How Do Forecasts & Tricasts Work in Racing?

Horses Racing Towards the FinishForecast and tricast betting is one of the most popular bet types in racing, for both horses and greyhounds. For a forecast, you are required to not only pick the winner of a race, but what will finish second. Similarly for tricasts, you need to pick what horses will finish in first, second and third.

These bet types, especially tricasts, have been known to generate some of the biggest sports betting payouts. They seen as a way to win larger sums with a relatively small initial outlay.

For special big field horse races such as the Grand National, there are some bookmakers that offer a first four market, sometimes called a quadcast, which involves predicting the first four horses home. Whilst these types of bets are rare, it’s worth pointing out that they are sometimes available.

The results for these bets are usually given as a dividend to a £1 single unit stake, similar to that of a Tote bet. The reason for this will become more apparent as you learn about the bets below. This dividend is calculated based on the odds of the horses in the race and the horses that come in. The bigger the odds, the bigger the forecast and tricast. You will sometimes see the forecast referred  to as CSF (Computer Straight Forecast).

What is Forecast Betting?

10bet Horse Racing Forecast Betting Screenshot

Forecast betting is where you need to select the finishing order of a the winner and runner-up of a certain race or event. Most commonly you will need to choose the horse that finishes first and the horse that finishes second in a given race. For a straight forecast, you will simply need to pick which will finish first, and which will finish second which is one single bet.

Generally this will be paid as a dividend, as we mention in the introduction. Some betting sites however, will offer you fixed odds on the straight forecast based on the prices of the selections at that time.

Reverse Forecasts

The reverse forecast is where you need to name two horses to finish in first or second place in either order. The beauty of this is that you don’t need to select the correct order for this to occur.

The bet comes as a 2 unit stake bet, to cover the two possible outcomes. For example, you might bet on horse A to finish first and horse B to finish second, but with this bet you need to cover horse B to finish and horse A to finish second; two separate bets.

Stake First Second
Bet 1 1 Unit Horse A Horse B
Bet 2 1 Unit Horse B Horse A

Combination Forecasts

Although the most common forecasts are straight forecasts and reverse forecasts, there may be occasions when you want to pick more than two horses, with any two of them finishing in the first two places in a race. This is known as a combination forecast. For example, you could have three horses from which you think the first two places will be filled. This would be a total of six bets as there are six combinations of horses finishing first and second. If they were horses A,B and C these would be:

Stake First Second
Bet 1 1 Unit Horse A Horse B
Bet 2 1 Unit Horse B Horse A
Bet 3 1 Unit Horse A Horse C
Bet 4 1 Unit Horse C Horse A
Bet 5 1 Unit Horse B Horse C
Bet 6 1 Unit Horse C Horse B

The formula for working out how many bets there are in a combination forecast is quite simple.

The number of selections multiplied by the number of selections -1

So, if you had ten selections, the number of bets in a combination forecast would be 10 x 9 = 90 bets

What is Tricast Betting?

Coral Horse Racing Tricast Betting Screenshot

Tricasts are an extension of the forecast bets, but with this you need to choose horses to finish in the top three positions. For a straight tricast you will need to state the exact order of the first 3 horses in the race to be successful in this bet and if just one of the horses does not finish in the correct position, you will not win the bet.

Tricasts are only be available in handicap horses races with 8 or more declared runners. However, if eight or more runners are declared but only seven horses run the race, a tricast will still be given. This is the reason that some seven horse races have the first three shown in the results, despite the fact there are only two places.  Should fewer than 7 horses run then your bet will be void and your stake will be returned. For greyhounds there needs to be six runners or more though the race doesn’t have to be a handicap.

This bet type is popular when choosing between horses in larger field races, such as the Grand National, due to their large dividends as mentioned earlier.

Combination Tricasts

As with forecasts, you can bet on a combination tricast where your bet can be won when your selections finish in any order. For three selections, this is also made up of six bets.

Stake First Second Third
Bet 1 1 Unit Horse A Horse B Horse C
Bet 2 1 Unit Horse B Horse A Horse C
Bet 3 1 Unit Horse A Horse C Horse B
Bet 4 1 Unit Horse C Horse A Horse B
Bet 5 1 Unit Horse B Horse C Horse A
Bet 6 1 Unit Horse C Horse B Horse A

For more than three selection, the formula is slightly different to that of forecasts.

The number of selections multiplied by the number of selections -1 multiplied by number of selections -2

So, if we had ten selections, the number of bets in a combination tricast would be 10 x 9 x 8 = 720 bets.

What Happens if There’s a Non-Runner?

Terms and Conditions Post it Note on Keyboard

If one of your horses from your forecast or reverse forecast bet is a non-runner then one of two things will occur, either:

  1. Your stake will be refunded and the bet will go down as void, or
  2. Your bet will be moved to a single win bet for the remaining horse in the race at the start price

The majority of bookmakers that you come across will apply the void bet rule to this market. But, we did find some bookmakers, who went down the option 2 route and amended the bet into a single win bet.

For tricasts, your bet will either be void, or become a forecast on the remaining two selections. If there are two non-runners, your bet would either be void or all moved to win market of the remaining runner at SP.

If you are unsure, it is highly recommend that you contact your bookmaker for more information and clarification.

Can You Place Ante Post Forecasts & Tricasts?

Unavailable on Tablet

What you will find from most bookmakers is that forecasts and tricasts are not accepted on ante post races. This is because the ante post market technically doesn’t have set runners. They know the horses who might be running but it isn’t possible to determine for this sure until the declaration stage.

You may find some bookmakers offer ante posts forecasts as a special market though these will be at fixed odds.