Superfecta is one of the most popular exotic bet types among horse racing enthusiasts. The primary reason why it’s so popular in the horse betting community is due to the potential rewards you can earn without having to risk a large sum of money.
A superfecta bet has the potential to reward you with tens of thousands of dollars by merely placing a $1 wager. In some cases, the payouts can even exceed a million dollars, making it easy to understand why it’s so popular.
One of the biggest superfecta payouts occurred at the 2005 Kentucky Derby, when one lucky bettor walked away with an impressive $864,253 on a $1 superfecta bet. Can you imagine winning such a large sum of money from such an insignificant bet amount?
The only downside to a superfecta bet is the fact that it’s nearly impossible to get right. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a serious handicapper to place a superfecta bet. Even a complete beginner has the ability to get lucky and win a large sum of money.
Here, we will take an in-depth look into superfecta bets, how they work and the different types of superfecta bets you will come across either online or next to the track. We also look at the origins of the superfecta bet, include a couple of frequently asked questions, and focus on the calculation and payouts of this popular bet type to significantly boost your confidence and your chances of hitting an enormous payout the next time you bet on a horse racing event. Let’s go…
What is a superfecta in horse racing?
A superfecta bet in horse racing is an exotic bet that requires you to predict which four horses will finish in the top four positions in a single racing event. You will need to select the four horses you believe will finish the race, and you will also need to correctly predict in which order each of the four horses will finish. You will only win your bet when all four horses finish the race in the order you predicted.
You should now have a better understanding as to why this exotic bet type is nearly impossible to get right. Quite often, it is extremely difficult to predict the winner in any given race, never mind the horses that will finish in second, third and fourth place, as well.
Even though it’s nearly impossible to correctly predict a superfecta bet, it’s still an attractive betting option in horse racing as it only costs $1. Where else do you get the opportunity to walk away with a large sum of money, usually a payout into the tens of thousands of dollars?
Now that you have a better understanding of the superfecta bet, it’s time to learn the different variations of this bet and how each one works.
Types of superfecta bets
In this section, we are going to explore the various superfecta bet types you will come across next to the racetrack or when you place a bet online. The superfecta bet types we will discuss in this section include straight superfecta, superfecta key, superfecta full wheel, superfecta part wheel and superfecta box. There’s also an example of each superfecta bet type to make it easier to understand, because we’re nice like that.
A straight superfecta bet is regarded as one of the most straightforward and popular superfecta bet types. The reason for this is that you merely need to select four horses from a single race and predict the exact order in which they will finish. In most betting destinations, you will notice that a straight superfecta is usually $2.
Example: Let’s say you select horse No. 3 to win the race, horse No. 4 to place second, horse No. 8 to place third and horse No. 9 to place fourth. Your bet ticket will look like this: $2 superfecta (3-4-8-9)
A superfecta key bet requires you to select a key horse to win the race, along with any combination of three or more horses to finish in the top four positions. You won’t be required to predict the horses that will finish second, third and fourth, though.
Example: Let’s say you select horse No. 6 as your key horse to finish in first place on top of horse Nos. 1, 3, 8 and 10. A superfecta key bet will only cost $1, and you will win if horse No. 6 wins the race, and any of your other selected horses finish the race in second, third and fourth.
Superfecta full wheel
This superfecta bet type is used when you are confident in a specific horse to win the race but not confident enough to know which of the other horses will place in second, third and fourth. You will use this bet type to cover all possible straight superfecta combinations that involve the horse you believe will win the race.
Example: Let’s say you select horse No. 8 to win the race and use this bet to cover all possible combinations that include horse No. 8 to win. The cost of this bet will depend on the number of horses in the race. Six horses will cost you $60 for the bet, while 12 horses will cost you $990.
Superfecta part wheel
With a superfecta part wheel bet, you will essentially avoid covering all possible positions, which you would cover in a superfecta full wheel bet. Instead, you will only cover the combinations that involve any horses that you believe will likely finish the race in the second, third and fourth position.
Example: Let’s say you believe horse no. 8 will win, and Nos. 1, 3, 6 and 9 will be the only horses to finish in the top four positions. You will then take a superfecta part wheel bet type where you will have No. 8 in first place, along with combinations that only include the four horses you selected in the next three positions. This bet will cost you $24, as you will need to cover 24 combinations.
This bet type is considered the easiest of all the superfecta bet types, as you merely need to select four horses that will finish the race in the top four spots without having to provide the order in which they will finish. Please be aware, however, that you will need to cover all possible combinations of how the four horses will finish in the top four positions. The more horses you select, the higher the cost will become. For instance, four horses will only cost you $24 for 24 combinations. However, seven selections will cost you $840 for 840 combinations, while 12 selections will cost you $11,880 for 11,880 combinations.
