How to Effectively Bet Superfectas

by Horstradamus

posted on October 15, 2007 in Educational Articles, Handicapping, Help/Educational Articles | 139 Comments >>

On occasion, we receive comments from customers asking how we take credit for a Superfecta in our Big ‘Uns if our top pick didn’t hit the board or if our 6th or 7th pick ran 3rd or 4th. People often underestimate the difficulty in correctly predicting a Superfecta. For this very reason, it is usually relatively costly (and extremely rewarding) to bet a Superfecta correctly. For those who are new to wagering on horse races, a Superfecta wager is when you are trying to pick the top 4 finishers in order. In this post, I would first like to discuss in general how to effectively bet a Superfecta. I will then explain how we typically determine a Superfecta “hit” in our Big ‘Uns and the suggested method of applying our predictions to making a Superfecta wager.

If you were asked what finish positions are the easiest to predict in a race, what do you think the answer is? The easiest positions to predict are typically the winner and then depending on the race, the horses that will run last and maybe 2nd to last. The next easiest position (but substantially harder) is to predict who will run 2nd. It then becomes exponentially harder to pick who will run 3rd and 4th. I am not saying that one can always predict the winner. However, regardless of the system, one will always be able to predict what horse will win a race more accurately than who will run 4th, for example.

Now if we take this one step further, you would assume that since it is easier to predict who will run 1st and 2nd, as opposed to 3rd and 4th, that you would want to “back-load” your Superfecta bet. In other words, you would use a smaller set of horses to run 1st and 2nd and a much larger set of horses to run 3rd and 4th. This is the most effective way to bet Superfectas. Some people expect that to predict a Superfecta correctly, you need to have the top 4 finishers as your top 4 picks. This is incorrect. First of all, although it occurs (see our Testimonials), it is very difficult to predict a Superfecta in your top 4 picks. Second of all, even if it did end up that our top 4 picks were the Superfecta, we would never suggest betting it in such a way. It is extremely difficult to hit a Superfecta straight or by boxing 4 horses. We would always recommend betting it as a partial with back-loading.

Typically, we list a Superfecta in our Big ‘Uns if the 1st and 2nd finishers are in our top tier (dark green) and if the 3rd and 4th finishers are in our top or 2nd tier (medium green). This is also the way we suggest betting the Superfecta. Using the top tier for 1st and 2nd and the top two tiers for 3rd and 4th. We further notate the Superfecta in our Big ‘Uns if certain circumstances are true. The label “COLD” is used if the top 4 finishers were our top 4 picks, in order. The label “BOX” is used if the top 4 finishers were our top 4 picks, in any order. The label “KEY” is used if the winner was our top pick. Please note that these labels are used to describe how the horses finished, and it does not mean that we suggested to bet the race in that way (as a box, for example).

Now for a perfect example, we look at the $13,038 Superfecta we listed as a hit at Calder Race Course on October 13 in the 11th race. From a casual glance, it looks like we didn’t predict it correctly. You might say, “You had 3 horses in your top tier, your top pick wasn’t even on the board, and the 3rd and 4th finishers were ranked 7th and 6th. This isn’t a real hit.” But now we look into the details…

The first thing to note is that there are two coupled entries involved in our top two tiers (1/1A and 2/2B). Because of this, there are actually less horses involved when placing the bet. Second of all, if you followed the guidelines as mentioned above, your Superfecta ticket would look like: 1,8,6/1,8,6/1,8,6,7,2,4/1,8,6,7,2,4. This back-loaded partial would cost $72 for a $1 Superfecta ticket. This may seem like a costly investment. However, that is the reality of Superfectas (especially in a wide open field such as this one). To effectively bet them, you have to outlay a bit more money but the reward is well worth it. For practice, you can try betting at the ever-growing number of tracks that allow 10-cent Superfecta wagers. If this was allowed here, this bet would have only cost $7.20.

The bottom line with any wager is the return on investment (ROI). In this case of our seemingly far-fetched Superfecta prediction, you would have made over 8950% profit on your $72 bet. And we didn’t even need our top pick to hit the board!