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Superfecta Bet Explained

Superfecta Bet

If you’ve ever bet on horse racing, you know some wild bets are available. Among them are all the -fectas – great and unique wagers that involve tying several into a single stake. Superfecta betting is among the most popular exotic horse race bets, and just like the name suggests, it’s the most super of them all.

The potential return of a Superfecta makes it a much better choice than a trifecta bet or any other exotic horse racing bet. Punters love it, although it’s fair to be said it’s not for the faint of heart. This guide will tell you all you need and the best way to bet a Superfecta.

What Is a Superfecta Bet?

Unlike the Trifecta, which lets you pick three finisher runners, the Superfecta supersedes it with an extra pick. You get to select the first 4 finishers in a race. By adding a different choice, the Superfecta chart shows even bigger wins, but of course, the number of combinations also makes it a highly risky bet.

The minimum Superfecta bet is as low as $0.10, but most tracks will have a minimum of $1. You must pick the first four horses to pass the finish line in the exact order to place it. Aside from the Straight superfecta bet, other permutations allow you to box your chosen runners and win even bigger money.

How Does Superfecta Bet Work?

The Superfecta bet is an exotic type typically used in horse race betting. It allows you to pick the first 4 runners at the end of the race. You’re picking four horses to finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the correct order.

Correctly predicting the winner of any race is hard enough, but the Superfecta is 4 times more challenging. Of course, its reward trumps any evens betting slip and beats many accumulators. The record Kentucky Derby Superfecta payout occurred in 2009 when a lucky bettor hit almost $300,000 on a bet of $1.

How to Bet a Superfecta?

Placing a Superfecta couldn’t be easier. Most UK sportsbooks nowadays will let you pick 4 horses to finish the race in the correct order, and you can choose the spots yourself. With 4 picks, it automatically becomes a Superfecta bet.

Once you enter your stake, the system will calculate how much you might win if your predictions are correct.

How to Calculate Superfecta Bets and Payouts?

It’s easy to calculate the Superfecta max bet returns if you know the odds. You can put them all together and multiply them by your stake. However, instead of doing that on your own, you can use the bookie’s system for the same purpose.

There are also Superfecta calculators on the Internet that you can use to see how much you might win.

Superfecta Bet Example

A straight Superfecta bet example would be something like this:

  • 3-4-1-7

Those are the numbers of the runners you’ve picked to finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. They must finish in those spots with a straight Superfecta, with no other combinations. The good news is that Superfectas can add different varieties to the mix for a bit more cost.

Types of Superfecta Bets

There are 5 different variants of the Superfecta bet, each with its advantage. They add more combinations and cost more per bet.

Straight Superfecta

As discussed above, the straight Superfecta bet is the standard option. Here, you need to make four selections of horses to finish in the top four positions in a race and decide which order each will come in. It means that you must specify which one will finish in the first place, which will be in the second position, and which will come in third and fourth.

For example, let’s say that there is an eight-horse race during the Cheltenham festival, and a bettor decides that they like four selections for the Superfecta bet. The bettor would need to pick the horses and also determine the exact order they will place. 

The table below shows how a typical bet market here would look.

  1st 2nd 3rd 4th

To win a Superfecta bet, the four horses you choose must win in the exact order you predicted (i.e., 5 comes first, 1 comes second, 6 comes third, and 4 comes fourth. Any other outcome that deviates from this will result in a losing bet.

Superfecta Key

A Superfecta Key bet allows you to pick a pivotal horse to win the race and any combination of 3 or more horses to finish in the top 4. In short, these horses can end on any other spots, and you’ll win your bet as long as they do, and your crucial horse wins.

Superfecta Full Wheel Key

Logically, guessing the exact order in which the bets will come in is nearly impossible, making Superfecta bet quite tricky. Hence, most sportsbooks offer exciting variants with better chances of winning. One such type is the Superfecta full-wheel key bet.

A Superfecta full wheel key bet requires that a punter selects a pivotal horse to finish in the first place, along with any combination of three or more horses finishing in the second to fourth positions. With this option, you don’t have to predict the exact order of the other selections. You need to specify your first-place target horse, and it will cover all possible combinations for the remaining choices for the second to fourth places.

For example, you select No. 4 as your key horse to win a Royal Ascot race on top of Nos. 2, 5, and 8. The bet would look like the table below:

  Key With

This wager will cost you $6 to cover the key horse and the three remaining combinations for the second through fourth places. You will win this Superfecta bet if horse 4 wins the race and Nos. 2, 5, and 8 finish in any positions between the second and fourth places. Anything that deviates from this will also result in a loss.

Another upside to this wager is that it allows punters to put up more than four horses, unlike the straight option. You can select five or more horses alongside the key, and the bet will cover every possible outcome for the second, third, and fourth places.

Below is a breakdown of a Superfecta wager with five or more horses:

  • Key + 3 selections – 6 combinations ($6 wager)
  • Key + 4 selections – 24 combinations ($24 wager)
  • Key + 5 selections – 60 combinations ($60 wager)
  • Key + 6 selections – 120 combinations ($120 wager)

Superfecta Part Wheel

The part wheel key is another excitingly creative variant of the Superfecta bet. Unlike the full-wheel key option, this one allows punters to have more than one key horse for the first position. It also allows bettors to put multiple horses as keys in the other places (i.e., as first, second, and third places.) It creates numerous combinations, allowing punters to cover every possible outcome with the selected horses.

