Win At The Dog Track: Trifecta Bets Can Make You Big Money

First of all, a lot of people will tell you that - if you can pick a quiniela - you can pick a trifecta. Boy, do I wish that was true. I'm pretty good at picking quinielas with 3 or 4 dog boxes. Picking trifectas with the same number of dogs, isn't so easy. For me and many other bettors, it's that third dog that gets you.

You bet the 1/2/3 and the 1 and the 2 come in first and third with the 6 in between them for second. There goes your bet. Now, if you'd handicapped the race, decided that you like the 1/2/3 and 6 to be in the quiniela, you would have made money on that bet.

But deciding that you like the 1/2/3 and 6 for the trifecta means you have to spend $24 to bet a trifecta box. Well, you say, what's $24? Any trifecta is going to pay at least that and probably a lot more. True, but - and this is a very important "but" - only if it comes in.

What if you miss three trifectas and then hit one that only pays $200? With a box bet, you get half. If you bet $24 a race and hit even one out of four races and the trifectas don't pay that well, you're losing money. And hitting one out of four is pushing it. Most bettors are lucky if they hit one or two trifectas a program.

So, we're back to 3 dog boxes for $6, right? Well, that's not your only option. My favorite trifecta bet is a tri-key bet. If you key two dogs over two other dogs, you can get more options for your money. For instance, I handicap a race and decide that I like the 1/2/3 and 6 dogs. I don't want to spend $24 on a box, so here's what I do.

I pick the two dogs that I think have the best chance of winning and play them over the other two.

The charge is a tracer of the possible profits to a bet. There are numerous kinds of charges:

• European Fee: A fee as integer or decimal (eg 1.5 or 3).

• English Charge: A fee as a fraction (eg one/two or 2/1).

• American Fee: A charge that could be expressed as constructive or detrimental number (eg -200 or 200).

dogs like this: 1/2 over the 1/2 over the 3/6. That way, if it comes in 1/2/3, 1/2/6, 2/1/3 or 2/1/6, I collect. I've spent $8, not $24. True, I've only bet 8 combinations, but they're combinations that I think are more likely to come in than the rest of the combinations with those numbers.

Let's face it, a lot of times when you bet four dog trifecta boxes, you're not as crazy about two of the dogs as you are about the other two. So if you don't think all four of them have an equal chance of being first and second, why bet them that way? Why not give more weight to the two that you like the most?

Try this next time you handicap a race and find four dogs that you like with two that look more likely to be in the quiniela. Use a good system to handicap and bet the tri-key bet like the one I just showed you.

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