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A day at the races is great, as is a day sat in front of the television watching every televised race from around the country. And, of course, if you are either at the races watching every race at the meeting, or watching every race from around the country on TV, it stands to reason that you will want to have some kind of interest throughout the entire card. Naturally, you will probably have a bet on every race if you are at the racecourse, and you might have a bet on the majority of the televised races, but sometimes you might just not like the value on offer, or you might not be able to split some of the runners. In those cases, that is when a placepot can come in handy.
Essentially, to win a placepot you have to pick a horse in each race that will finish in the places. So if you have a horse you like in every race, you can put them into your placepot and if they all place, you win your share of the dividend. The placepot is run over the first six races of any meeting in the UK.
Ah, the dividend – the fun of tote/pool betting the world over. To keep it simple, every bet placed on a placepot goes into a pool, and then the dividend is calculated by how many winners there are, a bit like the lottery. Again, to keep it simple, let’s say £100 was placed on placepot bets around the country, and you were one of two lucky winners. The dividend would be £50 to the pound, so if you bet £1 on it, you would get £50. If you bet 50 pence on it, you would get £25. It is, of course, an oversimplified look at how the placepot works, but it works along those lines.
Another thing worth noting when you put a placepot is that you can have more than one selection per race, and it allows you to ‘perm’ your bet. So, if you are unable to choose between two horses in one race (or more races), you can put them both into your selection. If you only have one race where you have two selections instead of one, which would count as two separate bets. It gets a bit more complicated once you start adding more selections, but the simple way of doing it is to multiply the number of selections in each race together. For example, you might have 3 selections in the first race, two in the third race and one in the rest – that would be 6 bets (3x1x2x1x1x1), and if you wanted to place £1 on each line, the total amount would be £6. Of course, if all three selections place in the first and both place in the third, along with the others, you win the dividend six times. If two placed in the first and both placed in the third, you win it four times and so on.
The placepot is a fun bet, and it can pay out big for a small investment. If even one favourite is unplaced, the placepot dividend can grow quite a bit purely because so many people would be putting the favourites in. So, the more outsiders that get in the places, the better the dividend, in theory, because fewer people will have picked the outsiders to place. So make your selections carefully, and maybe bear that in mind the next time you think about putting a placepot on – try and avoid the popular selections and you might just hit it big!