Multi-Selection Betting: Forecast and Tricast Bets

Forecast and tricast bets are basically siblings in the horse racing world. At their core, forecast and tricast bets are multi-selection wagers. To put it another way, both bets require you to select more than one horse in a race. The aim is to increase your potential returns by selecting which runners will finish in placed positions.

Best forecast and tricast bookmakers

Right below you can find the best betting sites for forecast and tricast bets. We elected them by examining for how many races you can make these types of bets, the payouts as well as how many types of forecast bets are on offer. 

What is a Forecast Bet?

Betting on politicsA straight forecast bet is a multi-selection wager whereby you have to select two horses and, importantly, the order in which they’re going to finish. You have to pick which horse will finish first and which one will finish second. In general, people make forecast bets that cover one race i.e. a single. 

Forecast bets can also be made as multiples, which makes it harder to make the correct predictions. However, the returns can be high if you get things right. To win a forecast accumulator, you have to get the top two finishers in the correct order for two or more races. 

What is a Reverse Forecast Bet?

The counter to a straight forecast is a reverse forecast. With a reverse forecast, you still choose two horses. However, they can finish either first or second, i.e. Horse 1 can win/finish second and Horse 2 can win/finish second. The payout is lower than the straight forecast since you don't have to predict the exact position of the horse.

What is a Combination Forecast?

A combination forecast bet gives you the ability to cover more bases with a single stake. Although they’re more complex than straight forecast bets, combinations are great if you believe a race could end in a variety of ways. A combination forecast bet requires you to select between three and six horses.

Once you’ve done that, you’re covered if any of them finish within the top two and in any order. Basically, a combination forecast bet means you’ve covered every top-two finish combination. For example, if you select three horses (1-2-3) and make a combination forecast, you've covered the following outcomes:

⏩ You are stating that Horse 1 will win and Horse 2 will finish in second place

⏩ Or that Horse 1 will win and Horse 3 will finish in second place

⏩ You are stating that Horse 2 will win and Horse 1 will finish in second place

⏩ Or that Horse 2 will win and Horse 3 will finish in second place

⏩ You are stating that Horse 3 will win and Horse 1 will finish in second place

⏩ Or that Horse 3 will win and Horse 2 will finish in second place

What is a Tricast Bet?

Similar to a forecast, a tricast is where you select the three runners you believe will finish first, second and third in a race. This is a single-unit bet, which means you bet one set amount and make three selections. The defining feature of a tricast bet, other than the fact you’re predicting the top three finishers, is that you have to get the order right.

As you would expect, this isn’t easy to do. However, the payoff is that the odds on tricast bets can be long. Even if you include the race favourite in your trio, the fact you’re trying to predict not only the top three finishers but the exact order they’ll finish means you can turn a small stake into a healthy profit.

What is a Combination Tricast Bet?

The counter to a tricast is a combination tricast. In essence, this is six bets rolled into one. This bet requires you to choose three horses. However, in this instance, they can finish in any order within the top three. As a rule, though, any type of tricast bet is possible in handicap races with eight or more runners.

Where to make tricast bets

Why Make Forecast and Tricast Bets?

People like to make forecast and tricast bets because they allow you to cover multiple outcomes with a single bet. Because it’s harder to predict where multiple horses will finish in a race, the odds for forecasts and tricasts are longer than single bets. Therefore, if you know your stuff, they can be potentially lucrative.

Additionally, these bets are good if there’s a clear favourite in a race but a closer battle for second and/or third. In races like this, the odds on the winner will often be short. Therefore, the potential returns may not be attractive. However, you can improve the value of the race by making a forecast or tricast, which will lengthen the odds.

How to Calculate Your Bets: How Much Does Each Bet Cost?

To calculate the cost of a forecast bet, you take the number of horses you wish to select (i.e. two) and multiply it by one less than the number of selections. For combination bets, the same theory applies. The only variable that changes is the number of horses you select. If you simply stick with a straight forecast (two horses), the bet will look like this:

2X1 = 2 bets X €2 wager = €4 total stake

Tricast Calculator

To calculate the cost of a tricast bet, multiply the number of selections by one less than the number of selections. Then multiply that by one less than the previous figure e.g. for three horses it would be 3 X 2 X 1 = 6 bets – so if your stake was €1, the cost would be 1 X 6 = €6 total cost.