For example, let’s say you have a small Superfecta betting pool and like the horses 2, 4, and 10 in a 10-horse race. With these selections, you can play a $1 Superfecta part wheel bet of 2,4,10 as keys in the first position, 2,4,10 as keys in the second place, 2,4,10 in the third place, and all horses in the fourth position. It will result in 42 possible combinations, costing a $42 stake.

Superfecta Box

The Superfecta box is another exciting variant of this betting option. The upside of this Superfecta box wager is that you don’t need to specify the exact order in which the selected horses will finish. Instead, you only pick the horses you think will end in the top four places, and it will use them to create combinations to cover every possible outcome.

However, since this bet consists of multiple straight Superfecta bets, you must stake on each one. For example, let’s say that you pick Nos 1, 2, 3, and 4 for a Superfecta box wager. It will create 24 possible combinations for how the selections could finish and cover them all, as seen in the table.

















The table above shows the 24 combinations a Superfecta box bet would cover in such a wager, resulting in a $24 stake ($1 for every combo). You will get a payout from one of these combinations as long as the four horses you back finish in the first four positions. The exact order does not matter. But you will lose all the covered combinations if even one ends anywhere other than the top four.

Another exciting part of this box wager is that punters can pick five or more horses to create more four positions combinations. You should, however, note that the cost increases with more selections. 

Here is a breakdown of Superfecta box wagers with more selections:

  • 5 selections – 120 combinations ($120 wager)
  • 6 selections – 360 combinations ($360 wager)
  • 7 selections – 840 combinations ($840 wager)
  • 8 selections – 1,680 combinations ($1,680 wager)
  • 9 selections – 3,024 combinations ($3,024 wager)
  • 10 selections – 5,040 combinations ($5,040 wager)

The more horses you select for your Superfecta box bet, the more expensive it becomes.

How Does Superfecta Betting Work in Horse Racing?

The Superfecta was originally a horse racing bet. It works best for this sport and is commonly placed on race tracks and online live sportsbooks. Depending on the type, you select 4 or more horses to finish in the correct order (1st-2nd-3rd-4th) or any order in the top 4 spots.

Features of a Superfecta Bet

The Superfecta is a 4-part bet that enables bettors to pick the 4 horses to pass the finish line in the correct order. Like other exotic horse racing bets, the Superfecta can be wheeled or boxed, adding more combinations to the mix for an extra cost.


The Superfecta doesn’t cost as much as Lucky 63 and drastically reduces the number of combinations. A $1 Superfecta box costs only $4, and the winning potential is as enormous as you think. The top Superfecta Preakness bets or those placed on the Kentucky Derby have won thousands with a tiny investment. Sure, it’s a risky bet, but if you’ve mastered horse racing, you should be able to get it right.


The difficulty of predicting the first 4 horses is the most apparent disadvantage of Superfecta wagering. It’s not a perfect bet, but if you get your predictions right, it pays well. More than well if you see the biggest Superfectas in history.

Biggest Superfecta Bets in History

The best Superfecta bet by a mile came in 2013, when a lucky lady bet 120 $1-Superfectas on the top 4 finishers. She won nearly $30,000. Call it a first-time charm, as it was her first bet on horse races.

Why Should You Place a Superfecta Bet?

Because it’s fun – certainly more entertaining than betting on winning runners or 2, it costs a bit more, and getting the first 4 finishers the right way isn’t easy, but hey, accumulators are not specific.

It upends the Trifecta bet and many other exotics, so it’s worth investing in.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What exactly is a Superfecta bet in horse racing?
    The Superfecta is a bet where you pick the first 4 finishers. For your stake to win, they must come in the correct order, 1st-4th.
  • What is the minimum stake on a Superfecta bet?
    It depends on the sportsbook. Most will keep the minimum at $1, while others drop it as low as $0.10.
  • How much can I win on a Superfecta bet?
    That depends on the sportsbook’s odds. The biggest Trifecta bets have won thousands of dollars, like the 2013 Kentucky Superfecta that won $28,500 on $120.
  • Which pays more, the Trifecta or Superfecta?
    Due to the extra runner, the Superfecta pays more. Of course, this also ups the stakes, so the Trifecta is not wrong.
  • What did the Superfecta pay at the last Kentucky Derby?
    The last Kentucky Derby Superfecta paid a whopping $321,500 based on a bet of $1. The winning runners were 21-3-10-13.
  • How many Superfecta combinations are there in the Belmont stakes?
    Belmont Superfecta wagering is highly popular among seasoned horse racing bettors. The total number of combinations in this race is 26.
  • Can I bet on the Superfecta box on Bovada?
    Yes, you can. Go through the bookie’s racebook and see all the options to learn how to place a Superfecta box.
  • How to win the Superfecta bet?
    There’s no surefire formula to win your Superfecta. Doing a lot of research on the horses’ current and past forms will help, but a stroke of luck is also required.
  • How much does it cost to box 5 horses in a Superfecta?
    A 5-horse Superfecta bet’s cost depends on the minimum the sportsbook allows. With a base stake of $0.10, it costs $12.
  • What is the minimum bet Superfecta box at Belmont?
    The Superfecta at Belmont has a minimum bet of $1 per combination. It’s a bit higher than other races but also pays better.
Rebecca Martin

Rebecca is a Liverpool gal and a big fan of the club. She likes nothing more than sharing tips and predictions on sports betting. Her other favorite sports include horse racing, snooker, and golf. Rebecca is in charge of writing and media at BetZillion. You can thank her for making our articles look so great.

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