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What is a Placepot Bet in Horse Racing

Horse racing is one of the most popular sports in the betting world, with some of the biggest payouts you can win as a bettor. One of the wagers you can turn into a great payday is the placepot bet. It is basically a bet where you have to choose six horses to “place”. 

What Placepot Rules You Should Know

Like all other types of wagers, a punter has to follow a set of rules when considering a placepot bet. There might be differences in how bookmakers handle these bets, but generally, the following rules apply to all placepot bets:

  • 1
    The minimum stake for a placepot bet is £0.10 (sometimes £0.05)
  • 2
    You must pick the winner/place finisher in all six races of a meet.
  • 3
    You can choose as many horses as you like per race.

In horse racing, the term “place betting” has different meanings depending on the type of bet you’re making and the race in question. A different number of runners means a different number of horses that can “place”: 

⏩ In races with four runners, only the winner “places”.

⏩ For races with 5-7 runners, a place finish is first or second.

⏩ In handicap races with 8-15 runners, a place finish is first, second or third.

⏩ Handicap races with 16+  runners, a place finish is first, second, third or fourth.

What is Placepot Bet

BMB_Question MarkIn simple horse racing betting terms, placepot is a type of pool betting that’s available for horse races in the UK and Ireland. The main appeal of placepot bets is that you can wager a small amount and play for significant returns. Practically, the mechanics of placepot are fairly simple: you choose the horse/s you think will achieve a “place” finish in the first six races on a card.

If your selections are correct, you win a share of the pot. To allow for maximum flexibility, you can choose as many or as few horses as you like. But, the important point to note here is that each additional horse you pick will increase the cost of your bet. Picking place finishers in the first six races is the most popular. However, there are other options available, such as:

Straight Lines: You choose one horse in each of the first six races of the day.
4 Bankers: Pick one horse in four races and two horses in two races.

The Pros and Cons of Placepot Betting

Are placepots for you? Here are some pros and cons to help you decide:


1. Great potential returns
2. You get to speculate on multiple races with a single bet
3. You have an interest in the action across an entire event
4. You can make small bets on multiple races
5. You can make multiple picks to improve your chances of winning


1. Your costs can spiral quickly
2. The chances of winning are low
3. There is no fixed starting price/odds
4. Poor value of hot favourites to win a race
5. Payouts can be lower than they would be with fixed odds prices

What is Quadpot

BMB_Horse_HeadIf you like the idea of placepots but feel like six races is a little too much to think about, there’s a great alternative known as the quadpot. It is similar to a placepot but, instead of covering all six races at an event, you’re betting on the third, fourth, fifth and sixth races. Naturally, you are reducing the risk since you bet two races less, but the payout would also be significantly smaller with four races instead of six. 

Where to Bet a Quadpot

How are Placepot Dividends Calculated

BMB_Implied_OddsPlacepots are non-fixed odds bets. In practice, this means the placepot dividends will be determined by the amount of money in the pool, the number of winners and how popular a horse is (i.e. how much was wagered on it).

Although you may not necessarily need to calculate a placepot dividend before you make your picks, understanding the process is essential. As we’ve said, you can choose as many horses as you like. For example, you might pick three horses in the first race, thus giving yourself three chances to hit a place finisher.

In the second race, you may pick two runners, in the third race, one, and so on. This level of flexibility is great. However, it comes at a cost. Each selection you make will change the price of your bet. Here are some practical examples:

If you stake £0.10 per horse and select two horses per race, the cost would be:
2X2X2X2X2X2X0.10 = £6.40

If you stake £0.10 per horse and vary the number of selections you make, the cost could be:
2X1X3X3X2X4X0.10 = £14.40

Placepot Dividends: How They Work

BMB_Markets GenericOnce you know how to calculate the cost of a placepot bet, the final step in the process is understanding how prices are determined. Because this is a type of pool bet, the potential returns are based on the amount of money collected. This is then split among the winners.

The actual value of each place finisher will depend on the amount of support it gets. So, if only a few people picked it to place, the money has to be split fewer ways. Therefore, the returns will be higher. The reverse is true if place finishers are popular.

To make things fair, the prize pool is shared among the winners in accordance with how much they staked, i.e. how many picks/lines per race. So, if you wager more (i.e. contribute more to the pot), your returns will be better.

If you’re new to betting, you can use an online placepot calculator. This software is a great way to familiarise yourself with the process and get an idea of your potential costs/returns before you make a bet.

Alternative Pool Bets Online

Apart from the placepot, bookmakers online provide quite a few different options when it comes to pari-mutuel bets. Among the most significant ones, you can find the Tote or the Scoop 6. If you have never heard of them before, you can check our guides below: 

What is tote betting?

How to bet on Scoop 6 races

The Best Placepot Betting Sites

BMB_TrophyPlacepot betting is an option for all the top bookmakers. The way they handle it might deviate from bookmaker to bookmaker. To make placepot bets online, let's check out what these operators have to offer: 

William Hill Placepot Betting

BMB_Number_One The William Hill placepot is part of its Tote betting service. As one of Britain’s oldest operators, William Hill is equipped to offer placepots and quadpots on all the top races in the UK and Ireland, including Royal Ascot, Cheltenham and the Guineas.

Bet365 Placepot Betting

BMB_Number_TwoPlacepot Bet365 rules are fairly standard. In the event of a non-runner, the favourite is used as a replacement. For any legs (i.e. races) where a placepot isn’t operating, only the winner will be classed as a placed horse.

Singles (one selection per race) or permutations (multiple selections per race) are permitted. The minimum total stake for singles is £1, permutations must be at least £0.10 per line (and at least £1 in total).

Betfair Placepot Betting

BMB_Number_ThreeThe minimum placepot bet at Betfair is £1, with increments starting at £0.10 per line. As with all the bookmakers covered here, the horse is deemed to have “placed” if it finishes in the following positions.

In races with 5-7 runners, Betfair only regards the first and second horses “placed”. With 8-15 runners (handicap or non-handicap), the first, second and third horses are “placed”. In a 16+ field, Betfair considers the first, second, third and fourth horses “placed”. 

Coral Placepot Betting

BMB_Number_FourAs well as matching its peers with regards to placepot and quadpot betting on British races, Coral offers an international tote service. This allows you to make placepot-type bets, such as Pick 6, on events in countries such as Australia and the US.

Full List of Placepot Betting Sites

If you are a novice and need to learn more about how to bet on horse racing online, then maybe placepot or other pool bets are too advanced for now. On the other hand, if you feel comfortable picking the top horses in multiple races, below, you can find a list with that top bookmakers offering this market. 

Q: How much can I win from a placepot?

Your earnings from a placepot can be potentially unlimited. The size of your prize will depend on the amount of money in the pot, how popular each winning horse was and the number of total winners.

Q: Where can I make a placepot bet?

Placepot betting is available at all racecourses in the UK and Ireland and numerous others throught Europe. In addition, the top bookmakers all offer placepot and quadpot market options.

Q: What happens to placepot bets in case of non-runners?

If a horse pulls out of a race after you’ve made your bet, the non-runner will be replaced with the starting price (SP) favourite. In the event there are joint SP favourites, the horse with the lowest racecard number will be used as the replacement.

Q: What are the best placepot events?

The best placepot events are major racing festivals such as the Cheltenham Festival or the Royal Ascot. These events attract large crowds, which means more people will contribute to the prize pool.

Q: Is placepot betting the same as Pick 6?

Yes. The mechanics of placepots and Pick 6 are basically the same. The only real difference is that Pick 6 is used outside of the UK in countries such as the US.

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