Place Bet

A place bet is a type of wager in which you pick a horse to be placed within the race. Place betting is a good betting strategy to hedge risk for a runner.

Backing a horse to win outright is a difficult task. Backing a horse to finish in the top few positions seems a little easier though, right? Well, with a place bet, you can exactly do that.

Place betting is extremely popular among punters and there are many potential advantages that come with placing a bet of this nature. Using place bets is a good way to hedge risk in a bettor's overall strategy.

What Is a Place Bet?

A place bet is a type of pari-mutuel wager in which you pick a horse to be placed within the race. This is opposed to backing a horse to win the race outright. This usually means that your horse needs to finish either first, second, or third for your bet to win.

So instead of backing a horse to win at 7/1 for example, you could decide to take reduced odds for the horse to finish in the first three positions. Each race will have different stipulations dependent on a few factors.

Place Betting Rules

  • If there are four runners or less in a race, place bets will not apply. If there are between five to seven runners in a race your horse must finish 1st or 2nd. If there are eight or more runners in a race your horse will need to finish 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.
  • The minimum stake for a place bet is £2
  • If there are not enough runners in a race the place markets will not be running. There need to be at least 5 runners in a race for these markets to run.
  • The odds in theory are calculated based on the chances of the horse finishing in the top few positions. Exactly as they would be for an outright win bet. Because this is tote betting however your odds will also depend on how much money is in the pot and how many people have backed the same horse.

Place Bet Example

Imagine a horse is 7.0 to win the race outright. This horse is in good form and you believe there is a significant chance of him being at the front but you are not totally sure the horse can actually win. The odds for him to finish in the top three are 3.0. You decide to go ahead and use a place bet on this race.

If the horse finishes either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, your bet would be winning. Meaning that if you placed $10 at 3.0 you would receive $30.

Pros & Cons of Place Bets


  • There is more chance to make money as the horse you have backed only needs to finish in the top few positions.
  • Placed bets make outsider bets a lot more attractive.
  • A great bet for races with a lot of runners.


  • With placed betting, you need to have a higher conversion rate of successful bets.
  • The odds available will not be as high as an outright win bet.
  • Odds will be very small for the favorite in the race.

Is a place bet the same as an Each-way bet?

Place bets are different from each-way bets. An Each Way bet consists of two different bets, a win bet and a place bet, bundled together. Therefore dependent on the outcome of the race it is possible that:

  • both bets get paid out,
  • only one bet gets paid out, or
  • none of the bets get paid out.

When you are wagering a place bet, you are only betting on the place market. If the horse finishes in the top few predetermined positions the bet will be a winning one.

Place Betting FAQ

Our answers to common questions bettors have about place bets.

How many places does a Tote Place bet pay?

This is determined by how many runners there are in an individual race.

If there are between 5 and 7 runners, your horse must finish 1st or 2nd for your bet to place. If there are over 8 runners the top 3 places will be paid.

How to wager place bets?

To wager a place bet what you need to do is select the event you want to place a bet in, then select your horse, then select the option 'place bet'.

After doing this it will appear in your bet slip. Then you can add your stake to the selection.

Are place bets worth it?

Place bets are worth it if you fancy a particular horse to do well in a race. A place bet means that you are giving your selection more chances of winning.

This can work for both outsider and heavy favorites. If you fancy an outsider the odds for them to finish in the top few positions might be attractive to you. Alternatively, if you think a favorite is likely to win the race you can give your selection extra security by wagering a place bet.

What odds do place bets tend to have?

In all instances, the odds of place bets will be much less than win bets since the likelihood of your bet being successful is much higher.

By how much a place bet's odds will be worse than the equivalent win bet will depend on the pool of bets.

What is a place bet in horse racing?

A place bet is when you back a horse to finish in the top few positions in a race.

If there are 4 or fewer runners in a race, the place bet market will not be open. If there are between 5 and 7 runners in a race 1st and 2nd will be paid. If there are 8 runners or more. The top 3 positions will be paid.

What is a place only bet?

A place only bet is when you bet on a horse to finish in the top few positions in a race.

Unlike a 'Win Bet' you are not only paid if your horse wins outright, you will also be paid if your horse finishes in the top few predetermined positions.

Place betting is a great option for many punters. Instead of backing a horse to win the race outright, there is an option to make our bets more secure and still make money if the horse finishes 2nd or 3rd. Different strategies can apply to placed betting and many people seek to make a consistent profit with this type of bet.