What Is A Trifecta?

Our Top Recommended Australian Betting Site:

PlayUp fixed odds

What are you really gambling with? Set a deposit limit.

For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit gamblinghelponline.org.au

A trifecta bet involves correctly selecting the first three horses to finish in exact order in a race.

What are you really gambling with? Set a deposit limit.

For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit gamblinghelponline.org.au

Here’s a guide to trifecta betting on Australian horse races and the various options:

1. The Straight Trifecta

This is the basic trifecta bet, where you must pick the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placegetters in correct sequence. The trifecta dividend pool is distributed amongst all winning standard trifecta bets. For example, a $1 trifecta bet on horses 7-5-2 would require horse 7 to win, horse 5 to run 2nd and horse 2 to finish 3rd to collect the full dividend. Minor placings result in no payout.

2. Box Trifecta

This option allows you to take multiple trifecta combinations using three or more selections. You get a payout if your horses fill the placings in any order. A $6 box trifecta on horses 5,6,7 would cover all possible finishes like 7-6-5, 5-7-6 etc. This gives you more chances of success. Read our more detailed guide to what is a boxed trifecta here.

3. Standout Trifecta

This involves “standing out” one horse to win, and adding multiple combinations for 2nd and 3rd. For example, a $12 standout trifecta with horse 3 to win, and horses 5,6,7 for 2nd and 3rd. You collect if 3 wins and two of your other selections fill placings.

4. Flexi Trifecta

A flexi trifecta allows you to purchase a percentage share of a trifecta bet for greater outlay control. If successful, your dividend is the percentage of the full dividend. You can outlay as little as 10% while keeping a budget in check.

5. Mystery Trifecta

A mystery trifecta is a type of trifecta bet where the betting site selects the trifecta combinations on behalf of the punter. The punter does not choose the trifecta combinations themselves.

Calculating Trifecta Payouts

The trifecta payout or dividend is determined by the total amount in the trifecta pool and the amount of winning trifecta bets. The trifecta pool consists of all the bets placed on the trifecta for that race. This pool is separate from win, place, and other bet types.

When the race is over, the total trifecta pool is divided by the number of winning trifecta bets. This gives the base payout for a $1 trifecta bet.

For example:

  • Trifecta pool = $100,000
  • Winning trifecta bets = 100
  • Calculation: $100,000 pool / 100 winning tickets = $1,000 payout for a $1 trifecta bet
  • So if you placed a $1 trifecta bet that won, your payout would be $1,000.


Key factors that affect Trifecta payout size:

  • Pool size – The more money bet into the trifecta, the bigger the potential payouts.
  • Number of winning bets – Fewer winning bets means a higher payout per ticket.
  • Bet amount – Payouts are proportional to bet size. A $5 winning trifecta ticket gets 5x the $1 payout.


How Trifecta Odds are Calculated:

Trifecta odds are determined by the probability of the selected horses finishing in the exact picked order. The lower the probability, the higher the odds and potential payout.

The odds for each selection are multiplied together to calculate the estimated trifecta odds.

For example:

Horse A – 2/1
Horse B – 5/1
Horse C – 10/1

Trifecta odds calculation:

Horse A win odds: 2/1 = 2
Horse B come second odds: 5/1 = 5
Horse C come third odds: 10/1 = 10

2 x 5 x 10 = 100/1

Therefore, the estimated trifecta odds are 100/1 in this example.

The actual trifecta dividend can vary from the estimated odds based on factors like pool size. But the odds give an approximation of the likelihood.

Check out our full guide to the types of bets you can place on horse racing in Australia, or head on over to our homepage for an up to date list of the Best betting sites.

Imagine What You Could Be Buying Instead. 

For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit gamblinghelponline.org.au