Horse Racing Place Terms Explained

Lee Jackson by Lee Jackson | Published: July 19, 2019

Place terms in horse racing apply to a couple of different betting scenarios. You will find examples of Place terms across many different sports, but it is more commonly used in horse racing than anywhere else.

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What are Place terms?

You will see something like 3 Places at 1/5 odds on a horse race. This means that any payout on a Place bet would be done at 1/5th of the original odds. So if you backed a horse at 10/1 the Place odds would be 2/1 odds.

A Place in horse racing is a designated number of finishing Places in the race.

Where will I see Place terms listed?

This will be available on any race card at any bookmaker for all races. Here is an example of where to look for Place terms at Bet365.

Horse Racing Place Terms Example at Bet365

What determines Place terms?

There is an industry standard in racing so that Place terms are all the same across all bookmakers. It is the type of race and the number of runners within it that actually determine the Place terms.

Number Of Runners Place Odds Number Of Places
1-4 Win Only 0
5-7 1/4 Odds 1, 2
8+ 1/5 1, 2, 3
12-15 (handicaps only) 1/4 1, 2, 3
16+ 1/4 1, 2, 3, 4

Each Way betting

Each way betting is when a stake is split in half over two bets. For example a £10 total stake on a Red Rum each way bet at 10/1, would mean that £5 goes to a Win bet and £5 to a Place bet. The Place terms are at 1/4.

If Red Rum wins:

You get paid at 4/1 odds for the win bet: £5 @ 4/1 returns = £20 profit and £5 stake back

You also get paid for the Place bet: £5 @ 1/1 (which is 1/4 of 10/1) returns = £5 and £5 stake back.

If Red Rum Places:

You get nothing from the 4/1 odds for the win bet

You get paid at even money for the Place bet: £5 @ 1/1 (which is 1/4 of 10/1) returns = £5 and £5 stake back.

If Red Rum loses (doesn’t finish high enough for even a Place finish)

Both bets lose

Place Betting

This is different from an each way bet, but still involves Places. In a Place bet you are simply backing your selection to make, for example, the top three in a race (or whatever the Places for a given race are). It doesn’t matter if the horse finishes first, second or third you will get paid at the same odds.

Note you will have a very hard time finding a bookmaker that accepts Place only bets. The Tote would be the Place to really go as you get things like a Placepot. That’s where you select a horse to Place from six designated races.

Bookie Specials

Note that bookmakers do offer a lot of special promotions that allow you to take extra Places. For example when the big Grand National comes around, then a bookmaker may extend the Places by adding three more on to the regulation four that would be available.

Changes happen

If you have backed a horse early in the day in an each way bet, then things could change by the time the race goes off. This will happen when non-runners crop up. Let’s say that it was a race of 8 horses which is at 1/5 Place terms on three Places. If a horse drops out then the Place terms on that heat will shift to 1/4 on the first two Places. Because of having a runner less, it would fall into a different bracket for Place Terms (see the table above for reference).

Want to learn more about horse racing? Check out our other comprehensive beginner guides.

Horse Racing Place Terms Explained
Article Name
Horse Racing Place Terms Explained
A Place in horse racing is a designated number of finishing Places in the race. Place terms apply to a couple of different betting scenarios. Learn more!
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Article by Lee Jackson

Lee has built a vast working knowledge of different bet types, betting systems, probability and all-important experience. His experience within the betting industry extends to over a decade of researching and writing betting guides. Understanding the statistical and mathematical side of betting is something that fascinates Lee. The study of statistics and implied probability in odds are factors that he finds engaging and important to understanding the inner workings of the practice of betting.