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what is a tricast bet

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Tricast bet is a type of wager in which you have to predict the finishing order of the first three in a horse race. We’re going to explain exactly how Tricasts work, describe the different types that are available and will even throw in some tips to help you make profits from this bet type.

How Does a Tricast Bet Work?

A Tricast, or Trifecta as it is otherwise known, is a type of horse racing bet that can be placed through the Tote betting pools. It can also be accessed through certain regular online bookmakers that cover horse racing. You have to pick out the horses in a race that will finish first, second and third, in the correct order.

If you manage to do so, you’ll receive a payout from the bookies or dividend from the Tote should you bet directly with them. That explains the question of what is a Tricast bet. We’re now going to show you an example, that will really delve into the mechanics of this type of wager.

Tricast Betting Example

what is a Tricast bet

We’re now going to show you how to put a Tricast bet on. What makes a Tricast unusual, is that you will not know the prices, or what you’re likely to win, before the race. A Trifecta at the Tote will have the dividend based on the market interest of punters, on the horses in the respective win and place pool betting markets. This is calculated after all the bets are taken by the Tote and they can work out exactly what has been bet on each horse.

You can of course use fixed odds markets to give you a rough guide to the type of figure that you’d be likely to win, should your Tricast be successful. It’s unlikely to be exact, but it will give you a ballpark estimation.

One of the reasons it won’t be exact, is that while you can see the odds for a horse to win the race, you will only be able to look at the place odds for your other two selections. There will be no price for a horse to finish second or third.

So imagine horse A was priced at 3/1 to win and horse B had odds of 2/1 to place and C was 5/2 to place. The odds of those three bets all winning on a traditional treble would be 41/1. So a £10 Tricast at those odds would return £410, plus your £10 stake, equalling £420.

It’s important to remember that this is a rough estimate. There’s all sorts of factors which will make the final dividend different to the value that we’ve calculated. It is however, a good guide and can be especially useful when it comes to some of the different types of Tricast bets, that feature multiple permutations.

What is a Combination Tricast Bet?

As we stated earlier, there are various types of Tricast bets. A Combination Tricast give you more chance of winning, but will also cost you more.

With a Straight Tricast bet you pick out three selections that will finish first, second and third in a race, in the exact order. A Combination Tricast, meanwhile, requires you to pick out three selections and you’ll win as long as they all finish in the front three, in any order.

With a Combination Tricast, which is often known as a Reverse Tricast bet, every different combination of your three selections finishing within the front three positions, is covered. In total it amounts to six bets. If we identify the selections as A, B and C, the different combinations are as follows.

  • ABC
  • ACB
  • BAC
  • BCA
  • CAB
  • CBA

So, the best possible result for you is for one of these combinations to be right, with the other five being losers. That means that the odds of your selections have to be sufficiently generous to ensure that you make a profit. You will need the returned dividends to pay at least six times the unit stake.

The way that betting with the Tote in their pools work ensures that you won’t know exactly what you might win. It is possible to calculate an estimation though, based on the odds of your selections.

Tricast Betting Variants

Aside from the regular and reverse Tricast bet, there are other varieties of this Exotic wager, that you might like to try. Here are some of the alternative options.

Boxed Trifecta

A Boxed Trifecta is like a Combination Tricast, except that you can choose more than three selections. Once again, every possible top three combination from your selections, is covered.

You have to be careful with this bet, as the total number of possible combinations will sharply increase as you add extra selections. This can have a big impact on your total stake. Four selections produces 24 combinations, five picks is 60 and six choices results in 120 unit bets.

Trifecta Wheel

A Trifecta Wheel gives you a little more control over your combinations. Say there is a horse that you really expect to win a race. With this option, you can set this horse as the banker in your bet, alongside selections that you feel less strongly about, which you think will place.

This prevents you from having to place so many bets. So if horse A is your banker and you’re not so sure in which order horses B and C will place, a Trifecta Wheel will allow you to cover things with just two bets – ABC and ACB. While the advantage is less expenditure, the downside is that the margin for error is greater.

Pros & Cons of the Tricast Bet Explained

Now that you know what is a Tricast bet in horse racing, you’ll have noticed that there are some definite pros, but also some cons. We feel that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, but for the sake of fairness, here are the pros and cons as we see them.

  • Better odds often available on Tote
  • Cheap bet where you can win big
  • Lots of options and variations
  • Get more than win and place wagers
  • A difficult type of bet to win
  • Combination, wheel and boxed expensive
  • Don’t know what returns are in advance

Tricast Bet Calculator

While the complexities of the Tote betting pool ensure that you won’t know exactly what you’ll win, until you pick out a Tricast winner, a betting calculator will allow you to get a good idea.

As long as you have the odds of your selections, you’ll be able to get a figure that’s in the approximate ballpark. This is especially useful when it comes to working out combination, boxed and wheel Tricasts, where there are multiple combinations and things can get expensive.

You will want to ensure that you’re in with a good chance of making some money, so work out the likelihood using our free bet calculator.

Tricast Betting System, Strategy & Tips

We’re now going to give you a few tips that will help you to achieve profitability when placing Tricasts.

Look For The Big Three

A Trifecta can just be a fun bet but, if you take them a little more seriously, you need to wait for the right time. The best scenario in which you should place a Tricast is when there are three horses that are clearly better than the rest of the field. That could be down to the fact that there aren’t many runners in the race, or where there are certain horses more suited to the conditions that others. If you can identify circumstance where there are three clear favourites, then you obviously stand a much better chance of landing a winning Tricast.

Consider The Odds

If you’re simply placing a normal Tricast, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with backing the three betting favourites in the race. If your prediction is right, you’ll certainly land a profit. When it comes to combination, box and wheel trifectas, you are placing multiple bets and with only one possible winning combination, that means there will be multiple losers. Make sure that the odds of your selections are able to land the sort of winning dividend, that will ensure that it’s at least possible to make a profit.

Do Your Research

In terms of the two above points, doing your research is vital. To find three horses that are better than the rest of the field, for whatever reason, will take investigation. When it comes to accessing the odds of your selections, when placing the types of Tricasts that feature multiple permutations, that will take some calculation. Put the work in, to reap the rewards.

Best Bookmakers for Tricast Betting

You should now know what is a Tricast bet. When it comes to finding the right online bookies for this type of bet, you have quite a good choice. The true home of the Trifecta, is of course the Tote. You can place Trifecta bets directly with them, or alternatively you can find one of the many online bookies that feed into their service with a Tricast.


What is a Trifecta bet and is it the same as a Tricast?

How does a Tricast bet work?

What’s the difference between a Straight Tricast and Combination Tricast?

How many bets in a Tricast?

What are the rules governing Tricast betting?

How are Tricast dividends made?

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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