Trixie Betting

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Many types of combination bets have become popular in horse racing. Almost everyone who wagers at the track will be familiar with the Exacta, Quinella and Trifecta. Also of great interest is the class of combination bets that offer “full coverage,” consisting of all possible doubles, trebles and accumulators across a specified number of selections. Some of these have exotic names like Alphabet, Goliath and Super Heinz. In the United States, “Round Robin Parlay” is the phrase used to refer to such full cover bets.

Among the basic full coverage bets that every horseracing fan should know is the “trixie” bet. It consists of four wagers on three selections in different events, including three doubles and one treble—AB, AC, BC and ABC. It is similar to the so-called “patent” bet made up of seven wagers, but without single bets placed on each selection—A, B, C—so at least two of the selections must succeed to receive a return.

One way to think of the trixie is as a treble to which three doubles have been added. The advantage is that if one selection fails to win, a return is still collected. Alternatively, the trixie can be thought of as similar to the patent, but with the single bets omitted. The disadvantage is that a single winner does not generate a return.

The trixie bet can be set up in either of two ways. The most labourious route is to manually calculate the amount of each of the four wagers. Fortunately, trixie bet calculators are readily available on the Internet and a simple search will reveal one that can get the job done with little effort. The bettor only needs to input a few variables, starting with the size of the stake, whether the bets are to be each way or not and what type of odds are quoted—decimal, fractional or American.

Next, the data for the three selections must be input. This requires knowing the odds to win for each selection and also, if each way is selected, the place odds. From this point, the calculator will display the amount to wager on each of the four bets, the total payout expected with three winners and the net profit.

Take the case of a £20 stake used to create a trixie bet for Horses A, B and C at decimal odds of 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0, respectively, and no each way betting. The calculator indicates that the price of each bet should be £5.00. Should all three picks succeed, the return would be £250.00, with a net profit of £230.00.

Next, some adjustments can be made to see what the financial outcome will be if Horse A loses and the other two picks win—a net profit of £40.00 on a return of £60.00. Or what if Horse B is the one that fails and the other succeed—a total return of £40.00 for a net gain of £20.00. And if Horse C loses, but the other two prevail—a net gain of £10.00 on a gross payout of £30.00.

The calculator makes it easy to see how small adjustments in any variable will affect the result, from adding in each way bets to what happens when there is a non-runner or a dead-heat finish. And by working backward, the calculator can also be used to determine optimum amounts to wager when a certain profit is desired. It is often a good idea to create a cornerstone for the bet, too, by slipping a Banker in at short odds and then make two selections at longer odds.

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