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The Placepot

For people who bet on horse racing, there are numerous different bets that the Bookmakers try and lure you in with. Here is a selection of them:

Computer Straight Forecast – picking two horses to finish first and second;

Tricast – picking three horses to finish first, second and third;

Double – picking two horses in separate races to win;

Treble – picking three horses in separate races to win;

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Trixie – picking three horses and combining them in four bets. Three doubles and one treble.

There are numerous others, including a bet called a Goliath that is an accumulator that involves eight selections in different races, but amounts to 247 bets in total (28 doubles, 56 trebles, 56 fivefolds, 29 sixfolds, 8 sevenfolds and one eightfold accumulator).

I have never had a ‘Goliath’ bet and never will – it is hard enough to find one winner, let alone eight!!

OK if you have at least two winners you will get some money back, but even if you have three winners all at 3/1 you would still only get back about 45% of your original stake.

To start making a profit from the bet with 3 winners you would need them all to be around the 9/2 mark.

Of course, if you hit four winners or more at these sorts of prices you are going win big. Four winners all at 9/2 will give you a profit of £1515.06 from a £247 outlay.

However, the Maths for this bet if used regularly does not stack up and I would estimate that 99% of people who use the Goliath bet lose in the long run. Many of them heavily. Of course, you can put smaller unit stakes on than a £1 to limit the initial cost of the bet but that does not change the long term prospects.

Personally, I have just three bet types I use – straight win singles, each way doubles and the Placepot (also known as the Tote Placepot).

For the rest of this article, I want to hone in on the Placepot. I have talked about the Placepot before, but it has been a while so I feel we need to revisit it.

So, what is the Placepot?

Well, the Placepot is a bet you can place at any race meeting and it works by choosing a selection or selections in the first six races of the relevant meeting. The aim is to have a selected a horse or horses to finish in the placings in each of the six races.

It is important to appreciate that the number of placings per race depends on the number of runners in the race, and in some cases whether it is handicap or a non handicap.

The finishing positions that constitute a place in any race in the Placepot are as follows:

2 to 4 runners – 1st

5 to 7 runners – 1st and 2nd

8 to 15 runners – 1st, 2nd and 3rd

Non handicap 16 or more runners – 1st, 2nd and 3rd

Handicap 16 or more runners – 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th

At this juncture it is worth noting that if a selection happens to become a non runner, then your selection in that race becomes the favourite.

It is also worth saying that you can choose the ‘favourite’ in your selection process rather than a specific horse – that is an option.

It is also important to know that if you are ‘on the favourite’, and there are joint or co favourites, then the one with the lowest race card number becomes your selection.

Now if you just select one horse in each race you will create one betting line. You can of course choose more than one horse in a race if you wish to spread the risk and that will increase the number of betting lines.

Most seasoned Placepot punters mix up the number of selections for each race to widen the net as it were.

Calculating the outlay (cost) of your Placepot bet is relatively straight-forward.

Ultimately you just need to know how many selections you have in each race to work out how many betting lines you have. To do this you need to multiply those six figures together. Hence if you choose two horses for three races and one horse for final three races you will create 8 betting lines (see below).

2x2x2x1x1x1 = 8 lines

The cost of the bet will depend on your unit stake – if your unit stake is £1 then the cost will be £8:

8 lines x £1.00 unit stake = £8.00 total stake

You can adjust this unit stake down if you wish. For example, you may want to use a unit stake of 20p instead which means the overall cost of the bet would be £1.60 (8 x 20p).

For the record the smallest unit stake you can use these days is 5p.

At this point it is worth noting that Placepot dividends are paid to the £1. Hence if the Placepot dividend is say £100, and you have one winning line with a unit stake of 20p, your dividend would be £20 (£100 divided by 5).

The upside for me about this bet is that it is a ‘pool’ bet which means you are essentially pitting your wits against other people rather than the bookmakers.

Also, a reasonable proportion of Placepot bets per day are struck at the racecourse by racegoers who are simply having a fun bet while they are having a day out. Therefore, I feel I have a big edge in terms of my betting ‘opponents’.

However, before getting too carried away, there is a big downside which is that the Tote take out 27% of the money that is put into the Placepot betting pot.

Hence if £100,000 is bet on a specific Placepot, only £73,000 of this is available to win.

Another plus for me about the Placepot is the fact that the average dividend / payout for the Placepot is around the £450 mark (for a £1 stake). So, there is the potential to win some decent money from relatively modest outlays.

Now it is true that dividends can fluctuate massively day to day. To help illustrate this let me compare Saturday 3rd June 2023 with Wednesday 7th June 2023 as an example:

As you can see Saturday 3rd June was potentially a bumper day for players of the Placepot. Six dividends / payouts in excess of £500 with one particularly nice £1676.00 return at Stratford. On the 7th June though, payouts were small by comparison, with Newbury particularly low.

Why was the Stratford payout so big?

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