Place Betting Explained

Place-only betting in horse racing is a type of wager where you bet on a horse to finish in either first, second, third or fourth place. This type of bet is popular among bettors who prefer a higher probability of winning compared to a win bet, where the horse must finish first. Place-only bets provide a greater chance of success since the horse only needs to finish in the top two, three or four, regardless of the order.

On the betting exchanges like Betfair or Betdaq, you also get ‘extra place markets’. So in a 9 runner race paying out normally on three places you will be offered a 4th place payout. The odds for place-only bets are typically lower than those for win bets since the chances of winning are higher.

If your selected horse finishes in the place, your bet is considered a winning bet, and you will be paid based on the place odds. Generally, the payout will be a fraction of the win odds, with the exact amount varying depending on the number of horses running in the race. The place odds are determined by the betting market and may change up until the start of the race.

It’s important to note that if your selected horse finishes first, you will still receive the place payout but not the additional payout for winning. Similarly, if your horse finishes out of the placings for that race, you will lose the bet.

Place-only betting can be a strategic choice for bettors who believe that a particular horse has a strong chance of finishing in what is called ‘the frame’, but may not necessarily win the race. It offers a more conservative approach compared to win betting but still provides the opportunity for a profit.

In British horse racing, the placing system, also known as the finishing positions, is determined by the number of runners in a race. The placing system typically applies to flat races, which are races run on a level track without obstacles such as hurdles or fences. The number of runners in a race can vary, but the most common number of places awarded is based on the number of runners.

Here’s a breakdown of the placing system based on the number of race runners:

1. 2-4 Runners: In races with only two runners, there are generally no place positions. In races of 3-4 runners either Betdaq or Betfair will offer 1 or 2 places in such races. Betdaq is known to offer three places in 4 runner races.
2. 5-7 Runners: In races with five to seven runners, the standard placing system usually awards places for the first two finishers. This means the top two horses to cross the finish line are considered placed. Betting exchanges will offer an extra place market in these races.

3. 8+ Runners: In races with eight or more runners, the placing system often extends the number of places awarded. The most common placing system in these races is to award places for the first three finishers. This means the top three horses to cross the finish line are considered placed and an extra place is offered by both Betdaq and Betfair.

4. 16+ runners in handicaps only: These races have four places offered and Betfair and Betdaq will offer the 5th extra place on these races.
It’s worth noting that the placing system may vary depending on the specific race or competition. Some races, particularly high-profile events or handicaps, may offer additional places, such as the first five finishers, to provide more opportunities for bettors to win.