How to Bet Superfectas at Dog Tracks

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The superfecta is a wager one can make at a dog track that normally has a payout in at least the hundreds of dollars, and often in the thousands. At one time, the superfecta was limited to the last race of the entire program, but today, superfectas are available in just about every event at most dog tracks. Here are some superfecta wagering tips that may help you cash a big ticket.

• Pick the first four dogs over the finish line--in the correct order. That is essentially what a superfecta is: the first four greyhounds over the line in the order they crossed it. Obviously, this is not as easy as it sounds, which is why superfectas are capable of paying big bucks. Even with a dead-on favorite winning the race, a superfecta can have a huge payoff if enough longshots complete the ticket. A straight superfecta ticket--one in which a bettor chooses four dogs in order--costs \$2 at most dog tracks. There are 1,680 possible superfecta combinations in an eight-dog field.

• Box a superfecta to cover more combos. Your chances of being right betting a straight-ticket superfecta are limited, but if you take four dogs you like in the race and "box" them, your chances are increased. A box superfecta of 1-2-3-4 has a possible combination total of 24 different outcomes. This would cost you \$24 at dog tracks that allow you to bet a \$1 base on such wagers. Boxing a superfecta increases in cost as you add dogs to the box. Boxing is an excellent superfecta strategy for races in which you feel the favorite is overrated and will miss the ticket, making for a large payoff. A five-dog box costs \$120, a six-dog box \$360, a seven-dog box \$840, and to box every dog in the contest will set you back \$1,680, covering every possible outcome.

• Wheel a superfecta if you really like a certain dog in the race. "Wheeling" involves taking a dog and putting it in one of the four positions on the ticket, then putting a certain number of dogs with it. For instance, if you were to wheel the 4 dog to win with the 3-5-7-8 behind it, you would be a winner if the 4 dog won and any three of those other dogs finished on the ticket. Dogs can be wheeled in any of the positions on the superfecta ticket, with the cost not as high as for boxes. Wheeling one dog with three behind it costs \$6 with a \$1 base; one dog with four costs \$24, and the price increases as you add more dogs.

• Play a part wheel to increase your odds of winning. This is probably the smartest way to approach superfectas. A part wheel is one in which you choose more than one dog for a spot on the ticket, with others to fill out the remaining places. An example would be as follows: 1 with the 2 with the 3,4,5 with the 3,4,5. This play costs \$6, since there are six possible combinations covered. Part wheels allow you to be extremely creative, and they can be very complicated, as all manner of combos can be handicapped to cover different race scenarios.

• Play the "alls." This is a term that describes using all the remaining dogs in a wager. The 1-2-3-all gives you the 1, 2 and 3 with the other five dogs in the race. The all can be used anywhere on the ticket--even to win, as in an all-3-5-6 superfecta play. Make sure you know what these plays cost before asking for them, as you do not want to miscalculate and end up owing the mutuel clerks more money than you actually have.

Tips & Warnings

• With complex superfecta plays, you can often ask the teller to punch in the numbers to show you how much it will cost before he prints out the ticket for you.
• Superfectas are often what are known as "tax tickets," meaning that state and federal taxes will be taken out of your winnings if they are over a certain dollar amount. Make sure you have your ID with you.
• Superfectas with a \$1 base will pay half of what the straight superfecta pays.

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