A forecast is a bet where you select a number of selections to finish in a specific order, usually associated with horse and greyhound racing but becoming more common in other sports too; for example, Chelsea to win the league and Manchester City to come second would be a straight forecast. The bet will only win if the league finishes in that order.
In theory, you could place a forecast bet on any set of selections that have a defined outcome in a set order. This pretty much covers every sport as at some point there must always be a winner and a loser at least.
Even a weather forecast, for example, is a prediction of the environmental conditions in a set location at a given time. The weather may predict at 3pm in the afternoon that it will rain in London, be sunny in Paris and snow in Moscow.
A forecast bet is the same principle, you predict that in the first race at Cheltenham Big Jimmy will win, Bald Idiot will come second and Carl The Swede will come third. This is a single bet on a straight forecast and requires all three horses to finish in that position to win.
Types of Forecast and Tricast Bets
There are a few different types of forecast bet that have developed over the years.
Although the concept doesn’t change – what makes a forecast a forecast is still the same at the core of all of these slight variations on the idea – the details do, so have a read of the following to get an understand of the forecast betting market and what it can offer.
What Is A Straight Forecast?
A bet requiring specific selections to finish in specific positions, such as Chelsea to win the league and Man City to come second, this is a single stake and will only win if the selections finish in that order.
What Is A Reverse Forecast?
A bet requiring selections to finish in either order. This time if Chelsea finish first and Man City finish second or Man City finish first an Chelsea finish second but this is two bets and so is twice the stake.
What Is A Combination Forecast?
A multiple forecast bet on three or more selections predicting the finishing order of first and second. For three selections, let’s call them A, B and C, you would have 6 straight forecast bets, for example (1st/2nd) A/B, A/C, B/A, B/C, C/A, C/B. For four selections you would need 12 bets, five selections 20 bets and so on.
What Is A Tricast?
Three selections to come in a specific order, in a horse race this may be Big Jimmy to win, Silly Face to come second and Bald Idiot to place third. This is one unit stake and requires all three to finish in this order.
What Is A Combination Tricast?
Essentially a combination forecast but with three selections in any order (1st/2nd/3rd). For three selections (A, B and C) this would be 6 bets A/B/C, A/C/B, B/A/C, B/C/A, C/A/B, C/B/A, in some ways you could also think of this as a reverse tricast. Four selections would consist of 24 bets, five selections of 60 bets, and so on.
What Is A Multiple Forecast / Tricast?
It is possible to combine forecast and tricast bets into multiples. You may, for example, have a straight forecast on one race which if it wins will roll the stake and winnings onto a forecast in the next race.
Forecasts already have generally high odds and therefore it is rare to place anything larger than a treble. The size of the price means most bookies wouldn’t take bets bigger than a treble, and in fact many will only allow doubles and trebles on forecasts, not tricasts.
What is more common is to place a full cover bets such Patents and Lucky 15. This way you will still get a payout if only one forecast wins but you will also get every combination of double, treble, etc. Again not all betting sites will allow these bets.
Forecast/Tricast Dividends and Fixed Prices
There are two options when placing a forecast or tricast bet; you can either take the fixed odds at the time you place the bet or you can take the dividend once the race is run. Most non-racing foreacst/tricast bets tend to be fixed odds however (e.g. order of league at the end of a season in football).
If you take fixed odds you will be paid out at that price should your bet win, with the exception of a dead heat (see terms below). If runners are withdrawn and this causes a higher than £0.10 Rule 4 deduction then the fixed odds will revert to a dividend.
The dividend is calculated (in UK and Irish racing) by a computer based on a equation that takes into account the number of runners in the race and the odds of the horses in your bet (along with some other factors). This is why you will often see these bets and payouts termed as a computer straight forecast (CSF).
This equation produces a decimal number that you can use to work out your winnings, For example, a dividend of 12.0 would be the same as 11/1 (see our odds explained article for details on how to convert decimal odds), so with a £10 stake it would work out as £110 winnings plus £10 stake back. Of course in a reverse forecast you would only get paid one dividend and receive one of your stakes back.
Totepool betting is a little different. Here the amount you win is dependent directly on the amount of money in that particular pool divided by the number of winners. The bets are also given different names (e.g exacta, trifecta, etc.).
Terms and Conditions
- Void Bets / Non-Runners – If a leg is declared void or a non-runner then the entire stake will be wagered as a win single on the other selection at the starting price (SP). In a tricast, if there is one non-runner then the bet is settled as a straight forecast, if there are two non-runners this reverts to a win single.
- Not Enough Runners – If there are fewer than three runners in the race, then all forecasts and tricasts are automatically voided.
- Dead Heats – If two or more runners dead-heat for first or second place in a forecast, or including third place in a tricast, then separate dividends will be paid out. If you took a fixed price you will be paid at full odds but your stake will be divided by the number of selections in the dead heat.