What is a Superfecta Bet in Horse Racing?

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Superfecta Bet

A superfecta is a wager that requires the bettor to correctly predict the winner, the runner-up, the third-place finisher and the fourth-place finisher of a particular race — in exact order. As you might guess, superfecta payoffs can get quite large, especially when the favorites run up the track. The disqualification of Maximum Security from first to 17th in the 2019 Kentucky Derby resulted in a superfecta that paid $51,400.10 — for a buck.

What’s more, many tracks feature a 10-cent minimum on superfecta bets, making it an affordable way for small bettors to try for a big score.
 
Variations of this bet include a superfecta box, a superfecta key and a superfecta key box.
 
What is a superfecta box?
 
A superfecta box is a wager in which the bettor plays a variety of horses to finish either first, second, third or fourth — in any order. The cost of the ticket is determined by the base bet amount and the number of combinations. For example, a 10-cent superfecta box with four horses would cost $12 ($0.10 x 4 possible winners x 3 possible second-place finishers x 2 possible third-place finishers x 1 possible fourth-place finisher).  
 
What is a superfecta key?
 
With a superfecta key - or superfecta key wheel - a bettor uses one horse in the win position (“on top”) and numerous others in the place, show and fourth-place slots (“underneath”). The cost of the ticket is based on the base bet and the number of combinations used underneath. Thus, a 10-cent superfecta key with four horses underneath would cost $2.40 ($0.10 x 4 possible second-place finishers x 3 possible third-place finishers x 2 possible fourth-place finishers).  
 
What is a superfecta key box?
 
This bet is very similar to a superfecta key, except that the key horse can finish either first, second, third or fourth - as long as at least three of the other horses on the ticket finish in the top four.
 
Again, the cost of this wager is determined by the number of combinations multiplied by the base bet. So, a 10-cent superfecta key box of 1-2,3,4,5 would cost $9.60. This is determined as follows: $0.10 x (1 x 4 x 3 x 2 + 4 x 1 x 3 x 2 + 4 x 3 x 1 x 2 + 4 x 3 x 2 x 1).

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