Bookies have every side of the industry covered. Professional people are used to scrutinise all parts of the business.
They employ statisticians and any number of other experts, who have been researching individual sporting events, every goal scored, every wicket toppled and every sporting scenario you can possibly imagine. Beating them is a hard task, and that's what makes placepot betting so attractive.
The advantage of taking part in playing the placepot is that you are not opposing dauntingly knowledgeable professional people; you are relying on your knowledge against your fellow punter, with the bookmaker acting merely as fund holder.
Sometimes, your opposition is someone who has nipped down to the bookies in his or her lunchtime. These people will have flicked through their newspaper and made their selections based on favourite jockeys and trainers, or they will have selected horses that did them a turn last time out.
You need to be professional in your approach to take advantage of such 'victims'. Take note, it is their money you stand to inherit, not the bookmakers', and it can be a LOT of money. At the Cheltenham Festival, the possible reward on offer totals over half a million pounds, while at the future Royal Ascot meeting, Tote placepot pools could exceed €350,000!
It is mostly the non-runners and the vulnerable favourites that are the most important factors in attaining a sizeable placepot dividend. Choosing the odd outsider or two obviously aids the cause, but fancied non-runners can literally dictate the whole process.
In many ways, the placepot dividend is determined by the number of successful or unplaced favourites on the card. The selected few that become non-runners will pass onto the favourite in any given event, so the non-runners transform to a vital piece of the placepot jigsaw - the more non-runners there are in a race, the more the favourite will control the leg from a units perspective.
If you can discard the favourite in races where there are several non-runners (especially well fancied horses), you will be placed in pole position in the placepot. It is essential that favourites are unplaced in any placepot, especially so when there have been non-runners.
This becomes apparent in races where there are 'short fields', which are races for three to seven runners. For example, if an eight horse race takes place, a non-runner will cut the number of place opportunities from three down to two.
Initially, if there aren't enough runners, the spread of placepot selections would have been great in the first place. We can expect that all the runners would have had some support, thus the non-runner becomes even more significant. This wouldn't have occurred if an outsider had been withdrawn in a 20-runner novice hurdle race at Wincanton. This is a good example of how important it is to look at each meeting, and each race, on its own merits.
This situation occurred big time at Newcastle. 37 horses were withdrawn on the day, which caused commotion in the Tote placepot. Only nine horses were taken out of one particular event, which resulted in a beaten favourite at odds of 2/7 in a two horse race!
It wasn't a freak dividend, just the figures working the way that the rules stipulate in the event of so many non-runners. Take note, 12 of the 13 available placepot positions were claimed by horses returned at odds of 7/1 or less! This is why the placepot is so attractive to so many punters.