Horse Racing

Tote Betting Guide for the Cheltenham Festival


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Tote Placepot

The Tote will provide plenty of ways to bet over the four days of the festival including a number of ‘ exotic ‘ possibilities including the likes of Exactas, Trifectas and a possible Scoop6 on each day. But the most popular of all will almost certainly be the Placepot with daily pools likely to reach the one million pound mark and the potential of a massive return without having to pick a winner.

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What Is The Tote Placepot?

The Placepot covers the first 6 races at each meeting and the aim is to select a horse to be placed in each leg. How many placings are available depend on the amount of runners in each race, which currently stands as follows:

  • Less than 5 runners – win only
  • 5 to 7 runners – 1.2.
  • 8 or more runners – 1.2.3.
  • 16 or more runners in a handicap – 1.2.3.4.

In same same way as the National Lottery the amount of winning units (declared to one pound) will be divided into the final pool size, after deductions. Should all races include the six favourites the dividend is likely to be quite modest – in the region of between 10 and 30 pound – but a few surprise results may see a return well into the thousands, as was the case at Cheltenham’s December meeting in 2015 which produces a record dividend on the Friday of 91,774 pounds.

How To Win On The Tote Placepot

  1. Expecting to win a significant amount on the placepot by selecting just one horse in each race is ambitious to say the least. A reasonable perm is usually the way to go – simply multiply the number of horses in each leg to find the total cost of the perm. For example:2x2x2x2x2x2 = 64 bets. Units as small as 10p can be used so that particular perm would cost just 6.40. Manage to find two placed horses in 2 of the races and you would have the placepot up for 40p.1x1x1x1x2x2x10p = 0.40 and a return of four tenths of the declared dividend. Watch out for Cheltenham special betting offers with bookmakers as some may offer discounts of up to 20% on placepot bets.
  2. Try to pick at least one, possibly two, bankers as this gives you more scope to select more horses in the really difficult races. A perm of 1x1x2x2x3x3 = 36 bets would give you more scope for tackling the big field handicaps.
  3. Try not to be too clever by picking all outsiders. It has been known for favourites to be placed in 5 of the 6 races and a four-figure dividend returned. A balance between the two can pay handsomely on many occasions.
  4. Be aware that any non-runners will go on to the unnamed fav. In the case of joint or co favs the one with the lowest racecard number will count. This can prove lucrative when a fancied horse is a late withdrawal and the returned favourite fails to make the frame.