Many punters prefer the big payoff when it comes to betting on horses. There is no such thing as the "win single" for them. The thought of placing £10 onto a horse and winning £20 does absolutely nothing for them. In fact, one or two of our in-house experts feel this way too. Luckily there are numerous bets that you can place that although are unlikely to win, they do offer huge potential payouts.
For example in Australia there is a bet known as the "first 4". In the USA, it is known as the "Superfecta". Whatever the name, the process is to predict the first four horses to cross the line in order. Shortly we will be looking at why this bet is so popular and how you can maximise your chances of winning. One such way to do that is to place what is called a "box bet". This is simply perming the four selections that you think will come in the first four in any order.
Big payoffs are psychological in nature. The risk is small and the potential gain is very large. For some people this is the only type of bet they want to make. To them, win bets will never change their life but winning a big payoff might. Professionals don't think like this and professionals sure don't win First 4 bets or Superfecta bets, they choose another betting system. It is nearly always recreational punters who win the big bucks.
So just why shouldn’t these people get lucky? After all it's their money that’s on the line and it's their money that is being placed at such long odds. As the saying goes, "you can't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket" but you might want to read a guide on betting basics first. Well your odds of winning the lottery are many times greater than winning a First 4 bet and this is their great appeal.
OK, so you have decided that you want to place a "First 4" or "Superfecta" bet on a race like the Dewhurst Stakes or the Diamond Jubilee. Are you just going to pick any race or any four horses? If you do then we don't fancy your chances much. If you pick a 20 runner race and you choose horses at 25/1, 33/1, 66/1 and 100/1 then don't expect to be collecting your winnings.
Picking the Best Races and Certain Horses will maximise your Chances of Predicting the First Four Past the Post
So here are the big tips to enhance your chances of winning a First 4/Superfecta bet.
This first point should be common sense and fairly obvious. However we are amazed at just how many horse racing punters ignore this advice. The more horses that are in the field the more permutations there are. Even if you pick the first four favourites, the combined probabilities of every other horse in the field are so great that one of them is likely to outperform one of your four selections. So avoiding the big fields and sticking with races of 10-12 horses or less will dramatically increase your chances of landing this bet.
Winning this sort of long shot requires more common sense than skill. You don't need to be a skilled bettor to win a First 4/Superfecta bet but you do need to use some logic. So any horse that is a long shot is by sheer definition far less likely to do well. For example you may like the fancy sounding horse at 33/1 but how likely is this horse to do well?
To get into the first four means that the race will need to run well as a rule. It means that the horse will also need to be in contention to win the race at some stage. So avoid long shot horses and stay with horses that are 10/1 or less.
Race selection is key with this type of bet. We have already covered why we need to avoid big fields and long shots. Now we need to look at the configuration of the field in the betting. For example let us say that you see two different races with ten runners. One has a 1/3 favourite and a 3/1 second favourite. The other has a 4/1 favourite and a 9/2 second favourite.
In the second race, the compressed odds mean that there are no clear contenders. In these types of races, this is where the long shots either come close to winning or they sometimes win. We all see 16/1 shots, 25/1 shots and 33/1 chances winning sometimes. When we take strong horses out of the equation then this increases the chances of a long shot winning and decreases your chances of predicting the first four. So choosing races with a few clear favourites will be a wise policy.
Any type of bet needs a boost and your "boost" will come from picking a race where there are two stand out horses. Like for example if there is a strong odds on favourite at say 1/3. The chances that this horse will come outside the first four will be long. This means that you have almost certainly picked one of the four horses required to come in the first four.
If you want to really increase your chances of predicting the first four past the post but you don't think to pick the first four in order is feasible then a "box bet" may be to your choosing. This bet variation simply allows you to perm the first four horses so that the bet wins whatever order they finish in as long as all four selections come in the first four.
So what you are actually doing in effect is perming your selections. This is a very popular choice for bettors who are forced into picking a higher priced horse as part of their selection. It is also a popular choice for bettors who try to predict the first four in races that are competitive with no stand out favourites.