Friday, November 12, 2010

50 Cent Trifectas

What is a trifecta? A trifecta is a bet where you structure the bet so that you have the three horses that come in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Why would you bet a trifecta? Well let's ask Bob. Bob likes trifectas because they pay good when you hit them. Bob reserves a portion of his bankroll to trifecta bets. Some times he even commits one day to just betting trifectas. Now why do you do that Bob? Recently a number of tracks across the country have introduced the 50 cent trifecta. In the not to distant past there were only $2 trifectas. Then tracks began to allow $1 trifectas.

Now there is the 50 cent trifecta at many tracks. Bob likes to look at the combinations that he can cover with a bet in the range he is comfortable with within his bankroll. Bob says let's look at a simple trifecta bet where three horses are boxed. Here are the combinations for three horses that are boxed.
123 132 213 231 312 321
Any one of these six results will win the trifecta. Bob wants to now look at the cost of this bet if it was a $2 trifecta bet. Since there are 6 possible combinations to win this bet it will cost 6 x $2 = $12. If it was a $1 trifecta bet then the cost would be 6 x $1 = $6. A 50 cent trifecta would therefore cost 6 x $.50 = $3. Bob looks at this 50 cent trifecta as a way to get more combinations working for him in his bet than ever before.

Okay Bob what would it cost to box 4 horses? A $2 trifecta box of 4 horses would cost (4 x 3 x 2 x 1) x $2 = $48. A $1 trifecta box of 4 would cost $48 / 2 = $24. A 50 cent trifecta box would cost $24 / 2 = $12. As Bob sees it he can get 48 combinations that could win for $12 with a 50 cent trifecta box. With a $2 trifecta box that cost $12 he would get only 6 combinations that could win. Sure the 50 cent payoff would only be 1/4 of the payoff for a $2 trifecta but Bob says he can make 4 times as many bets. He likes this. The probability of winning with 48 combinations is much better than with just 6.

One of Bob's favorite trifecta bets is when he can find a race with two heavy favorites on the toteboard. Let's say that this race that Bob locates has 10 horses in the race. The trifecta structure that Bob likes is 1,2/ALL/1,2. A 50 cent trifecta with this structure will cost 2 x 8 x 1 x .50 = $8. As a hedge Bob would also bet 1,2/1,2/ALL which will cost $8 also. So for two bets that Bob buys for $16 he would be getting 32 possible winning combinations for his $16.

Bob likes the possibilities he gets with the 50 cent trifecta.

Good luck.

'til next time.