Example: Let’s say you select Nos. 3, 6, 9 and 12 to finish the race in the top four positions. This bet will cost you $24 as there’s a total of 24 combinations with the four horses you selected.
How does superfecta betting work in horse racing?
The best way to describe how a superfecta bet works in horse racing is to look at an example. Let’s say you are interested in a 10-horse race, and you are confident what the outcome will be in terms of the top four finishers. You then decide that the final order of the top four runners will be horse Nos. 4, 7, 9 and 10. You then decide to place a superfecta bet that will look like this: 4-7-9-10. Your selected horses need to finish in that exact order for you to be a winner.
You can also go one step further to increase your chances of winning by altering the top-four combination you initially placed. For instance, you can spend more on a superfecta bet and also include combinations like 10-4-9-7 or 9-10-7-4. This will just give you a far better chance of winning a superfecta bet, especially when you think you know who the top four finishers will be in a 10-horse race.
What is the difference between superfecta and a superfecta box?
The primary difference between a straight superfecta bet and a superfecta box bet is that you will need to select four horses to finish in an exact order with a straight superfecta bet, while a superfecta box bet only requires that you select four horses to finish in the top four positions without having to provide the order in which they will finish.
It’s also worth mentioning that a straight superfecta bet will cost you far less when compared to a superfecta box bet, as you will need to cover all possible positions with a superfecta box bet, while a straight superfecta bet only requires that you cover the cost of the four horses you selected to finish in an exact order. There’s far fewer combinations to deal with in a straight superfecta bet.
How to calculate superfecta bets and payouts
Calculating superfecta bets and payouts is completely different from calculating traditional horse racing bets. Superfecta bets are all based on the popular pari-mutuel betting system. This basically means that the payouts do not rely on odds. Instead, superfecta payouts are based on the number of winning tickets and the overall size of the betting pool. Let’s use a simplified example to help you understand.
Let’s say there are 10,000 bettors who all purchased a $1 straight superfecta ticket for the upcoming race. The cost of each ticket is then placed in a betting pool, which means the betting pool size is $10,000. If only one bettor manages to win, the payout will be $10,000. If two bettors make the right selection, the payout would be $5,000 for each of them. If there are four winners, the payout would be $2,500 for each of them.
Superfecta vs. other exotic bets
Once you understand each and every exotic bet type in horse racing, you will realize that a superfecta bet is one of the most difficult bets to place. But as a result, it’s also one of the most rewarding bet types there is. When you compare the superfecta bet type to other exotic bets, you will notice that you will need to select more horses with a superfecta bet than any other exotic bet in horse racing.
For instance, an exacta bet will only require two selections in a single race event, and a trifecta bet only requires that you select three horses in a single race event. The only other exotic bet that requires a bigger selection is when you make a Pick 6 bet. However, this requires that you select a winner over six consecutive races.
Big superfecta bets in history
One of the biggest superfecta payouts that was ever recorded occurred at the 2013 Kentucky Derby, when one lucky lady placed 120 different $1 superfecta bets on the top four finishers of the race. She went on to win $28,500 at the event, and what makes it even more impressive is that this was her very first time placing bets on horses.
What exactly is a superfecta bet in horse racing?
A superfecta is an exotic horse racing bet in which you’ll need to select four horses from a single racing event and predict in which order they will finish to be considered a winner. The four selected horses need to finish in the top four spots in the exact order you predicted to win.
What is the minimum stake on a superfecta bet?
The minimum stake when it comes to a superfecta bet is usually around $1. However, due to the difficulty behind this bet type, some places can go as low as $0.50 or even $0.10.
How much can I win on a superfecta bet?
This will greatly depend on the cost for a superfecta ticket and the amount of bettors who purchase a superfecta ticket for the event. A superfecta bet uses the pari-mutuel betting system, which means the ticket purchases are placed in a betting pool, which is then divided between those who have winning tickets after the race.
Which pays more, the trifecta or superfecta?
Due to the fact that you need to make an additional horse selection when it comes to superfecta bets, there’s no denying that a superfecta bet will pay more than a trifecta bet. A superfecta bet will provide far better odds than a trifecta bet as it’s more difficult to achieve.
What did the superfecta pay at the last Kentucky Derby?
The superfecta bet at the 2019 Kentucky Derby provided an astonishing payout of $51,400.10 on a mere $1 bet.
How many superfecta combinations are there in the Belmont Stakes?
The Belmont Stakes had a total of 26 different combinations when it came to superfecta selections.