The Placepot is a very popular bet for many a punter as you can win big for sometimes a very small outlay, at least 1 placepot every day usually pays £100+, and quite often they pay £500+.

There are also times where they pay over £1,000 and on the rare occasion the placepot has been known to pay over £10,000, all placepot dividends are calculated to a £1 stake

Big recent Placepot returns -

1st January - Musselburgh - £103.80 with 5 favourites placed

1st January - Fakenham - £657.50 with 2 favourites placed

2nd January - Lingfield - £1,063.50 with 3 favourites placed

2nd January - Wolverhampton - £150.40 with 5 favourites placed

2nd January - Kempton - £332.00 with 3 favourites placed

3rd January - Wolverhampton - £712.50 with 3 favourites placed

The Placepot is a bet where you have to pick a placed horse in the first 6 races at any meeting, the selections must be at the same meeting, although on occasions races 2-7 are used if the first race is a specialised race like a charity race, the racecard for that days meeting will tell you if it is.

Sometimes you might have to pick the winner of the race depending on how many horses actually start the race.

If there are 2, 3 or 4 runners then you have to pick the winner.

If there are 5, 6 or 7 runners then either first or second need to be selected.

If there are 8 or more runners then it's the first, second and third that you need to concentrate on, unless the race is a handicap with 16 or more runners where the first, second, third and fourth will do.

Avoiding the favourites

The more favourites that are placed, the less the placepot pays so please bear this is mind when looking at your selections, although on some rare occasions a placepot has paid in excess of £50 with all 6 favourites placed but they are very rare.

Usually if all 6 favourites are placed the dividend will almost always pay less than £20 and in most cases it pays less than £10.

Picking non runners

If you are placing the placepot online and a horse is a non runner then it will automatically erase that horse from the race but when placing in a bookies you can actually still pick a non runner, although some staff will inform you that you have picked a non runner and if you want to you can change your selection.

If you are unlucky and your chosen horse becomes a non runner after your bet has been placed then you will always revert to the SP favourite in the race, if there are more than 1 favourite (Joint Fav's or Co Fav's) then you will have the horse with the lowest racecard number (The horse nearest to the top of the weights), so if you have a non runner and horses 3, 5 & 8 are all co fav's in the race then you will have number 3 running as your selection.

The same thing happens as above if you decide to choose the unnamed favourite as your selection in the race.

How should i pick my selections

Through my own experience quite a lot of horses with good course experience or good runs over that race distance quite often fill the placed positions, so you should always look at those horses, although on some occasions you might get a complete outsider winning the race.

Another thing to look at when choosing your horses are trainers that have hit a bit of form, and quite often trainers with more than 1 entry in the race are likely contenders to grab a place.

Horses that are well handicapped or trying a new trip for the first time can also be positive horses to pick for the places.

What type of bet should i do

As i said earlier, all placepots are declared to a £1 unit stake and i know a lot of people who just pick 1 horse in each race and do the bet for £1, but like me i know others who do perm bets, where you pick more than 1 horse in certain races.

A perm can cost you a lot of money, but also increases your chances of winning and more often than not you get a better run for your money, imagine having 1 horse in every race and noticing that the first 4 races all had about 14 runners in them, the chances of getting through to race 5 are very slim but if you had 2 horses in each race then your chances or greatly increased.

Some people i know pick every horse in a race where you have to select the winner only, these are races with 2, 3 or 4 runners, if you imagine that the first race at the meeting is a 4 runner race and you have selected all 4 horses, thus meaning you are guaranteed to get through this race, realistically you want the 3rd fav or outsider of the field to win to increase the chances of a greater payout.

In more that 50% of meetings, the favourite in the first race has the most money on it and if it were a 4 horse race then it's very possible that the favourite could have 50% of the total amount riding on it, if that horse loses then the pool has lost half of it's pot after only 1 race.

