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Published on: 03/05/2017

One of the most popular types of bet available, particularly for horse racing and greyhound racing, is the `forecast` bet.

What is forecast betting?

A forecast bet is when you make two selections that must finish first or second in any given race. This type of wager has a unique payout structure and there are several different variations of this bet.

Straight forecast

This is the most basic and popular forecast. With a `straight forecast` bet, you select the first and second finishers in a race and must specify the order in which they will finish - you must say Horse A will finish in first place and Horse B will finish second. You will earn no payout for just one of these predictions happening.

Reverse forecast

In a `reverse forecast` bet, you select the first and second finishers in a race but not the specific order in which they will finish. So you bet Horse A to finish first or second and Horse B to finish first or second.

You are effectively making two bets here - one on Horse A to finish first and Horse B to finish second, and one on Horse B to finish first and Horse B to finish second. Because of this, you need to pay twice your stake.

Combination forecast

This follows the same rules as a reverse forecast. As usual, you must pick the first two finishers but with this bet you can choose as many participants as you wish. However, the more you pick, the greater the total stake.

The formula for the number of unit stakes is n(n-1), where n is the number of choices. For example, if you make three selections in an event then there are six different forecast bets if you bet on every combination of straight forecasts among those three choices.

If you wager £10, you are actually placing six straight forecast bets using your three selections, costing you £60. You will win if two of your three selections finish first and second in whatever order - because if that takes place, one of your six forecasts has been landed.


You can also make a tricast bet, where you have to predict the first three finishers in the correct order.


A forecast is usually returned to a one-unit stake. For instance, if the forecast return is 9.72 (8.72/1) then you are returned £9.72 for every £1 you have staked. Thus, the forecast return is normally in decimal odds as the dividend includes the stake.

In horse racing, the dividend you earn when you are successful is the official industry forecast return. This is based on an equation which considers many factors including the number of runners in the race and the odds of the horses involved.

In Tote or Pool betting, the forecast dividend returned depends on how many punters achieved the winning forecast and the amount of money wagered into that pool.

Also, bookmakers will often offer their own odds on a forecast. For example, with a Formula 1 grand prix every likely option of who might finish first or second will be given and fixed odds will be offered on each possible forecast.

Published on: 03/05/2017 © Bet Bind