If you want to place a trifecta bet, you can expect handsome payoffs – because of the low probability that you’ll win. How does this type of horse racing betting work? You pick the horses that you think will come in at the first three positions: Win (1st place), Place (2nd place) and Show (3rd place).
Horse Racing Betting Explained on The Trifecta
— Churchill Downs (@ChurchillDowns) May 9, 2015
How Do Horse Racing Trifectas Bets Work?
To walk away a winner on a straight trifecta, the three horses you pick have to finish the race first, second and third, in the order in which you chose them. There are many factors that can keep this from happening, such as one horse getting hurt, a fourth horse having an unreal day, or simply the top three horses finishing in different order. This can be frustrating, particularly if you got the three horses right but just happened to wager on the wrong order.
This is where boxing a trifecta can come into play. A boxed trifecta does not offer as high a payout but also allows more ways for you to win. Let’s say you are the 2015 Kentucky Derby and you want to buy a three horse box for $6.
You indicate the three horses that you think will finish in the top three. If they do (no matter what the order), you win your bet. If you want a four horse box, you’ll pay more (something along the lines of $24 if your first box was $6). You put four names in the box, and if any three of those end up being the top three finishers. You can by a five horse box or even a six horse box if you are willing to put down that much money. If any three of the horses in your box fill the top three spots in the finish, then your ticket is a winner.
Placing Your Trifecta Bet
When you’re up at the betting window, you want to make sure that you have your tickets right. Make sure that the teller gives you exactly what you asked for, because once you walk away, you are stuck with the bets that you placed. So, go up there and indicate the track, which race that day, the price of the trifecta that you want to play (because you do have a choice here), and the horses – in the correct order. Once you get your slip, take a look at it. While you’re still at the window, you have the chance to get mistaken tickets torn up and replaced with correct tickets. However, once you walk away from the window, you are committed to the bet on the slip. The trifecta involves a lot of low-probability events happening at once – which is why the payout is so high. It would be the height of irony for the trifecta that you had picked to finish in exactly the right order come in, only for it to be disallowed because you didn’t have the right order on your slip. This is why it’s so crucial for you to look at the slip before you leave the window. Make sure you have the bet you chose!