Choosing the right Tote bet

As discussed in the Creating Perm Bets guide, the decisions punters employ when constructing their bets are very important factors when it comes to wagering on any given bet type. With no individual pool data available before all bets are struck (the outright pool is displayed) it can be hard to gain a clear edge, but there are other factors at play, such as the timing of the bet. 

Time it right

Not everyone is in a position to wait until the last minute, but if afforded that luxury, placing a late Placepot perm tilts the balance your way. Firstly, the nature of the bet means that all selections placed on non-runners go on the favourite, and if there is a raft of scratches throughout the day, the favourite will almost certainly represent a poor return in that leg. So a perm including two other runners in the race may well reward you with a ‘value leg’. 

Secondly, any market-mover can also be factored into a last-minute perm, with a well-backed runner potentially underrepresented in the Placepot or Scoop6 given many may have ignored its ostensible claims when striking their early bet, before the odds plummeted. A change in the going or late jockey change can also assist the late-staking punter. 

In conclusion: when possible, strike your bet as late as you can in the placepot as the complexion of a leg may change quite dramatically throughout the day, and you could be left with the opportunity to bet into a skewed pool. Don’t ignore the Tote win and place prices, particularly at bigger meetings, but also be aware a deduction on winnings must be calculated.


Compare the odds

The ToteWin and show prices also present an opportunity to gain longer odds on a selection, as a direct comparison between the Tote prices and the industry show price (for all that metric may change in the near future) can be carried out right up until the off. The bet size and thinness of the market are factors here, but at one of the major festivals for example, a Tote dividend price very close to the off shouldn’t move a great amount – though you also must factor in the pool deduction on winnings (this can be up to 20%).

Choosing an exotic bet type

With several options available, it pays to consider which bet is best in which scenario.

Want to learn more about how each bet works? Read our Tote Exotics Guide here.

Single race exotics


This is a good bet to make when you think there are only a limited number of horses who have a chance of winning, or even of coming second, in a given race.


Again, this is a good bet to make when you think there are only a limited number of horses in with a chance of finishing in the first three places in a race. Another instance where you might consider the Trifecta as a perm would be when there is a race with a medium-sized or large field, but with one or two horses you think are very likely to finish in the top three. Perming longer-priced horses to also finish in the top three could mean your bet is still fairly unique, and could therefore fetch a good share of the pot.


The Swinger is generally not so popular a bet as the previous two, so be aware that the prize pool may consequently be smaller. Having said that, large-field feature handicaps can be a good place to ply this trade, given that options are many and the pool is likely to be healthier.


Multiple race exotics

As always, with these bets – given that wins are taken from a pool, from which there will also be deductions of up to 20% – you must keep your spending in line with the likely return. The longer the prices of the selections you choose, the larger the portion of the pot you would get if you won as fewer people will have included that horse. However, if they are all available at long prices, it may be that fixed-odds accumulators are a more cost-effective way to go, as the same stake could offer you a higher guaranteed return. 


Whilst this is not an easy bet to land, it’s potentially a very lucrative one – especially if it’s a big punting day with no Scoop6 on offer, or if there is a rollover from the day before. The attractiveness of this bet very much depends on the pool, the market confidence in the favourites on that day – and whether you think you can get them beaten.


The Scoop6 gives punters the chance to win enormous amounts of money thanks to its typically large prize pool, that they’d never usually get from betting on fixed odds. If your intention is to bet through a card to try and land a big win, this represents fantastic value at small stakes. Bear in mind though that whilst it’s tempting to lay out large stakes in pursuit of covering all angles, large fields will mean a huge perm still covers but a fraction of the possibilities, whilst small fields will drastically reduce your chances of being a unique winner and scooping the prize fund.


Generally a popular and versatile bet that can provide good dividends from perms for serious bettors, and help keep a day’s racing interesting for the recreational punter.

Learn more about how to utlilise the Placepot here.


Those who’ve missed the cut after the first two races can buy back their selections in the Quadpot, or make new ones altogether. 

For instance, if you think the first two races are just too tricky, or you want to wait and see how the going or draw is playing out on the track, you can sit out races one and two altogether and play the Quadpot. Maybe there’s a trainer or jockey that have clearly arrived with their A-game – or one that hasn’t that you think may let your lines down. There are many reasons to get an assessment of a meeting on the day.

Want to learn more about how each bet works? Read our Tote Exotics Guide here.