How to Effectively Bet Superfectas

by Horstradamus

posted on October 15, 2007 in Educational Articles, Handicapping, Help/Educational Articles | 131 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!

131 Responses to “How to Effectively Bet Superfectas”

  1. John says:

    Guess not!

  2. Horstradamus says:

    John, we don’t have current stats on win rate since we primarily focus on exotics. However, if you sign up for your free account, you can browse all of our results and get a feel for our win rate at your favorite tracks.

  3. play fred says:

    Very great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. After all I will be subscribing for your feed and I am hoping you write again very soon!

  4. William says:

    Had a really bad day parks and buella with the mud really not even close spent 19 points and half way through just gave up would have been better off with a dart and blindfold !

  5. Horstradamus says:

    William, contact us using the Contact form on our main site and let us know the specific cards you purchased, what kinds of wagers you were making and how you were using our form. We can help you adjust your wagering strategy to use our form more effectively to make a profit.

  6. Bryan says:

    Im looking to go over some past results of your web site in terms of betting supers and noticed that the number rankings are not listed on your past results pages. I see them when I order a new card for the current day but not when I want to look at past results. Any idea why. Im looking to add in a super bet with my personal bets using your web in races with a large field that is open like you described but I really want to look at past results prior to doing this and I can do this without looking at the number rankings you list. Thanks.

  7. Horstradamus says:

    Bryan, are you referring to our WP rating figures? First, make sure you are signed in to your account. If you are signed in and still don’t see the rating figures in the results, click on the ACCOUNT tab and then Edit Preferences. There is a checkbox you can select to have the WP rating figures display on our results pages.

  8. Gregg Canfield says:

    I am contemplating your service. I like the colored ratings and understand you lose some and win some. I like exotics tris and supers and pick 3, 4, 5’s. If I purchase a card it looks like you will be deducted 1 WC for each remaining race. My question is, do you give picks for every race? Do you rate stronger races? My concern is laying out a WC credit over time for races that are just a “filler” pick if that makes sense. Thanks in advance.

  9. Horstradamus says:

    Gregg,
    You’ve come to the right place. Our form is ideal for betting exotics. We analyze and rate all the races on each card. You can determine which races are the best to bet by looking at how the horses are distributed within the tiers.

    If you have further questions, feel free to contact our support staff using the contact tab on WinningPonies.com.
    Thanks!

  10. JIM BRESLIN says:

    i can hit suppers all day long with a key and seven behind for $240 and hit 70% of the time. That’s no big secret.

  11. Horseplayer 68 says:

    Jim, wow you can pick a winner 70% of the time? Where do I sign up?

  12. dennis says:

    my question is why do ya not sale yre picks for handicapping like other handicappers do.sme people do not hve time to sit down and look at sheets.ide love to buy picks.

  13. Horstradamus says:

    We do not give exact wagers to make. The reason for this is that our members all have different wager type preferences, bankrolls, and risk tolerances. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to give someone a 72 unit Pick 4 wager, when they like placing Place wagers with their $50 bankroll. However, our support staff can definitely help you utilize the information to reach your betting goals.

  14. RoadApples says:

    I just want to say I love your free exotics calculator. Can you tell me if their is a hand held calculator that I can take to the track with me? I do not have the “know how” to figure out what formula to use as to my exotic’s cost per wager without the aid of your free cost calculator. Thank again guy’s!

  15. JIM BRESLIN says:

    Horse, simply key the winner(I am assuming you can pick the top horse), above all and then back wheel it. Yes it costs at $2 but the hits pay over $3000 usually so it’s worth the investment. I just signed you up for free.

  16. noel says:

    i buy your handicappers but it not the same as when you post you results on your web site you show so much win but using progam is not the same why is that

  17. Timothy Stewart says:

    I,m looking for a “RELIABLE” horse handicapping servive that will give me a “GOOD” percentage of hits. Please tell me about “YOUR” service ???

    Thank you.

  18. Horstradamus says:

    Tim, please contact our support team via the Contact tab at http://www.winningponies.com. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our handicapping service.

    Have a good weekend!

  19. Steve Samlal says:

    Is a suoerfecta key box wager the same as a partial wheel, do you offer such a wager and why can I not find any information on the key box wager?
    Thanks.

  20. Horstradamus says:

    Steve, they are different. A partial wheel is basically an arbitrary combination of horses. So the concept described in this article can be considered a partial wheel wager.

    A key box is when you key a specific horse in each position with some other horses for the remaining positions. So for a Superfecta, you would be betting that a specific horse will finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th and that the remaining 3 positions in the top 4 will be filled by the other horses you choose.

  21. daniel casher says:

    Here is the way I will bet the Kentucky Derby superfecta if there are 20 horses in the race. The bet basically consists of one horse being able to come in ahead of two others. These three horses must come in in the super and the top pick must rum 1st or 2nd and beat the other two, so they must run 2nd, 3rd, or 4th. There will be five separate bets, and we will use the 1 2 and 3 as examples of our key horses. Here are the five bets: 1/23/23/All 1/23/A/23 1/A/23/23 A/1/23/23 and then, just in case the 2 3 beats the 1 and the other comes third…2 3/1/23/A Those five bets cost $34 apiece, for a total of $170.00 Now you have the All in all four positions and you are using all of the horses. You must do some serious handicapping, but you have a bet where if a “out of the blue” longshot wins the race and your key comes in second with your other two picks behind it, you might cash a gigantic superfecta. I know $170 is a lot to bet on a race, but this is a once a year race and I do it. I haven’t hit it in five tries, but I have been very close. Maybe this year. And your keys don’t necessarily have to be favorites, either. If you want to spend just a little more, you can run the tri with 1/23/A 1/A/23 A/1/23 each of these bets is $36 for a total of $108. Total for both bets is $278. Two people can split it for $139 apiece.

  22. Horstradamus says:

    Daniel, thanks for sharing that strategy with us. The Kentucky Derby is definitely the time to come up with creative strategies to take home a piece of those huge payoffs.

  23. David Slavico says:

    My question is. If you hit on a .10 cent superfecta. Does that mean you win 10% of the purse

  24. David Slavico says:

    .10 cent bet all with all a best chance to win? I know it can be pricey up to $48 bet. But worth it?

  25. Horstradamus says:

    David, you get 10% of the listed $1 payoff.

  26. Horstradamus says:

    It is not uncommon to take ALL in the last position of a Superfecta.

  27. Larry says:

    Looking for selections for ky. And NY for 6/19

  28. Horstradamus says:

    Larry you can get our selections on our handicapping site http://www.winningponies.com/

  29. Marlon says:

    The Breeders Cup is the Super Bowl of horse racing. It’s the laesgrt, richest two-day event in horse racing. It’s basically the championships for each division/racing type. Canterbury Park does a really good job of explaining what it is in this post:

  30. It’s about time someone wrote about this.

  31. G.Mo Pro says:

    I won a superfecta for the Ohio Derby and actually lost a couple bucks so you can lose esp with the higher costs that come with tossing in more horses I guess because it ended close to chalk with the odds-on fave in 2nd, the payout was weak. Luckily I had a bigger $ super with fewer horses so I did well with that..

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