How to Calculate Forecast and Tricast Bet Returns?

Unlike standard singles, working out how much you can win when you combine two/three picks in a forecast/tricast bet isn’t easy. This is because bookies add certain variables to the equation. To make things more frustrating, these variables aren’t always clear.

Because of this, you can’t simply take the odds of your two/three picks, combine them and divide by the number of picks in order to work out your odds and, therefore, potential return. However, there are three generally accepted models for forecast and tricast bets:

Pool Bet – These equations take into account the odds of your picks and the field as a whole. Certain operator-specific deductions are made prior to the dividend being paid. 

Computer Straight Forecast (CSF) – This model uses computer programs to look at the odds as well as other factors such as how many people bet on X + Y combinations etc. The aim is to determine exactly how much interest there is in a certain combination. Then, in turn, what the odds your two/three horses winning/placing are.

Chart Forecast – Similar to CFS, this model takes into account the odds but also considers other important variables. It also uses an overround setting, which basically rounds numbers up/down based on certain factors.

In short, it’s not easy to calculate your potential winnings manually. What you can do, however, is to use an online bookmaker’s software. When you place a forecast or tricast bet online, the software will calculate your potential returns for you. 

How do Bookmakers handle these bets?

Different online bookies may handle forecast and tricasts bets differently, especially when considering the number of runners in a race. Let's take a quick look at where can you make forecast and tricast bets online and how do the top bookmakers treat these wagers.

William Hill Forecast and Tricast Betting

William Hill accepts forecasts on races with three or more runners. If one of your picks is withdrawn, the bet will be settled as a straight prediction. In a case that both runners withdraw, the bet is void. If the number of runners is reduced to two, your bet is settled as an SP.

Bet365 Forecast and Tricast Bets

Bet365 follows the industry standards with regards to forecasts and tricasts. As well as straight bets, you can make reverse and combination wagers. Additionally, you can make multiples. A multiple forecast or tricast is where your stake rolls onto the next race. So, you can place a forecast on race one, race two, race three and so on. As with standard multiples, all parts of the bet have to be successful in order to win. 

Betfair Forecast and Tricast Betting

The same rules as William Hill and Bet365 apply in Betfair as well. However, one advantage this operator has is that it also has a betting exchange. This means you can place forecast and tricast bets with individuals who offer odds via the exchange instead of betting against the bookmakers.

Full list of forecast/tricast betting sites

Q: Do you get your stake back with a forecast bet and a tricast bet if you win?

Yes. This is like any other standard horse racing bet. Therefore, if you win a forecast bet or a tricast bet, your total return will include your stake and your win payout/profit. For example, if your stake was €5 and the odds were 10/1, the profit on a win would be €50. Therefore, your total return would be €50 (profit) + 5 (stake) = €55.

Q: What happens to your forecast if a horse is withdrawn?

As we’ve noted earlier in this guide, if one horse is withdrawn, your forecast bet becomes a straight bet and is settled accordingly. If both horses are withdrawn, your bet is void. If the race has been declared, the withdrawn horses will be known as non-runners and you’ll get your stake back. If not, you lose your money.

Q: What happens to a tricast bet if a horse is withdrawn?

The rules for tricast withdrawals are the same as they are forecasts. If one horse is withdrawn, it becomes a forecast. If two horses are withdrawn, it becomes a straight bet.  If all three are withdrawn, the bet is void.

Q: What’s the difference between a trifecta and tricast?

In reality, there is no difference between a tricast and a trifecta. These are basically the same type of bet, just with different names. In the UK, selecting the first three finishers in the correct order is a tricast. Elsewhere in the world, in countries such as the US and Australia, this bet is known as a trifecta. Additionally, you may find that Tote betting outlets call tricasts bets trifectas.

Q: What’s the difference between a forecast and exacta?

As above, forecast and exacta are the same thing. However, in some countries or settings, the process of betting on the top two finishers will either be called a forecast or an exacta. Therefore, when you’re betting online, you may see either term used or both. Whatever notation an operator uses, just know that the aim is to predict the top two finishers in the exact order.

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