How to win a Placepot
How to win a Placepot, but more to the point how to hit the big Placepot dividends and ensure it is a profitable long term bet. In this post, I’ll look at a 3 step strategy for winning money on the Placepot.
What is a Placepot?
First off, the Placepot is a pool bet. The Tote who operate the bet take a cut of the total pool, i.e. the money staked into the pot. The remaining pool is divided between the winners.
The Tote’s takeout on the Placepot is a whopping 27%. Think of it in terms of for every £1 you stake into the pot, The Tote take 27p and the remaining 73p lands in the pool. Straight away you are on the back foot. To make the Placepot a winning bet over the long term you need to be consistently smarter than the opposition – the other people betting into the pool.
Who contributes to the placepot pool?
You need to understand some of the types of punters who are betting on Tote Placepots and who make up a proportion of the pool.
- Betting shop regulars
- People attending the racetrack
- People who want a small outlay interest in every race.
As groups, and without wanting to be too impolite, none of these groups is the sharpest bettors. Some are recreational bettors. If you look at their motives for placing the bet then you can see why.
1 - Betting shop regulars
It’s a bet they’ve done for years, they do it every day. Their motive is driven by habit, not by finding a value betting proposition.
2 - people attending the racetrack
It is a social occasion and often a social bet, someones doing a Placepot bet so others participate.
3 - People who want a small outlay interest in every race
The Tote Placepot bet is a (relatively) cheap way to have a potential interest in every race. Particularly on Saturdays when there is terrestrial TV coverage. That’s fine, you need to be selective to win at betting, this is the complete opposite. It’s also attractive because a small stake can return a potentially large Placepot dividend.
Good news, if you’re approaching the Placepot as a value betting proposition, these are just the type of people you want building up a good proportion of the Placepot pool.
With a well thought out and implemented Placepot strategy, do you think you could make better selections than these groups?
How to win - a 3 Step Placepot Strategy
Step 1 - be against the popular opinion
First off, you must look to be against the popular opinion. Favourites in a race are usually favourite because they are popular selections and weight of money affords them the position at the head of the betting market.
In the 3 groups mentioned above, how much study has gone into the selection process and how many have just opted for the favourite because the market suggests it has the best chance of winning?
The Tote even encourages people to select the favourite. On their standard Tote Placepot betting slip, there is the option to select the “favourite” rather than an actual horse. How easy is that? The thing is you may not even know what your actual selection is until the off of a race as the betting odds will fluctuate before the race and the favourite can change.
In the case where joint, or co-favourites are returned, your Placepot selection is the lowest racecard number.
Furthermore, and I’ll cover this in a little more detail shortly. If your selection in a race ends up a non-runner, then the rules of the Tote Placepot bet means your selection is now the returned favourite.
Summarising, wherever possible avoid selecting favourites in your Placepot bet. Because of the conditions detailed above, the weight of money on the favourite is disproportionate to its true chance of winning (or being placed) in a race. You’re getting a negative expected value about your selection which compounds over 6 races.
Step 2 - make non-runners work in your favour
We know that when Placepot selections are non-runners, the selection becomes whatever the favourite is.
If you are aware that your selection is a non-runner before you place the bet then you can change the selection. Waiting until as late as possible before the start of the race is an opportunity. Late non-runners, in particular, mean the favourites are over-bet.
If you consider the betting shop customer group, a lot of these bets will be placed early in the day before some non-runners may be declared. Most betting shop staff will inform you at bet placement if you’ve got a non-runner, it’s usually followed by “do you want it to go on the favourite”?. A majority just say yes, and the bet is struck. It’s easier for the customer than the other option, which is completing the bet slip from scratch again.
step 3 - changes in the racecourse going
So we are looking for the situation when there are a lot of non-runners at a meeting and then avoiding making selections which are favourites.
Most often this happens when there has been a change, ideally a sudden change in the racecourse going. Trainers declare their horses 48 hours in advance for flat racing, 24 hours for jumps racing. If the racecourse going changes and changes quite drastically in that time you can end up with a big number of non-runners.
The more non-runners, the more of the pot is now running on the race favourites. This is the ideal situation to be considering placing a value bet and winning the Placepot.