What Is a Tote Jackpot Bet?

Tote Jackpot logo

Although the Placepot remains the Tote’s most favoured multi-leg bet, those who like to go for the jugular enter the Jackpot instead. The Jackpot is a hugely popular pool betting wager. It is made available every day, with one meeting selected by the Tote to be the Jackpot meeting. In it, you must pick the first six winners of the meeting. While in the Placepot you only need your horse to finish placed, this time all of your six legs must contain a winner.

The minimum prize pool is £10,000 with the Jackpot, though it’s often a lot bigger. Whenever the Jackpot is not won, which is often, it is rolled over to the following day’s chosen meeting. You will need to find the first six winners on the chosen card to win the Jackpot, or a share of it. Much like in the Placepot you can add more selections to your slip, though the cost for that will grow.

Placing Your Jackpot Bet

This is what a bet slip looks like with only one horse chosen in each leg of a typical day’s Jackpot bet:

Tote Jackpot example

In this case, the unit bet and the total bet are one and the same. You can choose as many runners as you wish in each leg of the bet, though the more horses you choose the more money the bet will cost.

Two Horses in Each Race

Tote Jackpot example 2There is a simple calculation for your Jackpot bet. Simply multiply the number of horses in each race and that will give you how many lines you are placing. If we wanted the safety of having two horses in each race, the slip would look like this:

This bet is a 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2, which is a total of 64 lines. At £1 per line, the cost is £64. At £0.25 per line, the total cost is £16.

It will forever be difficult picking out six winners. The task is made harder when you can’t choose the races yourself, as is the case with the Jackpot. If you’re having difficulty picking out your horses, you can choose an unnamed favourite in any leg. Whichever horse goes off as the SP favourite represents you, while if there are joint or co-favourites then you go on the horse with the lowest race card number.


If any horse you have chosen in a leg of a Tote Jackpot be declared a non-runner, then the stake for that unit is shifted directly onto the race’s SP favourite. In the event that there are joint or co-favourites, as mentioned above, then your bet goes onto the favourite with the lowest race card number. When you have two runners in one race, one of which may be the favourite, and the other is declared a non-runner, then you’ll effectively end up with both units on the market leader.

One good part of the non-runner rule in Jackpot bets is that when a horse is pulled out, you are still in the game. In normal betting circumstances, a non-runner simply leads to you getting your money back, but here you can remain in with a chance of winning the Jackpot when your horse is a non-runner which we love.

Jackpot Betting Strategy

Up close horse eye

Naturally, there is no fool proof betting strategy for the Jackpot, or any other form of racing bet for that matter. We can increase our chances of winning, however. In the case of the jackpot, go full-throttle for the win in each race. Unlike in the Placepot where consistency is key, that means little here. Instead, go for potential.

Looking at the Best Potential Horse

All winning favourites would mean sharing the Jackpot and a smaller pay out. Instead, we should be looking at what the best potential horse is in each race, regardless of their price. If the 6/4 favourite can possibly put in a performance that simply blows the rest away, then by all means stick with it.

Goodwood 2022 Example

On the other hand, if an 8/1 chance just might have the ability to win, then ignore the market leaders and whack it in your Jackpot bet. Sometimes, horses are 4/1, 6/1 or even 12/1 because of one or two bad runs, not because they are flat-out not good enough. Potential and improvement are key in racing, so remember that we’re betting on what might happen now, not what has happened in the past. A good example would be this winner from Glorious Goodwood in 2022:

Tote Jackpot Goodwood 2022

At 6/1, Trawlerman was joint-fourth in the market and in fact was available at 8/1 earlier in the week. He was very well fancied by some shrewd people though, with just a quick look at his form telling you why some horses are allowed to go off at 6/1 as opposed to being favourite even when they have a great chance:

Tote Jackpot Goodwood 2022

As you can see, by using the RPR ratings you’d call Trawlerman ‘progressive’ from his debut up to and including his fifth run when he won at Chelmsford. He had two under-par runs after that, though neither were disastrous and they were both at top tracks. People watching those runs would also know Trawlerman had excuses for those defeats.

Had Trawlerman been coming into this race on the back of his Chelmsford win, he’d likely have been favourite. Indeed, he was joint-favourite after Chelmsford for a race at Royal Ascot no less, so why would his ability and overall progression be diminished now? He’d be the perfect type for a Jackpot bet. A horse who clearly has the ability, but is not considered to be favourite meaning fewer punters will go for him.