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The placepot is a parimutuel betting market in horse racing that involves backing a selection of horses to place across a particular racecard. It always involves the first six races of a card, with the exception of occasions where races in the UAE can form the first couple of legs ahead of a UK fixture.
The bet is, and always has been, run by the Tote and is available on every UK racecard prior to the first race taking place. The only requirement of the bet is to choose a horse to place in all six selected races. It has historically proved popular with punters due to the potential large returns from relatively small stakes. It also gives a participant an interest across a whole card rather than one race (depending on how long they can stay in the placepot).
The punter may choose more than one horse for each race but the more horses that are selected, the more the stake multiplies. Two selections in the first race and one in the remainder would create two lines and effectively multiply the stake by two. Two selections in the first two races and one in the remainder would multiply the stake by four. To pick two horses in all the races would multiply a stake by 64, so the amount wagered can escalate quickly if a punter attempts to cover too much of the field.
However, if more than one horse places in a race, then returns will also be multiplied. Some of the most successful placepot punters have won vast sums with small stakes. When the record Cheltenham placepot of £91,774.50 (to a £1 stake) was partially won by a betting shop punter, he/she received £9,174.45 from two 5p lines. Not a bad return from 10 pence. A placepot this size isn’t the norm but they do regularly pay out over £100 to a £1 stake.
The placepot can be put on directly with the Tote or through most bookmakers. If one is unlucky enough not to place a horse in either of the first races, then the Tote Quadpot offers them a similar proposition. This is a separate pot that just includes races 3-6 and works with the same principles. The Tote Jackpot works like the placepot in that it involves the first six races of the card but this requires participants to select the winner in all of the first six races.