What is a combination forecast bet?

12 Jul 2021
Phil Lowe 12 Jul 2021
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What is a combination forecast bet?

A combination forecast bet is a further step up from a reverse forecast, in that it allows you to pick three or more selections from a race, and you then need two of those selections to finish first and second to win the bet. 

A combination forecast is often seen as a much safer approach to forecast betting than a straight forecast or a reverse forecast, mostly because it covers a lot more possible outcomes, and while the stake might not be as big and the payout not as high, there is a much higher chance of winning. 

For those of you who are new to the concept of a combination forecast, keep reading as we explore the ins and outs of this lucrative betting type. 

If, however,  you are not yet up to speed with what a straight forecast or a reversed forecast is, then feel free to go back and check out our useful guides using the drop-down menu at the top of the page. 

Calculating odds and an example

Getting your head around exactly what a combination forecast looks like can be a little bit tricky, especially if you are used to just placing a straight forecast style bet. 

As with any bet, the first thing you will need to do is head on over to your preferred bookmakers and find the sport you are looking to bet on. Due to the nature of any forecast bet, you will likely be placing this bet on either horse racing, dog racing, or motor-sports. 

Next, you will want to add your selections to your bet slip. It is important to bear in mind that the number of selections you make here will significantly affect how much your wager is, as your stake is multiplied several times based on how many you choose. 

The following list shows how many bets you will place depending on your number of selections. Remember that your stake will be multiplied by the number of bets, so you don’t want to choose too many if you don’t want to spend a lot of money.  

3 selections- 6 bets 
4 selections- 12 bets 
5 selections- 20 bets 
6 selections- 30 bets 

Once you have made your selections, some bookmakers will add the option of making a combination forecast to your betting slips, meaning all you have to do is simply enter your stake. 
Not all bookmakers will offer this though, and you may have to search under the special bets or forecast tabs on a race to find this option. 

For the sake of the following example, we are going to go with the lowest and most common number to choose for a combination forecast- three, and we are going to use horse racing as our example sport. 

Three selections will see you place six separate straight forecast bets:

1) Horse A to win and Horse B to finish second 
2) Horse A to win and Horse C to finish second 
3) Horse B to win and Horse A to finish second 
4) Horse B to win and Horse C to finish second 
5) Horse C to win and Horse A to finish second 
6) Horse C to win and Horse B to finish second 

As you can see, this covers the vast majority of outcomes, and the only way you would lose is if all three of your horses failed to finish in first or second. 

One thing you should be aware of with any type of forecast betting is that the bookies are not likely to offer you odds when you place the bet. 

While some bookmakers might do this, a lot will calculate your returns during the race and you will not find out how much you have won until after the race is run. You can probably work out if it is going to be a good amount or not though based on the odds that were offered on the individual horses winning the race. 

You should also make sure you check out your bookmakers terms and conditions concerning non-runners. 

If you have any queries or concerns about which bookmakers to use, then feel free to check out our useful bookmakers reviews using the link at the top of the page. 

Advantages of placing a combination forecast bet

There are many advantages to placing a combination forecast bet instead of a more traditional straight forecast bet, the biggest being that you seriously increase your chances of winning. 

Choosing which selections are going to finish first and second in a given race is a notoriously difficult task, so by covering all of the bases with three well-chosen selections, you stand a much better chance of making some money. 

Forecast bets can often offer very high payouts as well, and while it may not be as lucrative to play this type of bet, you still stand a good chance of making a good profit. 

Disadvantages of placing a combination forecast bet 

The clearest disadvantage of placing a combination forecast bet, especially as opposed to a straight forecast, is that you have to wager significantly more money, especially if you want to make more than three selections. 

While you do increase your chances of winning, there is still no guarantee that two of your horses will finish in first and second place, so there is still a degree of risk involved. 

As we’ve mentioned before, most bookmakers won’t offer you fixed odds on a forecast before the race is run, which can be quite frustrating for those who like to keep an eye on their potential winnings. 

Types of sports you can place a combination bet on

Like all forecast bets, the most common types of sports to place a combination forecast bet is are racing based sports. 

Horse and dog racing are by far the most common sports to place this bet on, and a lot of bookmakers will only offer it as an option on these sports.

That being said, most bookmakers will offer you forecast bets on other sports if you were to contact them directly.