## What Is A Trifecta Bet & How to Calculate Your Payout

Written by OneThingIf you are betting on horse racing, you should know how to place a Trifecta. This wage is hard to get right, but has big profit potential. Trifecta Betting is popular because even a small wager can have a big payoff due to the difficulty of correctly selecting the top 3 finishers. It’s one of the best ways to win big without putting a lot of money at risk.

## What Is A Trifecta Bet?

A Trifecta Bet is when the bettor selects the first, second, and third places finishers in exact order. If they finish in the correct order you win, and you can win big! If those exact horses don’t finish the race in that exact order, the bet is lost.

## Different Types of Trifecta Bets

There are four different types of Trifecta Bets you can place, a straight, key, box, or wheel. Even the most seasoned bettors don’t always understand how each work. Let us break each one down:

### Straight Trifecta Horse Racing Betting

This is the simplest type of Trifecta Bet. It’s a single wager where you pick exactly three horses and decide the exact order you think they will finish in. That’s it. The horses MUST finish for you to win. This is not a very forgiving bet, but when you risk high, you can win big.

### Trifecta Box Horse Racing Betting

A Trifecta box can also be known as a reverse triactor or a combination tricast. In this bet, you choose the top three horses, but they can finish in any order. This makes it easier to win, but it comes at a cost. It’s a multiple wager, which means you’re clearly much more likely to get a win here but you have to pay for each combination of your chosen horses. A Trifecta box on three selections costs $12 instead of $2 for the straight Trifecta. A Trifecta box can cover more than three horses. But the increase in possible combinations increases the cost. With four horses, for example, there are 24 possible combinations. The cost to cover them all is $48.

### Trifecta Key Box Horse Racing Betting

This bet is a good one when you have confidence in one of your picks, but you’re unsure about the others. So you choose one “key” selection and other “non-key” selections. The Trifecta Key box keeps the total cost lower, while allowing you to bet on your key players. For example, you can bet on the first and third place finishers and choose one or more other horses to fill in the second place spot.

### Trifecta Wheel Horse Racing Betting

A Trifecta wheel is where you pick one horse to finish in a specific position, and back all possible combinations with the rest of the field. You pay for each possible combination, which depends on how many horses are taking part in the race. As long as your winner wins, you win; but you’re relying on one horse to win the race. You can opt for a part wheel Trifecta, which means you pick one horse to finish first, and then pick a select number of horses that will finish second and third. Here, you’re only covering less possible combinations, so you’ve reduced your overall chances of winning but you’re being much more efficient with your money.

### What is the Minimum Stake on a Trifecta Bet?

The minimum betting amount for a Trifecta Bet both online and at the track is $0.50 or $1. These bets are very popular, because they are a low cost bet. Of course, the larger the field, the larger the payout.

## How To Calculate the Payout for An Exacta Bet

Trifectas are a form of pari-mutuel wagering which means that payouts are calculated based on the share of a betting pool. A new pool is created for each race. The bigger the pool, the bigger the payout if you win. Here’s a basic example of how this works.

- 10,000 $1 Trifecta tickets are sold for a race
- The betting pool is $10,000 (10,000 x $1)
- There are 100 tickets with the correct finishing order of the first three horses.
- Each ticket receives a payout of $100 ($10,000 / 100)

In a real betting situation, you also have to factor in that not all bets are $1 and the track will take their cut before the prize pool is calculated, so there are additional payouts to consider. However, don’t let that worry you. Trifecta Bets can still give huge returns.

## Trifecta Bet Calculator

Each type of Trifecta Bet is calculated a bit differently, which is why it’s important to know how much money you’re putting in based on the risks involved. Let’s look at how to calculate the costs of a Trifecta Bet.

**$1 Trifecta Key Costs**: To figure the cost of a Trifecta Key, use this simple equation: $ x Number of horses x number of horses minus one.

- For example, a $1 Trifecta Key 1 with 2,3,4,5 would be 1 x 4 x 3 = 12 possible combinations costing you $12.
- $1 with 2,3,4: $6

**Trifecta Part Wheel Costs**: Multiply the number of horses used on top or the win position of the exacta with the number of horses used in the second position (less one if the same number is used on top in the exacta).

- # of horses in the first position x # of horses in the second position minus 1 x # of horses in the third position minus 2.
- For example, a $1 Trifecta Part Wheel 1 with 2,3,4 with 2,3,4,5 = 1 x 3 x 3 = $9 (9 possible combinations)

**Trifecta Box Costs**: To figure the cost here simply multiply the number of horses used by the number of horses used less one.

- $1 Trifecta Box with three horses: $6 (6 possible combinations)
- $1 Trifecta Box with four horses: $24 (24 possible combinations)
- $1 Trifecta Box with five horses: $60 (60 possible combinations)

The more horses you add to an Exacta Bet, the more likely you are to lose money in the end. If you bet on 8 horses, you have more chances of winning, but you would be lucky to make $30, resulting in a loss of nearly $650. For this reason, Exacta Box horse racing betting is generally best left to experienced handicappers, or those who employ the services of a veteran handicapper.

Of course, the track will take out its portion before the prize pool is calculated so the payout wouldn’t be exactly $120. But still, a $100 return on a $2 bet is amazing odds.

Whether it’s a huge race or an unexpected win, an Exacta payout usually gives a decent return, which is why it’s one of the most popular bets.

#### Off To The Races!

You can place Trifecta Bets at any racetrack or off-track betting bureau. At the track, you simply complete a betting slip or you can just request your selection verbally at the counter. If you’re not sure what to do, just ask a member of staff for some assistance. If you’re still a little unsure about how to place your bets or where to put your money, don’t worry. You’re not the first person to need a bit of help, which is why AmWager is here.

Horse betting can be an intimidating endeavor until you get used to the wagers, lingo, and payouts. AmWager has an easy to use online betting platform anyone can use to place their bets. Check it out and try your hand with the horses, it might be the one step to your next lucky break.