Tote Trifecta

Basically, a tote trifecta bet is choosing the 3 placing horses in order. That sounds a lot easier than it actually is. It’s actually incredibly difficult and with most things in life, the harder the task, the sweeter the reward and the dividends for such a bet is grand.

A tote nominates a particular race that has 8+ runners and labels it a trifecta race.

You might know the terms from exacta bets, as there are three types here that are the same and they are the single, combination and banker. The operate precisely in the same manner as the formerly mentioned but instead there are 3 horses rather than 2. There’s a minimum bet of two quid.

OK, let’s look at the rules of a tote trifecta stake

The concept itself is simple enough; correctly anticipate the three horses that will place, in the order they will finish.

It’s not actually very well known and a lot of people think it’s a myth, but let the truth be told that a tote trifecta is indeed open for UK races that have exactly three horses or more.

It’s a pretty stake to take on when it comes to the choices you have for horse racing. You simply must pick those front running three horses and they must place in the order you guessed in order to get a payout.

Here’s a rundown of the basic terms of a tote trifecta

  • You get nothing for getting one wrong
  • It’s a harsh win or lose bet
  • You must name the horses
  • You can’t rely on an unnamed favourite
  • You have to bet at least ¬£2

In a tote trifecta there are dividends of a quid. You’re allowed combinations and/or perms which start at and go up in a denomination of 10 pence to reach that required amount of two quid.

Now let’s break down the maths…

If you pick 3 with full cover, you have 6 bets

4 and you have 24

5, 60

6, 120

7, 210

It’s not uncommon to be told that having more bets eventually becomes counterproductive, and that’s generally advised across the board with gambling, even in casino games, but here in a tote trifecta you can figure it out by taking however many trebles in your amount of selections then times that number by six.

You might have some questions…

Can you use a banker in a tote trifecta horse racing bet?

Yes, you can!

It’s advisable to have fewer bets within your combinations and perms. You might literally have hundreds of bets on the go but the simple fact still remains that you will either win or lose and you’re only going to win a trifecta one time so why don’t you just keep your bets on the low side?

If you’ve got one banker and you use for any place and 3 other horses, you’ve got 18 bets.

4 and you have 36 bets

5, 60


If you’ve got two bankers and you use them for any place and 2 other horses then you have 12 bets.

3 and you have 18

4, 24

5, 30

6, 36

…You get the point, it’s really not too difficult to figure out.

Do combinations and perms stand in a trifecta?


A trifecta is a wonderful thing for the casual better in search of a cheap thrill (or a small stake). Combinations and/or a perm is the strategy for this kind of player because you must have the utmost confidence in your selections if you’re indulging in a straight bet because the nature of the beast is harsh and unforgiving when it comes to mistakes.

What’s the difference between a tricast and a trifecta?

Good question! A tricast is very complex. It’s a dividend that is worked out using a computer which relies on an algorithm that originates from a bookmaker.

A trifecta is a placepot like the others where the dividend awarded at the end is more simply calculated off the back of the number of winnings tickets, minus some bookie commission and some money pumped back into horse racing itself.

How about the difference between a fixed and tote bet?

As explained, a tote is essentially a pool.

A fixed bet is a price that is given to you with the option to take it or leave it. It’s inflexible.

What if one horse is unlucky and becomes a non-runner?

Within trifecta horse races you’re refunded whatever you paid on your bet if one of them is a non-runner.

Usually, the entire bet would then be void, but not in this bet.

There are still good runners and obviously as you need three and those runners will run and your bet is valid in the tote. This is good news! You can still win something!

The part of the void bet from the non-runner (which can be a right pain when it comes to voiding bets that are part of a combination) is simply given back to the punter.

If you have a non-runner, don’t walk away from a potential payout! Another horse will finish and you could squeeze some winnings out of that trifecta.

Final thoughts

A trifecta is only simple in theory, not in practice. It’s fun to guess of who will place 1st 2nd or 3rd. If you get any of the 1st 2nd or 3rd places wrong, you lose. It’s critical to guess what horse will finish where, and the odds can really work in your favour so long as you don’t put on too many bets at too high a stake. There’s an element of strategy to a successful trifecta. You can use a perm or combination on a particular horse race so that, at the end of the day, you finish on a high.

All in all, it’s a thrilling but low-risk bet if done right!

Other Bet Types

Here is the full list of horse racing betting types: