Forecast and Tricast Betting: How to Bet Successfully

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Last Updated on: 22.02.2023

Usually associated with horse and greyhound racing, forecast betting requires a punter to back two selections to finish 1st and 2nd (that is, in a specific order) in an event. Tricast betting, on the other hand, involves the 3rd spot as well – hence the name. This type of betting is gradually gaining ground across other sports too.

In all fairness, you can place a forecast and tricast wager on any sport, as long as it involves a definite set of outcomes in a particular order. For example, this could be Liverpool winning the Premier League with Man City at #2, or Rafael Nadal winning the Rolland Garros with Stefanos Tsitsipas finishing as the runner-up.

What is Forecast Betting?

Simply said, forecast betting rolls 2 bets into 1. This is because you need to back two distinct selections in a sporting event — predict one to finish first and the other to secure the second spot. In horse racing, for instance, you have to back the horse that you think will come first as well as the one that could be the runner-up.

While this type of betting is more common across horse and greyhound racing, you can place this wager on any sport in which 2 outcomes in a specific order are possible. Attractive markets for forecast and tricast betting include football, tennis, Formula 1 and golf. This is also why the wager is so named – you are trying to ‘forecast’ the finishers (the winner and the runner-up).

Considering that you will have to predict both the selections correctly to win in the particular order, forecast betting is usually challenging when it comes to backing only the winner in an event. Also, the odds for this type of a wager are calculated on the basis of the winning odds of the top two selections and the other participants.

Imagine that you are predicting Novak Djokovic winning the Australian Open and Rafael Nadal coming 2nd. For you to win the wager, the results need to unfold in that exact order. Should either selection not come up as you had predicted, you’d lose the bet and your stake.

William Hill is offering handsome forecast odds on Rain Ray finishing 1st and Superstyle 2nd at Fonner Park.

betslip showing forecast betting on luckynsuccessful

Similarly, head over to Coral to place a forecast on Luckynsuccessful to finish 1st and Top of The Page to secure the 2nd spot in another race at Fonner Park.

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Types of Forecast Betting

When it comes to forecast bets, there are multiple types. While some offer the advantage of having more selections, others seek to expand coverage. Let’s explore:

Straight forecast

This is undoubtedly the purest form of forecast betting, only requiring you to predict the finisher and runner-up (horse, greyhound, football club, tennis player) in an event. However, remember that even if the winner of the contest were to unfold as you had predicted, you would still lose the bet should the other selection not finish 2nd.

For example, you place a bet through Coral on‘Ray’s Angel’ to win and ‘Unleash the Beast’ to be the runner-up in a race at Will Rogers Downs.

betslip showing straight forecast betting

Reverse forecast

Here, you get that desired headway if you are not particularly sure about which selection could come first. That being said, it still warrants you to back the two finishers, only with the added flexibility that they can finish in any order.

Let's take an example of a bet placed on Liverpool to win the league and Manchester City to finish second, or vice versa. You will win the wager as long as the two selections finish 1st and 2nd, never mind the sequence. Essentially, a reverse forecast is two different straight forecast wagers. Remember that since this involves two bets, the stake is twice as much.

For example, you can place a reverse forecast through William Hill on ‘Irish Thunder’ and ‘One to Remember’ to occupy the top two positions in a race at the Taree (Australia) racecourse.

betslip showing tricast betting

Combination forecast

It is identical to a reverse forecast, with the order of the final standing of your selections irrelevant. However, the difference is that you will have to back a minimum of three selections, and hope to win the wager should any two occupy the top 2 spots, irrespective of the order.

It is wise to note that this type of forecast canopies multiple combinations. For example, consider you are backing Secret Biscuit, Visual Punch and Shanghai Mike in a horse racing combination forecast. There can be as many as 6 different ways that these three selections can combine to form a ‘winner-runner-up’ outcome – Secret Biscuit/Visual Punch, Secret Biscuit/Shanghai Mike, Visual Punch/Secret Biscuit, Visual Punch/Shanghai Mike, Shanghai Mike/Secret Biscuit, and Shanghai Mike/Visual Punch.

NOTE: The more selections there are, the more the number of possible combinations that can feature in the top two spots. Your stake will also increase accordingly.

For example, on William Hill, you can place a combination forecast wager at lucrative odds on ‘Right Royal Cheer’, ‘Camilla’, and ‘For Honourandglory’ at the Gloucester Park (Australia) racecourse.

betslip showing combination forecast betting

Straight Forecast vs Exacta

At a surface glance, an exacta is the same as a straight forecast bet – you will still need to back the top two finishers and predict their exact order of standing. However, there is a slight difference between the two.

You don’t place an exacta with a standard bookmaker. Instead, you place this wager in money that has been pooled in from fellow bettors; any winnings are then distributed out of that pool. Here, dividends are calculated differently by factoring in the sum of all stakes and the number of bettors.

The prevalent notion is that betting on an exacta is more profitable than against a straight forecast. That’s because it doesn’t involve any bookmaker who would have otherwise set limits. Moreover, the money is proportionately divided on the basis of who has staked how much on the selections.

What is Tricast Betting?

This is essentially taking forecast betting a step higher; that is, you have to predict the top 3 in an event, albeit in a particular order. The name ‘tricast’ is itself indicative of the fact that you have to back 3 selections. This trickier cousin of forecast betting requires a single unit stake, and is likely to pay out at longer odds.

The flipside, however, is that the probability of predicting the 3 selections correctly (and in the exact sequence) is relatively low, even though it is something that contributes to the impressive odds.

Let's imagine a situation where you have bet on Rafael Nadal to win the Australian Open, Stanislas Wawrinka to finish 2nd, and Tsitsipas to be the second runner-up, OR Ice on Fire to finish 1st, with Lenson Bocko and Ballymac Cooper at the 2nd and 3rd spots in the Greyhound Derby.

Likewise, you can place a tricast on Torpedo Zhodino to win the Belarusian Premier League, with BATE Borisov and Dinamo Minsk to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.

NOTE: All the selections have to win in the exact order. Even if one of them were not to finish the way as predicted, you’d lose the wager.

Types of Tricast Betting

Typically, there are two types of tricast bets. Let us explore:

Straight tricast

This is the definitive tricast bet, one that warrants the punter to back 3 selections in a particular order. Remember that it requires a single stake, and you win the wager only if the selections finish in the exact sequence as predicted.

Straight tricast odds are usually longer for forecast bets, considering the higher amount of guesswork involved. At the same time, the possibility of the 3 selections unfolding your way is comparatively low.

Through William Hill, you can place a straight tricast at handsome odds on Blackjack Bart (to win at 5/4) to win a race at Albion Park, followed by The Hummer (to win at 7/4) and Zaras All Good (to win at 6/1) at the 2nd and 3rd spots respectively.

betslip showing straight tricast betting

Combination tricast

Much like its forecast counterpart, a combination tricast improves your chance at winning the wager. Here, you have to back 3 (or more) selections and hope they finish within the top 3. You win as long as your picks occupy the first 3 spots, irrespective of the exact order.

While it is a prudent way to get more coverage on your wager, remember that your stake will increase accordingly. The equation is simple: more selections = more bets = higher stakes.

For instance, imagine that you are backing Secret Biscuit, Visual Punch and Shanghai Mike in a horse racing combination tricast. There can be as many as 6 different ways that these 3 selections can combine to form a ‘winner- runner-up – second runner-up’ outcome – Secret Biscuit/Visual Punch/Shanghai Mike, Secret Biscuit/Shanghai Mike/Visual Punch, Visual Punch/Secret Biscuit/Shanghai Mike, Visual Punch/Shanghai Mike/Secret Biscuit, Shanghai Mike/Secret Biscuit/Visual Punch, and Shanghai Mike/Visual Punch/Secret Biscuit.

REMEMBER: More selections = more bets. For example, with 4 selections, you are looking at 24 possible ‘winner – runner-up – second runner-up’ combinations. Likewise, 5 selections equal 60 bets. Backing 6 selections to finish in the first 3 spots will need a staggering 120 bets. So, if you were to stake a £10 combination tricast, 6 selections would add up to £1200!

What Are The Other Sports That I Can Bet On?

While forecast and tricast betting is predominant in horse racing, there are a range of other sports in the UK that are ideally suited to this type of wager. As mentioned earlier, you can place a forecast (or tricast) as long as the sport involves a definite number of possible outcomes in a particular sequence.

