Forecasts and tricasts are bets that involve predicting the horses, dogs, competitors or teams that will finish first and second (for forecasts) or first, second and third (tricasts) in a given race or event. They are popular with horse racing and greyhound racing in particular, but can be used on many sports including cycling, athletics, Formula 1 (and other motor sports) and a host of others.

Forecast: 1st and 2nd

Straight forecasts involve backing the first two finishers in a given event in the correct order and can be used to increase the odds when you are confident of a particular horse (for instance) winning, but whose odds are restrictively short. Adding a longer odds runner in the second position of a straight forecast will increase the odds significantly. So if you back the favourite and another at longer odds in a straight forecast to finish in that order your total return would obviously be significantly better than if you just backed the winner. Obviously the odds (and returns) are higher because the chances of success are lessened, but it’s up to you to assess when the value exists sufficiently to place a straight forecast.

Tricast: 1st, 2nd & 3rd

A straight tricast is almost the same as the straight forecast except you must pick the first three in the correct order, and – given the chances are diminished still further – the payments from a successful tricast can be very tasty indeed.

Reverse Forecast: 1st & 2nd in any order

If you are confident of which two horses (or whatever) will finish in the top two, but not which of the two will win, you might instead opt to place a reverse forecast, which is akin to an each way bet and is two bets which covers whether horse A is first and horse B is second, or vice versa. Your stake will be twice what it would be for a straight forecast.

Combination Tricast: 1st, 2nd & 3rd in any order

In the same way, you can place a combination tricast which covers all six possible combinations of three selections finishing in the top three positions in any order. This will thus be six bets and cost you six times as much as a straight tricast for the same unit stake.

You can go even further, though, and place a combination tricast from more than three selections in which you are backing the top three from more than three selections. This will give you a greater chance of success as you have an extra bite of the cherry, but will cost you as the number of combinations (and hence bets you have to place) increases. For instance a combination tricast from four selection would require 24 bets, with 60 bets from five selections and a massive 120 bets from six selections.

Combination forecasts work in the same way when picking the top two from more than two selections for which the number of bets you need to cover three selections is six, with 12 bets for four selections, 20 for five and 30 for six.