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What is a trifecta?

A trifecta bet requires the bettor to select the first three runners in a race in the correct finishing order.

It’s possible to select more than one horse to fill each of the places, but the cost of the trifecta bet will increase. The cost of the trifecta is calculated by adding up the number of possible finishing combinations of the selected runners.

Trifecta betting is very popular and is synonymous with racing betting. The winning dividends for trifectas can vary greatly and in some cases be substantial. A trifecta is a pari-mutuel bet type whereby all bets go into the one pool. Dividends are determined by dividing the pool amongst the winning tickets.

Trifecta bet example

Trifecta betting explained

The above example shows the cost and number of possible combinations for a trifecta bet where the bettor selects: one horse to place first, four horses to place second and five horses to place third. The number of possible combinations of these horses finishing first, second and third in the correct order is 16.

Trifecta bets are offered by the following betting sites

Pro tip

Some online betting sites may limit the winning payout on successful trifecta bets.

Types of trifectas

There are various types of trifectas including standard trifecta, box trifecta, standout trifecta, and roving banker trifecta. All trifectas can be combined with a flexi bet to control the cost of the bet.

Standard trifecta

Must select any number of horses to for each of the first three places.

Box trifecta

A box trifecta allows the bettor to select any number of horses, and they can finish in any order within the top three places.

Standout trifecta

One horse is selected to finish first, then any number of horses can be selected to fill the second and third places.

Roving banker trifecta

A roving banker runner can fill any of the first three places in the trifecta. Other runners are selected to fill the remaining places. It is possible to select more than one roving banker.

Cost of trifecta bets

The cost of calculating the various types of trifecta bets can be highly complex and difficult. We suggest using our trifecta calculator to check the cost of your bet before placing it. The calculator allows for all types of trifectas including flexi bet trifectas.

Similar bet types

A trifecta is very similar to a first four bet; only a first four requires you to correctly select the first four places, whereas the trifecta is only the first three. An exacta, is also very similar to a trifecta, as the finishing order is important; however, the exacta only requires you to select the first two places.