Greyhound racing

This is undoubtedly the other most popular choice when it comes to forecast and tricast betting. In fact, some punters argue that greyhound racing is the ideal sport for this type of punting because the field size is consistent, comprising no more than 6 selections.

This may make it easier for you to make more accurate predictions, as opposed to horse racing where the field size can be as many as 40 — such as when betting on the Grand National.

As it so happens, William Hill is offering attractive straight forecast odds on Cinder Valley to win and Canya Bandido to finish runner-up in the Australia Fixed Odds, Mandurah.


Next up is arguably the most popular sport in the world. Some bookmakers offer straight and reverse forecast (and tricast) bets on the team to finish 1st and the subsequent runner-ups. While chances are that the number of markets would be limited, you can wager across particular competitions and tournaments – the English Premier League and the European Championships, for instance.

For a competition like the Football World Cup, the reverse forecast is likely to be the same wager that you put in the ‘Finalists’ market.


Usually, punters offer straight (or reverse) forecast and tricast bets on the Grand Slams. For example, at Wimbledon, you can fancy the Holy Trinity to guard the top three spots — Novak Djokovic to win The Championships, followed by Roger Federer at 2nd, and Rafael Nadal the second runner-up.

Forecast betting in tennis is likely to be the same wager that you place in the ‘Finalists’ market.

Betting At Dividends or Fixed Prices?

There are usually a couple of options while placing a forecast or tricast wager. You can either settle for fixed odds while placing the bet or collect the dividends once the race has been run. With the former, the bookie guarantees paying out at fixed odds should you win the wager, irrespective of whether the dividends are eventually higher (or lower).

NOTE: However, in the case of dead heat — where the performance of two or more competitors is adjudged equal, thereby producing no clear winner – the stake is proportionately divided among the winning selections. Had you taken fixed odds, you’d be paid out in full, only that your stake would be divided between the dead heat selections.

Usually, forecast and tricast bets, on most non-racing events like football, tend to be available at fixed odds.

Alternatively, dividends are calculated on the basis of the number of runners in the event and the ‘to win’ odds on your selections. These bets are also called Computer Straight Forecast (CSF). It usually generates the dividend as a decimal – for example, a dividend of 11.0 would be equal to 10/1. Therefore, with a stake of £10, you will get a pay-out of £100 on the back of the £10.

Therefore, the total winnings = £110.

Forecast and Tricast Betting: Top Tips and Strategies

Forecast betting is undeniably tempting. Here, you have the potential to register massive winnings, and with the necessary research, you can surely go a long way. However, it pays – literally – to acknowledge the risks that come with it.

This kind of betting isn’t easy; it is challenging to predict the top 2/3 in itself, let alone guess the exact order. That being said, keeping in mind the following tips can be a lifesaver while you are still dabbling in forecast and tricast betting:

Consider what form the selection/player/team has been in

This is a no-brainer. No matter what type of bet you’re looking at, it is imperative that you know if your selection has been on top form or performing abysmally. For instance, if you’re placing a straight forecast in Wimbledon, you wouldn’t want to back Rafael Nadal to win The Championships and Novak Djokovic to finish runner-up.

Look at their H2Hs, and probe into what has been unfolding of late. The last time Rafael Nadal was crowned champion at the Wimbledon was in 2010. Novak, on the other hand, has been able to script a fairy-tale comeback from the whole raft of injuries that had plagued him, winning The Championships in 2019 in an epic finale against the Swiss maestro, Roger Federer.

Instead, it would be wiser to place a Novak Djokovic-Roger Federer straight forecast. All in all, make sure that you are up-to-date with the form of your selection to make an informed decision, no matter what the sport is.

Know how many combinations are possible

Take a horse race with a field size of just 6. You will have 30 different possible straight forecast combinations. Likewise, on a field size of 8, you can have as many as 336 different straight tricast combinations! Also, know the possible combination forecasts if you are gunning for one.

For example, consider you are backing 3 horses in a combination forecast. There can be 6 clear ways that the 3 can combine for the final ‘winner-runner-up’ outcome. Remember that the more selections, the higher the number of combination bets, and therefore, the more significant the stakes will be.

A single unit stake of £10, used on a combination forecast consisting of 4 selections, will add up to £120, considering there will be 12 possible combination bets. The same £10, when used to stake on a combination tricast of 4 selections, will result in a total stake of £240, as there will be 24 possible combinations.

