What Is A Boxed Trifecta?

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A boxed trifecta works by allowing you to take multiple trifecta combinations using three or more selections. Instead of picking horses to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in a specific order, you get a payout if your selections fill the placings in ANY order.

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For example, a $6 boxed trifecta on horses 5, 6 and 7 would actually cover 6 different combos – 5-6-7, 5-7-6, 6-5-7, 6-7-5, 7-5-6 and 7-6-5. As long as your horses run 1st, 2nd and 3rd, you win.

Combination NumberCombination
15-6-7
25-7-6
36-5-7
46-7-5
57-5-6
67-6-5

How Much Boxed Trifectas Cost

When boxing horses, you’ll need to outlay $1 for every possible trifecta permutation. A box with 3 horses has 6 combinations so costs $6. Four horses has 24 combos costing $24. Bookmakers and the betting sites have easy boxed trifecta tickets where you just nominate your selections and they’ll automatically calculate the number of combinations. We’ve put together the below handy guide on how much a boxed trifecta would cost based on a $1 bet:

Number of HorsesCost of Boxed Trifecta Bet (Number of Combinations)
3 horse box trifecta cost$6 (6 combinations)
4 horse box trifecta cost$24 (24 combinations)
5 horse box trifecta cost$60 (60 combinations)
6 horse box trifecta cost$120 (120 combinations)
7 horse box trifecta cost$210 (210 combinations)
8 horse box trifecta cost$336 (336 combinations)
9 horse box trifecta cost$504 (504 combinations)
10 horse box trifecta cost$720 (720 combinations)

Advantages of a Boxed Trifecta

The main benefit is you dramatically increase your chances of hitting a trifecta payout. Even if you don’t predict the exact finishing order, your boxed horses can still earn dividends making it perfect when you have a few standout picks but are unsure of the final finishing positions. A boxed trifecta gives you coverage flexibility.

Boxed Trifecta Downside

The downside is a boxed trifecta can quickly become an expensive outlay as you add more selections. You can limit costs by only boxing 3-4 horses that are genuine winning hopes. Or take a “flexi” trifecta where you buy a percentage of the full permutation.

Boxed Trifecta Payout

The payout for a boxed trifecta is calculated by taking the total amount bet on the winning combination and dividing it by the total number of $1 boxed trifecta bets.

The less likely the winning trifecta combination, the higher the payout will typically be. In other words,  more popular horses means more bets placed on the winning combo, lowering the payout. Longshot horses placing in the top 3 spots usually results in bigger boxed trifecta payouts. Lesser backed horses mean less winning bets to split the pool.

A minimum $1 boxed trifecta bet in Australia usually pays out several hundred dollars if successful. More exotic combinations can pay thousands or even tens of thousands on longer odds.

For example, a $1 boxed trifecta on 3 horses that are 10-1, 15-1 and 30-1 may pay $3,000 or more if they fill the placings.

The size of the betting pool also impacts payouts – bigger pools allow for larger dividends. Major races attract huge trifecta pools.

It’s impossible to predict the exact payout until the race is run and the pool size and number of winning bets is known. But the less likely the combo, the higher it tends to pay.

A boxed trifecta is just one type of betting option when it comes to picking the first 3 horses in a race. Read our complete guide to trifectas here or view other types of bets you can place on horse racing in Australia.

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