When i do placepot perms, i would normally pick the fav and 2nd fav if there are 3 or 4 runners in the race, if the race has 5, 6 or 7 runners and the fav is very short i would normally put that horse as a banker thinking it's unlikely to finish outside the first 2, the same with a race with between 8 & 10 runners.

Race with more than 10 runners will normally always get 2 selections in them, on some occasions they would get 3 and any handicap with 16 or more runners will always get 3 selections and on some occasions depending on the amount of runners 4 selections will be used.

Meetings like Royal Ascot & The Cheltenham Festival i would normally only have 1 banker per day and at least 2 horses in every other race, although some races would have 3 or even 4 selections them, especially the big handicaps as they normally have a lot of runners with plenty of fancied horses.

An example of this would be 2012's 2nd day of the Festival (Wednesday)

Race 1 = Non Handicap chase with about 20 runners = 3 places

Race 2 = Novices Hurdle with at least 12 runners = 3 places

Race 3 = Novices Chase with at least 12 runners = 3 places

Race 4 = Non Handicap Chase with about 10 runners = 3 places

Race 5 = Handicap Hurdle with about 24 runners = 4 places

Race 6 = Handicap Hurdle with about 24 runners = 4 places

For this meeting i would have picked 3 horses for the first race, 2 for race 2, 2 for race 3, a banker for race 4, 3 for race 5 and 3 for race 6, this would mean a total of 108 bets and would work out as follows

3 x 2 x 2 x 1 x 3 x 3 = 108 bets, and i would have used 20p unit stakes, so my total stake would have been £21.60, at first glance you might think that's a massive amount of money for 1 bet, but it's not 1 bet, it's 108 separate bets.

Placed horses

You don't get any extra for picking a winner and picking 6 winners doesn't mean you will receive anything extra either, for every horse placed, simply multiply each number to work out how many winning lines you have.

As my bet was 3 x 2 x 2 x 1 x 3 x 3 = 108 bets, and the following horses were placed -
2 in the first race, 1 in the second race, 1 on the third race, 1 in the 4th race, 2 in the 5th race and all 3 placed in race 6, then i would have had 12 winning lines, like this - 2 x 1 x 1 x 1 x 2 x 3, that works out as 12 winning bets and as my unit stake was 20p, this means i have 12 winning lines @ 20p = £2.40 worth of winning bets and as the payout is declared for £1 stake it's quite easy to work out your winnings.

If the placepot paid £140 and i had it for £2.40 then my returns would be £140 for each £1, so that's £280 plus 40p worth of £140 which equals £56, so in total my returns would have been £336 from my winning bet.

How to work out my winnings

The tote (Betfred now) take 28% from the total pool to cover costs and the remaining 72% is paid out, you can see online or sometimes on bbc teletext how much money is on each horse for each race and you can actually work out how much you are possibly going to win before race 6 is run by working out the figures available.

An example of a race 6 with 6 runners could be -

Total Pool = £100,000

Horse 1 - £2,500

Horse 2 - £1,500

Horse 3 - £1,000

Horse 4 - £500

Horse 5 - £1,000

Horse 6 - £100

fav - £7,500

If horse number 1 is the favourite for the race, then we can see that a total of £10,000 is running on that horse, £2,500 on horse number 1 and £7,500 and the unnamed favourite and with 2 places available you want the favourite unplaced in order to get a decent payout.

The race is run and Horse 4 wins the race, with horse 6 finishing 2nd, looking at the totals we can see that horse 4 had £500 running on it and horse 6 had £100 running on it, so the total winning tickets getting through the 6 races is 600, now with the pot holding £100,000 we can take out the 28% for the costs which leaves a prize fund of £72,000, this total gets divided by the amount of winning tickets to reveal how much the placepot pays -

£72,000 divided by £600 means the winning dividend is £120, so if you had winning tickets worth 50p you would have won £60.

Good luck if you have never done a placepot before and if you have any questions then please leave them below