# Trifecta Betting

The trifecta is an advanced horse wager. Select the first, second, and third position horse. Your trifecta wins if the horses finish in the precise order you specified.

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The following video clip explains how to place this bet. Watch the entire video for other horse bets.

Sample for how to make a Trifecta Bet from a horse racebook.

1. Select the “Trifecta Bet” from your racebook’s wagering menu.
2. Note the horses in the race, listed on the left. The next “ML” column lists the odds.
3. Select the first position, second position and third position horse. Remember, final order matters. In this diagram, the first position horses has 2:1 odds, the second position horse has 10:1 odds, the third position horse has 12:1 odds.
4. ***Notes: Your 3 horses must finish in the order you specified. Advanced bettors could place a Trifecta Wheel bet by choosing more than one horse to finish in a each position. For example, horse Jones is selected to win. Horses Smith and Charlie are BOTH selected to take second. Horse William is selected to take third.

Example: \$1 Straight Trifecta Bet

Straight Trifectas cost \$1 minimum. Some tracks charge \$2 or more.

Example Bet: \$1 Straight Trifecta on Horses 13, 9, 4. That means you are betting Horse 13 finishes first, Horse 9 finishes second, and Horse 4 finishes third. Your order must be correct.

Variant #1: Trifecta Box Betting

A Trifecta Box bet is picking the top 3 horses finishing in ANY order. This bet improves your chances of winning because you can choose more than 3 horses and order doesn’t matter.

There’s a catch. Trifecta Box bets cost more than a straight Trifecta. Each possible winning combination costs \$1.

Trifecta Box Cost Calculation: (Number of horses) x (Number of horses – 1) x (Number of horses – 2) x (Cost per combination)

A 3 horse Trifecta Box means there are 6 possible finishing combinations. Your bet will cost \$6, \$1 per combination.
3 horse cost = (3 horses) x (3 horses – 1) x (3 horses – 2) x \$1 = \$6
4 horse cost = (4 horses) x (3) x (2) x \$1 = \$24
5 horse cost = (5 horses) x (4) x (3) x \$1 = \$60

Example: \$1 Trifecta Box Bet

Sample for how to make a straight Trifecta Box Bet from a horse racebook.

1. Select the “Trifecta Bet” from your racebook’s wagering menu.
2. Note the horses in the race, listed on the left. The next “ML” column lists the odds.
3. Select 3 or more horses to finish first, second, and third. Remember, final order does not matter. In this diagram, the first horse has 2:1 odds. The second horse has 10:1 odds. The third horse has 12:1 odds.
4. You must click the blue “Box” button. This indicates the bet is a Trifecta Box and not a straight Trifecta.
5. ***Notes: 3 or more horses must finish first, second and third.
For example you bet horses James, Ted and Larry. Suppose the race finishes Ted, James and Larry. The bet would win. If the race finishes Larry, James and Ted the bet also wins. But if horse Bill ends up first, second or third the bet would lose. You did not choose Bill in your box.
STATE
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#1 DRF Bets
REVIEW
\$250 Match Deposit + \$10 Free Bet - Code: WINNING
Bet Now
21+ Play from any approved state
Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-522-4700
#2 TwinSpires
REVIEW
\$200 Signup Bonus New Customers - Code: BET200
Bet Now
21+ Play from any approved state
Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-522-4700

Variant #2: Trifecta Wheel Betting

The Trifecta Wheel bet is picking sets of horses to finish in first, second and third position. This bet improves your chances of winning because 1 or more horses can be chosen to finish in each position.

Difference between Trifecta Wheel and Trifecta Box Bets?
Trifecta Wheel betting requires a specific order from 3 sets of horses. Trifecta box betting requires any order of 3 or more horses.

The Trifecta “Key” Concept

Keying means selecting a set of horses to finish in a certain position. Trifectas are for first, second and third position. That means 3 keys must be made for each Trifecta Wheel.

Start with the first position key. Select 1 or more horses. For example, suppose horses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 are racing.

Example 1st Horse Key: Horses 1, 5

That means horses 1 or 5 must finish first. You can only win if 1 or 5 finish first.

