Cheltenham Festival tips – What is a Placepot?

Placepot Slips Tote

A picture of the Placepot slips you can find with your highstreet bookmaker.

2022 Cheltenham Festival Placepot Tips

We talk you through the ins and out of a placepot bet, and how they could be used during the 2022 Cheltenham Festival which starts on Tuesday 15th March.

One of the most popular bets during the Cheltenham Festival is the Placepot. A Placepot is a bet that can often pay out a decent return for relatively little outlay if punters are successful in their predictions.

The Placepot is a multiple bet. Unlike other multiples, such as Yankees or Lucky 31s, where returns are based on fractional odds and are dependent on horses winning or placing according to the type of bet places – win or each-way – the Placepot offers a pools-based return based on the overall number of winning bets that are entitled to a share of the total in the ‘pot’.


The best place to do your placepot betting is with the new and improved Tote. Follow this link and see how you can get a £10 risk-free first bet when you sign up today.

All UK and Irish meetings carry a Placepot pool and you can find Cheltenham Festival tips and free bets for placepots on our website.

Just remember to mark the card with the name of the meeting to be played in order for your Cheltenham Festival placepot tips to come through!


Each meeting carries its’ own Placepot pool, the more popular the meetings then the bigger the potential winning pool is likely to be. The Placepot typically involves the first six races on the racecard, although in some circumstances such as if the first race is a walkover then the Placepot might start from the second race. If you were to submit a Placepot bet on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival, then the National Hunt Chase would be missed out.

The bet lives or dies by the number of runners in the race and the type of race; these determine the number of places for the race that a Placepot player’s selection must finish within to keep the bet running.

In races where there are 4 runners or less, players must select the winner of the race in question;

Where there are 5,6 or 7 runners, players must select either the winner of the race or the runner-up;

In races where there 8 runners or more – like the Cheltenham Gold Cup – players must select the winner, runner-up or third-placed horse, although if the race is a handicap with a big field of 16 or more runners then the fourth-placed horse also qualifies.

Note that even though a bookmaker, Betfred for example, might offer extra places in big fields that extend to five or six places, these are for each-way bets and aren’t applicable to the Placepot where the maximum number of places is restricted to four places regardless of the size of the Cheltenham Festival placepot tips field.

Al Boum Photo Gold Cup Cheltenham Festival

Two-time Gold Cup winner, Al Boum Photo will be a popular Placepot pick.


Betting and staking on the Tote Placepot might seem daunting and confusing to novice players, but it is actually quite easy to work out. There’s no limit that can be picked per race, but for each selection be aware the stakes will accumulate into a not-insignificant sum or and/or lower the potential unit stake available which could curtail potential winnings.

For example, taking two selections in each of the six available races on a Placepot for day one of the Cheltenham Festival would return as 64 bets. At £1 unit stakes, this would set the customer back £64.

To work out how many bets in total in your Cheltenham Festival placepot tips, simply multiply each number by the next in line; a typical dual-selection Placepot might be written 2x2x2x2x2x2 which is worked out as:

2×2 =4 x2=8 x2=16 x2=32 x2=64

In big handicaps like the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham, you may wish to select three horses. Three selections per race would increase to £729 for £1 unit stakes. Many Placepots have a mixture of one, two or three selections depending on the size of the fields.

A typical Placepot might look like: 2x1x2x1x3x2 which would equate to 24 bets or ‘lines’. Unit stakes can be as low as 10p per bet, although a minimum total bet of £1 must be staked for the bet to be valid and enter the pool.


The Placepot is a pools-based bet. This means that every placepot bet that is played goes into an accumulative pool from which winnings are derived. The more bets placed into the pool then the potential for big returns increases.

With many punters following the same Cheltenham Festival tips and betting on the same horses, there’s a very strong chance you won’t be the only Placepot winner on any given day.

The final winning return is calculated net of the operator’s cut of the pot and is determined by a number of factors, such as the amount of winning tickets, the frequency of specific selections, and the number of favorites who make the frame in their races.

The key to big wins in the Cheltenham Festival placepot tips is to hope that favorites run badly and don’t feature in the places; the more favorites that don’t make the frame, then the bigger the potential for a good return. All dividends are returned to £1 stake, but actual returns received by the winning customer will be dependent on their own unit stake. So, if Ballymore favorite Envoi Allen flops and he’s not on your placepot, you’ll be looking at a much more significant payout.

Let’s say a customer has a winning Tote Placepot comprising of 8 ‘lines’ and unit stakes of 20p per line. The total Placepot dividend declared is £212.60 after the operator’s deductions. The customer would receive a total return of 1.6 times the value of the pot (8x 0.20p) or £340.16.

If you really want to bet on a hot favorite at the Cheltenham Festival, free bet offers and price boosts will be readily staged around the more fancied horses.


Syndicates can offer greater chances of winning the Placepot as players can pool together their funds which can allow greater unit stakes and more selections per race. However, while playing as a syndicate might improve chances of landing the Placepot on Cheltenham Festival Day two, the actual dividend might be lower as the returns would be shared amongst all the members.

Playing the Placepot with a couple of friends while at the racing or watching in a pub can be good fun though, and quite exciting, especially when winning legs are ticked off!

Tiger Roll Cross Country

It may not be a profitable idea to include Tiger Roll in your placepot.


The Placepot can be a profitable alternative to more common Cheltenham Festival tips like multiple bets, but its’ success lies in trying to outsmart other players. Favorites generally are to be avoided in favor of horses that might hold solid chances of running into a place but lurk further down the betting.

There are some instances, though, that taking a favorite in the Cheltenham Festival placepot tips is unavoidable, such as in a win-only race where the favorite is long odds-on and unlikely to be beaten. Or maybe in the Cross Country Chase, where Tiger Roll will bid to win his fifth Cheltenham Festival title.

Remember, the more favourites that make the places then the greater the likelihood of a higher number of winning tickets. Conversely, the fewer favorites that make the frame then the potential for a bigger return increases.

It’s wise to try to balance the number of selections with the number of places. Big-field handicaps like the County Hurdle, with 16 runners or more might be worth taking an extra pick, given there are four places on offer for example.

However, always keep an eye on the number of potential lines selected and weighed against the unit stake for the bet. Having too many lines in play can also diminish the potential payout, especially if the pool dividend returns relatively low.


In the event of a non-runner in a Placepot, that selection is replaced automatically by the SP favorite for the race. However, if there are joint or co-favorites at the off – like we could get in this year’s Champion Chase – then the horse carrying the lowest racecard number becomes the default selection.

This is also the case where the customer selects an unnamed favorite as part of the permutation.

In the event of a dead-heat, then all the horses involved in the dead-heat qualify as being placed although the pot can be affected as a consequence due to the amount of potential winning tickets increasing.

For example, there are only eight runners in this year’s Arkle and there is a dead-heat for second place. The winner, along with the horses that dead-heat for the second place fill both the runner-up and third spot. If the dead-heat occurred for third-place, then there is a rare exception in that both horses are allowed to claim third so the bet continues to the next leg.


In the build-up to Cheltenham, keep an eye on the Cheltenham Festival previews section on our website, as we will be publishing our Placepot selections for all four days of the 2022 meeting.