For example, William Hill is offering impressive combination forecast and tricast odds on Angelique’s Fame, Daishio, I’m Icey, and Carlton Castle in the race at the Ascot racecourse, Australia.

To give yourself that gentle push along the way, you can make use of dependable online forecast betting calculators. Choose ‘Forecast’ from a range of bet types, adjust the bet details, type in your stake, and click on ‘Calculate’ to work out your potential winnings.

Forecast and Tricast Betting: Terms and Conditions

Keep in mind the following terms of forecast and tricast betting:

If your selection is a non-runner:

In the case that your selection is declared void or is not taking part in the event, the stake will be used entirely on the remaining selection, as a win single at the starting odds. Similarly, should one selection be a non-runner in a tricast bet, it would be treated much like a straight forecast bet.

In the ante post market, a non-runner is settled as a loser. However, you can always cushion the loss with a Non Runner No Bet wager.

If there are no adequate runners:

Should there only be 3 runners in a race, all reverse tricast bets would be immediately voided. In case it is less than 3, all forecast and tricast bets will be off.

Dead heat?

A dead heat is a rare occurrence when two or more competitors perform equally, such that there is no perceivable difference between them. In this case, it becomes near impossible to call out a clear winner. When this happens, you win half the bet and lose the other half. In other words, your stake would be divided equally among the dead heat selections, and you’d be paid out at full odds.

For example, you stake £10 on Gentleman Coglais at odds of 16/1. If your selection wins, you will register sizeable winnings of £170 (that is, a pay-out of £160 + £10 stake). However, if the race were to end in a dead heat with Graziella Spring, only one half of your stake would win. Therefore, you’d be paid out at 16/1 on a £5 stake.


This bet type requires you to back the top 2 selections in an event and predict the exact order of outcomes. For example, you have to predict which horse will occupy pole position and which could finish at the 2nd spot. To win this wager, both the selections will have to come through in the stated order.
It is similar to a forecast bet; the only differences is that you will have to predict the top 3 selections instead of 2. In football, a straight tricast wager would mean backing Bayern Munich to win the Bundesliga, and Borussia Dortmund and Leipzig to occupy 2nd and 3rd spots respectively.
In the case that you have placed a straight forecast, but one of the selections has been declared a non-runner, the entire stake will be used as a win single on the other selection. You will be offered starting odds. If it is a straight tricast, a non-runner will result in your bet being treated like a straight forecast.
In the case that your selection is involved in a dead heat with a competitor, you’d win only one half of the bet. That is, the stake will be divided proportionately among the dead heat selections. Remember that you’d be paid out at full odds.
Forecast and tricast bets apply to various sports, as long as it involves the possibility of definite outcomes in a particular sequence. Besides horse racing, bookmakers offer this type of bet on greyhound racing, football, tennis, golf, Formula 1 and the like.

ThePuntersPage Final Say

There are definite advantages of forecast and tricast betting. You get higher odds, considering you have to predict the top 2/3 selections in their exact order of standing, something that is riskier when it comes to placing other traditional bets. However, the fact that all the selections have to turn up as predicted if you were to win the wager lends it that extra level of unpredictability.

If you know your selections inside out and have done your research, this bet type will be up your alley. The odds on forecast and tricast bets are long, with the possibility of a sizeable pay-out. Having said that, the chances of winning the wager are relatively less, considering there’s a lot at play here.

With even the slightest experience in equestrian performance sport, you will know that backing a clear winner is a challenge in itself. When you are trying to team that with horses that could finish second (and third), you are resting on some real good luck to go your way.

However, the trick is to look at the form of your selections. For example, there will be multiple horses that often place but rarely get over the line. If you spot these up against an outright favourite, that could be an excellent forecast betting opportunity.

Should you spot 2 or 3 selections that clearly stand out from the pack, you might do well by placing a reverse forecast, or a combination tricast for that matter.

When all is said and done, there seems to be a method to the apparent madness. Stick to your guns, know the best online operators, tips and stats, and read up on our carefully compiled bookmaker reviews thoroughly to help you make the right decisions.

And, as with betting in general, leave the rest to luck. You can also check out our detailed article on Betting Terms & Definitions