Ten-cent superfecta is going strong. Four years ago, Sam Houston Race Park started a trend as the first Thoroughbred track to reduce its minimum bet for superfecta wagering to ten cents.
Since then the micro wager has spread in popularity, though little in-depth study has been conducted to determine if reducing the minimum bet has been a moneymaker for the tracks.
But the patrons love it.
The ten-cent wager, which started in greyhound racing, quickly has become the standard minimum superfecta wager at Thoroughbred tracks. The superfecta requires players to select the first four sequential finishers of a given race. The reduction in minimum the bet allows players to wager more combinations. For instance, lower bankroll players can bet 24 combinations for $2.40 as opposed to $24 at a $1 minimum. Sam Houston's Racing Secretary Eric Johnston said the track takes some pride in being the first Thoroughbred track to offer the wager on February 17, 2005.
“We take a lot of pride in it but, interestingly enough, we also caught a lot of flak,” Johnston said, explaining that many track executives who thought the wager would hurt handle since have changed their minds.
The ten-cent superfecta proved a boon for Sam Houston as its superfecta handle increased 45% by 2006-’07.
The New York Racing Association changed its superfecta minimum to ten cents in the fall of 2007 and has kept tabs on its performance.
At the first full meeting to offer the wager, Aqueduct winter-spring 2007-’08, the average superfecta pool was up 30.6%. At the 2008 Belmont spring meeting, the average superfecta pool was up 28.3%.
“The ten-cent superfecta fueled that growth—there’s no other explanation,” NYRA President Charles Hayward said. “It’s been a great addition to wagers.”
This low-cost betting option opens up the challenge and potential rewards of the superfecta to many more players,” Hayward said. “Ten-cent players typically build multi-bet tickets, by boxing or using part-wheels, with many more permutations than do $1 players. It’s a very popular play with our fans.”
The bet allows smaller bankroll players a chance at some action, the bet also has fans among bigger bettors who can avoid immediate tax reporting or withholding by betting at the ten-cent minimum. These players may play a ten-cent ticket ten times rather than a single $1 ticket, keeping potential payouts below required reporting levels.
The 10 cent superfecta bet is very popular with players. The Horseplayers Association of North America gives positive marks to tracks that offer the ten-cent superfecta. With that in mind, it seems a good bet that the micro bet will celebrate many more anniversaries.
List of 42 horse tracks offering ten cent superfecta wagering