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reverse forecast

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A reverse forecast is where you pick out two selections in a race, that you think will finish in the first two positions. They can finish in either order. We’re going to show you exactly how these type of bets work, so you can confidently place one yourself.

How Does a Reverse Forecast Work?

Let’s take a closer look at how a reversed forecast bet works. It is most popular in horse racing betting, but is sometimes used in other sports. For this example, we will use a horse race to illustrate our point.

For our bet, we pick out the two horses that we think will finish in the top two places in the race. We go for the second favourite Absolute Star at 3/1 and the fifth favourite Mystical Maria at 12/1.

reverse forecast scaled

With this type of bet we are essentially placing two wagers. One bet is for Absolute Star to finish first and Mystical Maria to finish second. The other bet is for Mystical Maria to win and Absolute Star to finish second. In essence, we have two straight forecast bets in place. You cover a couple of potential race outcomes.

As there are two bets, your unit stake is doubled. In this example we will stake £1, which will be doubled to £2. We have £1 on the first bet and another £1 on the second bet.

CSF a Complex Calculation

How bookmaker traders on the best betting sites calculate reverse forecasts is fairly complicated and difficult for the average punter to replicate. It is based on the odds of your two picks, the result, the size of the field and the odds of the other runners.

The formula they use is known as CSF, which stands for ‘computer straight forecast’. What is clear is that one of the potential outcomes in your bet, will be more profitable for you than the other. The more likely result is for the 3/1 to finish first, followed by the 12/1 shot in second place. If the horse at 12/1 wins, with the 3/1 shot in second, your payout will be bigger.

There is a rough calculation that punters use to get an idea of their potential returns. You add one to the betting odds of the runner-up and multiply by the price of the winner. Using that calculation, the two results would pay out as follows.

  • Absolute Star beats Mystical Maria: 3 x (12 + 1) = £39 for a £1 stake
  • Mystical Maria beats Absolute Star: 12 x 3 + 1) = £48 for a £1 stake

As you can see, the different finishing positions have quite an impact on your potential returns.

Different Types of Reverse Forecast Bet

Having explained the reverse forecast meaning and shown you an example, it is now time to take you through some of the bet types that you will find, when using these betting options.

  • Reverse Forecast – Pick two selections for a 1-2 finish in either order.
  • Reverse Forecast Doubles – If your first reverse forecast wins, the stake and winnings move onto a second one. This totals four bets, covering every combination
  • Reverse Forecast Treble – A reversed forecast treble can see your stake and winnings go from a first wager, onto a second and then onto a third. This totals twelve bets, covering every combination.
  • Fixed-Price Reverse Forecasts – Some bookies give a fixed-price for this type of wager, so you know exactly what the odds will be for your selection, when you make your bet.
  • Dual Forecast – This is another term for the reverse forecast, which these days is most commonly used in American betting parlance.
  • Combination Forecast – With this type of forecast you can pick three or more selections and you are betting on any two of them finishing in the top two places, in any order. The more selections you choose, the more bets this will encompass to cover all the combinations.

Reverse Forecast Calculator

As you will have seen from our example, it is not really possible to 100% accurately work out your potential profits with this form of betting, but you can give yourself a rough idea.

If you’re looking to work out how much you might win, we’d suggest using a reverse forecast bet calculator. This will enable you to just enter your reverse forecast prices and your stake, to find out the possible returns.

Check out our own free bet calculator to gain a quick insight into this type of forecast betting market.

Pros & Cons of Reverse Forecast Betting

With these kinds of bets there are both benefits and drawbacks. Here are the pros and cons as we see them.

Pros
  • Good way to get extra value from backing an odds-on favourite
  • Easier than predicting exact finishing positions of front two
  • Can win big from a bet on a single race
  • Stake can be relatively small
Cons
  • Chances of success much less than with a regular single
  • Double stake rather than a single stake

Reverse Forecast Horse Racing Tips & Strategy

If you’re now thinking of placing a horse racing reverse forecast of your own, it is a good idea to be armed with a couple of betting strategies. Here are some tips that will help your profitability.

Give a Big Favourite a Boost

Odds reflect the chances that a selection has of winning. If a horse is a very short priced favourite, then it is no doubt due to the fact that there is a high percentage chance of it winning the race. In that sense it is a safe bet, but if the odds are too short, then it could also be a risk not worth taking.

By adding another horse into the equation, you could make it a more enticing prospect. It’s a fair chance that the favourite will finish in the front two, so if you can identify another runner with a strong chance of doing that, you will be giving your potential returns a major boost.

Look For Races With Few Runners

It stands to reason that the more runners there are in a race, the harder it is to pick out the winner. When you are trying to predict the horses that will finish in the front two, that task becomes even more difficult in a field with lots of runners. Look out for races that feature few runners.

These create opportunities where a forecast is not just a fun bet, but where it is actually possible to make an educated prediction. You don’t have to be a mathematician to see that it will be easier to pick out the top two in a race with four horses, than with seven. The odds will be smaller, but that means that your chances of winning will be bigger.

Best Bookies for Reverse Forecast Odds

Whether you’re looking for a bookie for the occasional reverse forecast, or more regular wagers of this type, there are certain criteria that will be to your benefit. Strong coverage of horse racing, generous odds and a range of useful extra features, are all musts. Perhaps the best bookie for all forecast bet types is Tote Sport, a pool betting service. It is the home of the Exacta, which is The Tote’s version of the forecast, which works in exactly the same way, other than it pays out on a dividend basis.

Conclusion

We hope that you enjoyed our guide to the reverse forecast. It is a bet that can be both a bit a fun, where you can win a good sum from a small stake, or a more serious proposition, should you strongly favour two selections. You should be ready to place one for yourself by now, so why not head over to one of our recommended betting sites and give it a go?

FAQs

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Dan Fitch
Dan Fitch
Dan Fitch

A writer and editor for some of the top names in the gambling industry for nearly 20 years, Dan also works as a freelance sports journalist for publications and websites such as ESPN, FourFourTwo and LiveScore.

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