Placing a Boxed Trifecta Bet in Horse or Dog Racing

Increase your odds of winning a race by boxing your bet

horse racing trifecta
A trifecta requires picking the top 3 finishers in order. Cindy Pierson Dulay

A trifecta bet requires you to select the first, second and third place finishers in order. Trifecta betting is popular because even a small wager can have a big payout due to the difficulty of correctly selecting the top three finishers. Boxing your bet allows your finishers to come in any order and still win. It costs a little more, but since you do not have to accurately predict the finishing order, your odds of getting the winning three finishers are better.

You can also add more finishers to your boxed trifecta, which increases your odds of winning. However, your bet will also be more expensive.

Minimum Bet

The minimum stake for an online trifecta bet is generally a $1 minimum, but you can wager a larger amount if you want.  Trifecta bets are available on almost all horse racing around the world and cover all breeds of racing including trifecta bets on thoroughbred racing, harness racing and greyhound racing.

Sample Bet for Thoroughbred Racing

When you select three or more horses in a race and wish to cover every possible trifecta combination with those selections, a trifecta box simplifies this bet. For example, you think the #3, #4, #5 and #6 horses in the fourth race will be the first cross the finish line first. You are not sure which horses will come in which order, but you have a feeling those horses are strong contenders.

Since the trifecta requires you to select the first, second and third horses in their exact order of finish, this four-horse box example would involve 24 combinations: 3-4-5, 3-4-6, 3-5-4, 3-5-6, 3-6-4, 3-6-5, 4-3-5, etc.

Instead of making all 24 wagers separately, you can ask for a “$1 trifecta box, 3-4-5-6” for a cost of $24, which covers the cost of the 24 combinations.

The more horses you put in your box, the better chance you have of cashing your ticket, but as you can see, your ticket will also be more expensive.

Cost Combinations and Payout

A 3-selection, trifecta box costs $6. A 4-selection, trifecta box costs $24, a 5-selection, trifecta box costs $60, and a 6-selection, trifecta box costs $120. 

The way to win big is if one of the finishers you selected ends up being a long-shot. Long-shot finishers have the highest odds against them. If they do cross the finish line and you selected that finisher along with two others in your box bet, then your payday should be sizeable.

How to Place Your Trifecta Box Bet

  1. Preselect the finishers that you think will have the best chance to finish in the top three positions.
  2. At the betting window, tell the clerk which track and which race you wish to bet on.
  3. If you choose to do a $1 trifecta, tell the clerk '$1 trifecta box, and give the number/s of the horses/dogs that you favor for winning.
  4. Make sure your ticket is correct before you leave the window.