A tricast bet is also known as a trifecta. In the United States, it’s sometimes called a “triple” and in Canada it’s called a “triactor”. Generally it’s specific to horse and greyhound racing.
How does a tricast bet work?
A tricast bet allows you to bet on three entries in a horse or greyhound race finishing in the top three in a specific order. The betting market will present a list of all entries in the race, and allow you to mark which of these will come first, second and third. The bet will only pay out if every one of your tricast selections finishes in the correct order.
How to place a tricast bet?
The tricast betting market is presented as a list of all entries with checkboxes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place next to each entry.
To place a tricast bet.
1. Select the entry you think will win the race and select the '1st place' option.
2. Select the entry you think will be the runner up and select the '2nd place' option.
3. Select the entry that will finish third and select the '3rd place' option.
Note that the betting slip will only allow you to choose one entry for each place.
You'll also see that the betting market will offer you the choice of an 'any' option next to each entry. Selecting this instead of a place will turn your bet into a combination tricast bet.
What’s special about a tricast?
The main thing that’s significant about a tricast bet is that your chance of winning one isn’t high – 1/119 in a race with six runners, and lower if the field is bigger.
This is how the 1/119 chance of winning a tricast is determined for a race with six runners:
- with just six selections, there are a total of 20 possible trebles (that is, 20 combinations of three horses that could finish the race first)
- each of those 20 trebles can finish in one of six different orders (for example, three horses – horses A, B and C – could finish in any one of these orders: A-B-C, A-C-B, B-A-C, B-C-A, C-A-B or C-B-A).
When you think of the difficulty that’s involved just in predicting a single race winner, it starts to become clear why a tricast is frighteningly difficult. Even if you successfully identify all three horses (or dogs) that will cross the finish line ahead of the rest of the field, you’ll lose your stake if they don’t finish in exactly the order you’ve specified on your bet slip.
However, you can usually wager very small amounts on tricast bets and the payouts for these bets tend to be huge. Even with a small stake, you could win a great deal of cash.
Calculating payouts for a tricast
There’s another way that tricast bets can differ from most of the other standard bets you might place. If the prices of your selections are listed as 'SP' you won’t know exactly what you stand to win until after your race finishes and the return per unit stake is announced.
A computer algorithm is used to determine tricast payouts. The odds for your three selections are just one of the factors it takes into account. For example, the size of the field and various other factors are also considered. Regardless, you can count on the payout being sizeable.