Example 2nd Horse Key: Horses 2, 3

That means horses 2 or 3 must finish second. You can only win if 2 or 3 finish second.

Example 3rd Horse Key: Horses 4, 6, 7

That means horses 4, 6 or 7 must finish third. You can only win if 4, 6 or 7 finish third.

Trifecta Wheel Bets Cost \$1 Per Finishing Combination

Consider the following examples. We’ve keyed horses into the first, second and third positions. Trifecta Wheel cost is \$1 multiplied by total number of combinations.

Trifecta Wheel Cost Calculation:

The calculation is more complicated because there are more possible combinations. Also, putting the same horse in multiple keys must be considered.

Let A equal Key 1 number of horses, B equal Key 2 number of horses, C equal Key 3 number of horses.
Let AB equal number of same horses in both Key 1 and Key 2.
Let BC equal number of same horses in both Key 2 and Key 3.
Let AC equal number of same horses in both Key 1 and Key 3.
Let ABC equal number of same horses in all keys: Key 1, Key 2 and Key 3.

(A x B x C) – (AB x C) – (BC x A) – (AC x B) + (ABC x 2) = Total Trifecta Wheel Cost

Example 1: Trifecta Part Wheel

Horses 1 and 2 are your first key.
Horses 2, 3 and 4 are your second key.
Horses 5, 6 and 7 are your third key.
Note: 2 is in both first and second keys.
Note: No horses are in all keys.

(A x B x C) = 2 x 3 x 3 = 18
– (AB x C) – (BC x A) – (AC x B) = – (1 x 3) – (0 x 2) – (0 x 3) = -3
+ (ABC x 2) = (0 x 2) = 0
Total Example Trifecta Part Wheel Cost, \$1 per Combination = 18 – 3 + 0 = 15 x \$1 = \$15

Example 2: Trifecta Full Wheel (1,2 – ALL – ALL)

Horses 1 and 2 are your first key.
Horses 3,4,5,6,7,8 are your second key.
Horses 3,4,5,6,7,8 are your third key.
Note: Horses 3,4,5,6,7,8 are in both second and third keys.
Note: No horses are in all keys.

(A x B x C) = 2 x 6 x 6 = 72
– (AB x C) – (BC x A) – (AC x B) = – (0 x 6) – (6 x 2) – (0 x 6) = -12
+ (ABC x 2) = (0 x 2) = 0
Total Example Trifecta Full Wheel Cost, \$1 per Combination = 72 – 12 + 0 = 60 x \$1 = \$60

8 Horse Trifecta Full Wheel Winning Combinations
Assume 2 unique horse first key, 6 unique horse second key, 0 horse unique third key + 6 from second key.

For simplicity, 60 combinations is too many to write. Use the equation to calculate winning combinations for each Trifecta Full Wheel.

Trifecta Betting Cost Tables

Trifecta Box Cost Calculation: (Number of horses) x (Number of horses – 1) x (Number of horses – 2) x (Cost per combination)

Trifecta Box Costs, \$1 Per Combination
Horses Combinations Cost
36\$6
424\$24
560\$60
6120\$120
7210\$210
8336\$336

Trifecta Wheel Cost
The calculation is more complicated because there are more possible combinations. Also, putting the same horse in multiple keys must be considered.

Let A equal Key 1 number of horses, B equal Key 2 number of horses, C equal Key 3 number of horses.
Let AB equal number of same horses in both Key 1 and Key 2.
Let BC equal number of same horses in both Key 2 and Key 3.
Let AC equal number of same horses in both Key 1 and Key 3.
Let ABC equal number of same horses in all keys: Key 1, Key 2 and Key 3.

(A x B x C) – (AB x C) – (BC x A) – (AC x B) + (ABC x 2) = Total Trifecta Wheel Cost

Trifecta Part Wheel Cost Table: \$1 Per Combination
Each number represents a horse. Read 10 and 11 as two digit numbers in larger fields.
Some horses have been added to multiple keys.
Example:
1,2,3/1,2,3/1,2,3,4 = \$12 (Horses 1,2,3 in all 3 keys)