is much more feasible than win bets. It, therefore, offers good value for punters.

How Many Horses Can I Pick In My Placepot?

You’re not limited to the number of horses you can pick per race in a Placepot. If you choose a few selections per race, the stakes will increase. To figure this out, simply take the number of selections and times it race by the number of races.

Here are some numbers to help…

2 per race – (x 2) 6 times is £64

3 per race – (x3 ) 6 times is £729

4 per race – (x4 ) 6 times is £4096

Most punters select one stake per race, nevermind 3 or more. More commonly a placepot would be 1 x 2 x 1 x 2 x 4 x 1, which is £16.

If someone is adamant about their choice or maybe there’s a favourite with a decent price in a win-only situation, they might very well just opt for the one line. But if there’s a 16 runner handicap on that same card – and it looks fairly open – it would be smart to back a few options to give yourself more of a chance.

Can I Join With Others?

Sure, and this can be fun. Pooling your money with friends and putting in a joint bet can significantly improve what you get paid at the end. Granted, though, the prize itself will be big, you’ll have to split your winnings too.

What About When There’s a Non-runner in a Placepot?

Good question. If you are betting online you won’t be able to select a non-runner and in betting a shop, ditto, it’ll be an assistant behind the counter telling you this. However, if the horse goes on to become an NR once the bet’s been placed then your stake will go toward the starting place fav. If there happens to be two of them, you’ll get the lower racecard number.

Any tips?

Gambling is, first and foremost, meant to be fun. A placepot bet can be a great way to enjoy yourself and make a decent profit. It may require you to think outside the box and ignore what you’re usually told is a good thing and not bet on the favourite. Bet on the lesser popular choices who might very well place.

Also, think about picking two runners (or more) and you’ll get something back. Especially if the races look tricky and competitive.

How to Pick My Placepot Horses?

Give yourself a good chance of choosing right by looking at the horse’s form. Pick one with consistency, one that doesn’t always win but does come in second, third or fourth. Not one that might win one day and not place at all the next, that’s too risky.

You want a consistent runner. Something reliable will bode you well with this type of bet.

A horse with a good track record of a solid performance under the same conditions is a great choice. A horse that has shown it has consistent form is a wiser pick than one that has never stepped foot on the same surface.

It’s worth having a punt on a runner that comes with a larger price tag who might outshine its odds. So check out the trainers and what record they have, any horses that are making a comeback from a break or went from a good streak into a dip and are coming back to that good form they previously showed.

History of Tote Placepot

Although not tied to one particular bookmaker, the Tote Placepot is the work of the Tote Business. They do other things, too, like a jackpot and quadpot.

The business was bought out by Betfred for a mega £265m just shy of a decade ago. It meant Betfred had sole control over operating pool bets at UK-based racecourses for 7 years, as well as the 500 Tote shops and their website (


A placepot is really fun way to bet, it is one of the most popular racing bets placed every day up and down the UK and Ireland. They offer great value for money and possible big returns.

Good luck with your placepot and remember to bet responsibly!

Which Bookmakers Do A Placepot?

These bookies all do a placepot: