What is forecast and tricast betting?

Aside from the commonplace win or each-way bets, horse racing offers punters a range of more complex, challenging bets, each with its own level of risk and reward. The forecast and tricast are two such bets, insofar as they require punters to select, in the case of the forecast, the winner and runner-up and, in the case of the tricast, the winner, runner-up and third-placed horse in a particular race.

In its purest from, known as a ‘straight forecast’, forecast betting requires punters to select the first and second horses home, in the correct order. The so-called ‘reversed forecast’ similarly consists of just two selections, but in either order, as long as they occupy the first two places. Thus, a reversed forecast is effectively two straight forecasts and, logically, requires double the stake of the standard bet. Likewise, the so-called ‘combination forecast’ consists of three or more selections, any two of which can fill the first two places, in either order, to produce a winning return. Obviously, extra combinations require extra stakes, so three selections require six stakes, four require twelve stakes and so on. In any case, computer straight forecast dividends, based on starting prices and quoted to a £1 stake, are declared after each race.

Not altogether surprisingly, tricast betting adds another level of complexity, but the challenging nature of the bet is reflected by a corresponding increase in the potential payout. Like a straight forecast, a ‘straight forecast’ requires just a single stake, but punters can, once again, increase their chances of a winning dividend by including four, or more, selections in a ‘combination tricast’.