Placepot gold: a how-to guide to the popular pool bet
The Placepot, a hugely popular bet that rewards punters of all stakes and sizes, really does come into its own during the big meetings, and Royal Ascot week provides bettors with a golden opportunity to win big from small outlays.
You can bet in to the pool on-course, in store, online via the Tote or your chosen bookie – but ensure you make your selections before the start of the first race to get your bets on.
In an article published in the Racing Post Guide to Betting, tipster Graeme Rodway has everything you need to know about the bet . . .
The Tote is the only bookmaker providing pool betting on racing in Britain and, while it offers traditional win, place and each-way bets, the service really comes into its own with bets that give punters the opportunity to win a large amount of money for just a small layout.
Tote Exacta (picking the first two in a race), Trifecta (first three), Jackpot/Scoop6 (picking the winner of each of the six nominated races on a single day) are good examples, but the most popular bet available at every British and Irish meeting every day – as well as massive meetings such as Royal Ascot – is the Placepot.
This bet offers the chance to win without even backing a winner. The task sounds so simple: you need to find a horse to be placed in races one to six on a racecard. However, it isn’t as easy as it looks and the average Placepot dividend is £407 to a £1 stake. If you get really lucky, the bet has the potential for a huge payout and the record dividend stands at £91,774.50 for just a quid.
You can pick more than one horse in each race and perm up selections to give yourself a better chance. The more perms you choose, the more expensive the bet will cost, but the greater the likelihood of a win.
ROYAL ASCOT 2016 – PLACEPOT DIVIDENDS
£1,219.40 to a £1 stake
Pool: £549,555.56 – 328.97 winning tickets
£165.00 to a £1 stake
Pool: £505,613.10 – 2,236.47 winning tickets
£298.60 to a £1 stake
Pool: £522,603.60 – 1277.26 winning tickets
£1,251.10 to a £1 stake
Pool: £508,784.25 – 296.86 winning tickets
£1,080.30 to a £1 stake
Pool: £533,428.56 – 360.43 winning units
If you choose two horses in every race it will equal 64 lines (2x2x2x2x2x2) but, instead, my preferred strategy is to have at least one race in which I include just one horse, the Placepot banker. That helps keep the cost of the perm down and also opens up the opportunity to include three, or even more runners, in another race in the bet.
My Placepot banker will usually be the most solid, consistent horse on the card, a horse who can be relied upon to run its race. I’ll go through the form and try to find a runner who has been placed in at least 50 per cent of its races, if not more.
Take a gamble
Beware not to play too safe, however. Small dividends are also common and if the favourite is placed in every race the bet will almost always pay less than £20, and in most cases less than £10.
Therefore, it’s worth leaving out the market leader in at least two of the races and the shorter price the favourite, the better. I’ll often look for races in which the favourite is forecast to go off at shorter than 2-1 and then include two or maybe three against the market leader, in the hope it is unplaced, thus bolstering the dividend.
Royal Ascot Placepot trends
Day one dividends in last five years (£1 unit)
Five-year mean average: £606.30
And remember, if you go out in one of the first two races, you can always play the same selections in the Quadpot. That is the Placepot’s consolation bet and operates in exactly the same way, but instead starts at race three and requires you to select a horse to be placed in races three to six on the card.
James Pyman's Placepot hints on day one
Ribchester (leg 1) and Churchill (leg 4) will be in many perms. Their fate could determine whether the dividend is modest or monster. The race to bank in will be the St James’s Palace, should all eight stand their ground.
Four of the six legs (1, 2, 3, 6) are non-handicap races with big fields. This cranks up the difficulty factor – to negotiate each you need to successfully select a top-three finisher. The sting in the tail today is the Listed Windsor Castle featuring 24 runners. Last season’s running was fiendishly difficult to predict with the first three returning SPs of 20-1, 100-1 and 14-1.
Playing the percentages
If you like to be led by stats, the following could be Placepot-friendly horses. Having run at least ten times previously, they have won or been placed in more than three-quarters of their career races: leg 1 Ribchester (10 times from 11 races, but disqualified when second in France), Mutakayyef (13 from 15), leg 3 Marsha (10 from 12), leg 5 Beyond Conceit (13 from 17).